This week, Raw got started a little early as Paul Heyman started tweeting about how Brock Lesnar was going to send a message. That was then followed by WWE.com (you number one source for all things that the WWE wants to tell you) reported that Brock had attacked Triple H’s office (that’ll show him) in Stamford, Connecticut. Don’t spoil anything for us guys.
The actual show starts by teasing the tweets I just teased, followed by John Cena running into the ring. He only has a couple more weeks to sell us on his match with Ryback that nobody wants to see. He uses mockery of Daniel Bryan to announce that “YES” the match against Ryback will still go on, and “NO” being in the main event last night with a bum ankle was a bad idea. He also uses this time to throw in a Fandango reference (I thought the WWE was ignoring that now?). Just as Cena was finishing things up Vickie Guerrero comes out to remind us what matches are going to be at Extreme Rules. She goes through all the stipulations of the card’s other matches before calling out Ryback to discuss the stipulation in Cena and Ryback’s match. I don’t like this segment but I was wondering if they were going to add any stips to the WWE Championship match. Cena takes a jab at Ryback by saying the winner should be the first one to run away like a little girl and does his best impression the hungry man before ultimately saying he didn’t care what stipulation was added. Ryback cuts a meh promo about how Cena’s Achilles heel is his actual Achilles heel, and decides to make their clash at Extreme Rules a Last Man Standing match. To say that there was no reaction to this would be an understatement. The crowd practically fell asleep for an announcement that was supposed to shake Cena and be a big deal. Ryback walked off with a strut, Cena looked worried, and nobody gave a damn.
The first match of the night puts Randy Orton against Damien Sandow, who is finally on TV after being left off last week. Randy lost to Sandow on Smackdown due to interference from the Big Show, so this is a revenge match. Sandow comes out singing a parody of Orton’s entrance music and it was nothing short of awesome. Damien is the best. With Ziggler now a headliner he is easily my underused wrestler of choice. Orton takes full control from the start, tossing Sandow around the outside of the ring, continuing the beating on the inside. Sandow somehow took control over the break but it didn’t last long as Randy corpses during a chin lock before breaking out to hit his signature sequence, which is now starting to include the dropkick on the opponent coming down off the top rope. Second rope DDT, RKO, win for Orton. All Randy all the way as he gets built up going into the PPV. After the match, Orton was knocked out by Big Show on the stage, but you wouldn’t know it because the camera stayed on the announcers for too long. A replay showed that Big Show blind sided Orton with a KO Punch. Another match that isn’t doing anything for me.
Chris Jericho in the house (but not the wrestle)! He has put together a panel of judges to critique “Fandangblow” in his match against R-Truth. His panel consists of Jericho joined by Brodus Clay and Tensai. So this segment is off to a flying start. “Fandingleberry” A very small amount of Fandangoing going on. The three judges give Fandango a combined score of five so Dango calls Jericho out for not being skilled enough to judge. Out comes R-Truth who gets beaten down before turning the tide with a spinning kick. Scissor kick takes out Fandango, giving Truth the chance to dance for the judges who give him tens across board. Not liking the way things are going, Fandango exits the ring and loses via count out. I get the gimmick but I tend to prefer wrestlers who actually wrestle. They really seem to be putting a lot of effort into a sideshow. I wonder if he’d be on TV at all right now if Fandangoing never started.
Backstage Daniel Bryan is talking about being attacked by the Shield after his match against Ryback on Smackdown (which apparently was really good). To show that he can’t be intimidated, Bryan challenges Ryback to a match (huh?) which Ryback refuses because Bryan is hurt and is only half the man Ryback is anyway. Kane then gets in Ryback’s face, challenging him instead. Ryback says Kane isn’t a monster anymore, and Ryback is the only monster these days. So that’s gonna happen maybe.
YOUR World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler out with AJ and Big E to take on Alberto Del Rio. Ziggler tapped out on Smackdown to Del Rio’s cross armbreaker, again making Dolph look like a damn jobber. Del Rio takes control early despite early pro Ziggler chants with kicks and a big hip toss before Dolph answers with a standing dropkick. Ziggler hit the splash in the corner but Del Rio bounces back and hits an enziguri in the opposite corner into Dolph’s arm. Ziggler sells the arm injury as he applies a suplex, with Alberto coming back with a backstabber. The back and forth affair is interrupted by Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter coming out. Big E stares down Swagger as Jack heads to the broadcast table. Man, there are a lot of people involved in this match. 7 people for one triple threat match. Match doesn’t quite work. During the break, Ziggler hit an X-Factor off the top rope thanks to an AJ distraction. Dolph then hits a flurry of elbow drops as Colter says that if Langston looks at him the wrong way again he’s going to slap the taste out of his mouth. Colter also adds that Del Rio has an advantage in a ladder match because he has experience with ladders. Meanwhile Del Rio botched a move running up to Ziggler at the top rope, but recovered and hit a reverse superplex, driving Ziggler face first into the mat. Can’t say I’ve seen that move before. From here Alberto is in full control, hitting the spinning back breaker and side kick to the face for a two count. Del Rio then calls for the arm breaker. Ziggler spins out initially but Del Rio spins back into it and applies the hold. Ziggler looks bound to tap when AJ jumps to the apron to distract the ref. Langston then pulls Del RIo out of the ring and throws him into Swagger (ending the match via DQ). Swagger then knocks out Big E before pulling out a ladder and taking out Ziggler and Del Rio. Swags getting pushed to look legit again as we get closer to Extreme Rules. Match was pretty good by the way. Specifically that reverse superplex.
Backstage, Kaitlyn is talking to the Funkadactyles about their match against AJ and the Bellas when Kaitlyn gets a text from her secret admirer. The most interesting part of this whole thing to me is the alert noise Kaitlyn has on her phone. It’s a cartoon spring. As in, “BOING!” Couldn’t go with the standard beep? Is it as simple as the erection joke I have in my head? So now Natalya has Khali trying to figure out who this guy is (I still say Cody). Meanwhile the Bellas are listening to the whole thing behind the curtain. Cole says that Cody has told WWE.com that he is NOT the secret admirer. If it’s on WWE.com it has to be true.
The Usos getting some TV time as they join Kofi Kingston and get to lose to the Shield this week. The Usos actually start strong (most underrated tag team), working over Ambrose and Rollins before Reigns comes in and takes control over Jimmy. The Shield cycle through personnel, singling out Jimmy (I think), keeping him away from his corner. Jimmy hits a Samoan drop and reaching Kofi on a hot tag, who takes out Reigns and Rollins before hitting Ambrose with a Boom Drop. Kofi hits swinging kicks on Ambrose and Reigns before hitting a 180 splash on Ambrose but Reigns broke up the pin. Kofi then goes to the top rope again but Rollins pushes him down (while Reigns distracted the ref for some unknown reason) to give Ambrose the opening to hit his finisher (a DDT/bulldog hybrid) to win the match. Good showing from the Usos who always step up whenever they are on TV, but of course the Shield steal the show.
Forever scorned Zack Ryder against constantly underappreciated Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro lost to Kofi on Main Event last week and got his revenge by pulling out a lock of Kofi’s hair (that’ll show him?). It’s all Cesaro early as he over powers Ryder until Zack comes back with a drop kick off the top rope. Antonio knocks Ryder out with an uppercut though, hitting the Neutralizer and winning the match with minimum effort. Maybe Cesaro will be built up again. Cesaro takes the mic after the match, asking for stiffer competition and claiming that he puts the “W” in WWE. He says that there is no one ins NXT, Smackdown, Main Event or Raw that can do what he can do in the ring. Sounds like he’s back to business.
Throughout the show Cole has been talking about Lesnar and Heyman taking over the WWE offices. Each time, Cole point out that they had no appointment. Did that matter? Was anyone saying, “well did they have an appointment at least?” Anyway Paul Heyman joins us via satellite to talk about what happened earlier. Heyman filmed the whole thing himself, and showed the footage. We see them entering the building, getting into the elevator (which featured a very funny bit of Lesnar staring down a lackey waiting for his floor), getting out of the elevator, walking around noticing that there are no Lesnar posters, and finally going into Triple H’s office. At least it’s supposed to be his office. Looks pretty cheap and dare I say, breakable. Lesnar puts his World Heavyweight title on his shoulder and sits with his feet up on his desk before starting to destroy all of his stuff. Brock then notices a sledgehammer hanging on the wall, takes it and breaks the desk with it. Why is a sledgehammer on his wall? Is it a special one? Was it the one he used to hit the Undertaker during their first ‘Mania match? How many does he have? Anyway the whole point was to show the destruction that Lesnar will cause Triple H at Extreme Rules. Heyman says that he is usually trying to control and discourage Lesnar from going to far. However, since Triple H Pedigreed him a few weeks ago on Raw, Heyman is going to encourage Lesnar to go farther instead. He puts the now dented World Heavyweight Championship that he took from Triple H’s office on his shoulder as Triple H comes out to the ring in response. Triple H says Heyman looks like a baby chick with the little strands of hair sticking up from his head before bragging about how extreme he his after forming DX and that he knocked out Brock Lesnar. Triple H says that he has two offices. The one Lesnar tore up, and the ring which is more like his home and he’ll fight back in this office and whatnot. Heyman and Lesnar in the WWE office worked pretty well. It seemed to stall a bit when Triple H came out to respond. When you just faced each other and will have their third match against one another in a year there just isn’t much new to say. I’m ready for both of these guys to go away for a while.
Time for the Divas six person tag match (finally!). AJ starts off by taking control of Camron, hitting a couple of neckbreakers before blowing a kiss at Kaitlyn. If she’s going to have a title shot it’s good that she is showing off some wrestling for a change. It’s a lot like how they booked Aksana. Why isn’t Big E with AJ? Cameron sloppily bounces back, hitting a cross body splash but not covering, instead tagging in Kaitlyn. AJ slaps Kaitlyn and then tries to tag in one of the Bellas, but they both ditch AJ, leaving her to be speared by Kaitlyn, handing the match over to the faces. So that happened.
Mark Henry in the ring next to trash talk Sheamus. He says Sheamus is going to come out and act tough in a minute, while Henry actually is tough. He plays the crowd, who is doing the what chant, by leading them on into more what chants and calling them a bunch of puppets. Mark then shows footage of him beating up Sheamus from two weeks ago. Sheamus then comes out and shows footage of how he tricked Henry during games of tig of war and arm wrestling, both of which resulted in Sheamus cheating and attacking Henry. So who is the heel here? Sheamus and Henry argue and look like they are about to fight right now when Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett comes out for his scheduled match against Sheamus. Henry sits at the announce table for the match, telling JBL to carry the broadcast like he always does. Sheamus takes the action outside and looks like he is going to throw Barrett into Henry. Mark jumps back and Sheamus fakes the throw and laughs at Henry. Sheamus then rolls Wade back into the ring and lays Mark out with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus has been getting the upper hands for weeks it seems. Back in the ring, Sheamus hit a flying shoulder block but Barrett started to come back with a swinging side slam. Sheamus ducks under the Bullhammer Elbow however and hits White Noise. Sheamus then lands the Brogue Kick and wins the match, but then is immediately attacked by Mark Henry with a belt that he ripped off an EMT that was examining him. He slaps Sheamus stupid with the belt before hitting the WSS onto the outside mat. Henry was very good in this segment. Decent match too.
This just in. Fandango will face Chris Jericho next Monday on Raw, in a dance off. Lawler exclaimed “FINALLY.” Really? I miss wrestling.
Main event time as Ryback squares off against Kane. This is your closer? There really are depth problems when Cena and Punk aren’t involved. The match starts fast with a lot of shoulder blocks and pin attempts. Ryback clotheslines Kane over the top rope but Kane lands on his feet, pulls Ryback to the outside and they continue trading blows. This is an important match for Ryback as he’s getting main event time against a larger opponent for the first time in a while. Back from break, Ryback is in control and slows things down. He sets up for the meathook clothesline but Kane counters with a big boot. Ryback then powers out of a chokeslam attempt only to fall to a jumping DDT. Ryback answers with a spinebuster and calls for Shellshock. Kane fights back with a suplex and goes to the top rope, where Ryback knocks him down. Ryback then hits Kane with Shellshock and wins the match. Very solid match from both men. The pace was quick which had a nice twist with the two big men. Right after the match the Shield came to the ring. Daniel Bryan runs in to help Kane and Ryback exits. Lawler makes it sounds like Bryan is surprised that Ryback left. Really? John Cena then comes in to help Bryan and Kane, but as the Shield attacks, Ryback comes back in with a chair and attacks Cena. The Shield takes off while Ryback stands over Cena to end the show. So that’s two shows in a row now that Ryback has gotten the upper hand on Cena with help from the Shield. Normally I’d say Ryback would just be a secret member of the Shield but I think he would make them weaker (he was also a failed experiment on Nexus and we don’t want to repeat THAT mistake). It’s a good thing that Ryback looked good in his match because all of these segments with Cena have made him look mostly inept.
At the end of the day we’re really just trading the same water as last week and basically the week before as well. In fact, if you just read last week’s recap and didn’t want to read this one I’d understand.
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