WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 6/2: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - PPV fall-out, huge angle at the end of Raw, post-Raw coverage, MITB hype, more
Jun 2, 2014 - 10:35:49 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
June 2, 2014 - Episode #1,096
Live in Indianapolis, Ind.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: WWE tag champs The Usos vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper in a non-title match and Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns.
WWE Network Pre-Game Show
On the pre-show panel this week is Josh Mathews with Booker T, Alex Riley, and Xavier Woods. The group hyped fall-out from Brie Bella "quitting" and slapping Stephanie McMahon, The Shield conquering Evolution at Payback, and John Cena finally defeating Bray Wyatt to presumably end their feud.
The pre-show ended with a backstage shot of Evolution marching down the hallway with scowls on their face. And Hunter had a big shiner over his left eye. Mathews said Evolution is starting Raw at the top of the hour.
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with Evolution's theme music. Out came Hunter first, followed by Randy Orton dressed to wrestle and Batista in a designer suit. Batista's face was covered by dark sunglasses and a filled-in dark beard. It looks like Orton is going to wrestle tonight. Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL hyped The Shield's clean sweep on Evolution last night at Payback as the trio slowly entered the ring.
In the ring, Hunter leaned on the top rope and glared into the crowd. Orton and Batista matched Hunter's bad mood, then Hunter took the mic to boos. "Bootista" chants followed as Hunter just stood there with a scowl on his face. Hunter growled that Shield thinks they've won, but this is never over. "I do not lose. I win. Always," he said. "This will not be over until The Shield exists no longer."
Batista took the mic and said he's tired of battling The Shield because he wants his one-on-one title match that Hunter promised him. Hunter turned his back to Batista, then said there is a reason why he is the leader here in WWE. Hunter said he has the ability to see a bigger picture and there is a plan. "I don't care about your plan," Batista muttered. He yelled it at Hunter, then noted he won the Royal Rumble and he wants his one-on-one title match tonight.
Hunter replied that Daniel Bryan is injured and cannot compete, which means even if he wanted to, he can't give Batista a shot at the title tonight. "Even if I did, you'd probably choke on it anyways," Hunter said as he walked off. Hunter turned to face an angry Batista to say he's sorry. Things are a little stressful around here. He asked Batista if he wants to go down as the guy who couldn't beat The Shield, then yelled that he never starts a fight he can't win.
Hunter shouted at Batista that when Shield is vanquished, then Batista will get everything he was promised. But, until that time, no one is getting anything. Batista said he understands. "And I quit," he casually said. Batista dropped the mic and waved good-bye to the crowd as they chanted, "Yes!" over and over. Hunter shouted at Batista to get back here, but don't go crawling back here when his movie craps out. "Dave! Get back here!" Hunter shouted.
Hunter glared at Randy Orton before WWE suddenly cut to the announcers. Cole tried to gather himself on the sudden cut-away and threw in a line that he thinks Hunter was about to make a re-match against Shield, but Batista quit. The announcers then transitioned to Daniel Bryan-Stephanie McMahon busienss tonight.
Up Next: Sheamus & RVD vs. Bad News Barrett & Cesaro in tag action.
[Commercial Break at 8:10]
Moments Ago: "And I quit," Batista told Triple H before casually waving to the crowd. Cole added in that he understands Hunter was going to make a re-match against Shield.
Backstage: Tom Phillips caught up to Batista, saying it sounded like Batista quit out there. Batista passed on the easy softball to shoot back at Phillips, then said he's done with everything. All of the empty promises. "I'm done. I'm done!" he said before stomping off. Lawler said it looks like Evolution is done if Batista is done.
1 -- U.S. champion SHEAMUS & ROB VAN DAM vs. IC champion WADE BARRETT & CESARO (w/Paul Heyman)
The faces were already in the ring, Cesaro and Heyman were quickly ushered to the ring sans Heyman promo, and Barrett also did not have mic time. Instead, WWE cut to an inset promo from Barrett commenting on his IC Title victory over RVD last night at Payback. Heyman joined commentary for his spoken contribution to Raw.
The match started with Cesaro and Sheamus battling as Heyman tried to cover for his client losing to Sheamus last night. JBL then introduced a discussion on tone being lost on Twitter and in texts. Thank you. RVD woke up Barrett with a spin kick to the mouth, then kicked him repeatedly in the corner. But, Barrett responded with a big smash to the face that sent RVD reeling to the outside heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:20]
Back from break, the heels were working on RVD as Heyman was shown listening to Cole reset the show. Heyman said Batista is done, great, can they please talk about Cesaro now? Heyman then hyped Cesaro's credentials and accomplishments. Cole and Heyman had a verbal exchange as Lawler explained the "Bluetista" Twitter trend to the non-PPV audience.
At 9:00, RVD fought back on Barrett with elbows, but Barrett responded with an elbow jab that sent RVD reeling to the outside again. Cole jabbed Heyman again, then Cesaro stalked RVD on the outside, where he rammed him into the guardrail. Back in the ring, RVD came back on Cesaro with a leg scissors for a two count. Cesaro then cut off RVD and went back to work. He threw in a cheap shot to Sheamus on the ring apron, angering the U.S. champion.
Back to RVD, who surprised Cesaro with a kick to the face. This allowed RVD to reach Sheamus for a tag as Barrett also tagged in for the heels. Sheamus ran over Barrett with high-impact offense, then suplexed Barrett. And one for Cesaro. Sheamus shook the ropes as Heyman left the commentary table for a closer look at the action. Heyman warned Cesaro about a Brogue Kick, and Cesaro ducked to avoid before falling out of the ring. Back in the ring, Barrett dropped Sheamus with Winds of Change for a very close two count.
[Q3] Heyman decided that it was time to leave, so he walked Cesaro away from ringside to the top of the ramp, leaving Barrett alone in the ring. Barrett yelled towards Cesaro, then took a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. RVD followed with a top-rope Five-Star Frogsplash for the pin and the win to big cheers. Big hug for Sheamus and RVD as Heyman sold thinking he outsmarted everyone by bailing from the match.
WINNERS: Sheamus & RVD at 13:11. Good tag match getting the faces on-track with solid wins after the heels canceled themselves out.
Still to come: WWE tag champs The Usos vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper in a match Cole strongly hyped as a big, must-see rivalry.
[Commercial Break at 8:32]
Most-Watched Network shows last week: Payback, Payback pre-show, and NXT Takeover in the Top 3.
Back live, Damien Sandow came out dressed as ... an Indiana Pacers player. He introduced himself as Pacers player Lance Stephenson to boos before WWE cut to Pacers player Chris Copeland on the front row. He noted they all know the Pacers's season has come to an end. Boos. He put over LeBron James to huge boos and said the Pacers are losers from a loser city. More boos. "You suck" chant followed.
Sandow, in the ring, gave a basketball skill display as a basketball goal sat in the background. Sandow did all sorts of moves without attempting a shot, then a former college basketball player, Big Show, was introduced for his Raw TV return. Sandow sold annoyance with this interruption as Show took a victory lap around the ring.
Once Show entered the ring, Sandow chastised him for interrupting this display of mad skills. Sandow told Show to get on the boards, then rapped about playing basketball. Sandow tossed the ball to Show and put his hands in the air to play solid defense. Sandow blew in Show's ear a la Stephenson on LeBron, then Show chucked the ball into Sandow's gut, doubling him over. Show followed with a KO Punch to Sandow, which JBL said looked like a flop. Show then slam-dunked the ball through the mini-basket, breaking the rim off the backboard. Pacers player Copeland applauded on the front row as Show headed to the back. On a replay, JBL criticized Show for charging and traveling.
Tonight: Shield eliminated Evolution.
[Commercial Break at 8:42]
[Q4] Back from break, Bo Dallas came out for a match against Kofi Kingston. Dallas cut a promo on the Miami Heat overcoming the Indiana Pacers, which didn't get the heat since Sandow just did that promo.
2 -- BO DALLAS vs. KOFI KINGSTON
Dallas delivered an early shoulder tackle, then celebrated on the outside in classic over-celebration form. A few fans near an arena mic chanted, "Bray is better," referring to Bo and Bray Wyatt being real-life brothers. Kofi then knocked down Bo, sending Bo reeling to the outside. Bo regained control and went to work on Kofi. A few audible fans chanted, "Bo-ring," which the announcers acknowledged.
Kofi fought back at 3:00 with chops and a dropkick. Kofi followed with a corner attack for a two count, then monkey-flipped Bo out of the corner. Kofi nailed a cross-body press, but ran into a back elbow smash. Kofi answered with a kick to the face, then Bo slingshot Kofi across the top rope to block. Dallas followed with a botched running bulldog for the pin and the win.
Post-match, Dallas did a big celebration after the match as JBL heelishly extolled Bo's virtues. Dallas then returned to the ring to help up Kofi, but Kofi pushed him off. Bo went back to celebrating.
WINNER: Dallas at 4:04. Bo is a long-term project for WWE, so they're going to keep waiting out early hiccups with the act and in-ring execution.
Earlier Tonight: "I understand. And I quit." Cue the hand-wave from Batista. Then, on the WWE App, Tom Phillips received clarification that Batista did indeed quit. Crap. Crap. Crap. I'm done with it.
Backstage: Renee Young tried to get a word with Triple H, but Stephanie McMahon walked out instead. Steph blew off Renee's line of questioning, then said she has a scoop. She's about to announce something about the WWE World Title. Steph marched away down the hallway as Renee stood her ground.
[Commercial Break at 8:56]
One minute before the top of the hour, Justin Roberts formally introduced Stephanie McMahon, who marched down to the ring selling being in a bad mood after being slapped by Daniel Bryan's wife, Brie Bella. WWE replayed Brie slapping Stephanie last night at Payback after Brie quit WWE.
[Q5 -- second hour] In the ring, Stephanie said that last night at the Payback PPV, Daniel Bryan showed his true colors - a selfish little man who chose himself over what's best for business, his wife, and all of you. Because Bryan did not do the right thing surrendering the WWE World Title. He said instead Bryan stood "impotently by" while Brie fell on her sword. Stephanie said Brie should have been fired two weeks ago for putting her hands on her, but she showed restraint and leadership. And what did she get for it? A slap in the face. "Yes!" shouts from the crowd.
Steph continued that that's okay. Because she's tough. "I'm a McMahon," she said. Steph wondered if Bryan will be able to live with himself every day looking into Brie's eyes to see her broken heart. But, enough with him. On to the WWE World Hvt. Title. She said that in four weeks, at the MITB PPV, if Bryan can compete, he will be defending the title against Kane. In a Stretcher Match. And if Bryan cannot compete, then for the first time ever, the MITB ladder match will be for the vacated title.
Stephanie said she can't understand why the people cheer "Yes!" for Bryan. Suddenly, John Cena's music interrupted. Cena marched out on-stage to a big pop as Steph sold curiosity over Cena's seemingly-random interruption.
Cena hit the ring to a mix of cheers and boos, which Steph said sounds like these people like him about as much as they like her. Steph congratulated Cena on his Last Man Standing victory last night over Bray Wyatt. "Huge kudos to you," she said. "I hope you're okay." Cena half-thanked her, then waited out a "Cena Sucks" chant. Cena said the sound of the WWE Universe is what he loves.
Cena returned to face Stephanie. He said he thinks her decision-making is "kind of questionable." The crowd then broke into a ritualistic "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks" chant, which Cena and Steph waited out. Steph smiled and shrugged her shoulders while Cena just laughed and waited for the duel to play out. Steph tried to talk over the chant, but Cena cut her off. She said don't talk, just let it be.
Cena continued that what's happening with the WWE World Title has gotten out of hand. He said he's a former champion and he knows what it's like to win and lose a title. Cena said he's had injuries that forced him to give up the WWE Title. Steph said he's right, Bryan should follow him. Cena said that's not correct. No one is bigger than the WWE Title, especially not a spoiled egomaniac named Stephanie McMahon. "Oh, you cheer that," Steph sarcastically said toward the crowd.
Cena said he gets it that Steph does not like Bryan and she does want him as champion, but Bryan is good - he's really good. "Yes!" chants from the crowd. And he's going to tell her something that the audience can be as loud as they want for whomever they want, but at the end of the day, it's about proving yourself in the ring. And, every time Bryan steps in the ring, he proves that he is championship material.
Bryan noted Cena beat him fair and square at Summerslam for the title. And then she took it away from Bryan. And again and again. Cena said Bryan is afraid to give up the title because he thinks Steph will never give Bryan another shot at the title. Steph said you can't live in fear, then said she's trying to do the right thing for business. Why can't anyone understand that?
Cena and Steph side-stepped to a joke about Steph's past surgeries, then got serious again that Steph has made a joke out of the WWE World Title, wasted everyone's time, and made an embarrassment out of herself. Steph smirked. Cena said he would like to give Steph a job evaluation - she is a 0. So, get your resume ready. "Zero means you suck," Cena said. The crowd followed with a "You Suck" chant.
Steph laughed and said, "Quite frankly, I don't care." What she does care about is creating opportunity. If she won't give Bryan opportunities, then she'll give Cena an opportunity tonight. She knows Cena is a little beat up tonight, but Cena will face Bryan's opponent at Money in the Bank - if Bryan can compete - Kane. "Payback's a b----, John, but then again, so am I," Stephanie said in closing. Kane's pyro shot off, Steph exited, Cena ran the ropes, and Kane approached the ring heading to break.
[ JC'S REAX: Promo Evaluation - Steph gets a superior grade for owning the material doing some of her best heel work, while Cena did well until he delivered the line about Bryan being afraid that he won't get another title opportunity. What a terribly-written argument to defend why Bryan is unwilling to give up the title, making the champ sound as weak as he looked running away from Kane a month ago. ]
3 -- JOHN CENA vs. KANE
The match was joined in progress with Kane working on Cena. Cena came back with a dropkick to loud cheers from the pro-Cena portion of the audience. Cena followed with the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but could not execute an Attitude Adjustment. Kane blocked, then drove Cena to the corner with repeated knees. Kane delivered repeated knee smashes, drawing the ref's ire, then a DQ decision for not adhering to his commands.
WINNER: Cena via DQ at 3:10 of what aired.
Post-match: Kane knocked Cena to the outside and ran Cena into the ring steps. Kane re-arranged the ring steps as Cena sold on the floor, then set him up for a Tombstone Piledriver onto the steps, but Cena slipped out and posted Kane. Cena quickly recovered, lifted the ring steps, and chucked the steps toward Kane, knocking him down. Cena's music played and he bailed from the ring before WWE cut back to Kane, who started destroying the ringside area. Cole said this is the demon who has been unleashed by Stephanie McMahon.
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL were shown on commentary selling nervousness over what just happened with Kane. They transitioned to the opening segment for another replay of Batista quitting after listening to Triple H's speech. And another replay of Batista telling Tom Phillips that it's a crappy situation. Just crap.
Backstage: Randy Orton was shown walking down the hallway. Renee Young asked Orton for his reaction to what happened. He thinks things got heated, Batista took his ball and went home, and now he is 100 percent on the same page with Hunter. Orton claimed to still be the Face of WWE and he will prove it tonight. Against Roman Reigns.
[Commercial Break at 9:24]
In-ring: Back from break, El Torito and Los Matadores were in the ring. 3MB's music then brought out Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre. No Hornswoggle. Slater had a mic, though. Slater said they thought they shaved Swoggle's head last night, but he is back and better than ever tonight. He welcomed out Swoggle wearing a Chia Pet on his head. Suddenly, there was a match.
4 -- LOS MATADORES (DIEGO & FERNANDO w/El Torito) vs. 3MB (HEATH SLATER & DREW MCINTYRE w/Jinder Mahal)
Swoggle hopped on the ring apron early on, so Torito casually walked up behind him and yanked off the wig, revealing Swoggle's awful haircut from last night. Swoggle, embarrassed, bailed to the back. As if it mattered, Los Matadores rolled up Slater from behind for a three count to complete the action. Torito then posed in Swoggle's wig at ringside while 3MB threw a fit in the ring.
WINNERS: Los Matadores at 1:40.
Announcement: Still to come is Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio in a MITB qualifying match.
[Commercial Break at 9:33]
Back on Raw, the Bella Twins's music played. Out came Nikki Bella sans Brie Bella for a Divas handicap match. Apparently this is redirected punishment for Nikki in response to Brie quitting and slapping Stephanie last night. Cole said Stephanie booked the handicap match during the break. Out came Alicia Fox and Aksana as the opposition.
5 -- NIKKI BELLA vs. ALICIA FOX & AKSANA -- handicap match
As the bell sounded, Cole and JBL argued about Stephanie punishing Nikki for her sister. Lost in all this was Crazy Fox in match action the night after losing a Divas Title shot against Paige. Fox quickly put the focus back on her with a victory in short order. Afterward, Fox continued to assault Nikki, not caring if she won or lost.
WINNERS: Fox & Aksana at 1:29.
Suddenly, the Wyatt theme interrupted. On the Titantron, Erick Rowan was standing by wearing his mask. Luke Harper emerged and said now it's their time to pick up Bray Wyatt's cause against The Usos. He said they will pay for their atrocities and be put down. Harper said they will not spare the flock; they will suffer for their misdeeds. And they will burn. "Follow the buzzards," Rowan said behind the mask.
[Commercial Break at 9:42]
[Q8] Back from break, Jack Swagger was in the ring with Zeb Colter. Colter was charged with setting up Adam Rose for a babyface reaction coming out to face Swagger. Colter said he thinks Rose and all of his entourage should be deported because they're jobless leeches. He said Swagger is going to run Rose out of here, then asked the Real Americans to stand and declare with them: "We the People." Rose's entourage then barged out on-stage paving the way for Adam Rose to make his way down to the ring. As Rose and Co. came out, WWE found fans in the crowd singing along to Rose's theme.
6 -- ADAM ROSE vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Zeb Colter)
Rose slapped and played with Swagger early on, drawing Swagger's ire. Rose followed up with an elbow smash, then delivered corner European Uppercuts. Rose tried to corner-mount Swagger, but Swagger responded with a big boot. Swagger took control of the action as Zeb twirled his mustache at ringside. Rose made a comeback, then delivered a swinging neckbreaker as vocal males picked up a "C-M Punk" chant. Rose then quieted the crowd with a running Bronco Buster in the corner. He followed with a running faceplant/facebuster for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Rose at 2:58.
Locker Room: Byron Saxton brought in WWE tag champs The Usos. Usos displayed taped ribs after getting involved in the Cena-Wyatt business last night, then rapped about the Usos not going anywhere, baby. Jimmy said it's time to get Uso Crazy like a wild pitbull. The fired-up tag champs took off, leaving Saxton mesmerized.
[Commercial Break at 9:53]
Back from break, the Wyatt interruption played. And then Harper and Rowan were in the ring. The Usos were then introduced to face the Wyatt Family representatives.
7 -- WWE tag champs THE USOS vs. ERICK ROWAN & LUKE HARPER -- non-title match
As the match started, the announcers wondered where Bray Wyatt is. Jimmy Uso, with taped ribs, started things off against Rowan, who quickly targeted the injury.
[Q9 -- third hour] The Wyatts continued the work heading to the top of the hour. Very slow pace, then Uso tried to bodyslam his way out of a mathold, but Rowan fell on top of him for a two count. Harper then tagged in and continued the assault. WWE is really missing the cut-away to Bray sitting ringside rocking in his chair to keep things interesting here. The Usos then energized things with a sustained attack that knocked the Wyatts to the floor. Usos in control and the crowd engaged heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:05]
Back from break, the Wyatts were still in control. The announcers continued to wonder about Bray's whereabouts as the Wyatts slowed the pace again to wear down the tag champs. Uso eventually broke free and tagged in his brother, who delivered running butt bombs to Harper in the corner. Rowan broke up a pin, then chaos broke out in the ring. Harper big-booted Jey in the face, but it was only good for a two count.
At 14:00, Harper contemplated his next move after looking toward the empty rocking chair ringside. Harper lost control, then walked into a Samoan Drop. Jey climbed to the top turnbuckle, fought off Rowan, then turned his attention to splashing Rowan ringside. Meanwhile, Harper regrouped in the ring and went flying through the ropes with a suicide dive. Suddenly, Jimmy came flying out of the ring with a flying splash to Harper.
[Q10] Back in the ring, Jey climbed to the top turnbuckle and tried a Superfly Splash, but Harper got his knees up. Harper posed and raised his arms in the air, then measured Uso for a discus clothesline, but Uso smashed him with a kick to the face for a close two count. Harper sold being knocked out selling the effects as both teams regrouped. Bodies started flying all over the ring, then Rowan delivered a uranage to Uso. It was good for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Rowan & Harper at 17:00 flat. Good tag match. Very slow middle, but some really good action and offense in the second-half. This didn't feel like a typical "mid-card champions always lose" bit, as the tag champs were booked to have a strong showing working hurt and hanging for 17 minutes. This also sets up a strong eventual Tag Title match scenario and Luke Harper really stood out in this setting as a potential future top singles heel. Good booking all around here.
Still to come: Randy Orton (with Triple H) vs. Roman Reigns (with The Shield. Plus, Ziggler vs. Del Rio in a MITB qualifier. It sounded like Lawler pronounced the latter name "Alberto Dorito."
[Commercial Break at 10:17]
Main Event plug: Bad News Barrett vs. RVD in an IC Title re-match tomorrow night on WWE Network.
In-ring: Alberto Del Rio was standing by for a MITB qualifier. Dolph Ziggler was then introduced as Del Rio's opponent. No promo, not even an inset promo talking about Ziggler's past MITB success.
8 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO -- Money in the Bank qualifying match
Ziggler delivered the "heart-stopping" series of elbow drops early on, but Del Rio fired back with a corner attack. Del Rio went to work on Ziggler's shoulder, but Ziggler came back with the Fameasser. Close two count. Was that Ziggler's last gasp? Ziggler ran into a backbreaker from Del Rio, then Del Rio punted Ziggler in the back. He went to the top turnbuckle, where Ziggler met him for a face-jam off the top. Only a two count, though.
Ziggler sold frustration as he recovered while Lawler told him to stay on Del Rio. Ziggler was slow to follow up, allowing Del Rio to block a Zig-Zag and toss Ziggler into the air for a superkick, but Ziggler ducked. Del Rio then snapped off the cross arm-breaker. Ziggler frantically tried to escape, but was forced to tap out.
WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 5:34. Good singles action. Ziggler looked more inspired than he has recently on Raw given an important match ... to lose. Meanwhile, WWE is going with their bi-monthly "eh, let's do something with Del Rio" booking.
[Q11] Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL were shown on-camera reacting to Del Rio qualifying for MITB before shifting to the Rhodes Bros.'s recent issues. Cole introduced a clip from Cody Rhodes telling Goldust that he needs a better tag partner.
Backstage: Cody Rhodes, in a suit, was shown talking to Goldust, who was dressed to wrestle. Lawler said Cody has hand-picked a tag partner for Goldust. And it's next.
[Commercial Break at 10:31]
Back from break, Ryback and Curtis Axel were in the ring posing and taunting the crowd with their backs to the camera. Goldust was then introduced to the ring by himself. Goldust's music stopped, then he pointed to the stage. It was Sin Cara. No crowd reaction. JBL said this is a great choice, while Lawler tried to act excited.
9 -- GOLDUST & SIN CARA vs. RYBACK & CURTIS AXEL
As Cody Rhodes watched on a backstage monitor, the crowd picked up a brief "Goldberg" chant toward Ryback. Goldust sold for Ryback, who was taunted by more Goldberg chants. Ryback blasted Goldust out of the ring, then Axel rammed Goldust into the barricade on the outside. Back in the ring, Axel covered Goldust for a two count.
Goldust eventually broke free of the heels and tagged in Cara to quietness. Cara cleaned house, trying to get the crowd involved with rapid-fire offense. Suddenly, Ryback ate the ringpost. Bodies everywhere. Cara kicked Axel in the face to a pop, then he climbed to the top, where he airballed a Swanton Bomb. Axel then scooped up Cara for a spinning facebuster. It was good for the pin and the win. "Sin Cara is not the answer," Cole declared. Backstage, Cody was shown grimacing watching his brother lose the match. JBL said Goldust must be thinking thanks for the rotten partner.
WINNERS: Ryback & Axel at 4:49. So, it looks like a subtle heel turn for Cody booking terrible tag partners for Goldust until Goldust catches on to the game. Unless they change directions, such as what Greg Parks suggested on Twitter: "I feel like this should lead to Cody realizing he was the partner Goldust needed after all and they take one more run at the tag titles."
Up Next: Rusev and Lana. It's a "Hero of the Russian Federation Ceremony" for Rusev.
[Commercial Break at 10:41]
[Q12] Back from break, various men were assembled in the ring standing next to a podium. Lana was then introduced on-stage to introduce Rusev. Lana said America likes the project the image of being heroic; the knight in shining armor that saves the day and always does the right thing. Lana paused to let a "USA" chant pick up steam. "Stop," she said. "Your USA chants." Of course, the chants picked up. "Shut up!" she said.
Lana told America that they deny their heroes basic rights. True heroes like Edward Snowden, who was shown on the big screen. Lana said in Russia, Snowden is honored. Which is why Russia is the Super Power of the world and led by Vladimir Putin. Boos. Therefore, they will honor a hero here tonight. That man now resides in Moscow, the Super Athlete, Rusev!
Out came Rusev dressed in a sharp suit wildly throwing a Russian flag in the air. Another one-star flag-waving performance. Rusev waved that flag as hard as he could down to the ring, then Lana told Rusev to stand on his victory platform to be recognized. Rusev took his place as Lana requested respect and the end of "USA" chants. Rusev told the crowd they are about to witness this award ceremony. A man named Dmitri awarded Rusev a golden star medal after giving a speech with a terrible Russian accent.
Rusev then cut a promo to a "What?" response from the crowd. Lana took the mic back and proclaimed Rusev's greatness. WWE zoomed in on the Texas star hanging around Rusev's neck, then Lana introduced the Russian National Anthem. Confetti fell from the ceiling as the theme played out. JBL did a voice-over sounding like an old news reel announcer declaring a nation celebrating its hero. No interruption. WWE eventually cut away from the celebration to a plug for the Orton vs. Reigns main event.
[Commercial Break at 10:53]
Ringside: NFL RB Trent Richardson was shown sitting ringside.
This Friday on Smackdown: Bray Wyatt returns after being held off Raw.
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL re-re-re-played Batista quitting in the opening segment, which now feels like it happened last Monday. And another replay of Tom Phillips getting a word from Batista on the way out. Crap. Crap. Crap.
Shield-Orton Match Segment
In-ring: The Shield's music played one minute before the top of the hour. Shield emerged through the crowd and hit the ringside area before Reigns entered the ring for the main event. It looks like another abbreviated main event.
[Q13 -- over-run] On the mic, Dean Ambrose asked the crowd how they look after beating Evolution last night. Shield said it was their biggest challenge to date last night, but they stood tall with a clean sweep - eliminating every member of Evolution without a single casualty. Ambrose called it domination, then Seth Rollins spoke up. Rollins said Shield adapted, while Evolution perished last night. And earlier tonight, the whole world was a witness to their implosion. The reason? Because even though Evolution are three of the greatest stars in history, last night, they were not one like The Shield. Instead, they were three strangers standing on one side of the ring.
"They weren't brothers," Reigns noted. Reigns said this is The Shield. So, Randy Orton, bring your ass out here and he'll break his jaw with the symbol of excellence (his fist). The Evolution theme played and out came Orton flanked by Triple H, who was dressed in a suit with a sledgehammer in his hand. Rollins grabbed a chair to equalize Hunter, who had a mic in his hand.
At ringside, Hunter told Shield that what he does better than anyone is adapt. Last night was Plan A. Tonight is Plan B. Hunter said there is always a Plan B. Shield looked around, then Rollins stepped back and took the chair to Reigns's back, turning on his brothers. Ambrose sold shock as Rollins stared at him. Rollins then jabbed Ambrose in the gut, knocking him down. Rollins bashed Ambrose over and over as the announcers tried to figure out why Rollins would do this. Rollins teed off on Ambrose over and over, then paused for a "You Sold Out" chant from the crowd.
Rollins stood over Ambrose, then curb-stomped him into the chair. Rollins then took his chair and left the ring. Rollins walked up to Hunter and Orton, then Rollins handed the chair to Orton. Hunter patted Rollins on the shoulder, then Orton re-entered the ring with the chair. Orton bashed Reigns across the back, then took another swing. Chair jab to Reigns's back. The crowd sat stunned and quiet as Orton continued the assault.
Orton removed Reigns's combat jacket as Hunter and Rollins stood on the ring apron surveying the damage. Orton gripped Reigns, then dropped him with an RKO into the chair. Rollins re-entered the ring and glared down at Reigns. Hunter smiled and posed with Rollins, then Orton joined the pose. "You sold out" chant as Ambrose and Reigns continued to sell on the mat. Hunter smiled as Cole flashed back to Hunter's words earlier that he will not rest until Shield is no more. Hunter placed his sledgehammer over Shield's fallen bodies as Raw signed off 10 minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: WWE apparently felt the need for a huge angle coming out of Payback with Daniel Bryan's status as top champion in question, Batista leaving, and WWE wanting to keep the Evolution vs. Shield feud going. WWE's explanation for Rollins quitting could go any number of ways - he sacrificed his body over and over and decided it wasn't worth it anymore to fight for Shield, simply money, or some other reason(s). Not sure if it's the right call yet.
The Network picked up with officials and referees entering the ring to check on Ambrose and Reigns. On commentary, Alex Riley called this the dumbest move ever by Rollins for turning on his brothers coming off the biggest victory of their careers. Booker said Hunter thought with his pen and wrote a big check to Rollins as part of his pursuit of victory over Shield. Riley said Shield had power and everything they ever wanted by defeating Evolution last night, while Mathews countered that Shield had success, but perhaps not true power.
Xavier Woods said Rollins is not motivated by money or power. Booker jumped right on him by burying Xavier that that's why he's sitting here and not in main events. Riley asked why Rollins would sign on with Hunter as one of his pawns. Booker stuck to his P.O.V. that it's about business and not friendship. Riley said Shield as a unit was heading to the Hall of Fame, so why would Rollins split? Booker then offered his personal view that he would take the big seven-figure paycheck from Hunter if offered to him. Riley had enough and blurted out that it was "the stupidest move in the history of WWE" going from the team that won to the team that lost last night at Payback.
Mathews followed up by saying no one knows what was offered to Rollins in a back-room meeting. Booker said he hears them that it was a bold offer put on the table by Hunter. WWE replayed the end of Raw when Seth Rollins turned on The Shield. On commentary, Mathews said Rollins - who was the architect of The Shield - ended The Shield. Couldn't Shield just replace him with a new a third member, like Evolution just did?
The discussion then shifted to why Evolution picked Seth Rollins to target to join the group. Mathews cut off Riley and fed to Renee Young backstage, who caught up with Evolution and Seth Rollins. What is htis transaction about? Rollins sneered and walked off. Orton then eyed Renee and walked off before Hunter smiled into the camera and said: "I win." Suddenly, back at the Network post-game show, Mathews said they don't know for sure that Rollins took the big money. But, he took something. What's the story here? Booker decided to turn his conclusion into speculation about Rollins getting paid.
Mathews summed up WWE as a "sea of sharks" and Rollins may have signed a deal with the devil. Booker added his opinion that only one guy can main-event WrestleMania as a one-on-one competitor. So, why did Rollins join another group? Riley said John Cena has never gone back on his principles and still been a World champion, so he doesn't agree with Booker. Booker kept talking about those seven-figure checks being split three ways and Xavier said he'd happily take the check.
Booker took it back to Harlem Heat about their ceiling being capped. But, he wanted to be on the marquee and be singles champion. He said you can't do that in a faction. So, why did Rollins join another faction? Riley answered Booker back, then Booker said he's tired of Riley and Xavier being naive. The Raw post-show closed with a final shot of Rollins standing with his new faction at the end of Raw.
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