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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/14: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Warrior tribute, latest WM30 fall-out

Apr 14, 2014 - 10:12:24 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
April 14, 2014 - Episode #1,089
Live in Birmingham, Ala.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor


- Announced in-advance: First Round matches in the Intercontinental Title #1 contender tournament. The match-ups: Mark Henry vs. Cesaro, RVD vs. Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger, and Dolph Ziggler vs. Wade Barrett.

WWE Network Pre-Game Show

The Raw pre-game show started with an "In Memory" message for Ultimate Warrior. WWE faded to Josh Mathews at the Raw pre-show panel. Mathews delivered a serious message about Warrior, then Booker T, Sgt. Slaughter, and Alex Riley were introduced at the panel location. Riley said Warrior seemed to be "at peace" last Monday on Raw.

Mathews recapped Warrior's final speech, then WWE faded to the usual pre-show intro. Back to the standard Raw pre-game show, WWE hyped Daniel Bryan's WWE Title victory at WM30, The Shield vs. The Authority feud, Paige's first night as Divas champion tonight on Raw, and John Cena responding to the Wyatts.

Backstage, Renee Young brought in new Divas champion Paige, who will be in action tonight. Paige said she's going into tonight ready to fight and she's interested to see who steps up to her. Back at the pre-show panel, Booker said she's like Miley Cyrus bringing the wrecking ball to the Divas champion. Mathews returned fire by noting Paige isn't a Cyrus fan.

After a vignette on Adam Rose aired, the pre-show panel broke down the IC Title #1 contender tournament pairings. Mathews then fed to comments from IC champion Big E. discussing the tournament. Big E. said he loves tournaments, then called this his biggest challenge as of yet.

Live Raw on USA Network

This week's Raw started with a shot of the WWE locker room standing on-stage as Michael Cole read a message about paying tribute to Ultimate Warrior tonight. Vince McMahon was in the middle of the locker room line-up looking solemn, then WWE continued to pan right to reveal John Cena next to Nikki Bella, then Triple H & Stephanie McMahon standing a few people over holding hands. Jerry Lawler introduced a video package on Warrior.

The video package documented Warrior's career highlights. Included were soundbytes from Hulk Hogan, Hunter, and Stephanie. WWE included a clip of Warrior's final promo last Monday. Next were clips from his Hall of Fame of speech, then Warrior on-stage at WM30, shaking the ropes on Raw, and Warrior saying farewell on Raw. It must be impossible to process for casual WWE TV viewers who watched Warrior last Monday, did not know about Warrior dying last Tuesday, and WWE tributing his life this week.

Back in the arena, Lawler asked the crowd to pause in silence for the 10-Bell Salute. The bell sounded ten times as WWE zoomed in on McMahon, then Orton, Hunter & Stephanie, Sheamus, Natalya and Sin Cara, Big Show, Cody Rhodes crying, and Kane standing stoically. Lawler said now they will celebrate Warrior's life. Warrior's music played and the locker room clapped it up as WWE cut to various crowd shots of fans wearing Warrior masks that were passed out before the show. On the stage, Hunter led the locker room in a "Warrior" chant, which the crowd joined in on. No sign of WWE World champ Daniel Bryan.

WWE cut to the announcers as a fan on the front row held up a visible "I Heart Sting" in the background. Michael Cole announced The Usos vs. Batista & Randy Orton in a re-match from last week, but not for the Tag Titles. Also tonight, will The Authority strike back against The Shield? Plus, the eight-man tournament to determine the next #1 contender to the IC Title.

[Commercial Break at 8:07]

Back live, Justin Roberts introduced Alberto Del Rio for the first First Round match in the IC Title #1 contender match. Rob Van Dam was then introduced as Del Rio's opponent. Cole reviewed the tournament bracket, with the winner facing the Mark Henry vs. Cesaro winner in the next round.

1 -- ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. ROB VAN DAM -- First Round match in a #1 Contender tournament to the Intercontinental Title

Van Dam sold a head injury early on, then knocked Del Rio out of the ring to get a breather. Del Rio slowly returned to the ring and went to work on RVD's mid-section. WWE cut to a locker room shot of IC champ Big E. watching this match intently before RVD knocked Del Rio to the floor again. On the floor, Del Rio sent RVD back-first into the guardrail. Raw cut to break with Del Rio in control.

[Q2] [Commercial Break at 8:15]

Back live, RVD back-splashed Del Rio for a two count back in the ring. But, Del Rio back-kicked RVD in the gut to continue working the mid-section. Meanwhile, Cole announced that the winner of the tournament will meet Big E. for the IC Title at the Extreme Rules PPV.

At 8:00, Del Rio stalked RVD for a top-rope move, but RVD intercepted with a back-heel kick. RVD was slow to follow up, still selling being shaken up from the first moments of the match. After a review of Big E. watching the match backstage, WWE showed Del Rio giving RVD a kick to the head for a two count. Del Rio decided to sell frustration on the outside instead of follow up with the attack, allowing RVD to recover in the ring. This allowed RVD to make a comeback, then climb to the top turnbuckle to deliver a Five-Star Frogsplash. Van Dam covered and it was good for the win.

WINNER: RVD at 10:35 to advance to the Semi-Finals; will face the Henry-Cesaro winner. RVD looked off from the start, making this a sluggish match that Del Rio tried to guide through two segments.

Announcers: Cole said WWE World Hvt. champion Daniel Bryan is not here tonight, as he is on his honeymoon with Brie Bella. That explains why Bryan was not in the locker room line-up at the top of the show.

Video Review: Daniel Bryan's title celebration last week on Raw, then Triple H attempting to win the WWE Title from Bryan, but The Shield delivered "justice" by aligning with Bryan against Hunter and The Authority.

Authority Office: Triple H and a smiling Stephanie greeted Randy Orton and Batista showing up for a conversation.

Announcers: Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL were shown on-camera to introduce an Ultimate Warrior video clip.

Warrior Moments: Summerslam 1988 when Ultimate Warrior made a surprise appearance to capture the IC Title from Honky Tonk Man.

On the way to break, a Toys R Us spot featuring Sheamus and Big E. aired.

[Q3] [Commercial Break at 8:29]

Authority Office: Raw picked up with Hunter mid-conversation with Orton and Batista. Hunter said tonight's problem is The Shield, not Daniel Bryan. He said together they can't be stopped. Stephanie chimed in and said she sees the three man who can stop Shield tonight. Hunter echoed her comment that if the three of them are on the same page, no one can stop them. Batista said that sounds great, but all he wants to be champ, ignoring Hunter's speech. Orton said he agrees with Batista that Hunter is on his own with this one. They left, then Steph told Hunter that she has an idea.

In-ring: Rhodes Bros. were introduced to the ring as Ryback and Curtis Axel were standing by in the ring.

2 -- RHODES BROS. (CODY RHODES & GOLDUST) vs. RYBACK & CURTIS AXEL

Rhodes, sporting new-looking white boots, worked on Axel early on before tagging in Goldust. Goldust lost control, though, and the heels exchanged tags knocking the facepaint off Goldust. Brief "Goldberg" chant during the beat down, then Goldust made it to his corner to tag in Cody. Ryback tried power on Cody, but Cody escaped, knocked Axel off the ring apron, and brushed Ryback with a flying moonsault.

Ryback rolled to the floor, where Cody knocked him around a bit. Back in the ring, Cody nailed a missile dropkick for a two count. Chaos in the ring. Goldust went flying, then Cody smashed Axel with the Disaster Kick. He tried one for Ryback, but Ryback intercepted with the Meathook Clothesline. It was good for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Ryback & Axel at 5:58.

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL hyped new programming on WWE Network this week, which coincides with a free one-week trial of the Network. Cole hyped WrestleMania 30 Fall-out and the debut of Legends House on the Network.

Video Preview: Legends House.

[Commercial Break at 8:43]

[Q4] Vignette: Inspiration. Aspiration. It's Bo Dallas.

In-ring: Paige's music played to bring out the new Divas champion. The crowd didn't seem to know how to receive her following the abrupt ring introduction. Paige entered the ring before WWE replayed Paige surprising A.J. Lee with a Divas Title victory last week on Raw. Back live, Paige was prepared to wrestle against Alicia Fox.

3 -- Divas champion PAIGE vs. ALICIA FOX -- non-title match

The announcers slipped in a plug for WWE's U.K. TV partner, Sky Sports, noting Paige's family watched her title victory back home in England last week. Paige landed offense early on, but Fox took control and knocked Paige to the floor. Fox continued the assault back in the ring, knocking down Paige. Paige fought back and applied an inverted Sharpshooter that stretched Fox into submission.

WINNER: Paige via submission at 3:30. Fine match establishing Paige's credibility in the ring on the way to facing tougher competition.

Up Next: The Usos vs. Batista & Orton in a tag match.

[Commercial Break at 8:54]

In-ring: The Usos did their customary ring entrance, displaying Ultimate Warrior-inspired facepaint this week. After the Usos hit the ring, Randy Orton's music played to shrieks from the females in the crowd. Orton then made his way to the ring leading to the top of the hour.

[Q5 -- second hour] Batista was out second for the heel duo. Batista, who was a big Warrior fan, seemed inspired making his way to the ring.

4 -- WWE tag champions THE USOS vs. RANDY ORTON & BATISTA -- non-title grudge match

As soon as the bell sounded, the Usos attacked the heels, sending them out of the ring. The Usos hit a flying dive, then ran back into the ring to shake the ropes like Warrior. The heels regrouped, then isolated Jey. A light "Boo-tista" chant picked up, then Orton tagged in and worked on Uso. Slow pace, then Orton took Uso to the floor. Suddenly, The Shield came through the crowd and attacked Orton, causing the bell to sound.

Post-match: Shield surrounded Batista in the ring. Roman Reigns landed a Superman Punch, then Orton dragged Batista out of the ring to avoid further damage. The announcers noted that The Shield is not just Hunter's problem anymore. After a replay of Shield attacking Orton and Batista, WWE showed the two sides standing off from a distance.

WINNERS: Batista & Orton via DQ at 4:10.

Up Next: Mark Henry vs. Cesaro, with Paul Heyman, in the IC Title #1 contender tournament.

Warrior Moments: WrestleMania 6 for Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan.

[Commercial Break at 9:08]

Video Preview: "Total Divas" wedding with Uso and Naomi. Plus, Eva Maria is melting down.

Backstage: Batista angrily threw down his wrestling gear as Randy Orton walked in front of him. They found Triple H waiting in the hallway. Stephanie also emerged in the shadows. Hunter smirked and said, "Told you." Orton and Batista looked at each other.

In-ring: Paul Heyman emerged on-stage sans music. Heyman introduced himself to boos, then noted he is the advocate for the Conqueror of The Streak, Brock Lesnar. He said he realizes the audience thinks he's going to drive that point home over and over again ... then proceeded to do so. And it is his client, Lesnar, who asked him to show these historical photographs. Heyman showed photos of Taker leaving WrestleMania 30 alone and defeated.

[Q6] Heyman waited out boos, then said it's ironic how a loss to his client has immortalized The Undertaker. He said now that he managed the man who broke The Streak, you must listen as he presents his new client and future top star, the "King of Swing" Cesaro. Out came Cesaro sans music to a mixed reaction. The duo marched down to the ring still without music, then Mark Henry's music played to bring out Henry for a tournament match.

5 -- MARK HENRY vs. CESARO (w/Paul Heyman) -- First Round match in a #1 Contender tournament to the Intercontinental Title

After the bell sounded, Henry vowed to make Heyman his business. Heyman heelishly backed away to watch Cesaro lock up with Henry. After the lock-up, Henry overpowered Cesaro over the top rope to the floor. Heyman and Cesaro talked strategy, then Cesaro slowly walked back into the ring as IC champ Big E. was shown watching the action backstage.

Back in the ring, Henry ran over Cesaro with a clothesline, sold an injury, and draped an arm over Cesaro for a two count. Henry was slow to follow up and sold being dazed. This allowed Cesaro to yank Henry across the top rope, avoid a desperation World's Strongest Slam, and nail a flying European Uppercut. Cesaro then set up Henry for the Neutralizer, squatted Henry in the air, and delivered his finisher for the pin and the win. Afterward, Heyman announced Cesaro as the winner. Still no music. Awkwardness as the duo left the ring without background music.

WINNER: Cesaro at 3:18 to advance to the Semi-Finals; will face RVD. This is all strange. Just strange. Does Cesaro really need Heyman? He seemed to be fine breaking out on his own as a babyface. But, perhaps the face side of the roster is loaded right now, they want to keep Cesaro in the heel territory.

[Commercial Break at 9:22]

Authority Office: Triple H told Raw GM Brad Maddox to tell The Shield that they're in the main event tonight. Stephanie told Brad not to tell them who their opponents are. On commentary, JBL jumped the gun by saying he can't wait for the six-man tag main event. How would JBL know that's the match if they aren't telling Shield who (or how many) the opponents are. It could be a standard two-on-two tag match, a handicap match, or a 3-on-25 match.

On-stage: Lana walked out to introduce powerhouse Rusev, who entered the ring and did his pre-match warm-up routine as Xavier Woods watched in the corner.

6 -- RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. XAVIER WOODS

Rusev dominated, then applied The Accolade Camel Clutch submission. Xavier tapped, then Rusev contemplated further damage, but R-Truth hit the ring to make the save.

[Q7] Post-match, Rusev backed away, but Lana called for more damage, so Rusev took out Truth, then stood tall over Truth and Woods. Very long post-match pose.

WINNER: Rusev via submission at 0:45.

Up Next: Sheamus vs. Swagger in the next tournament match.

[Commercial Break at 9:33]

Warrior Moments: Summerslam 1990 when Ultimate Warrior defended the WWF Title against Rick Rude in a steel cage.

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL noted WWE Network will tribute Warrior all this week. Lawler then hyped the one-week free trial starting tonight. Cole finished with hype for the "Journey to WrestleMania" documentary focused on Daniel Bryan. This led to a series of video clips from the documentary.

In-ring: Jack Swagger was standing by with Zeb Colter. Zeb talked strategy to Swagger, then Sheamus's music played to bring out Swagger's opponent.

7 -- SHEAMUS vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Zeb Colter) -- First Round match in a #1 Contender tournament to the Intercontinental Title

One minute in, Zeb slowly moved his way up the ring steps to provide a distraction, which allowed Swagger to bodyslam Sheamus to the floor padding. Another look at IC champ Big E. watching the match backstage, then Swagger took Sheamus back into the ring to wear him down. Sheamus fought back with clotheslines, then he smashed Swagger with Ten Forearms against the ropes.

[Q8] Sheamus came off the top with the battering ram for a nearfall. He tried to follow with a slingshot from the ring apron, but Swagger countered with the Patriot Lock. Sheamus teased tapping out, but powered out just in time. Sheamus sold the effects, then Swagger bumrushed him out of the ring. On the floor, Swagger smashed Sheamus's knee/leg, then tossed him back into the ring. But, Sheamus was ready for Swagger, who ran right into a desperation Brogue Kick. It was good for the pin and the win, then Sheamus went back to selling the effects of the leg attack.

WINNER: Sheamus at 6:55 to advance to the Semi-Finals; will face Ziggler-Barrett winner.

Announcers: As Sheamus sold with his life, Cole casually changed subjects to NXT. He fed to a vignette on Adam Rose.

[Commercial Break at 9:49]

Video Package: Ultimate Warrior over Mania Weekend. Included were behind-the-scenes clips of Warrior preparing for the big weekend. A four-part series begins Tuesday night on WWE Network.

8 -- DAMIEN SANDOW vs. BIG SHOW

Damien Sandow was standing by. Sandow tried talking, but Big Show's music interrupted. Sandow spoke over the music, saying he will not be silenced by music or fireworks or anything. Show walked down to the ring with a big smile as Sandow continued that he will not be silenced. Show stood in the corner as Sandow told Show to keep anything he has to say to himself. Sandow asked the crowd why they cheer Show, then ran down his act. He said the crowd should be bent over with arms outstretched begging to touch him when he comes out here. "Because I deserve it!" he said. "I have earned it."

Sandow then approached Show for his thoughts. Sandow asked Show for comments, but Show remained quiet. Sandow said that confirms he deserves it, then he pointed his finger at Show's chest and told him he sees the Future of WWE. "You look at me and you see greatness!" Sandow told Show. That was enough for Show, who KO Punched Sandow in the face. A ref was present, but Show's music played and he left the ring as the ref checked on Sandow.

WINNER: No Match.

Suddenly, the Wyatts's theme interrupted the announcers recapping business tonight. "We're next," Bray said into the camera.

[Commercial Break at 9:57]

[Q9 -- third hour] Main Event plug: Big Show vs. Jack Swagger tomorrow night on WWE Network.

Wyatts-Cena

In-ring: The Wyatts's theme played and Bray told Birmingham that they're here. The Wyatts then made their way down to the ring in the dark. The dark lighting remained in-play after the music stopped. Bray cut a promo on society, but said he is different. He told everyone to understand that he has never once lied to the people. But, they know who has lied. John Cena, who has made a career out of lying to everyone. "Don't be fooled. He is no man. He is beast," Bray said.

Bray removed his hat and told the kids in a sweet voice that he won't let Cena do this to them anymore. Hat back on and Bray angrily vowed to give Cena that one last push off the cliff. He said Abigail will be his sword during this crusade, but he does not wish to slay this monster. Right now, he just wants the monster to come out and play. "How 'bout it, John?" he said.

Cena's music played in response. Cena popped out on-stage and played to his fans, then stayed on the stage. He said it's a great idea to come out and play, but no one wants to see him get another push. Cena moved on to asking Bray why he's so serious. He said this monster doesn't exist in him, then asked if they want to have some fun. Cena told stone-faced Bray and Luke Harper that he'd like to take them to Happy Hour. Get them around some Birmingham Honies and it's Roll Tide. The Bama fans popped, then the Auburn fans booed.

Cena waited out the local sports response, then referenced Sister Abigail. He went to a photo that he found on Google. It was a Photoshopped 1800s Bray Wyatt dressed in a bonnet. Bray was not amused. Cena then showed Bray's mom, which was Luke Harper in a rocking chair. Cena then produced a photo of the family's child, which was baby Erick Rowan in a rocking chair.

Bray groaned to himself and said this is hysterical. He said this is classic Cena who makes jokes anytime there's a serious threat to him. Cena said he can get serious. He said at Mania, Bray put his back against the wall and when Cena gets serious, Bray Wyatt gets beat. "Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Wyatt, because this time you got it. This time the tables are turned. What happens if you're defeated again?" Cena said. He vowed to force Bray to do something that he has not done since he came to WWE.

Cena said he's going to force Bray to fight alone without his family. So, at Extreme Rules, it will be Cena against Bray inside a steel cage. Bray chuckled to himself. "I like that, John!" he shouted. Bray said they've been playing catch with knives and sooner or later, one of them is going to get stuck and it's going to be real bad. He asked John how he can be 100 percent sure that it won't be him. "You want to see fun? You want to see me have a good time?" Bray said. He vowed to end Cena, then knelt down and sang, "He's got the whole world in his hands." Bray dropped the mic, the camera zoomed in on Bray, and the feed cut out.

[ JC's Reax: Fantastic performance from Bray, who is so confident and sure of his character that Cena can drift off to Photoshop Land without damaging Bray's act. ]

Still to come tonight: The Shield against ???.

[Commercial Break at 10:12]

[Q10] Back from break, Santino and Emma were playing games in the ring. Fandango's music then played to bring out Layla instead of Summer Rae paving the way for Fandango's arrival. Before the match started, WWE cut to an inset promo of Fandango explaining his break-up with Summer. "It's not me, it's you," he said as Layla awkwardly smiled.

9 -- FANDANGO & LAYLA vs. SANTINO & SUMMER RAE -- mixed tag match

Santino pulled out his Cobra early on, but Fandango tagged in Layla, which meant Santino had to leave. Emma entered and ran over Layla, then put her in the Tarantula. That was Emma's highpoint, as Layla scored the pin on Emma moments later. LayGo celebrated on the outside as Santino checked on Emma.

WINNERS: Fandango & Layla at 1:36.

Authority's Office: Stephanie McMahon was shown addressing Kane's poor behavior as of late. Kane robotically offered an explanation, but Steph said she doesn't want to hear it. She said they hired a man without moral code and high intelligence, but he has failed over and over. Kane quietly said Steph is being unreasonable, but Steph yelled at him that he is weak, pathetic, and is no longer a scary monster.

Kane had enough and stood in Steph's face. He breathed heavily, then looked toward the Kane mask sitting inside a glass box on a table. Kane stared at the mask, slowly lifted the glass box, felt the mask, grabbed it, examined it, held it up to Stephanie, and said he's going to eviscerate Daniel Bryan and send him to the depths of hell. Steph smiled. On commentary, Lawler rhetorically asked if they know what this means.

[Commercial Break at 10:24]

Vignette: Challenge into Change. Egg into a Bird. Rise to the Challenge. Fly. It's Bo Dallas.

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL said they now continue a celebration of Ultimate Warrior. And it continues during Warrior Week on WWE Network.

Last Monday: WWE replayed the end of Ultimate Warrior's final speech on Raw. "I am Ultimate Warrior. You are the Ultimate Warrior fans. The spirit of the Ultimate Warrior will run forever."

[Q11] Still to come: The Shield in the main event. Up Next: Final First Round match in the IC Title #1 contender tournament match.

In-ring: Dolph Ziggler's music played to bring out Ziggler dressed in a cut-off Warrior t-shirt. Ziggler hit the ring as Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break at 10:32]

Vignette: Adam Rose will soon get off the party bus and do something on WWE TV.

In-ring: "Bad News" Barrett was introduced to the ring for the last First Round match in the tournament.

10 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. "BAD NEWS" WADE BARRETT -- First Round match in a #1 Contender tournament to the Intercontinental Title

As Barrett slowed the pace and worked on Ziggler, the announcers hyped the IC Title and historically great IC Title matches. Ziggler then clotheslined Bad News clear over the top rope to the floor. Ziggler made a lot of noise firing himself up, then Bad News posted Ziggler. Barrett in control heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 10:41]

Back from break, Dolph and Barrett were engaged in a back-and-forth exchange mid-ring. Suddenly, a portion of the audience broke into a "C-M Punk" chant. It quickly faded out as Ziggler made a full comeback on Barrett. Ziggler with a neckbreaker for a nearfall.

[Q12] Ziggler missed with a running attack, then Barrett scooped up Dolph for Wasteland. But, Ziggler kicked out just before three. Barrett wanted a pumphandle slam, but Ziggler countered into a Fameasser for a two count. Ziggler was slow to follow up, drawing Lawler's ire on commentary. "We Want Sting" sign visible in the background as Ziggler and Barrett climbed to the top turnbuckle. Ziggler wanted a superplex, but Barrett blocked, only to take an X Factor once Dolph recovered. It was only good for a two count, though.

At 11:00, Ziggler stalked Barrett for the Zig-Zag, but Barrett blocked, then nailed Winds of Change. But, Dolph kicked out just before three. Barrett sold frustration, then called for the Bullhammer Elbow. Barrett winded it up, but Dolph ducked and rolled up Barrett for a close two count. Dolph excitedly got up to follow up, but ran right into the exposed elbow. It was good for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Barrett at 12:12 to advance to the Semi-Finals; will face Sheamus. Solid TV match. Good action. (**1/2)

Post-match: Wade Barrett took the mic and announced himself as the victor. He vowed to become the next IC champion.

Semi-Finals: Cesaro vs. RVD and Sheamus vs. Barrett, presumably next week on Raw.

Announcers: Cole noted Daniel Bryan is on his honeymoon this week, and when he returns to Raw next week, he'll have to deal with this... The show transitioned to a sinister video of Kane back in the mask. Poor Zack Ryder made it onto Raw via replay of Kane shoving Ryder off the entrance stage in a wheelchair.

Up Next: The Shield in the main event. Who are their opponents?

[Commercial Break at 10:53]

This Friday on Smackdown: Sheamus vs. Batista.

In-ring: Shield's music played three minutes before the top of the hour to bring out Shield through the crowd. All three Shield members were announced for the main event. After a pause, Alberto Del Rio was introduced to the ring. The Real Americans's theme then brought out Jack Swagger sans Zeb Colter. Fandango's music then brought out Fandango. 3MB were out next, then Titus O'Neil, then Ryback and Curtis Axel, then Rusev without Lana. Wade Barrett made it eleven mid-card heels sent out to the ring by The Authority.

[Q13 -- over-run]

11 -- THE SHIELD (U.S. champion DEAN AMBROSE & ROMAN REIGNS & SETH ROLLINS) vs. MID-CARD HEEL ROSTER -- six-man tag match

Heath Slater took a beating as the other ten mid-card heels waited on the outside. Ref Charles Robinson settled things down, then called for the bell. The heels regrouped and isolated Seth Rollins. Included was Titus having a staredown with Reigns as Reigns stood on the apron. Rusev entered and smashed Rollins with power offense, then Jack Swagger tagged in and got in some offense. The crowd sat quietly as the mid-card heels continued to exchange tags working on Rollins.

Suddenly, Reigns exploded on Ryback with a spear on the outside. Chaos broke out, so ref Robinson threw out the match.

WINNERS: No Contest at 3:10.

Post-match: Rollins, recovered, threw himself onto the heels on the outside. Shield stood tall in the ring, but the mid-card heels hit the ring as JBL randomly threw out a Bubba Watson/Masters reference. The heels gained control of The Shield, beating them down and eliminating hope for a save.

Suddenly, the Evolution theme music played and out came Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton on-stage. Hunter stood in the middle with a suit on. He removed his jacket and tie, then unbuttoned his dress shirt, rolled up his sleeves, and led his troops onto the ring apron. Hunter told the mid-card heels it was time to leave, then Hunter, Orton, and Batista beat up The Shield. Reigns made a comeback, but Orton dropped him with an RKO. The Evolution theme started up prematurely, then cut out. Batista then dropped Reigns with a Batistabomb before Evolution continued beating down Shield. RKO for Rollins. The crowd woke up and picked up a "Yes!" chant calling for Daniel Bryan, but Bryan wasn't here. Hunter then fed Ambrose to Batista for a Batistabomb. Orton tried to finish it with a combo RKO, but missed.

Hunter surveyed the crowd, then took the mic. Hunter smirked as he surveyed the damage, then taunted Reigns. Reigns crawled towards Hunter, who then told Reigns to believe in Evolution. Hunter finished off Reigns with a Pedigree, then Hunter, Orton, and Batista stood tall in the ring. The Evolution theme played as Raw faded out with Evolution standing tall 12 minutes past the top of the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Not great, not bad. Just a maintenance show taking the audience down from WM30 Week to presumably build back up to Extreme Rules in two weeks. Bryan's energy and presence was certainly missing this week. And, this was a clearer gauge of what is working and not working in front of a typical casual WWE audience, not the one-off rabid post-WrestleMania Raw crowd. The #1 thing that does not work in front of a casual crowd - three-hour Raws.

Alerts: Follow PWTorch staffer's live, real-time tweets during Raw at Twitter.com/PWTorch/torch-staff .

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to pwtorch@gmail.com .


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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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