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CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 6/16: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Cena in main event, MITB title match set, Shield Explodes Week 3, more

Jun 16, 2014 - 10:07:54 PM


WWE Raw TV Results
June 16, 2014 - Episode #1,098
Live in Cleveland, Ohio
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor

The Card: The Authority will address the entire roster at the top of the show, John Cena vs. Kane in a MITB qualifying stretcher match, Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt, and Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins one more time.

WWE Network Pre-Game Show

- On the pre-show panel this week are Booker T and Alex Riley with Paul Heyman as the weekly guest. Josh Mathews set up each panelist for pre-show comments, including Booker T noting the San Antonio Spurs are five-time, five-time, five-time champions and Cleveland threw a party after LeBron James's Miami Heat were defeated.

- During a discussion of Daniel Bryan being stripped of the WWE World Title, Alex Riley and Booker T - the supposed babyface panelists - agreed with The Authority for stripping Bryan of the title, ignoring the storyline aspect of Kane contributing to Bryan's injury situation. Paul Heyman, the heel, then played voice of reason bringing up the Kane point and noting it's a self-fulfilling prophecy for The Authority that Bryan was injured due to Kane's involvement.

- Backstage, Renee Young tried to get a word from Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero on Authority's announcement. Vickie was not very forthcoming.

Live Raw on USA Network

Raw opened with a wide-shot of the arena, then a look at the roster assembled on the stage. John Cena was front-and-center representing the babyfaces and Seth Rollins front-and-center representing the heels. Then, Triple H's music played to bring out Hunter and Stephanie McMahon. The Authority marched down to the ring as WWE replayed Dr. Maroon's comments last week explaining why Daniel Bryan will not be medically cleared to wrestle and Stephanie announcing the end of Bryan's title reign.

In the ring, Stephanie welcomed everyone to Raw as the WWE Title and World Title belts hung above the ring. Steph turned to face the locker room, noting they want all of them to know that they care. And they know how much it hurts to not have a WWE World Hvt. champion. Hunter spoke next about needing a champion year-round. Steph talked up Hunter as the greatest ever to boos, then said it's quite sad that all of the wrestlers have been represented by a B-Plus Player like Daniel Bryan. The crowd responded with Bryan's "Yes!" chant.

Hunter said what's really disappointing is Bryan has no heart because his selfishness produced his refusal to give up the title belt. Hunter said everyone - the fans included - deserve better than Bryan as champion. Hunter continued that standing on the stage right now might be the next WWE World Hvt. champion. The crowd chanted "Daniel Bryan" over Stephanie, who talked over the chant that someone will join the MITB qualifiers to determine the next WWE World champion.

Steph then put all of them in a battle royal to determine the next qualifier. Hunter said not everyone, though. He said there are certain stars who have refused to evolve and comply to authority. Those stars not in the battle royal will be Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Boos. And also John Cena. Steph smirked at Cena from the ring.

Hunter told Cena not to get excited because he'll get his opportunity to compete. Hunter said he knows how much Cena likes to help people, like Bryan and The Shield. See, just a short time ago, Stephanie promised the audience a particular type of match, but because Bryan cannot compete, they have not been able to give that match. And they hate to lie. So, tonight, Cena will get his chance to enter the MITB ladder match by winning a stretcher match. And it's against Kane. Kane's music played, then an ambulance backed up into the arena off-stage. EMTs emerged and wheeled a stretcher down to ringside to wrap up the segment.

Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL recapped the events tonight before plugging Kevin Hart guest-starring on Raw tonight.

Still to come: U.S. champion Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt in a non-title singles match.

Up Next: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler.

No commercial, as Kane suddenly emerged on-stage and surveyed the ambulance down below. Kane checked out the potential damage he could do to John Cena later tonight.

[Commercial Break at 8:12]

[Q2] In-ring: Dolph Ziggler was introduced to the ring first for the opening match. Ziggler was introduced from Cleveland (as opposed to Hollywood, Fla.) to a big pop. Seth Rollins, announced from Davenport, Iowa, was introduced next. No combat gear for Rollins, going for a sleeveless Nike dryfit top and black cargo pants, progressively removing his Shield ties.


Ziggler opened up with a shoulder tackle as the crowd picked up a "Let's Go Ziggler" chant. The crowd transitioned to a "You Sold Out" chant at Rollins, who left the ring to regroup before re-entering the ring. Good time-out for Rollins, who took control heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:20]

Back from break, Rollins pinned Ziggler for a two count. Rollins knocked Ziggler to the outside, then tried a flying smash, but Ziggler blocked with a forearm smash. Back in the ring, Ziggler lit up Rollins with corner rights, but Rollins came back with a knee attack and enziguiri. Rollins tried to follow with a Curb Stomp, but Ziggler answered with an implant DDT for a close two count.

Back and forth exchanges, then Ziggler nailed a Fameasser. But, Rollins kicked out again. Both men sold on the mat following the exchange, then Rollins countered a Fameasser with a Bucklebomb. Ziggler sold face-down on the mat, then Rollins pounded away on Ziggler, drawing a reprimand from the ref. Rollins delivered another Bucklebomb, then smashed Ziggler with a Curb Stump. But, Dean Ambrose flew into the ring out of nowhere in street clothes and attacked Rollins, causing the bell to sound.

WINNER: Rollins via DQ at 11:08. Another solid match between these two. Time for WWE to book a Best-of-Seven with something on the line to keep the new series going and prevent driving the match into the ground by just repeating the match-up.

Ambrose got in a few licks, but Rollins bailed from the ring to avoid Ambrose's wrath. In the ring, Ambrose taunted Rollins, telling him to come down to the ring and fight him right now, even without Triple H's permission. Ambrose ripped off his leather jacket, then Hunter appeared on the Titantron to tell Ambrose to calm down. He said Dean will not be fighting Rollins tonight, as he's got some Bad News for him (complete with attempted British accent carried over from Smackdown). Barrett's music then played to bring out the Intercontinental champion.

[Q3] [Commercial Break at 8:31]

2 -- IC champion WADE BARRETT vs. DEAN AMBROSE -- non-title match

The match was joined in progress with Ambrose wrestling in street clothes against Barrett. After they went through the paces of a wrestling match with one man in street clothes, Ambrose turned this into a fight by landing repeated blows to Barrett. Ambrose then flew at Barrett with a splash on the outside. Ambrose tried to return to the ring, but Barrett smashed him with a big clothesline that sent Ambrose spilling down to the ground. Ambrose sold a shoulder injury as Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:39]

Back from break, Ambrose was dangling off the ring apron in his street clothes. Barrett tried to follow up, but Ambrose came back with a corner attack for a two count. Meanwhile, Lawler offered an offensive joke about being a bad businessman who opened a big & tall store in Japan, then tried to offer a follow-up joke to cover for the previous one. Ambrose teased a comeback, then Seth Rollins suddenly appeared on the announce table to distract Ambrose. But, Ambrose fought off Barrett, then Rollins, then smashed both heels with a dive on the outside.

[Q4] Rollins decided to leave the ringside area, then Ambrose followed him into the crowd. The fight continued and Ambrose was counted out. Post-match, Ambrose heard the decision, then returned to the ring to beat up Barrett and nail Dirty Deeds. Clashing music played for Ambrose, who paced the ring with a crazy face, desiring to get his hands on Rollins.

WINNER: Barrett via count-out at 11:58. From a storyline perspective, it made sense for the heel authority figure Hunter to put Ambrose in a match he was not prepared for, but the visual of a wrestler having a standard wrestling match in his street clothes was too jarring and disengaging.

Backstage: Vickie Guerrero was holding two drinks when Roman Reigns stopped her in the hallway. Reigns tried to sweet-talk Vickie, then reminded her that she's a Guerrero. He told Vickie to stand for something, unless she wants to kiss Steph and Hunter's butts for the rest of her career. Reigns noted The Authority likes sweetener in their coffees, then Vickie scrambled to find sweetener as Reigns put something in their drinks with his back to the camera. No indication whether the additive was to knock out The Authority or give them upset stomachs. Vickie returned and accidentally sneezed on the drinks after Reigns asked her when she's going to tell Authority to shove this job. Vickie shrugged her shoulders after sneezing on the drinks, then walked off.

[ JC's Reax: So, the audience is supposed to believe The Authority did not see this segment, but Hunter saw what happened with Rollins and Ambrose in the opening match and booked Ambrose in a match against Barrett? Really inconsistent storytelling. ]

Suddenly, the Wyatt theme interrupted. Bray Wyatt told Cleveland that the Wyatts are here.

[Commercial Break at 8:50]

Back live, a ladder was in the ring for the MITB title match visual. The Wyatt theme interrupted, then Bray Wyatt led Erick Rowan and Luke Harper down to ringside. Once in the ring, Bray spoke in a dark arena about needing power. Is he bringing in MVP? Bray said power can be so addicting and he just so happens to think power will be the downfall of all mankind as we know it. Bray said a powerful man is to be respected. And the power lies up there (the WWE World Title belts hanging above the ring), Bray's first real explanation of why he is motivated to become WWE World champion.

Bray said Harper and Rowan were viewed as worthless, like dirt, by this world, but his brothers are going to fight for the Tag Titles and destroy The Usos at Money in the Bank. Bray said he will stand at the top of the ladder and he will change the world forever. Because hanging above this ladder is his glory, absolution, and the change that the audience has been praying for. And then he will be able to truly say he has the whole world in his hands. Bray led the crowd in song, then Sheamus's music interrupted.

[Q5 -- second hour] On-stage, Sheamus addressed Bray that he's not sure if Bray is aware of this, but it's bad luck to walk underneath a ladder. Sheamus said Bray likes to sing about having the whole world in his hands, but he would like to shove his whole boot down his throat. Bray smiled and clapped, saying he likes that. Sheamus then entered the ring to start the match.

3 -- U.S. champion SHEAMUS vs. BRAY WYATT (w/Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) -- non-title match

Back and forth exchange early on, then Sheamus found himself standing opposite all three Wyatts ringside. Suddenly, The Usos's music played and the Tag Champs stormed ringside to back up Sheamus and even the odds.

[Commercial Break at 9:05]

Back from break, there was a loud chant in the building. It was for C.M. Punk (not pictured). The chant faded out, then Bray resumed an attack on Sheamus. Sheamus fought back with right hand blows, then delivered a flying double-fist smash. Wyatt ducked a knee, though, and ran over Sheamus for a two count. Sheamus came back with Ten Forearms to the Chest, then teased the Brogue Kick, but the Wyatts hit the ring and attacked Sheamus, causing a DQ.

Post-match: A big brawl broke out ringside also involving The Usos. No sign of John Cena making the save here. Instead, Sheamus KO'ed Bray on the floor and The Usos dropkicked the MITB ladder into Rowan and Harper. Sheamus then knocked the heels out of the ring with the ladder before the Usos flew off the ladder with big splashes to the heels on the outside. Sheamus then finished things off by chucking the ladder down onto the Wyatts. Cole hyped this as a taste of the MITB PPV in two weeks.

WINNER: Sheamus via DQ at 11:10. Hot sequence to continue the theme of a wild night of action; the problem is no authority figure in the fictional environment is administering rules, prompting wrestlers to cause DQs or get themselves DQ'ed with no fear of repercussions. Structurally, there has to be a sense of rules & regulations mattering for make-believe wrestling to function.

Authority Office: Vickie brought in coffees for Stephanie and Hunter. Hunter accidentally knocked the coffee into Vickie, spilling it everywhere. Steph sipped on hers in the background while Hunter yelled at Vickie to go get him a fresh one. "This is good," an apparently unsuspecting Steph commented.

Still to come: Kevin Hart and a battle royal.

[Q6] [Commercial Break at 9:15]

Back live, the announcers focused on the ambulance positioned ringside for either John Cena or Kane to take a ride tonight.

Backstage: Stephanie was still working on her coffee. Renee Young brought in Steph for an interview and Steph started to lose her train of thought. Stephanie blurted out, "May the best man win," then she bailed from the interview. Apparently Roman Reigns's additive was a laxative, not a sedative. Paul Heyman then walked into the interview set, replacing Stephanie, for a promo on the MITB ladder match.

In-ring: Heath Slater was in the ring by himself. On commentary, JBL noted he's just a one-man band now. Apparently that's the write-off for the fired Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. Rusev was then introduced to face Slater. No promo from Lana on the stage as Rusev whipped his flag around on the way to the ring. JBL noted the U.S.'s victory over Ghana just before Raw to play up the U.S.A. vs. Russia theme to Rusev's existence on WWE TV.

Lana saved her promo for in the ring after waiting out a "U-S-A" chant. Lana told the crowd to shut up and listen as Rusev uncharacteristically ran his mouth toward the crowd. Lana's anti-U.S. promo this week was on weak founding fathers and weak leaders, especially in comparison to Russian president Vladimir Putin. She said the emasculated nation will be forced to drop to its knees and new monuments will be built. She introduced a photo-shopped Mt. Rushmore. Rusev then took the mic and said Americans's existence is futile and he is the super-athlete, Rusev.

Lana was satisfied with his speech, but Slater suddenly had something to say ringside. Slater said that week after week, they talk about how good Russia is. He asked why they don't just go back there because he's sick and tired of hearing about it. "Tonight, you're going against the American Rock Star," he declared. Rusev was unimpressed.


4 -- RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. HEATH SLATER

Forearm smash, then a leaping kick from Rusev once the bell sounded. Lana told Rusev to crush Slater, so he smashed Slater across the back and slapped on The Accolade. Slater quickly tapped, then kept the hold locked on a little longer, drawing referee Rudy Charles's ire. Lana eventually called off Rusev, who received his medal from Lana.

WINNER: Rusev via submission at 0:35.

Authority Office: Stephanie McMahon was throwing up in the executive washroom. Hunter told Vickie Guerrero to get in there and check on her. Hunter slowly opened the door and Stephanie barfed on Vickie (off-camera). Twice. Somewhere, Vince McMahon peed himself from laughter. Steph then walked out coughing and crying over her plight. Vickie prepared to throw up herself, then Hunter kept his barf in and told Vickie she's in charge for the rest of the show since he has to take care of Stephanie. Vickie finally boiled over and screamed as loud as she could before Raw faded to break.

[Commercial Break at 9:33]

Backstage, Roman Reigns knocked on a door and found Vickie Guerrero still covered in vomit. Reigns told Vickie that she'll probably get fired next week, but now she has a chance to make a positive difference in her final week. Reigns asked Vickie to put her in the battle royal. "Fine, you're in!" Vickie screamed, then slammed the door. Reigns flexed his gloves, satisfied.

Sneak Peek: Kevin Hart's "Think Like A Man 2" movie.

Backstage: Renee Young brought in Kevin Hart for an interview. Hart hyped the movie, then Adam Rose and his entourage interrupted. Rose told Hart that his new movie is fantastic, then told him to ride with the Exotic Express. Hart said he doesn't get it, and he doesn't want to do it. Rose's group did the theme song and danced off, singing in Hart's ear. Hart sold annoyance, then noted he will be on commentary for a match later on. Raw faded out with a shot of Renee still having the theme song ringing in her ears.

[Commercial Break at 9:41]

[Q8] Back live, Justin Roberts gave a formal introduction for Kevin Hart. Cole said he's so excited for Hart to join them on commentary. Hart came out flexing in an interesting two-toned long-sleeve shirt, then took a victory lap before joining the commentary position. JBL commented that he's not sure what kind of shirt that is, then Hart defended the shirt. Fandango's music played to bring out Fandango and Layla dancing on-stage as Hart tried to process what's going on here. "Is this Dancing with the Stars or Monday Night Raw?" Hart asked.

Summer Rae's music then brought out Summer for the next match. Suddenly, Adam Rose's music played to bring out the Exotic Express. Lawler tried to explain to Hart what was going on as Rose made his way through his entourage down to ringside. Hart noted the song doesn't sound right, then sold disbelief as the Express made its way around ringside. Apparently this is a mixed tag match.

5 -- FANDANGO & LAYLA vs. ADAM ROSE & SUMMER RAE -- mixed tag match

After Layla and Rae paired off to continue their fight, Rose pinned Fandango in short order. Kevin Hart then changed his tune and joined Adam Rose celebrating in the ring. Hart danced around in the ring, then took a flat-back bump into the sea of people with Rose. "No, no, no!" JBL shouted. "Don't do it!"

WINNERS: Rose & Summer at 1:24. WWE basically packed five weeks worth of content into five minutes - Hart being introduced to the Exotic Express, sitting on commentary for a match, changing his tune on the group, and then celebrating on the way out. Welcome to hyper-speed 2014 WWE Booking.

Still to come: MITB qualifying battle royal, now with Roman Reigns.

On the way to break, WWE ran a DVD hype video on Batista, who "quit" two weeks ago.

[Commercial Break at 9:53]

Main Event plug: Usos & Sheamus vs. The Wyatts in a six-man tag match.

In-ring: What was left of the roster was assembled in the ring for the battle royal, including Damien Sandow in a LeBron James Miami Heat jersey to taunt the Cleveland fans. Roman Reigns was then introduced through the crowd as Cole attempted to recap Reigns placing "something" in Stephanie's coffee to weasel his way into the match.

6 -- BATTLE ROYAL -- Winner advances to MITB WWE World Title ladder match

Damien "LeBron James" Sandow was ganged up on and eliminated 12 seconds into the match, popping the crowd. Santino was gone next, then Xavier Woods.

[Q9 -- third hour] Heels tried to gang up on Reigns, but Reigns fought them off. Reigns eventually tossed Titus O'Neil, prompting Cole to bring up Reigns destroying the Royal Rumble back in January. Swagger then slingshot Sin Cara over the top rope for an elimination. And there's Rob Van Dam getting some facetime in the match. Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger battled for a while, then Kofi got the best of the exchange by flipping Swagger over the top rope for the next elimination. Cole hyped the action continuing on the App (heavy plugs throughout the show tonight) before Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break at 10:05]

Kofi was eliminated during the break. Back from break, the battle royal was down to about eight men. The focus was on Rusev attempting to look tough driving a foot near Reigns's throat in the corner. Ryback then eliminated Dolph Ziggler to boos. Reigns suddenly started flying at folks, popping the crowd. But, no eliminations. That came moments later when Fandango was eliminated. Big E. then eliminated Ryback and Reigns tossed Axel.

The match was down to Barrett, RVD, Reigns, Rusev, Big E., and Bo Dallas. RVD shot on Bo with hard strikes, but walked into a big blow from Barrett. RVD came back with a thrust kick, but Bo Dallas suddenly snuck up on RVD and dumped him over the top rope for an elimination. Bo helped up Barrett to show sportsmanship, but Barrett clotheslined him and tried to dump him over the top rope for revenge from two years ago, but Bo held onto the ropes to avoid elimination.

[Q10] Suddenly, Reigns eliminated Barrett as Big E. was eliminated on the other side of the ring. Bo almost eliminated Reigns, but took a spear for good measure. Reigns then dumped Bo Dallas and it came down to Reigns vs. Rusev, giving Rusev a big spotlight his character needs. Rusev ran over Reigns and did his loud noises, but took a Superman Punch from Reigns that sent him flying off the ring apron to the floor. Reigns won, the crowd popped, and Cole said Reigns could be the next champion.

WINNER: Reigns at 17:01 to enter the MITB ladder match. The match really exposed how weak the mid-card is right now, but set up Reigns for a big spotlight victory as he continues to build to the main event level as a singles star.

Scoreboard: Bray, Sheamus, Del Rio, Cesaro, Orton, and Reigns have qualified. The final spot can be had by John Cena if he wins the main event. On commentary, Cole framed it as Kane being able to take the spot, too, if he wins, so it's not just Cena's to win or lose.

Backstage: Renee Young brought in John Cena to discuss Roman Reigns winning the battle royal. Cena excitedly repeated the storyline talking points and framed Reigns's win as "doing the impossible." Cena then discussed his main event match against Kane. He sent a message to The Authority by counting down his fingers to a middle finger that he turned into flashing his index finger to keep it PG. Cena smirked and walked off.

[Commercial Break at 10:20]

Back live, Brodus Clay's music played to bring out Cameron, along with Naomi, for singles action. Divas champion Paige was introduced next to face Cameron, who believes she was dissed when Paige listed the top competitors in the division.

7 -- Divas champion PAIGE vs. CAMERON (w/Naomi) -- non-title match

Cameron was the aggressor early on, trying to prove herself to Paige. But, she lost her cool and lost control of the match. Naomi hung her head in disappointment as Cameron lost control of the match, then Paige applied her Please Tap Out submission for the win.

WINNER: Paige via submission at 3:13.

[Q11] Announcers: Cole and Co. transitioned to Cody Rhodes picking new tag partners for Goldust as of late.

Locker Room: Byron Saxton brought in Goldust to discuss Cody's tag partner selection for tonight.

[Commercial Break at 10:31]

Back from break, Ryback and Curtis Axel were in the ring to handle double-duty on the night. Goldust was then introduced by himself. He looked to the Titantron, where a random video played. Out came Stardust. It was Cody Rhodes dressed as Goldust doing his mannerisms. Goldust didn't seem to know what to make of his brother's new get-up, but rolled with it.


The Rhodes Bros. double-teamed the heels early on, knocking them out of the ring. Cody, as Stardust, did odd gyrations like his brother before delivering a springboard smash to Axel. Stardust with a front-flip bulldog out of the corner and it was good for the pin and the win in less than one minute. The focus remained on Cody, pretty much ignoring Goldust's role in the segment.

WINNERS: Goldust & Stardust at 0:58.

Video Package: Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Special Olympics that WWE is sponsoring. Stephanie McMahon, the top heel authority figure, was shown speaking about WWE's involvement in the Games. Back on Raw, Jerry Lawler read a statement about what the Games are about.

Up Next: Cena vs. Kane in a stretcher match for the final MITB title ladder match spot.

[Commercial Break at 10:42]

This Friday: Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio on Smackdown.

[Q12] In-ring: John Cena's music played first for the main event. Cena stormed the ring and played to his fans, then Kane's music interrupted to bring out the second participant in the main event.

9 -- JOHN CENA vs. KANE -- Stretcher match for final WWE Title MITB spot

JBL used the early-going to tease even more physicality available at Money in the Bank in two weeks. He then introduced the point of Daniel Bryan being out of action partly because of Kane. Two heels (Heyman and JBL) have covered for Bryan tonight; no babyfaces have. Kane went for an early stretcher ride, but Cena easily rolled off. Cena continued to sell Kane's early offense as Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break at 10:53]

Raw returned with the crowd in the middle of a traditional "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks" dueling chant. Kane then lit up Cena with a chair as JBL noted there are no rules, which brings up the old question of why not bring out a life-threatening weapon to subdue Cena and stretcher him out. JBL did not go as heavy as Cole did in the Last Man Standing match at Payback to ruin the moment, but it's still an unanswerable question. In any event, Kane introduced ring steps into the match, but Cena knocked the legs out from under Kane and Kane ate the edge of the steps.

Cena tried an AA into the steps, but Kane blocked and DDT'ed Cena face-first into the ring steps. Cena was then heard audibly calling a spot to Kane, who dragged Cena out of the ring. Kane placed Cena on the stretcher, but Cena easily rolled off, frustrating Kane.

[Q13 -- over-run] On the other side of the ringside area, Kane cleared the announce table, but Cena sprung on Kane to give him an AA through the table. Cole freaked out on commentary, then Cena surveyed how far he had to go to get Kane to the opposite side of the arena. Cena started the journey of dragging Kane across the ringside area fireman's carry-style, but sold losing strength. Cena paused, collected himself, and made it to the stretcher. But, Cena collapsed to the floor. Cena retrieved a second stretcher, placed Kane on the board, and Seth Rollins and Randy Orton suddenly showed up.

Rollins and Orton beat up Cena, then sent him into the ring, where Orton delivered an RKO. Rollins wanted a chair shot to Cena, but Dean Ambrose showed up and knocked around Rollins. But, Kane entered the ring and chokeslammed Ambrose. Cena low-bridged Kane out of the ring, though, before surveying the damage around him. For his next move, Cena lifted one of the ring steps into the air and chucked them down at Kane, who stumbled down onto the floor.

At 15:00, Cena grabbed a stretcher and placed Kane on the board. Cena pushed Kane half-way up the ramp toward the yellow finish line, built some momentum, and Kane suddenly sat up. Kane tried to chokeslam Cena, but Cena blocked, slammed Kane onto the board, and pushed the stretcher over the yellow line to win the match. JBL said Cena has a knack for winning big matches as Cena knelt down on the stage soaking up his victory.

WINNER: Cena at 16:08 to qualify for the MITB title match. Classic Cena formula match putting Cena in major jeopardy before he overcame the odds. For better or worse, it's what WWE needed putting the focus back on their #1 star, Cena.

The Scoreboard: Bray, Sheamus, Del Rio, Cena, Cesaro, Orton, and Reigns in the MITB World Title ladder match. Cole read off the line-up, noting MITB is in Boston (Cena's home market), and Cena talked to the audience through the on-stage camera as Raw signed off seven minutes past the top of the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The show flowed better than past weeks without back-to-back goofy in-ring segments, but the roster is depleted, there are storyline and logic gaps, and McMahon's potty humor resurfaced in a big way this week. The show was helped by a hot, invested crowd to build some momentum heading into MITB in two weeks. Also interesting is how The Shield was really individualized this week - Rollins on his own separated from The Authority, Ambrose picking a fight with Rollins by himself without Reigns, and Reigns on his own doing the skits with Vickie before winning the battle royal. It will be interesting to see if that continues going forward.


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-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars.


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