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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 8/11: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of final Summerslam hype, Cena-Lesnar, Hogan's Birthday Bash, Brie "arrested" post-Claire Lynch tie-in, more

Aug 11, 2014 - 10:22:25 PM


WWE Raw TV Results
August 11, 2014 - Episode #1,106
Live in Portland, Ore.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor

- The Card: Final confrontation between John Cena and Brock Lesnar before Summerslam, Roman Reigns vs. The Authority's hand-picked opponent, Stephanie McMahon making a confession, Randy Orton vs. Sheamus, Chris Jericho-Bray Wyatt one-on-one, and Hulk Hogan's birthday bash.

Live Raw on USA Network

Raw opened with a shot of the stage, which was covered in red and yellow for Hulk Hogan's birthday bash. Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler hyped the Hogan theme and surprise guests.

Brock Lesnar's music then interrupted to bring out Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Lesnar's t-shirt changed to: "Eat Sleep Conquer (John Cena)" over Repeat. Big buzz in the arena as Lesnar hit the ring looking intimidating. In the ring, Heyman addressed the crowd. He said that in six days, he will be the advocate for the new WWE World Hvt. champion, Brock Lesnar.

Heyman continued that he would like to give everyone a taste of what he does on Raw - selling major events. Heyman hyped his hype, then noted Lesnar wants to address fans of John Cena. Because bad things happen to good people when you step into the ring with Brock Lesnar. Heyman said those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Heyman then introduced a photo gallery of Lesnar beating The Undertaker to break The Streak at WrestleMania.

Back to Heyman, who noted that when Lesnar was a rookie in WWE, he got his hands on a man known as Dwayne Johnson. And, when Lesnar got his hands on The Rock and he wasn't around for 6-8 months. Lesnar also got his hands on a man named Hulk Hogan (light pop for the name-drop). And if Hogan came back to WWE for revenge on Hogan, there would be no birthday celebration tonight.

So, now stands John Cena. Heyman told Cenation fans not to miss Summerslam because after this Sunday, fans won't see Cena around here anymore (cheers and applause from anti-Cena fans). Heyman then flashed back to Extreme Rules 2012 when Lesnar got his hands on Cena. And, while Cena won the match, even Cena will say he lost the fight. Heyman covered for Lesnar losing by noting Lesnar was still recovering from diverticulitis, and was only at 50 percent. So, what will Lesnar do to Cena when he is 100 percent? Heyman then rapped about Lesnar, himself, and Lesnar beating Cena at Summerslam.

After Heyman did the big finish to his rap, Lesnar told Heyman to say something else. Heyman said his client would like to note that this is Brock's House now. Which makes the fans Lesnar's servants. Heyman said they understand John Cena still has something to say and there is a Hulk Hogan celebration, but when the man of the house eats dinner tonight, he's coming back home. Well, it is a long, three-hour show, so Lesnar has enough time to eat, have dessert, go for a drive, and come back for the end of the show.

[ JC's Reax: Heyman lost the audience a bit with another long talking promo to begin the show, but the high points were really strong. There is a disconnect, though, when Heyman is hyping a Cena vs. Lesnar match previously strictly on PPV that WWE is now trying to use to sell Network subscriptions and following up with ...

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL immediately changed the tone of the segment with another round of desperate and cheesy $9.99 begging to subscribe to the Network.


Still to come: John Cena responds to Brock Lesnar.

Hogan Birthday Messages: Flo Rida offered a video message to Hogan. "Weird" Al Yankovic was next. What ever happened to Tout, by the way?

[Q2] [Commercial Break at 8:14]

In-ring: Roman Reigns was introduced to the ring for the opening match. Kane's music then played and out came Corporate Kane dressed in a suit to deliver a corporate speech. Kane noted Reigns beat him last week, which is like beating two men. Kane stumbled that Reigns faces Randy Orton in six weeks --- er, six days at Summerslam, so The Authority is going to test Reigns against two men right now. Out came Ryback and Curtis Axel as the opposition.

1 -- ROMAN REIGNS vs. RYBACK & CURTIS AXEL -- handicap match

Reigns was unimpressed by Axel in the early going. Axel eventually pushed Reigns, so Reigns shoved him down to the mat. Axel backed away to his corner and opted not to tag Ryback, still wanting to prove himself against Reigns. But, Ryback eventually convinced Axel to make the tag. Reigns and Ryback bounced around before locking up. Reigns dominated Ryback, but Axel provided a distraction that allowed Ryback to chopblock Reigns to take control heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 8:24]

Back from break, Ryback was working on Reigns, who fought back with punches to the gut. Reigns booted Ryback out of the ring, but the numbers caught up to Reings on the outside, as he ate the ringpost moments later. The ref reprimanded Ryback and Axel not to do it again, but they double-posted Reigns for a DQ.

[Q3] Post-match: Axel and Ryback lit up Reigns in the ring. But, the duo posed too long, allowing Reigns to recover and explode on both men with strikes. After clearing Ryback, Reigns left the ring to smash Axel with a flying foot to the face. Reigns stalked Ryback, then posted him. The activity continued as if a match were still happening with Reigns rolling Ryback back into the ring to deliver a Superman Punch to the face. Axel took a blow, too. "Spear, Spear" chant from the crowd, then Reigns exploded on Ryback with a spear. Then, one for Axel. With the match over, there was no one, two, three to put a bow on the match. Reigns's music played and he posed for the crowd.

WINNER: Reigns via DQ at 9:10. Curious booking not giving Reigns a decisive win after being cast in the sympathetic face role to build momentum heading into Summerslam. It's not like WWE is protecting Ryback & Axel right now. But apparently the thinking is they wanted to save a decisive one, two, three for Randy Orton at Summerslam.

Post-match: Renee Young entered the ring to interview Reigns. Asked how he feels heading into a match against Orton at Summerslam, Reigns didn't say anything, using Vince McMahon's "silence" tool to allow the crowd to fill in with "Roman, Roman" chants and loud applause. Reigns asked Portland if he's ready for Summerslam, then vowed to take everything from Orton on Sunday. Reigns said Orton claims The Viper is back, but what's a viper when you knock its fangs down its throat? "A worthless little worm," Reigns said before nodding along with his thought. "Believe that!" Reigns said in conclusion. Reigns then posed for the crowd and hard camera with superstar excitement and energy that didn't feel forced or manufactured. Big step-up for Reigns in the post-match.

Backstage: Randy Orton confronted Corporate Kane. Orton said Ryback and Axel couldn't get the job done tonight and Kane couldn't get the job done last week, but he will end Reigns at Summerslam. Kane smirked, then called back Orton to let him know The Authority wants to make sure Orton is ready for Summerslam. So, he's facing Sheamus tonight. Orton smirked, then laughed. "Okay, fine," Orton said before walking off.

Still to come: Stephanie's confession to Brie Bella, plus Chris Jericho-Bray Wyatt one-on-one interview.

In-ring: Rob Van Dam's music played to bring out RVD for singles action on the other side of the break. He faces Seth Rollins.

[Commercial Break at 8:37]


As the bell sounded, the announcers hyped Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins at Summerslam, mixing hype for a lumberjack and unspoken cage match. But, it's a ... lumberjack match. The match spilled to the outside, where RVD bounced Rollins gut-first off the guardrail. RVD then came off the ring apron with a spinwheel kick, but Rollins moved and RVD ate the guardrail knee-first. RVD sold pain heading to break.

[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:45]

Back from break, RVD made a comeback back in the ring. Van Dam tried to follow with a monkey-flip out of the corner, but Rollins blocked. Rollins then followed right up with the Curb Stomp to a prone RVD. It was good for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Rollins at 7:58. Rollins needed a solid victory heading into Summerslam vs. Ambrose, but it shows what WWE thinks of RVD at this stage - a legacy wrestler with name value to enhance others. Basically, the Rey Mysterio role of recent years.

On-stage: Seth Rollins surveyed the collection of red and yellow presents on the stage for Hulk Hogan. Rollins was a little nervous about perhaps Dean Ambrose being in one of the person-sized presents. A paranoid Rollins surveyed some other presents, then decided Ambrose was not there. Rollins started to leave, but Ambrose exploded through the person-sized present to blast Rollins. The fight spilled down the entrance ramp to ringside, where Rollins ran away from Ambrose through the crowd out of the building.

Ambrose then grabbed a mic and told Rollins to run while he still can. Ambrose hyped a cage match ... er ... lumberjack match noting Rollins can't run away from him on Sunday. Ambrose said for $9.99, he's going to get his money's worth on Sunday. Ambrose posed for the crowd before WWE replayed Ambrose popping through a Hogan present to attack Rollins.

Backstage: Stephanie McMahon was shown walking down the hallway. Steph's confession to Brie Bella is next.

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL switched gears to hyping new episodes of Slam City aimed at kids.

[Commercial Break at 8:56]

Claire Lynch Segment

Back live, Stephanie McMahon's music played one minute before the top of the hour. Stephanie then walked out to the ring with a big heel smile.

[Q5 -- Second Hour] At the top of the hour, Steph smiled toward the crowd and began her speech to boos. Stephanie said her mission is to do what's best for the audience. And, sometimes they receive information that could negatively impact their employees's lives. She then talked about an independent contractor, Daniel Bryan, about Bryan aggressively rehabbing to try to get back to action. So, now she would like to introduce Bryan's physical therapist, Megan Miller.

Steph said Megan is actually here tonight. But, she couldn't find her. Steph eventually found Megan in the crowd and brought her into the crowd. Megan over-sold by acting as if she were about to get sentenced to jail. Megan entered the ring with a dejected look prepared to make a confession. Megan started to leave, but Steph told Megan that she's the victim here. Megan said she's really gotten to know Daniel and Brie over the past few months, and she's tried really hard to make sure Bryan gets back into the ring. Megan said Bryan has an appreciation for WWE and the fans. Steph guided Megan along to get to the point. She broke into tears. "He...." She said her boyfriend left her and she can't be Bryan's physical therapist anymore. Megan said it all happened so innocently. At least at first.

Steph told Megan to take a deep breath. What happened? "I - I've been having an affair with Daniel Bryan," she said. The crowd booed. Steph said she's so sorry, then hugged Megan. "No! No! No!" the crowd shouted. Brie Bella then stormed down to the ring and asked Megan what's going on. She asked Megan why she's lying. Steph said the wife is always the last to know, then claimed Bryan used her and treated her like a piece of trash. Steph told Brie that her problem is not with Steph, but with Megan. Steph said Megan told her Bryan called Brie a dead fish.

Brie then slapped Megan before turning her attention to Steph, spearing her to the mat. Steph flailed her arms, giving Brie an opening to slap on the Yes! Lock on Stephanie. Security eventually hit the ring to pull Brie off Steph, who sold the effects of the Yes! Lock. As Brie was dragged out of the ring, Steph said they're not waiting for Summerslam, as they're going to finish this tonight. On commentary, JBL acted as if "Megan" was truthful in her claim, but Cole reprimanded JBL for believing her.

[ JC's Reax: And, TNA's Claire Lynch storyline strikes again. I thought WWE was on a hiring freeze. ]

Still to come: Wyatt-Jericho sit-down.

Hogan Video Messages: Drew Brees from the New Orleans Saints and Aaron Rodgers & A.J. Hawk from the Green Bay Packers.

[Commercial Break at 9:10]

Moments Ago: Megan was holding her head. The video froze and WWE cut to an "Oculus" movie plug. Back to Megan revealing her claim that she's been having an affair with Daniel Bryan. Brie Bella then slapped Megan, tackled Stephanie, and the fight was on.

In-ring: Jack Swagger, flanked by Zeb Colter, was introduced to the ring. No heel to set up Swagger as the babyface. Well, there's the heel, Cesaro, who was already in the ring to face his former stablemate. What a shift on the elevator from WrestleMania.


3 -- JACK SWAGGER (w/Zeb Colter) vs. CESARO

As the comedown match started, Lawler hyped the list of 2014 PPVs on WWE Network, then included the 2015 Royal Rumble. He stopped short of including the February event and WrestleMania 31. In the ring, Cesaro wore down Swagger, who was sporting taped ribs to sell injuries from last week. Cesaro then kicked Swagger out of the ring and Swagger continued to sell abdominal pain heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 9:20]

Back from break, Swagger broke out of an abdominal stretch with desperation right hands. Swagger then nailed a Swagger Bomb, but it affected him just as much as it did Cesaro. Swagger couldn't follow up, allowing Cesaro to continue attacking Swagger's mid-section. Cesaro tried to follow with a deadlift suplex, but Swagger blocked. Swagger was slow to follow-up, allowing Cesaro to deliver a pop-up gutbuster (as opposed to the uppercut) to continue targeting the gut. Uppercut followed off the ropes, but Swagger kicked out of a pin.

As Swagger sold on the mat, Cesaro began taunting Swagger, who teased the Patriot Lock out of nowhere. But, Cesaro escaped, then climbed to the top rope, where Swagger dropped him to the mat for the Patriot Lock. Swagger pulled Cesaro back to the middle of the ring, where Cesaro tapped out.

WINNER: Swagger via submission at 11:58. Swagger as the underdog babyface working through hurt ribs is just so jarring for the unsympathetic character, but they had a good match considering the cold start out of the break. As for Cesaro, he's apparently the heel equivalent of RVD using his traits to enhance someone else while WWE isn't intent on using him in a prominent role.

Post-match: Zeb Colter talked about Summerslam being De-Port-landia when Swagger sends Rusev packing. Zeb then asked the crowd to stand up, join them, and shout, "We The People." But, Rusev's music and the giant Russian flag interrupted in the ring. Lana and Rusev came out on-stage for a flag-waving battle. No promo from Lana, just back-and-forths between Swagger and Rusev to hype their flag match at Summerslam.

Still to come: Steph-Brie in a fight/scrap/brawl and Randy Orton vs. U.S. champ Sheamus in a match. Plus, Jericho and Bray Wyatt sitting down with Cole in the same room.

[Q7] [Commercial Break at 9:31]

Announcers: Cole and Co. hyped Jericho vs. Wyatt happening at Summerslam.

Bray-Jericho Get Serious

Interview: Cole looked into the camera as if he were being held hostage. Cole started to introduce Jericho and Wyatt, but Bray Wyatt cut off Cole and told him to leave. Triple H is at least more pleasant with his Cole disdain on Wednesdays. Bray then looked into the eyes of a stone-faced Jericho to discuss Jericho's dreams as a child. Bray told angry-faced Jericho that he knows about his dreams, which is why Jericho pretends to be a savior because he can't save himself. Bray said he figured out the key to the universe - the only way to help someone is to hurt them in a way. And, as long as he's been in this world, he's hurt a lot of people. And, for this, he's not the least bit sorry. He can't resist. Bray paused.

Bray said there are no consequences for his actions and he does not heed the laws of mankind. Bray said he hates everything and everyone, including himself. He said he is a monster, Bray Wyatt, the eater of worlds. Bray said the human race is decimated by its lack of fortitude, and Jericho exemplifies that weakness. Bray said this smile will be the last thing Jericho sees at Summerslam. Bray laughed to himself. Cut to Jericho, whose frowny-face turned into a smirk.

Jericho talked in a serious, firm tone that he is a survivor in WWE. Jericho said there are a lot of different faces and sides to him, but he will follow the buzzards at Summerslam, then shove them right down Bray's throat. He vowed to turn Bray speechless for good. Bray leaned back and smiled, then the video cut out.

Back to the announce table. JBL sarcastically thanked Cole for his great interview, then Cole rolled his eyes and hyped the Jericho vs. Bray match.


In-ring: Divas champion A.J. Lee was introduced to the ring for singles action as the announcers hyped the Network going global starting tomorrow. Except in the U.K. and other markets.

[Commercial Break at 9:42]

[Q8] In-ring: Back from break, somehow Eva Marie got a Raw booking to face A.J. Lee.

4 -- Divas champion A.J. LEE vs. EVA MARIE -- non-title match

A.J. quickly took control of the match. Sensing this could be a short match, Paige quickly interrupted to skip down to ringside mocking and distracting Lee. Eva then surprised A.J. with a quick pin for the win.

Post-match, Paige took the mic from the stage and said she would like to issue a bit of an apology. She said she's sorry for pushing her right off this stage. It's not like she hates her. But, she just has that face that I want to punch. And she will be skipping away from Summerslam with the Divas Title. Paige left the stage, leaving A.J. to stew in the ring. Eva, apparently unsure what to do after winning a match, was still ringside for some reason. A.J. then beat her up to take out her frustrations.

WINNER: Eva at 1:10. Was this the subtle re-start of a Total Divas vs. non-Total Divas feud centered on A.J. now that she's back on TV?

Earlier Tonight: Paul Heyman rapped about Brock Lesnar beating John Cena at Summerslam.

Backstage: Cena was shown walking down the hallway in his new red-based merchandise line.

[Commercial Break at 9:52]

Tomorrow night: WWE tag champs The Usos with an Open Challenge on Main Event.

Cena's Rebuttal

Five minutes before the top of the hour, John Cena was introduced on-stage sporting his new colors. Included was white cargo shorts to go with his red t-shirt and red cap. Plus, the title belts wrapped around his neck.

In the ring, John Cena mockingly introduced himself as John Cena, to be maimed and injured by Brrrrock Lesssnar. That is, if you believe Paul Heyman. Cena said there will be pain and punishment on Sunday. But, this Sunday, there is one thing Lesnar will not do. Win. Cena repeated that Lesnar will not win, and he will not lay down for Brock Lesnar. Cena said you can take that any way you want, but the bottom line is Lesnar does not deserve this.

[Q9 -- third hour] Cena said he doesn't like Lesnar - he's arrogant, he's a bully, he's uncaring, and selfish. He said everyone backstage knows that he's a jerk, but this is not a social club. He gets that. Cena said Lesnar's "idiotic view" of this business means Lesnar doesn't deserve this title. Cena said he's heard cheers, boos, "You Can't Wrestle" chants, Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks, and every week he comes out here with a smile on his face. And, there's a group asking the question every week - when does John Cena turn? When does Cena say enough is enough and stop being about the t-shirts and ballcaps? When does John Cena unleash hell? "Well, this Sunday, I fight a beast. And to fight a beast, I become one." Cena repeated the speech from his Bray Wyatt feud that to beat the monster, he must become one.

Cena then pandered to the crowd that this is the audience's house, not Brock Lesnar's house. But, for the sake of gamesmanship, he'll play along with Brock. If this is Brock's house, there is a stranger standing in Brock's living room. Cena called out Brock, apparently hoping he was back from dinner. Cena told Brock to come down to the ring and try to kick him out of his house. "I'm in your house!" Cena shouted. Cena removed the merch to stand tall ready to fight, but no sign of Lesnar.

Cena noted Lesnar might still be at dinner, then asked if Lesnar came down with hepatitis, diverticulitis, or punk-b-----itis. Still no Lesnar. Cena said he's giving Lesnar the middle finger right now, but still no Brock. "Fine," Cena calmly said. Cena offered his response that he will make history on Sunday when he conquers the conqueror to be the one who beats The One. Cena put on his title belts, then shouted that this Sunday, the Champ is Here. Cena's music played to wrap the segment.

[ JC's Reax: Way, way, way off track in the first-half going for a "worked shoot" about Lesnar not deserving to be WWE champ since he's part-time, etc. Just sell the match; it's not that difficult, but WWE has been all over the place tonight trying to fill three hours of a PPV lead-in show that the first-half of Cena's speech was almost fitting for this off-the-rails show. ]

Announcers: Cole and Co. transitioned to earlier events, specifically Megan, the physical therapist, claiming to have an affair with Daniel Bryan. Cole called it a "revelation" and Lawler called it "news," endorsing the claim without questioning it. Terrible, mindless announcing not even trying to protect a top babyface, Bryan.

Backstage: Brie Bella was shown walking down the hallaway. Cole said Brie and Stephanie settle things next.

[Commercial Break at 10:09]

Hogan Video Messages: Larry King talked spandex vs. suspenders and "the wrestling world." Florida Georgia Line talked next, then ripped off yellow shirts.


rie Bella was introduced to the ring and Justin Roberts announced this as an actual match. Pause, then Stephanie McMahon's music played. But, Steph walked out on-stage still in street clothes. Stephanie said it looks like they're going to have to wait for their match at Summerslam. That is, if Brie makes it to Summerslam. They replayed Brie slapping Megan earlier. Steph said it appears that Megan has decided to press charges against Brie.

[Q10] Out came "detectives" to arrest Brie as Stephanie walked toward her to add insult to injury. One detective read Brie her rights, then Steph taunted Brie on the way out of the building. "Be careful," Steph told Brie on the way out. Back to Steph, who told the crowd that what goes around comes around. And, if Brie makes bail, she'll see her at Summerslam. Steph left to the back.

Raw suddenly cut to a movie sneak-peek.

WINNER: No match.

[Commercial Break at 10:18]

Moments Ago: Brie Bella was arrested for slapping Megan, the physical therapist.

Announcers: JBL, Cole, and Lawler talked about Megan being a civilian and therapist, not a competitor deserving of a slap from Brie. Lawler defended the arrest while Cole glared at him, but made the save that there is no way Brie will miss Summerslam on Sunday.

Announcers: IC champion The Miz stood on the announce table in loafers. Heath Slater was in the ring (unpictured), then Dolph Ziggler was introduced to face Slater.


Ziggler and Slater started things off as Miz was visible in the background standing on the table. Miz's mic suddenly cut out. Apparently JBL accidentally cut off Miz's connection shifting in his chair. Miz nearly fell off the table leaning over to fix his mic, then resumed his speech running down Ziggler ahead of their title match on Sunday. Slater suddenly scored a close two count on a roll-up, but Ziggler responded with a jawbreaker. Ziggler fired up with offense, then nailed Zig-Zag. Ziggler was prepared to make the cover, but Miz hit the announce table to distract Ziggler.

Ringside, Ziggler bounced him off the ring apron, then chucked him into the guardrail. Ziggler continued to rip up Miz while the ref applied a ten count in the background. Ziggler heard the ref's count, dropped Miz, and tried to run back into the ring, but Ziggler was counted out just before he could re-enter the ring. Slater was spotlighted in victory with his music playing, while Ziggler glared at Miz, who high-tailed it.

[Q11] Ziggler returned to the ring to shake Slater's hand. Slater hesitated, then tried to surprise him with a boot, but Ziggler caught Slater's foot, spun him around, and dropped him with Zig-Zag. So, Ziggler got his music on the way out.

WINNER: Slater via count-out at 4:20. Inefficient. Why spotlight someone not on the PPV, Slater, over Ziggler, who got the scraps in the post-match? At least Ziggler got in some physicality on Miz, but it was overshadowed by the outcome. Overall, it reflects a problem with U.S. pro wrestling TV that the "last word" is emphasized more than actual wrestling match outcomes, rendering matches more and more and more inconsequential (as captured by Ziggler getting his music despite losing). The problem is the genre is built on protecting the wrestling match as the final word to settle matters.

Backstage: Sheamus and Randy Orton walked down the hallway on a split-screen. They face off next.

[Commercial Break at 10:32]

This Friday: Miz TV with Roman Reigns on Smackdown.

6 -- U.S. champion SHEAMUS vs. RANDY ORTON -- non-title match

Sheamus controlled the action early on as Orton sold not being engaged in the match forced upon him by his own faction. Orton eventually rolled out of the ring to recover heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 10:40]

Back from break, Orton figured things out during the commercial, as he was now in control of the action back in the ring. The match then moved to the floor, where Orton bounced Sheamus back-first off the announce table. Orton teased clearing the table to inflict more punishment, but Orton instead just evilly re-arranged the table top. Orton then slid Sheamus back into the ring to resume his attack.

[Q12] Sheamus fired back with successive offense for a two count, then Orton rolled out of the ring to avoid a move from the fireman's carry position. Sheamus chased Orton, and the brawl was on ringside. Sheamus got the best of the exchange and rolled Orton back into the ring, but Sheamus was too slow returning to the ring, allowing Orton to set up for a second rope-DDT, but Sheamus blocked, spun Orton onto the ring apron, and landed the Ten Forearms to the Chest.

Sheamus completed the fireman's carry drop for a two count, but walked into a fall-away backbreaker from Orton. Orton followed with a second-rope DDT, then taunted the crowd before teasing the RKO. Sheamus rolled to the apron to avoid, though, then battering-rammed Orton across the ring. Powerslam for a two count, then Sheamus climbed to the top rope, only to take a mid-air RKO. Orton dramatically posed to admire his work, then he covered Sheamus for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Orton at 13:08. Orton is ready for Reigns, while the curse of being a mid-card champion strikes Sheamus. Those belts just don't mean anything.

Up Next: Hulk Hogan's Birthday Bash, which WWE has not promoted in an hour.

[Commercial Break at 10:52]

Raw returned five minutes before the top of the hour with the roster assembled on-stage. Included was Damien Sandow dressed like Damien Sandow. Cole then introduced a video package on a Cena vs. Lesnar special airing on WWE Network after Raw. The contrast was Cena works hard, he's a nice guy, and he shows up on time versus Lesnar is foul-mouth, hates everyone, and is a big, bully.

Hogan's Birthday Bash

In the ring, "Mean" Gene Okerlund and Jimmy Hart introduced Hulk Hogan. Great Khali and Pat Patterson parted the red sea for Hogan to emerge on-stage playing to the crowd. Hogan played to both sides of the arena on the entrance ramp before entering the ring to greet Gene and Hart.

Hogan played to all sides of the arena before Gene introduced a lengthy career video package on Hulk Hogan set to Bob Dylan's "Forever Young."

[Q13 -- over-run] Back live, Hogan sold tearing up behind his yellow shades. Hogan did the 2005 Hall of Fame routine milking the audience, then Gene noted they could be here all night. Hogan said after seeing that and feeling this ring, he thinks this is the first time he's ever been speechless. Hogan then shouted out to Portland...Oregon before entering Hulkamania mode cutting a promo in Hulk Voice about everyone giving him a present, even mean 'ol Vince McMahon. Hogan pitched the $9.99 price tag for the WWE Network, and inside the birthday card was a certain amount of money. That's a lot of coins. He couldn't round to a $10 bill? He said even nasty old Vince wanted him to subscribe to the Network to watch Summerslam on Sunday.

Hogan recognized the roster on the stage, then shouted out to Pat Patterson. But, when your birthday rolls around everywhere and you turn 61, you start reflecting back on a few things. And, Hulkamania is basically a two-way street. He said he hopes he's been able to touch peoples's lives just as much as they touched his life. Hogan said he loves the fans and Hulkamaniacs.

Suddenly, Ric Flair's music interrupted to bring out Flair dressed in a suit. Cole hyped their WCW rivalry as Flair entered the ring to shake hands with Gene first, then Hogan. Suddenly, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff was introduced. Hogan sold not being happy about Orndorff being here. Orndorff mockingly played to the crowd like Hogan, then smiled and walked to the ring.

Next out was Roddy Piper. Hogan continued to frown, apparently entering character mode re-living his feuds with Orndorff and Piper from the 1980s. The NWO music then played to bring out Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in black and white NWO t-shirts. Hogan nodded along as The Outsiders entered the ring to stand next to Hogan. Hogan reluctantly shook Nash's hand, then reluctantly too-sweeted Hall.

Hogan finally broke into a smile after acting put-out during the last few entrances. Hall, sporting a well-groomed, thin white beard, shouted out to the crowd before noting Hogan looks sweet in his red & yellow. Hall then took a survey asking how many people came to Raw to see Hogan in the red & yellow. Mixed reaction. Or, was he better in the black & white NWO? Hogan looked down and ripped off his Hulkamania t-shirt to reveal an NWO t-shirt. Hogan, Hall, and Nash too-sweeted, then Nash took the mic.

Nash said one thing he hasn't done in his career is this. Nash began singing Happy Birthday to Hogan. Suddenly, Brock Lesnar's music interrupted. He's back from dinner. Lesnar marched down to the ring flanked by Paul Heyman looking for dessert in the ring and to swing this back to Summerslam hype.

Lesnar entered the ring and looked down each person in the ring. Nash wiped his mouth like he wanted to go, then Lesnar stopped and glared at Hogan, who stepped up to Lesnar. Heyman asked Hogan whatcha gonna do? Lesnar then took the mic and told "grandpa" that the party's over. Orndorff smiled in the background. Lesnar and Hogan continued to go face-to-face, then John Cena charged the ring.

Cena ripped off his shirt and challenged Lesnar to a fight as the Hogan party-goers backed up. Lesnar prepared to fight Cena, then dropped his fighting stance, smirked, and left the ring to boos. Lesnar smirked toward Cena, who stood by in his cargo shorts. On commentary, Lawler said that he's just been told that Hogan's birthday celebration will continue on WWE Network. That's one way to try to entice subs. From the ring, Cena continued to shout toward Lesnar that he's in his house. "I am a mercenary!" Lesnar shouted back as Raw signed off 16 minutes past the top of the hour.


Now on WWE Network, Cena dropped his angry face toward Brock Lesnar to resume the birthday party for Hogan. Cena asked for a cake, then Titus O'Neil's music played. Out came Titus and Heath Slater with a small cake. They argued over who should deliver the cake to Hogan, who sold losing patience with the bit. Suddenly, Slater dumped the cake on Titus in the midst of their struggle. Titus then slapped Slater and they continued to argue.

"Mean" Gene picked up the celebration by bringing out another cake. The production crew scrambled into the ring to present a larger sheet cake on a table. The candles were 9 (space) 99. Lawler noted people already know that if they're watching this right now. The Happy Birthday song resumed with the crowd whoo'ing in the pauses. Hogan then approached the cake and blew out the candles.

Cena said this has been a wonderful night, then gave Hogan the floor to take them home. Hogan thanked The Champ before everyone left the ring. Hogan's music played and Hogan did the all-sides posing routine as the announcers broke into uncontrollable laughter. Apparently the confetti machine malfunctioned and blasted them at the table. Hogan continued to pose in the ring as the Network "over-run" concluded 22 minutes past the hour.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Wow, this show was all over the place. WWE is in all-out desperation mode right now trying to protect their business interests hyping the Network that they've lost Creative discipline, especially in an unstructured three-hour Raw format. They hit some highs during the show, but the overall feel was overload, especially tacking on the Hogan Birthday Bash elements with the NWO bit at the end of the show. They eventually got to the final Cena-Lesnar confrontation, but what a waste having all those Legends on one show without video comments from Piper, Hogan, Hall, Nash, etc. hyping Lesnar vs. Cena. It's such a lost art to have other people talk about a big match to give it that extra hype of "all these people are paying attention to it, so I should pay attention."

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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.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

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)


Wade Keller, editor

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