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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/8: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - WM29 fall-out, new World Champ, no Rock, Taker live, crowd takes over

Apr 8, 2013 - 11:06:05 PM


WWE Raw TV Results
April 8, 2013 - Episode #1,036
Live from E. Rutherford, N.J.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Before Raw started, Justin Roberts announced to the live crowd that Rock suffered a "severe strained abdominal" and wouldn't be at Raw tonight.

WWE Raw the night after WrestleMania started with Michael Cole introducing the show from ringside. WWE went right to Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler at the announce table for the first word on last night's WrestleMania event. WWE flashed through a photo collage of events at Mania. The fans lightly booed a still-shot of The Rock, then loudly booed John Cena holding up the WWE Title belt. They booed the Rock-Cena summit atop the stage. Cole declared, "This is WrestleMania."

John Cena's music then played to bring out the new WWE champion. He was wearing a new white t-shirt with "The Champ Is Here" with an arrow pointing down to the title belt around his waist. Cena declared it opening day for the start of a new season, then stormed the ring. As Cena hit the ring, Cole read a tweet from The Rock noting his injury. Cole said Rock suffered the injury in the middle of the match, then went on another 15 minutes.

In the ring, Cena waited out loud boos from the "partisan crowd," as described by the announcers. Cena smiled and laughed to himself, then waited out a "Cena Sucks" chant. Cena opened by saying when you win the main event of WrestleMania (boos), you get to enjoy everything that goes with it - adulation (boos), respect (louder boos), the cheers (louder boos), the cheers (more boos), the cheers? (boos with some cheers).

Cena said they've known each other for ten years. Boos. "Cena Sucks" chant from the crowd. WWE cut to Cena Kids on the front row supporting Cena, then Cena said maybe he's going out on a limb, but the crowd seems a little angry. Maybe a little more than angry. Cena said he's upset, too. He said WrestleMania is over - that's why everyone is upset. Boos. Cena said this is the Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania. The crowd cheered, then started chanting at Cena. Cena then went back to last year when Brock Lesnar came back the night after Mania "to whip my ass," which drew cheers. Then, "Yes!" chants.

Cena vowed to do a championship dance, which drew boos. He did a shake, which drew boos and cheers. How about a kick? Boos. "No!" chants. Cena asked about a heel turn, then twisted his foot. Loud cheers. Cena quoted Ric Flair to whoos, and said to be The Man, you have to beat The Man. He said he beat The Rock last night, then raised the title belt in the air to a loud mix of boos and cheers. Next was a "Same Ol' S---" chant. Cena smirked, walked around the ring, and said this is exactly what he wanted for a Mania Main Event Celebration, which drew boos.

Cena declared this his post-Mania celebration, which drew boos. He said he's fighting tonight for the WWE Title. He said if the next Road to WrestleMania starts tonight, then they start it right for the WWE Title. Cena said he hasn't looked at the Top 25, so he doesn't know who the #1 contender is. He name-dropped Dolph Ziggler to cheers, Randy Orton to cheers, and C.M. Punk to louder cheers.

Suddenly, Mark Henry's music interrupted. Henry strutted down to the ring feeling confident about himself. The announcers noted Henry's big victory over Ryback last night at WrestleMania as Cole sold concern. Henry hit the ring and stared down Cena before asking, "What's up, champ?" Henry said the problem with coming out and asking for trouble means trouble might find you. Henry said Cena won his match last night - pause for "Sexual Chocolate" chant, which they tried to start last night, but it didn't work. Cena said, "It's a raucous crowd; they want to have sex with chocolate." Cena smirked, then the crowd chanted, "Yes!"

Henry told Cena to look at him. He said he destroyed Ryback last night, and with all of this talk, he thinks it's time they have a match. Suddenly, a "Feed Me More" chant started up. Cena responded that first they want to have sex with chocolates and now they want to eat more. The crowd cheered, but then booed when Cena introduced himself to Henry. Cena said he's afraid - afraid to tell Henry that he has the breath of 1,000 asses. Cena then booked themselves in a WWE Title match tonight. Henry liked that, but Booker T's music didn't.

Booker walked out on-stage and walked to the ring. He said he appreciates Cena wanting to be a fighting champion, but he can't have Cena booking title matches. Booker noted Rock is entitled to a re-match, which drew boos. Cena asked, "Best out of three?" He said Rock is the #1 contender to the WWE Title, which drew more boos. Cena said he's with them because he beat Rock last night. Booker said Rock will not be here tonight, then the crowd chanted, "Bulls---."

[Q2] Booker turned to Henry and told Henry that if he wants a title shot, then he'll give him a shot by earning it. He said if Henry can beat Cena tonight, he will get a title shot. The crowd booed this news. Henry then stepped to Cena and said Cena is full of jokes, but he's not laughing. Henry said all those jokes are going to get Cena entered in the Hall of Pain. He told Cena to bring his A-Game, then slammed down the mic.

Summary: Rock is still #1 contender to the WWE Title, and after Cena played games with the hardcore audience, WWE took away a title match to shift the heat to Booker/the promotion and off Cena.

On commentary, Cole summarized the opening segment, then noted The Undertaker is here tonight. Also, it's Del Rio vs. Swagger & Colter in a handicap match because there are "unresolved issues" from WrestleMania... Up Next: Big E. Langston makes his Raw in-ring debut.

[Commercial Break]

Coming back from break, WWE showed more still-shot photos from WrestleMania set to NFL Films-style music. No announcers, just photos.

Back in the arena, Daniel Bryan's music played to bring out Bryan, along with Kane. Huge reaction for Bryan, just like last year's night-after-Mania. Bryan marched down to the ring as Cole recapped news from the opening segment. Cole then read a tweet from The Shield vowing to make an "historic" impact tonight. Dolph Ziggler's music played next to a huge initial rush, which brought out Big E. Langston. Dolph and A.J. Lee brought up the rear as Big E. marched down to the ring.

1 -- BIG E. LANGSTON (w/Dolph Ziggler and A.J. Lee) vs. WWE tag champion DANIEL BRYAN (w/WWE tag champion Kane)

Bryan tried to attack Big E., but Langston blasted him in the corner. Langston followed with a big corner charge before blasting him with strikes. "Daniel Bryan" chant, then Langston lifted Bryan into the air, only to have Bryan sunset-flip him for a one count. Bryan followed with big Yes! kicks to the pecs, then a kick to the head.

A.J. and Dolph then ran interference, which drew Kane over. Kane teased chokeslamming Ziggler, but Big E. chucked Bryan over the top rope onto Kane. Bryan landed hard and sold a shoulder injury. Langston then retrieved Bryan and hit his Big Ending finisher for the pin and the win. After the match, Langston and Co. confidently strutted away as Bryan sold the effects in the ring while Kane checked on him.

WINNER: Langston at 2:19. It feels like WWE is just going to taunt the hardcore fans the entire night.

Ringside: Josh Mathews brought in Super Bowl-winning QB Kurt Warner to discuss USA Network's new "The Moment" TV series premiering this week. Warner talked up the show, then Mathews thanked him for being here.

Up Next: IC champion The Miz vs. Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Title in a re-match from last night's Mania pre-show.

[Commercial Break]

[Q3] Back live, Wade Barrett was in the ring ready to challenge for the IC Title. New IC champion The Miz was then introduced to a mix of boos and cheers. He showed off the title belt to the hard-camera before the bell sounded.

2 -- IC champion THE MIZ vs. WADE BARRETT -- Intercontinental Title match

International voices were heard early on, chanting, "Let's Go Barrett." The two men went back and forth before the pro-Barrett chant picked up again. Miz then chucked Barrett through the ropes to the floor before dropkicking him through the ropes. Miz followed up with offense on the outside before rolling Barrett back into the ring. But, Miz was slow re-entering the ring, allowing Barrett to drop Miz neck-first across the ring apron. The international fans cheered leading to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Barrett hit Winds of Change for a close two count. Miz rolled to the outside, then Barrett climbed to the apron, did "Bang Bang!" and flew at Miz with an elbow drop. Interesting Cactus Jack/Mick Foley tribute. Back in the ring, Miz made his comeback to boos, then measured Barrett for the Reality Check, but they botched the move with Barrett slipping out before Miz executed. The crowd let them hear about it, then Miz recovered and reset the match. Miz got them back with a figure-four leglock tease, but Barrett escaped. Miz then DDT'ed Barrett for a nearfall.

At 11:00, they reset with Barrett trying a top-rope move, but Miz grabbed his leg, dropped him to the mat, and slapped on the figure-four. Barrett screamed in pain to sell the move, but grabbed the bottom rope to loud cheers. Barrett recovered in the corner, then Miz charged him and ate a boot. Barrett went back to the second-rope, but Miz crotched him.

[Q4] Battling on the top rope, Barrett managed to headbutt Miz down to the mat. Barrett then removed his elbow pad and came down on Miz with the Bullhammer to the head. Barrett covered Miz and it was good for the win, giving Barrett the IC Title back. The crowd popped big for Barrett's win, then WWE replayed the high points of the match.

WINNER: Barrett at 12:55 to capture the IC Title. WWE really would have been screwing with the vocal audience if they gave Barrett so many close-calls before Miz won. But, Barrett ended up scoring the win. Interesting to see where this is going after back-to-back title changes a la the '90s. (**1/2)

GM Office: Sheamus jumped into Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox's conversation. He demanded a match against Big Show tonight. Maddox smirked and said if they give him the match, then Sheamus owes them one. Sheamus said he doesn't care, then Vickie booked Sheamus in a match. She didn't say it would be against Big Show, though.

Still to come: Del Rio vs. Swagger & Colter in a handicap match.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, WWE played more still-shot photos capturing the "grandeur" of WrestleMania. WWE then went to an exterior shot of the Izod Center before Lawler plugged Domino's as an official sponsor tonight.

Backstage, Booker T was approached by Randy Orton to congratulate him on the Hall of Fame. Orton checked out Booker's HOF ring, noted his dad has one of those, and then asked for a favor. Orton said he needs Big Show tonight. He said he was wrong about talking Sheamus into trusting Big Show, so he wants to right his wrong. Booker then said Vickie already booked Sheamus vs. Big Show for tonight. Orton said he's a Hall of Famer, though, so Booker should be able to over-rule. Booker, with his ego properly stroked, said Orton is right, then made the match of Orton vs. Show. The announcers said this is going to be very interesting.

In-ring: Jack Swagger was introduced. Zeb Colter joined him on-stage and cut a promo as they walked down to the ring. Colter said he volunteered for the Vietnam War years ago because he loved his country. He said he will stand in the ring with Swagger tonight for the same reason because their country is on the verge of tyranny and anarchy. Colter requested the audience join them in a "U-S-A!" chant when Del Rio comes out tonight. The crowd chanted, "U-S-A!" leading to break.

[Commercial Break]

Earlier Tonight: Mark Henry confronted John Cena, who cracked jokes in-response. They replayed Cena vowing to make it a title match, but Booker changed it to non-title with Henry having to beat Cena to earn a future title shot.

[Q5 -- second hour] Back in the ring, Colter was twirling his mustache while Swagger paced in the background. Ricardo Rodriguez, on crutches, then appeared on-stage to smile and introduce the World champ, Alberto Del Rio, to a mild reaction. Del Rio, sporting a new bright yellow t-shirt that looked like something from adidas's NCAA Tournament collection, bounced to the ring with Ricardo by his side.

3 -- World Hvt. champion ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. JACK SWAGGER & ZEB COLTER -- non-title handicap match

Mark the time of 0:10 for the first "We Want Ziggler" chant of the match. Del Rio clotheslined Swagger over the top rope to the floor early on, then Del Rio flew at Swagger with a suicide dive that sent Swagger into the announce table. Del Rio rolled Swagger back into the ring, then a louder "We Want Ziggler" chant picked up. Cole played the dummy announcer role saying the crowd is firmly in Del Rio's corner tonight. Next was a "U-S-A!" chant as Swagger took control of the match back in the ring. Cole claimed the audience has been brain-washed, prompting JBL to cut a promo on Cole. Another pro-Ziggler chant as Swagger went to work on Del Rio.

Del Rio tried to come back with a corner enziguiri, but Swagger ducked and Del Rio missed. Swagger followed with a Patriot Lock tease and then he dragged Del Rio back to center-ring, but Del Rio escaped. No Colter in the ring, yet. Del Rio then yanked Swagger's arm across the top rope to inflict punishment to Swagger's left arm. But, Swagger knocked Del Rio to the outside and Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Swagger delivered a back-suplex for a two count. Lawler made Cole cackle by asking if Colter is sporting a mustache or if he ate a muskrat during the break. Del Rio tried to come back with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker, but it took something out of Del Rio, too. Del Rio then side-kicked Swagger in the jaw for a two count. Del Rio, selling a left knee injury, then tried the cross arm-breaker, but Swagger countered with a belly-to-belly suplex. Swagger then slapped on the Patriot Lock center-ring, but Del Rio grabbed the bottom rope as the crowd chanted for Ziggler again. Lawler asked, seriously, "Were they chanting for Colter?"

Swagger tried to follow up with more offense on Del Rio, but Del Rio slapped on the cross arm-breaker. Swagger fought the hold, but Del Rio was too much and Swagger tapped out.

WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 11:06.

Post-match, Del Rio celebrated, then sold immense left knee pain. Ricardo checked on Del Rio as the crowd chanted for Ziggler. The ringside doctor entered the ring to check on Del Rio before WWE replayed the finish. Suddenly, Ziggler's music played and the crowd exploded.

Ziggler marched down to the ring with A.J. and Big E. by his side, then Ziggler demanded everyone clear the ring. Ziggler cashed in the MITB briefcase, Justin Roberts formally announced it, and ref Armstrong called for the bell.


4 -- World Hvt. champion ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/A.J. and Big E. Langston) -- World Hvt. Title match

Ziggler sprung on Del Rio and stomped away on Del Rio's injured leg. Ziggler hit the Fameasser, but Del Rio kicked out just before three as the crowd freaked out. Ziggler then missed a corner attack and Del Rio nailed a kick to the head. Del Rio couldn't move, though, and didn't make the cover right away. Del Rio covered, but Ziggler kicked out to a huge reaction. Del Rio then wanted the cross arm-breaker, Ziggler teased tapping out, the crowd freaked, and Ziggler grabbed Del Rio's injured leg to escape. The crowd popped, then Ziggler hit Zig-Zag. One, two, three, new World Champ.

The crowd exploded huge, then Ziggler took the World Title and celebrated in the ring. Ringside, doctors checked on Del Rio, then Dolph, a smiling Big E., and a crying A.J. celebrated in the ring. Cole said whether you love him or hate him, Ziggler picked the right spot after teasing cashing in MITB for months.

WINNER: Ziggler at 2:05 to capture the World Title. Nice booking to where Ziggler actually had to earn the title victory in this match as opposed to winning in 20 seconds. Well-done. Also, credit to the 9 percent of Torch readers who way back in October predicted Ziggler would cash in MITB after WM29. 39 percent were very close predicting at WM29.

Up Next: The Undertaker, 21-0.


[Commercial Break]

Back live, The Undertaker's bell tolled to signal Taker's arrival. Big reaction - this crowd is going to be completely spent by the end of the night. Undertaker emerged on-stage in his Shredder outfit and stood on-stage in the fog and blue lights. Will there be a C.M. Punk sneak-attack during Taker's entrance to the ring? Nope, as Cole began talking about Taker running his Undefeated Streak to 21-0 with an "incredible victory" over C.M. Punk last night. Cole said Taker cemented himself as the greatest performer in WrestleMania history last night.

In the ring, Taker surveyed the crowd with his hood still flipped over his head. Loud "Under-Taker" chant as Taker stood still in the ring. Taker waited out the crowd, then spoke. He said last night at WrestleMania, he dedicated that match to the memory of Paul Bearer, which drew loud applause. Suddenly, The Shield's music interrupted. JBL said this show just gets better.

Taker flipped down his hood as The Shield members appeared in the crowd and marched down to the ring from the stands. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns made their way to ringside as Taker removed his ring jacket in the ring. The hounds surrounded the ring, then slowly hopped on the ring apron. Taker stood his ground, then Kane's pyro suddenly shot off. Kane and Daniel Bryan stormed the ring to back up Taker, and Shield backed down. Loud "Yes!" chants from the crowd. Taker, Kane, and Bryan stood their ground in the ring as Shield evaluated the scene, then hopped over the guardrail to leave. JBL said the night isn't over, though. In the ring, Taker, Kane, and Bryan continued to stand tall.

[ JC: Where was Teddy Long to book the six-man tag match tonight on Raw? With Taker scheduled for the U.K. Tour later this month, perhaps it's another sign of Taker wrestling again - six-man tag at Extreme Rules in May? ]

Up Next: Cena vs. Henry in what Cole called the main event. They still have an hour-and-a-half left, though, so WWE really does not want people flipping over to the NCAA Title game. (Apparently they put up the wrong graphic - should have been "Later," not "Up Next.")

[Q7] [Commercial Break]

Back from break, WWE showed more still-shot photos from WrestleMania. On commentary, Cole said tonight's Raw has been "off the hook" tonight. Cole then flashed back to the World Title business two segments ago. They replayed Ziggler becoming World champion, setting off a wild celebration in the crowd.

Backstage: Ziggler celebrated with Big E. and A.J., saying "we" deserve this more than anyone. Josh Mathews jumped in for an interview, and Ziggler said he knew it was the right time, right place. Ziggler called this his WrestleMania Moment to a big reaction. Ziggler said he's going to take his new title, shine it up, and show it off. "It's about damn time!" Ziggler said to a big reaction from the live crowd.


Not the six-man tag match people had in mind after the previous segment, but a necessary come-down segment. They built to Ryder tagging in to face-plant Jinder. But, 3MB blasted Ryder across the ring apron before taking control of the action on Ryder. Santino eventually took a hot tag, then the action broke down. Back in the ring, Santino popped Santino with The Cobra for the pin and the win. The face trio then celebrated in the ring as Ryder tried to force a smile.

WINNERS: Team Santino at 3:30.

Video Package: WrestleMania Week in New York City. It was the first look at Fandango of the night following his big victory over Chris Jericho at Mania. Was that Ke$ha providing the soundtrack mid-way through? Hey, there's disappearing-act U.S. champion Antonio Cesaro.

Locker Room: Sheamus and Orton argued about wanting to face Big Show tonight. Orton said he needs to fix this, then Sheamus quieted him and emphatically said he has this match tonight. Sheamus stormed off, leaving Orton to seethe.

Smackdown plug: What's the future of Smackdown after WrestleMania? Find out on Friday.

[Q8] [Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole set up a discussion of The Shield beating Big Show, Randy Orton, and Sheamus last night after Show didn't get along with his partners last night. ... After Mania, WWE cameras caught up with Big Show, who said he's no longer looking out for others, but only himself. "Nobody's ever taking my thunder ever again," Show declared.

In-ring: Sheamus's music played back in the arena for the next match. Sheamus hit the ring and took the mic. He asked the crowd if they want to see him kick Big Show's ass tonight, then asked for Vickie Guerrero to come out and sort this out. But, Randy Orton's music played instead.

Orton slowly marched down to the ring with eyes locked on Sheamus as Lawler said he doesn't think Sheamus should be polling the crowd on anything tonight. Orton calmly entered the ring, then started pacing the ring. Orton stopped talking and pointed to himself, then said off-mic to Sheamus that this is his match. Back on the mic, Orton continued that Big Show is his tonight. Orton polled the crowd if they agree, and they did. WWE then abruptly cut to the announcers, where Cole said they're going to leave it up to the audience for a Raw Active poll. Awkward transition, then Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Orton and Sheamus were still arguing in the ring. Cole then fed the results, which were quietly revealed on the screen - 77 percent for Orton and 23 percent for Sheamus. Odd announcement. Booker T and Vickie Guerrero then walked out on-stage to interrupt. They no-sold the poll result, then said they have agreed on a decision - Orton vs. Sheamus and the winner gets Big Show. Neither Orton nor Sheamus was happy about this, then reluctantly removed their t-shirts to begin the match. What a bizarre segment.

[Q9 -- third hour]


Sheamus and Orton felt each other out, then the international contingent interrupted with an "Ole! Ole!" chant, which Sheamus talked about in his WrestleMania press conference interview on Sunday. The wrestlers paused to let the chants play out before locking up again. The announcers acknowledged the international chants, then Cole transitioned to a plug for the U.K. Tour next week. Orton slowed down the pace, prompting some "boring" chants, then "RVD" chants. The announcers sold not knowing what they were chanting.

Next was a "JBL" chant. They cut to a shot of JBL turning red at the announce table. JBL said they're going to start chanting their own names soon. Next was a "Jerry, Jerry" chant. The announcers tried to re-focus on the match, then Orton dropkicked Sheamus coming off the top rope. Suddenly, a light "Michael Cole" chant started up, Orton posed on the mat, kind of smiled "owning" this random segment, and Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Orton and Sheamus were battling mid-ring with the crowd making some sort of noise. Now, an "ECW" chant. It looked like a Harlem Shake moment facing the hard-camera, with Tie-Dye Guy leading the shenanigans. The next closest thing, The Wave, started up. Sheamus smiled and acknowledged it, then Lawler asked if they're in Canada, flashing back to that Summerslam 2004 PPV in Toronto.

In the ring, Sheamus nailed Ten Forearms to the chest, but Orton came back with a backbreaker. Next was a loud Randy Savage chant as Orton and Sheamus paused for the chant to play out as JBL noted Orton is not the most mentally-stable man in the world. Orton then controlled Sheamus with a second-rope DDT. He wanted the RKO next, but Sheamus blocked. Sheamus wanted White Noise, and he connected to boos. Next was a loud, inaudible chant as Sheamus prepared for the Brogue Kick. The crowd didn't want to play along with the WWE mass audience-friendly chest-pounding, then Sheamus missed a corner kick and spilled to the floor.

Suddenly, Big Show's music played. Show marched down to the ring ready to eat, then Show threw Sheamus into the ringpost, throwing out the match, although the bell didn't sound.

WINNER: No Contest at 15:15 when Show interfered. WWE did Sheamus and Orton no favors here with a bizarre set-up for the match. They had no chance. Meanwhile, the crowd has figured out the three-hour formula - when bored, start chanting random things.

[Q10] Post-match, Show then hit the ring to stalk Orton as the crowd chanted, "Thank you, Big Show." Show waited for Orton to turn around, then he KO-Punched Orton in the mouth to a loud reaction. Show then dragged Orton to the floor and waited for Orton to get in position to take a big spear. Show stood over Orton, then WWE replayed the Big Spear. Show wasn't done, as he chucked Orton clear over the announce table into the barricade.

Show then tried to chuck one of the announce chairs into the ring, but it bounced off the turnbuckle and fell to the ground. Show tried a second, but it bounced off the top rope, popping the crowd. So, the crowd chanted, "One more time." Show didn't grab the third chair, though, and simply surveyed the scene before angrily walking off. After a replay of Show's destruction, they showed Orton sitting up and trying to collect himself leaning against the guardrail. Lawler checked if they're still on the air as Ref Chioda checked on Orton. Loud "Jerry, Jerry" chant as Orton slowly recovered to his feet.

Still to come: John Cena (boos when his graphic appeared on the screen) against Mark Henry.

Before they cut to break, WWE went to a Just For Men replay that 100 percent of the time follows a commercial. The replay was of Fandango teasing his in-ring debut last month on Raw. Raw then officially went to break.

[ JC: What a bizarre 30-minute stretch. And, the NCAA Title game just hit Halftime in a one-point battle. WWE (or the live crowd) will have to bring it strong against the second-half of the game. ]

[Commercial Break]

This Friday on Smackdown: Triple H returns to Smackdown with a non-functioning wrist/hand.

Cole reset the show as the announcers laughed about the audience participation tonight. On-camera, Cole, JBL, and Lawler said they're back at the table after Big Show went "completely berserk" in the previous segment. Cole then talked up The Undertaker's appearance earlier tonight.

Earlier Tonight: Taker dedicated his Mania match to the memory of Paul Bearer. But, The Shield interrupted. Before they could get their hands on Taker, though, Kane and Daniel Bryan made the save for Taker. JBL had a great line saying he wants to see those six guys get it on.

In-ring: Fandango's music played to keep the show moving. Fandango's dancer led him out on-stage, then Lawler offered a dog-whistle stripper line about when Cole met his wife. Cole tried to move on by focusing on Fandango's victory over Jericho last night as Fandango and his dancer hit the ring while Lawler whistled to Fandango's theme. Kofi Kingston's music then played and Fandango is officially wrestling on Raw.


The bell sounded and everyone wanted to know what the crowd would chant here. Suddenly, JBL name-dropped Brian Gewirtz when asking Cole about his ballroom dancing history. The crowd started making rhythmic noise, which Cole said was the crowd humming Fandango's entrance theme. Suddenly, Chris Jericho hit the ring and tackled Fandango, ending the match before anything really happened.

WINNER: Fandango via DQ at 1:30.

[Q11] The crowd popped for Jericho, who beat up Fandango before chucking him over the top rope to the outside. Jericho threw Fandango into the guardrail as JBL asked why he's doing this when Fandango beat him clean last night. Jericho chucked Fandango over the guardrail, then used the announce table as a weapon. "Not again!" Cole said.

Jericho then chucked Fandango back into the ring before punting him in the gut. Jericho punished Fandango's neck, then slapped on the Walls of Jericho. No referee to put an end to this, which was odd. Fandango tapped, then refs finally hit the ring to try to separate Jericho from Fandango. Jericho eventually released the hold, then he stood up, waited for Fandango to get up, and dropped him with Codebreaker. The crowd chanted for a Lionsault, but Jericho opted to do Fandango's pose before smiling and leaving the ring.

Back in the ring, Fandango's dancer checked on Fandango as he was declared the winner via DQ. Fandango then struggled to pronounce his name to signal his victory, which popped the crowd because of how great the performance was selling the effects while still trying to pronounce his name. Fandango's music played, then the crowd hummed and hummed along with the theme.

Next was a video package on Cena's Monday Media Tour promoting his WWE Title victory at WrestleMania.

Still to come: Cena vs. Henry in the main event.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Cole went through the media coverage of WrestleMania. You know, the ESPNs, Newsdays, and Varieties of the world.

Back to the announcers, who reset the show before focusing on Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H last night. For the first time tonight, they really focused on Hunter maintaining his career by beating Lesnar last night. Interesting it wasn't a "headline item" coming out of Mania. WWE then cut to footage of Hunter getting his hand/wrist examined after his match.

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Paul Heyman to a huge pop. Mathews noted it was a disappointing night for "Paul Heyman Guys" last night, then Heyman said he chooses to view things from an intelligent perspective. Heyman said his client, Brock Lesnar, got knocked out 90 seconds into the match, but it took Hunter 25 minutes to finally beat Lesnar. He asked Mathews why he isn't asking Shawn Michaels and Triple H about being injured, thanks to Lesnar. Heyman said Lesnar is ready for a fight tonight, which popped the crowd, but Heyman said Lesnar doesn't fight for free. Heyman changed the conversation to Punk-Taker. He said Punk should tell you how he feels. Heyman said Punk will do that... next week, right here on Raw, which drew loud boos from the crowd. Master of turning a crowd.

In-ring: Damien Sandow's music played to a loud reaction, with the crowd happy to see Sandow and Cody Rhodes. They were joined by the Bella Twins for the eight-person tag match that was scratched from Mania. Brodus Clay's music then played to bring out Brodus and Tensai dressed in pinstripe suits. Cameron and Naomi joined them to dance down to the ring.

[Q12] [Commercial Break]


The match was joined in-progress. Poor wrestlers can't even get a full match. Cody Rhodes tagged in to a reaction, then Tensai delivered a big corner splash. Tensai was all over the place, so the announcers called it a Ric Flair match where you wrestle yourself. The crowd was chanting or humming again as the match continued to play out. Suddenly, the action broke down with everyone in the ring. Tons of Funk combined for a double splash to Sandow, which drew boos, and it was good for the win.

After the match, Cole sang to Brodus's song as JBL sold with silence. The dancers then danced in the ring. Ringside, Cole danced as Cole noted he can get away with it because it's a good night for him after the fans chanted his name and he trended on Twitter.

WINNERS: Tons of Funk at 2:22.

Sneak-Peek: Kurt Warner hosts "The Moment," premiering Thursday.

Up Next: John Cena vs. Mark Henry in the TV main event.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, WWE flashed through some more still-shot photos from WrestleMania last night.

In-ring: Mark Henry's music played and Henry walked through the curtain to fill the entire camera shot. Fans in the audience were shown singing along to Henry's theme song, then WWE went back to Henry marching to the ring. Lawler said he thinks the only person with more energy than the crowd tonight is Mark Henry. Great shot of Justin Roberts watching Henry enter the ring with very subtle awe in his eyes.

After a pause, John Cena's music hit to boos. WWE showed some pro-Cena fans in the crowd as Cena emerged on-stage to loud boos. Cena repeated to the hard-camera that the season starts today, then he saluted and stormed the ring with title belt in-hand. Cena flashed the back of his shirt, "RTIME = NOW," to the hard camera before completing his pose. Cole repeated Rock's tweet from earlier about being injured, so he's unable to be here tonight. Cue the bell.

[Q13 -- over-run]

9 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. MARK HENRY -- non-title match -- if Henry wins, he receives a future WWE Title shot

The crowd started making noise again, so Cena tried to own it by doing a dance move. Henry was not having that, though, and clotheslined Cena to the mat. Henry then went to work on Cena as the crowd chanted, "Sexual Chocolate," again. Henry slowed the pace down as the crowd started humming again, then Cena avoided a corner splash. Lawler relayed news that Rock went to U. of Miami today, where it was determined that Rock tore ab muscles and suffered a sports hernia, yet finished the match.

The match moved to the floor, where Henry cleared the announce table. That poor announce table tonight. Henry then wanted World's Strongest Slam through the table, but Cena slipped out. Henry then rammed Cena back-first into the ringpost. Henry tried to follow up, but Cena ran Henry into the ringsteps. Cena then slipped back into the ring just before ten, giving Cena a win over Henry, who remained on the outside.

WINNER: Cena via count-out at 3:16. Not much before the count-out.

Post-match, Cena got his hand raised, then Henry re-entered the ring and smashed Cena with the World's Strongest Slam. Henry held up the WWE Title belt, then Ryback's music played as WWE tried to get their "Brock Lesnar returning to close Raw" moment from last year. Ryback hit the ring and battled with Henry, which the crowd didn't necessarily want to see. Ryback clotheslined Henry, then spinebustered him. Ryback tried to lead the crowd in a "Feed Me More" chant, which they eventually played along with.

Then, Ryback turned toward Cena, which popped the crowd. Cena looked up toward Ryback, then Ryback extended his hand to boos. Cena accepted, then Ryback pulled him in close. Ryback nodded that he wants a piece of Cena, who then climbed to the top rope to pose, which drew boos. Cena hopped down to the mat, then Ryback chanted, "Feed me more." Cena stood his ground, then did the chant, only to have Ryback destroy Cena with a clothesline. "What?!" Cole asked, reacting as if Ryback turned heel, although it didn't feel that way.

Ryback then lifted Cena into the air, marched, and delivered Shell-Shock. As Cole continued to freak out, Ryback held up the title belt in the air as the crowd chanted, "Feed Me More" in the background. Raw signed off six minutes past the top of the hour with Ryback standing over Cena. Cena wasn't kidding when he said in the media interviews today that everyone is gunning for him now. Rock re-match?, Henry?, Ryback?

FINAL THOUGHTS: What do you do with this show? Obviously, the main focus is on everyone hunting for Cena's WWE Title, so how does it get sorted out with Rock injured and part-time, but still the #1 contender? Also, does Taker wrestle again at Extreme Rules? Don't forget about Dolph Ziggler as new World champ and what's next there past the obvious Del Rio re-match. So many questions, especially with part-timers in the mix with full-timers. WWE will start sorting this out in front of a regular crowd next week, then they head to the U.K. in two weeks for perhaps a similar show as tonight.

Alerts: Follow PWTorch staffer's live, real-time tweets during Raw at .

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

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

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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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