WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 5/26: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Memorial Day Raw - Daniel Bryan's (delayed) Decision, final Payback PPV hype, more
May 26, 2014 - 10:12:38 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
May 26, 2014 - Episode #1,095
Live in Knoxville, Tenn.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
The Card: Daniel Bryan's "decision" on the WWE Title, Shield-Evolution contract signing, and U.S. champion Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio.
WWE Network Pre-Game Show
- This week's pre-show panel is Josh Mathews with Booker T, Alex Riley, and this week's guest Santino.
- Backstage, Renee Young tried to get a word with Brie Bella about Bryan's decision, but Nikki Bella answered the locker room door and noted Brie has been crying all day and is distraught.
- Later backstage, Renee brought in Sheamus to discuss his U.S. Title defense against Cesaro at Payback on Sunday. Renee forced Sheamus to watch footage of Cesaro getting the upper hand on him last week, then Sheamus provided comment that he's not worried about Cesaro when the title's on the line.
- Booker T announced Paige vs. Alicia Fox for the Divas Title at the Payback PPV on Sunday. Later, Santino suggested Bryan drop the WWE Title, they determine an interim champion, and Bryan returns for a unification match. Booker knocks the idea as "this isn't boxing or MMA."
- The pre-show concluded with a backstage shot of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon walking toward the arena entrance, apparently to kick off Raw.
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with a Memorial Day tribute video package.
Live in the arena, Justin Roberts introduced Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Triple H's music brought out The Authority with big heel smiles on their faces. On commentary, Michael Cole announced that WWE World champion Daniel Bryan is here tonight at Raw.
In the ring, Stephanie took the mic to welcome everyone to an historic edition of Raw. Boos. Steph said she feels good - so great about tonight. Because tonight is all about choices. For instance, Daniel Bryan has a choice of whether or not he will do the right thing by surrendering the WWE World Title. The crowd Yes'ed for Bryan, which Steph ran with as the audience agreeing with her that Bryan should drop the title.
Stephanie continued that Bryan just can't compete in the ring night in and night out. She said they did not want to be right about this. His heart is there, his mind is there, but unfortunately his body is - well, a B-Plus. Steph spoke over a "Daniel Bryan" chant, then acknowledged the chant - telling the crowd to keep cheering him it on. So, tonight, Bryan will do the right thing and personally surrender the WWE World Title. Cole interjected that Bryan underwent neck surgery a few weeks ago. "No!" shouts from the crowd.
Triple H spoke next that Bryan just can't compete for the audience anymore. So, hopefully he will do the right thing tonight. Hunter said every generation has "performers" that rise to the top and become Superstars. Sometimes they burn out, like Bryan, and then there are those who become legends because they stand the test of time. Hunter said these people remain dominant because of their ability to adapt, while others perish. And, that is Evolution.
Hunter said this Sunday at the Payback PPV, The Shield will find out that you cannot stop Evolution. And, tonight, there will be a contract signing. Shield will have a choice - not show up at Payback, or sign the contracts to complete against Evolution and they will perish.
Stephanie spoke next about the Payback PPV. She said they need to address Raw GM Brad Maddox. No sign of Brad. Brad then slowly emerged on-stage wearing suspenders and his JCPenney collection outfit. Hunter addressed last week's issues concerning Shield and Evolution. And his choice was not what was best for business, which was allowing Shield to be ringside.
Brad stammered that Shield forced him to make them guest commentators. Steph hushed Brad, saying she found out that Brad got roughed up and found himself in the trainer's room. She understands that Brad did not have a choice, and they don't have a choice either. Kane's pyro blasted and Kane emerged in the ring. Brad cowered in the middle of the ring, then Kane slowly gripped Brad. It took Kane so long to do anything that WWE cut to a corner shot of Triple H and Steph, completely missing Kane eventually chokeslamming Brad. Kane then delivered a Tombstone and his pyro shot off.
Kane's music played to apparently end the segment, but Steph asked for the music to stop and the lights to be brought up. Stephanie then declared to Brad: "You're fired." Hunter's music played and Hunter, Steph, and Kane left the ring as Brad was fit for a neckbrace.
[ JC's Reax: Pointless, uninspired segment. Hunter and Steph came across so enamored with themselves as characters, but they just rambled about the same items from last week without sticking to a consistent talking point. And, why would the general audience care if the invisible GM gets fired? Poor start to a live show following up on last week's taped show. ]
Still to come: John Cena has a message for his fanbase.
[Q2] [Commercial Break at 8:15]
Vignette: Bo Dallas returns to Raw tonight.
In-ring: Cesaro was standing by with Paul Heyman. Rob Van Dam was introduced as his opponent. Before the bell sounded, Bad News Barrett's music played to bring out the Intercontinental champion. Barrett said today is officially the first day of summer. When did the calendar flip to June? Apparently this was a subtle "heels lie" line? Barrett said summer is when the audience pulls out their swimsuits, notices their stomachs have expanded, and they cannot fit into their suits.
1 -- ROB VAN DAM vs. CESARO (w/Paul Heyman)
Barrett joined commentary to hype his IC Title defense against RVD at Payback. Back and forth before Cesaro smashed RVD into the guardrail on the outside. Raw cut to an early mid-match break with Cesaro in control.
[Commercial Break at 8:25]
Back from break, Cesaro scored a close two count on RVD. Then another. And a third. And a fourth. RVD recovered to the bottom rope as Cesaro stalked Van Dam to follow up. Another nearfall as Cole recapped Brad Maddox being fired in the opening segment. Back in the ring, Cesaro and RVD traded blows before Van Dam thrust-kicked Cesaro near his face. RVD followed with Rolling Thunder for a nearfall of his own.
[Q3] RVD followed with a cannonball dive from the top rope for a two count. Cesaro rolled to the floor, where RVD delivered a big splash. Barrett decided he was too close to the action, started to move, and ate a thrust kick from RVD right in the mouth. Great execution and sell.
Back in the ring, RVD delivered a split-legged moonsault on Cesaro for a two count. Lawler said RVD is on the verge of becoming the new IC champ on Sunday, which was a cue that he's not, but it gave the audience hope for Sunday. RVD was prepared to finish off Cesaro, but RVD was distracted by a recovering Barrett, allowing Cesaro to clutch him for a German Suplex with a bridge for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Sheamus's music played. Sheamus stormed the ring and smashed Cesaro with a Brogue Kick, then glared down at Heyman. The crowd cheered as Sheamus stood tall in the ring, then comically shook Cesaro's limp hand. Sheamus headed up the ramp as his PPV opponent, Cesaro, recovered in the ring with Heyman.
WINNER: Cesaro at 9:33. Solid segment hyping the two mid-card title matches on Sunday. Good effort and energy all-around, contrasting with the opening segment.
Tonight: Cena has a message for the audience. Plus, Stephanie has demanded Bryan do the right thing concerning the WWE Title. And, The Shield and Evolution share the same ring - perhaps for the final time on Raw.
[Commercial Break at 8:34]
2 -- SUMMER RAE vs. EVA MARIE
Mid-way through the match, Fandango's music interrupted, throwing off Summer. Fandango and Layla made out on the stage, irking Summer, who threw a fit. Eva then rolled up Summer from behind for a three count and the win. After the match, Summer threw a fit in the ring as Lawler commented on Layla wearing an ugly dress. JBL disagreed.
WINNER: Eva in 3:00. Who was the babyface in this situation?
Backstage: Randy Orton and Batista were talking, then Cody Rhodes and Goldust walked into their discussion. Cody said they're not booked for the show again this week, so they're issuing an open challenge. Cody ran down Orton for being Triple H's lapdog ten years ago and again today. Hunter walked in and booked a tag match for tonight.
[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:45]
In-ring: Drew McIntyre got himself fired up, along with 3MB and Hornswoggle. Los Matadores's music then played to bring out Diego, Fernando, and El Torito. Justin Roberts announced ... Torito as Mac's opponent.
3 -- DREW MCINTYRE (w/Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Hornswoggle) vs. EL TORITO (w/Los Matadores)
Torito played a game of cat and bull early on, then Mac bodyslammed Torito to the mat. Torito sold a back injury as Hornswoggle demanded Mac take out Torito. Mac took too long taunting Torito, though, allowing Torito to slip out of a top-rope superplex. 3MB and Los Matadores brawled ringside, then Torito crotched Mac. Drew slumped to the mat, Torito covered, and Mac forced himself to remain prone for three seconds.
Post-match: Hornswoggle hit the ring and ripped off Torito's mascot tail. "He yanked his tail off!" JBL shouted. Torito then ran around the ring covering his butt as if he were naked. Torito high-tailed it up the ramp to the back as 3MB taunted him in the ring.
WINNER: Torito at 2:26. Exhibit A supporting WWE Creative needing an off-season.
Still to come: Cena addresses the audience.
[Commercial Break at 8:54]
Moments Ago: Back on Raw, Cole sold the end of the last segment as a serious event, with El Torito having his tail yanked off. That undercut all of Daniel Bryan's injury angles over the past month.
Trainer's Room: El Torito winced as his tail was re-attached. Suddenly, the Wyatts's theme interrupted.
In the arena, Bray Wyatt led Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to the ring for the top-of-the-hour segment.
[Q5 -- second hour] The trio entered the ring and Bray sang "He's got the whole world in his hands." Bray stood up and said he truly has the whole world in his hands, placing himself in the position of God. Bray said deep down, he only wants what's best for everyone. Bray ranted about people telling him how to be and how to act. He said the poison has already set in, but is he the snake? Or, is he the cure? Bray said he knows what role he must play in this world. "I am the necessary evil that this world so badly needs," he said. "In the end, if you are my brother or my sister, you will stand right beside me. But, if you are my enemy, you will fall at my feet." Bray said they understand everything - "John Cena is enemy to us all!" he said. The vocal males popped. Bray vowed to be the Last Man Standing on Sunday.
But, Cena is not the only man in this. Bray paused for a "Cena, Cena" chant, noting Cena is a king, but you have to go through pawns to get to the king. He asked Jerry Lawler to have a word with him in the ring. "C'mon, Jerry, I don't bite," Bray chuckled to himself. Lawler wanted nothing to do with Bray.
The lights came up and the Wyatts circled the ringside area. Bray said he just wants to have a talk. JBL said the man's had a heart attack. Bray told JBL to stay in his pretty little seat, then told "coward" Cole to stay put. JBL got up to confront Bray, but the Wyatts knocked him down. Harper delivered a big clothesline, KO'ing JBL. Lawler then reluctantly walked toward the ring as John Cena was nowhere to be found.
Lawler slowly entered the ring as Cole said Lawler has been sick and JBL needs medical help. Bray told Lawler to have a seat, then he asked Jerry if he's good friends with Cena. Bray asked Lawler about feeding people non-sense about how great Cena is. But, never once did Lawler question Cena's morality, just gobbling up his garbage and feeding this poison to the audience. "Do you feel guilty about this, Jerry?" he asked. "Do you feel remorse for destroying millions of lives all in his corrupt name?"
Bray continued to circle the ring before asking Lawler if he thought he was going to get away with all of this. Bray apologized in-advance for what he has to do now. The Wyatts held up Lawler for a beating, then Cena decided now was the time for his music to play to make the save. Cena was knocked down by the Wyatts, though, then Bray stuffed his boot in Lawler's throat and vowed to hurt Cena - end him. But, now, he wants Cena to watch this. Bray told Cena this is all his fault. Bray gripped Lawler for Sister Abigail, but The Usos stormed the ring sans music to make the save. The Usos cleared the heels from the ring, then Cena stood tall with the Usos.
In the ring, Cena took the mic and said enough is enough. Cena said Bray has crossed some serious lines mister. He said when Bray first showed up, everyone was excited to see him, even him, but he's different now. Cena asked Bray if he even listens to himself, calling himself a god. Cena referenced Abraham Lincoln, saying Bray has a taste of power and it's made him sick. He said Bray just tried to eliminate an innocent man. "He's not innocent," Bray shouted from ringside. Cena called his actions "just plain evil." Bray returned his words with a sharp glare.
"Cena, Cena" chant from the crowd. Cena said he is who he is and on Sunday, it's about being the Last Man Standing. Cena told Bray that he will not stand here and let Bray attack innocent people who disagree with what Bray thinks. Cena summed up his thoughts: "Payback will be a b-----." Cena's music played and Bray sold not being impressed, laughing at Cena's trash talk. As the segment wrapped up, Cole commended Cena for "preventing a tragedy" as JBL was tended to by ringside medics.
[ JC's Reax: An entire Hits & Misses could be dedicated to this segment. Heavy-handed, especially from the announcers using the "tragedy" word for a wrestling angle one segment removed from using similar verbiage for a comedy segment with El Torito. But, Bray remains in-tune with character and Cena delivered the strong face promo for his audience on the PPV lead-in show. WWE just finds ways to cancel out the work done with tone-deaf remarks from the announcers. ]
[Q6] [Commercial Break at 9:15]
Back on Raw, Cole and Lawler were alone at the announce table. Lawler noted JBL was shaken up and taken backstage for medical attention. Suddenly, Zack Ryder's music played. Lawler no-sold and kept talking about the Wyatts. Ryder came to the ring waving an American flag as Cole continued to no-sell Ryder's presence. After a pause from the announcers, Cole acknowledged Ryder in the ring with an American flag on Memorial Day.
Ryder started to cut a promo about Memorial Day when Rusev's music interrupted. Lana walked out on-stage as Rusev's music played out. Lana ran down "pathetic Americans" not willing to move forward under Russian leadership. Lana told America to comply with Mother Russia and super-athlete Rusev. On-stage, Rusev offered one word, then the volume of his music was raised as he continued his ring entrance.
4 -- RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. ZACK RYDER
Rusev finished off Ryder in less than a minute with The Accolade submission. Rusev kept the hold locked on a few extra moments.
Post-match: Big E.'s music played. Big E. tried to cut off Rusev, getting a second try after unsuccessfully saving Jim Duggan a few weeks ago. Rusev initially got the best of Big E., but Big E. answered with a corner boot. Big E. then clotheslined Rusev over the top rope to the floor. Rusev ranted and raved on the outside as Big E. emphatically waved the American flag in the ring.
WINNER: Rusev via submission at 0:38.
Backstage: Stephanie McMahon and Alberto Del Rio were shown randomly having a conversation in the distance. The camera zoomed in on their encounter, but no words were heard.
Still to come: Shield-Evolution contract signing for Payback.
[Commercial Break at 9:25]
Back from break, Evolution's music played, which brought out Randy Orton and Batista, who has turned his look into UFC fighter Andrei Arlovski. After the duo posed in the ring, Rhodes Bros. were introduced as their opponents.
Cody and Batista started things off. Cody got the upper-hand, then tagged in Goldust, who lost control on Batista. Orton tagged in and worked on Goldust as the announcers noted Goldust and Cody have not meshed well together as of late. Cole brought up Cody and Orton being part of Legacy at one time as the two battled in the ring. Orton took control, then tagged in Batista.
Cody made a tag to Goldust, who teed off on Batista. But, Orton smashed Goldust from behind to allow Batista to spinebuster Goldust for a two count. Goldust rolled to the outside and sold on the floor heading to break four minutes in.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
Back from break, Evolution continued to work on Goldust as Cole plugged an update on JBL later in the show. Goldust broke free and tagged in Cody, who ducked an Orton clothesline and then ran him over with a clothesline. Cody smashed Orton with a forearm, then delivered a springboard missile dropkick for a two count. Disaster Kick to Batista, then Orton countered a D.K. with a mid-air RKO. Big move. But, Orton did not make a cover and simply circled around Cody for 15 seconds. Orton then picked up Cody and delivered a second RKO. He connected, then pinned Cody for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Orton & Batista at 10:07. A good, inspired effort from almost everyone in the ring. Orton looked particularly sharp.
Suddenly, Justin Roberts said he has just been informed the previous match was an elimination match. Therefore, Cody must leave ringside and Goldust is now in a No Holds Barred handicap match.
6 -- EVOLUTION (RANDY ORTON & BATISTA) vs. GOLDUST -- No Holds Barred handicap match
Evolution dominated a worn-down Goldust, who tried to fight back by back-body-dropping Orton to the floor, but he turned around to take a spear from Batista. Orton re-entered the ring to angrily pace the ring, then Batista called for a Batistabomb. No sign of The Shield here. Batista wanted a Batistabomb, and he connected. Orton glared down at Goldust, then Batista covered him for the win. The announcers said this could be The Shield on Sunday when they face Evolution in an elimination-style match.
WINNERS: Orton & Batista at 2:34.
[Q8] Vignette: Bo Dallas returns to Raw tonight.
[Commercial Break at 9:46]
In-ring: Sin Cara was standing by. JBL was back at the announce position and Lawler stood up to shake JBL's hand for making the save. Bo Dallas's music then played to bring out Bo sporting a black t-shirt with giant "BOLIEVE" block letters. Dallas posed and inspired himself, then said he is Bo Dallas. "And Monday Night Raw is the summit at the top of the mountain of my dreams," he said in an escalating voice. JBL said that was as inspiring as a Winston Churchill speech.
7 -- BO DALLAS vs. SIN CARA
Dallas executed a move, then left the ring to celebrate with the front-row fans. So, Cara dropkicked Dallas through the ropes. Sin Cara followed with another dropkick. Lawler said Churchill never had to swallow that dropkick. JBL said Churchill swallowed a lot of things. Pause. "He was a large guy," JBL said. The announcers referenced a "mixed reaction" to Dallas as he made a comeback back in the ring. JBL said people boo things they don't understand. Lawler moved on to quoting Taylor Swift on people throwing rocks at things that shine. Cole chuckled to himself, then Bo slingshot Cara into the top turnbuckle. Dallas then waved his finger in the air and snapped off a tornado bulldog for a pin and the win. "Do you believe in miracles?" JBL said, ignoring Lawler's follow-up.
Post-match: Dallas took a victory lap, then returned to the ring for a post-match victory speech. Dallas said you don't get satisfaction just from victories, but from effort. He said if you give everything you have, you're already a winner. All you have to do is ... Bo-lieve. Dallas then embraced Cara and told him he did good on the way out of the ring. Cole said he just wishes Dallas would "bo-away."
WINNER: Dallas at 4:32. See Greg Parks's Smackdown Report.
Up Next: Will Daniel Bryan surrender the WWE World Title?
[Commercial Break at 9:56]
Main Event plug: The Usos vs. Rowan & Harper tomorrow night on WWE Network.
[Q9 -- third hour] Announcers: Cole and Co. recapped Raw GM Brad Maddox's firing in the opening segment of Raw.
Daniel Bryan's Decision
Stephanie McMahon's music played to a quiet reaction. Out came Stephanie with a big heel smile on her face. Stephanie entered the ring after rubbing her hands with excitement about potentially finally getting the best of Daniel Bryan.
In the ring, Steph recapped the opening segment. Steph then told Bryan to come to the ring and do the right thing. "Daniel, it's time," she said. After a pause, Bryan's music played to bring out the WWE World Hvt. champion sporting a neckbrace with a t-shirt, jeans, and both top title belts. Cole stressed that Bryan's neck surgery was a success as Bryan used one arm to lead the crowd in "Yes!" chants.
Bryan took a second mic from Stephanie, who said it's so great to see Bryan standing here and doing so well. Steph said she could just strip him of the title (boos), but that would make Bryan a martyr. So, all kidding aside, it's really important for the people to hear from Bryan that this is the right decision. She said the people deserve epic title matches and big moments, which Bryan is not physically capable of providing right now. She told him to do it for "them, not for me."
Bryan heard out Stephanie, then began his rebuttal. He said becoming WWE World champion at WrestleMania 30 was the pay-off to years of hard work and sacrifice. She cheered along with the crowd. Bryan then announced that the injury to his neck is worse than originally thought. And, it was made worse by a man - or a demon - who Steph claims to have no control over. He said Steph is a liar, then said there is no shame in handing over the title. Steph said there is definitely no shame and he will get another title shot as soon as he's healthy.
Bryan cut off Steph and said there is no shame in handing over the titles because these people deserve an awesome WWE World Hvt. champion. But, Steph tried to put this on him. And, it's not about him. "This is about you," he told Stephanie. Bryan said Steph has been mad at him ever since he beat her husband and won the title at WM30. And, it would negate everything if he just handed the titles over to Stephanie. Bryan passionately said he cannot do that.
So, what he's going to do is tell Stephanie a word she's not used to hearing. A word she's probably never heard ever since she was a kid. "You want me to give you back the WWE World Hvt. Title? No. No! NO! NO! NO! NO!" Bryan shouted "No!" in Steph's face, then she backed away and said she knew Bryan would defy good common sense. So, she has to bring this up. Two weeks ago on Raw, his wife, Brie Bella, put her hands on her. They cut to footage from two weeks ago when Brie lightly pushed Steph as Bryan was being loaded in an ambulance.
Back live, Stephanie said you can't put your hands on the boss. She said not only is she Brie's boss, but Bryan's boss. In this case, the equal reaction to every action is giving Bryan one more chance to do the right thing. This Sunday at the Payback PPV, Bryan will decide if he surrenders the WWE World Title or if she take action against Brie and makes sure that she is ... "fired." Steph smiled in Bryan's face and left the ring to her music as Bryan stood angrily in the ring. Cole said it's typical Stephanie not getting what she wanted, Lawler said she's acting like a spoiled brat, and JBL said you can't put your hands on the boss.
[ JC's Reax: Was The Authority "firing" Maddox in the opening segment supposed to be an epic set-up for Bryan stuck in a rock & hard place? If so, a gross over-estimation of people caring about Brad's TV employment paving the way for the top champion's dilemma. Overall, Bryan and Stephanie were solid working together - they continue to have good chemistry playing off each other. ]
Still to come tonight: Shield-Evolution contract signing.
[Commercial Break at 9:12]
[Q10] Back from break, Alicia Fox was introduced to the ring for singles action. As Fox made her entrance, WWE plugged the "NXT Takeover" show on WWE Network this Thursday. For the NXT Women's Title, it will be Charlotte (with Ric Flair) against Natalya (with Bret Hart). Emma was then introduced sans Santino as Fox's opponent.
8 -- ALICIA FOX vs. EMMA
Fox dominated throughout as the announcers hyped Paige vs. Fox for the Divas Title at Payback. Emma then surprised Fox with a quick roll-up for a three count. Post-match, Emma tried to take off, but Fox cut her off ringside and delivered a beating. Paige then taunted and tormented everyone at ringside, grabbing the ring bell and smashed it over and over. Fox beat up a production worker and stripped him of his dignity, then yelled into the camera at a close distance. Fox grabbed a few cold drinks from ringside, then kissed the worker and finished her post-match temper tantrum.
WINNER: Emma at 2:13. Apparently WWE figured Paige's Divas Title would be in more jeopardy if Alicia lost and went off to look crazy dangerous, rather than won and looked like a credible in-ring opponent for Paige.
Up Next: Adam Rose does something.
[Commercial Break at 10:25]
Video Package: John Cena narrated a video on WWE's "Tribute to the Troops" specials through the years - both overseas and domestically. Back live, Cole, Lawler, and JBL followed up on Cena's video message.
Payback announcement: Hornswoggle vs. El Torito in a Hair vs. Mask match.
In-ring: Davy Crockett was introduced. It was Damien Sandow doing a fake Tennessee accent wearing a get-up and calling himself King of the Wild Frontier. Adam Rose's entourage then paved the way for Rose to make his entrance to the ring.
9 -- ADAM ROSE vs. DAMIEN "DAVY CROCKETT" SANDOW
Rose twirled around the ring early on, then pranced around the ring as Sandow told him: "You ain't right." Meanwhile, the announcers discussed American history and folklore. Rose continued to taunt Sandow and do Chris Jericho's facial expressions, then Real American's music played. Out came Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter holding The Lemon a/k/a G.Q. Money Katz hostage. Rose was momentarily distracted, but still managed to pin Sandow right after the distraction.
Post-match: Swagger hit the ring to attack Rose. Rose came back with a spinebuster, though. Rose did a tough-guy facial expression, then tackled Swagger to rough him up. Rose continued to beat up Swagger, who then spilled to the outside to quietness and the sound of Swagger breathing heavily. WWE quickly played Rose's music and his entourage showed up ringside to carry Rose away.
WINNER: Rose at 1:36.
Up Next: Sheamus against Alberto Del Rio.
[Commercial Break at 10:37]
In-ring: Sheamus was announced first for the default main event. Cole then hyped Sheamus against Bad News Barrett this Friday on Smackdown in a Champion vs. Champion match. This led to a video replay from events last Friday on Smackdown. Alberto Del Rio was then introduced as Sheamus's opponent.
10 -- U.S. champion SHEAMUS vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO -- non-title match
Sheamus quickly delivered Ten Forearms to the Chest to wake up a crowd long ago taken out of the show. Sheamus followed up on the outside, but was slow to re-enter the ring, allowing Del Rio to smash him out of the ring. Del Rio in control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:46]
Back from break, Del Rio lit up Sheamus with a kneelift for a two count. Del Rio taunted Sheamus, telling him to fight like a man. So, Sheamus did with a backbreaker for a two count. White Noise followed, then a bodyslam. Sheamus slowly got to his feet, then slowly backed away to the corner and called for the Brogue Kick. But, Sheamus sold being woozy, which allowed Del Rio to recover and kick Sheamus in the head. If what happens in the ring is presented as a shoot competition, the ref should stop the match to check on Sheamus for a concussion. Instead, the match continued with Del Rio kicking Sheamus in the head again. It was good for a two count.
The ref decided to check on Sheamus at this point. Sheamus refused to let him stop the match, which isn't Sheamus's call to make. Sheamus then popped to his feet and delivered a Brogue Kick out of nowhere. It was good for the pin and the win.
Immediately after the bell sounded, Paul Heyman was suddenly ringside. Heyman casually announced Sheamus as the winner, then gave a real big announcement for Brock Lesnar as the winner at WrestleMania. Suddenly, Cesaro attacked Sheamus from behind. Cesaro targeted Sheamus's head and dizzied him. Sheamus got up punching air as refs tried to create separation. But, Cesaro grappled Sheamus for The Neutralizer. Heyman said that will do and Cesaro left the ring pleased with his work.
WINNER: Sheamus at 9:17.
Up Next: Evolution and Shield contract signing.
[Commercial Break at 10:56]
[Q13 -- over-run] Raw was still on commercial at the top of the hour. Raw came back about 20 seconds into the over-run with a plug for Batista in "Guardians of the Galaxy." Jerry Lawler hyped a sneak-peek after Raw.
Evolution-Shield Contract Signing
In the ring, Michael Cole was standing by to officiate the contract signing segment. The Shield's music interrupted Cole, bringing out Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns through the crowd to the ring. Once in the ring, Ambrose said this is the last time everyone sees Shield and Evolution in the same ring on Raw. Because Evolution will be eliminated from this business and the Face of the Earth forever. As Ambrose talked, Reigns chucked some perfectly fine office chairs out of the ring.
Rollins said this issue has gone well beyond the six of them sitting down to sign a piece of paper. After the ring was cleared of contract items, silence filled the arena. Evolution's music then played to bring out Triple H followed by Orton and Batista. On-stage, Hunter told everyone to pay attention. Because if Shield signs this document, then this is the last time Shield will ever appear on Raw. Light boos. Hunter said it's a shame. Because he remembers inking their deals to bring them to WWE TV. Hunter said he remembers thinking they would be the future of WWE, yet they threw it all away.
Now, he's going to watch the ink dry on the contract that sends Shield right back into obscurity. Hunter asked Shield if they're sure they want to sign the document. Shield looked over the document as some of the audience chanted "Hounds of Justice." Rollins signed, Ambrose dropped the pen and signed, and Reigns signed. Reigns then chucked the document down at Triple H, who sneered. Awkward silence in the arena. There's been so much talking on this show that the crowd seemed tired of hearing people talk.
Reigns then said something into a dead mic challenging Triple H to get in the ring. Reigns repeated himself into the mic that he wants Hunter to shut up and fight. Hunter, Orton, and Batista hit the ring apron, then teased bailing, but entered the ring and the fight was on. Hunter teased a Pedigree, but was dumped to the floor. Reigns and Batista were left alone in the ring, but Hunter pulled out a Sledgehammer and jabbed Reigns from the outside. Orton then dropped Rollins with an RKO and Batista dropped Reigns with a spear.
All three Shield members sold in the ring, then Reigns slowly got up and took a sledgehammer shot from Hunter, knocking Reigns to the outside. Evolution then cleared the announce table and targeted Reigns, the big dog of the group. Evolution set up Reigns for a triple powerbomb and Batista executed it through the table. Hunter then raised his arms in victory, drawing boos from the ringside crowd. WWE replayed Evolution's assault on Shield, then returned to a final live shot of Evolution standing tall over Shield with their fists joined in the middle. Raw signed off 12 minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Heat on Evolution this week as WWE closes out the final PPV hype. It was fine, but came late into a very long, drawn-out three-hour Raw. So much talking and silliness and not enough quality in-ring action to keep the crowd invested beyond the end of Act II for Bryan-Stephanie.
WWE Raw Post-Game Show
- Backstage Interview: Renee Young caught up with Evolution after they took out Shield to close Raw. Hunter, Orton, and Batista offered parting shots for Shield, then Hunter paused and looked down at Renee's feet. He pointed out Renee doesn't wear shoes "for these things," then the camera zoomed in on Renee's feet, which were next to tape used to mark where the interviewer and talent are supposed to stand for the interviews, exposing the backstage interview bits.
- In another backstage interview, Renee asked Daniel Bryan about the ultimatum for Payback. Bryan said he's scratched and clawed to become WWE World Hvt. champion and his wife, Brie, has worked as hard as anyone on the roster to get where she is. Bryan said he plans to do the right thing on Sunday, then walked off.
- The Raw post-show closed with Josh Mathews hyping Booker on the NXT Takeover special as Booker tried to talk about some other subjects at Payback. Mathews said they only have ten seconds left, then wrapped up the show.
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