WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 11/3: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - VKM returns on 3 Hour & 38 Minute Show, Rollins vs. Orton, U.S. Title match on WWE Network, more
Nov 3, 2014 - 10:38:38 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
November 3, 2014 - Episode #1,118
Live in Buffalo, N.Y.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro, Big Show vs. Mark Henry following Henry turning on Show last Monday, and John Cena not appearing on the show. According to correspondent Ryan Berglund at the TV taping, WWE announced to the live crowd just before the start of Raw that Cena will not be on the show.
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with Vince McMahon's music to bring out Mr. McMahon returning to TV for the first time in several months. McMahon was flanked by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, who were all-smiles. McMahon jumped up and down on the way to the ring, trying to sell excitement to start the show.
In the ring, McMahon noted The Authority isn't very popular, then McMahon hyped WWE Network available for free this month. McMahon, looking very grandfatherly with heavy make-up covering eye-bags, said he wants to raise the stakes. He noted he beat the U.S. government and Ted Turner, Time Warner, and WCW, so he wants to raise the stakes. He presented Team Cena vs. Team Authority, and if Team Authority loses, they will no longer be The Authority. Steph acted concerned, while Hunter tried to act confident. McMahon said they would no longer be in power. "Yes!" chants from the crowd. McMahon kind of rambled off and on-mic until his music played. He looked a bit rusty back in front of the camera as a TV character. Steph walked out of the ring waiting for dad to hurry up, Hunter lingered in the ring, and Vince eventually kind of left the ring.
Suddenly, Dean Ambrose's music played. Ambrose marched down to the ring, greeted Vince McMahon, who smiled at Dean before sending Dean into the ring past a frowning Hunter. Dean awaited his opponent, Cesaro, as Raw cut to break.
THE NEWS: Team Cena vs. Team Authority with Authority's power at-stake, with the objective to entice Network sign-ups for the potential blow-off to The Authority at Survivor Series.
[Commercial Break at 8:09]
Backstage: Vince McMahon re-addressed Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, saying he didn't mean to surprise them, but he knows they can handle it. He noted Hunter's tie is crooked, then started to get in his limo to leave the show, but paused a few times, not convinced of Hunter and Steph running the show. "We got it," Hunter said a few times, trying to remain calm. Vince eventually left and Steph went bug-eyed over her dad interfering in their business. She said they need to figure this out.
In-ring: Cesaro was introduced to the ring as Ambrose's opponent. WWE showed Ambrose beating up Cesaro last Monday on Raw, then beating Cesaro in a pumpkin patch match Friday on Smackdown. So, they're having another match tonight.
1 -- DEAN AMBROSE vs. CESARO
The announcers hyped Ambrose's new feud with Bray Wyatt as the two men battled early on in the ring. Cesaro then knocked Ambrose to the floor, where the fight resumed. The match returned to the ring, where Cesaro was busted wide open on the side of his head. The announcers kept talking about The Authority, though. Referee Charles Robinson busted out the latex gloves to tend to Cesaro, the camera zoomed in on Cesaro's head drenched in blood, and the announcers continued to ignore the scene. Cesaro eventually rolled to the outside, wiped the blood off the side of his head, and the announcers continued their conversation on The Authority. Suddenly, Bray Wyatt's video interruption played and Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:20. If you haven't quite been able to put your finger on WWE over-producing the announce team to sound like mindless robots, that 30 seconds captured it. ]
Back from break, Bray Wyatt was sitting on a rocking chair at the top of the stage. Cesaro's cut appeared to be addressed during the break, as there was just a big knot visible on the side of his head. Cesaro maintained control on Ambrose, who fought back as Bray chuckled to himself atop the stage. Then, got serious again. Meanwhile, Dean smashed Cesaro with a suicide dive on the outside.
Dean eyeballed Bray on the stage, then returned to the ring. Back in the ring, Dean dropped Cesaro with Dirty Deeds for the pin and the win. Post-match, Dean eyeballed Bray, who leaned forward with a serious look on his face. Ambrose then decided to bolt from the ring, presumably to go after Bray, but the lights went out, the interruption played, and Bray was gone. Dean remained standing in the ring not impressed by the games from Wyatt.
WINNER: Ambrose at 12:25. Basic deal continuing to lay the early foundation for Bray vs. Ambrose. It hasn't exactly been an eventful first few weeks, though, considering WWE put the feud front-and-center at the end of their last PPV. Of course, it's a three-hour Raw, so there's room for more developments tonight. Upon further review, Ambrose did not appear the rest of the show, rendering him an afterthought since Hell in a Cell.
[Q3] Authority's Office: Stephanie and Hunter talked about needing to put together the strongest Survivor Series line-up there has ever been. Hunter pulled out his phone to call Randy Orton, which Steph didn't agree with. Hunter said they need the strongest team possible, which means he has to call Orton, even after he RKO'ed Seth Rollins last week on Raw. Steph turned her back to sell disgust.
In-ring: The Usos were introduced for the next match.
[Commercial Break at 8:32]
2 -- JIMMY USO (w/Jey Uso) vs. THE MIZ (w/Damien Sandow)
After a review of The Usos pulling the switcheroo on Miz and Sandow last week, the bell sounded to begin the singles match. Sandow mimicked Miz's offense on the outside while Jey Uso kind of watched him from a distance acting amused. Jey then joined in the mimicking bit by rubbing it in Sandow when Jimmy took control on Miz. Jimmy knocked Miz to the floor, then flew over the top with a splash to Miz, causing Sandow to tip over like a bowling ball to sell the move.
On the outside, Jey Uso superkicked Sandow, drawing boos for the babyface team because one member took out the sympathetic and popular heel. In the chaos, Miz kicked Jimmy returning to the ring and hit him with Skullcrushing Finale for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Miz at 4:38.
Announcers: Cole, JBL, and Lawler hyped Mark Henry vs. Big Show happening tonight, one week after Henry turned on Show during a Tag Title match.
In-ring: U.S. champion Sheamus was introduced to the ring for a match. Apparently he has to pull double-duty tonight. Cole hyped Sheamus defending the U.S. Title against Rusev after Raw on WWE Network.
[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:44]
3 -- U.S. champion SHEAMUS vs. TYSON KIDD (w/Natalya) -- non-title match
Kidd was in the ring back from break. Before the bell sounded, WWE played a clip from Smackdown when Rusev issued a challenge/warning to Sheamus. Back on Raw, the bell sounded and the two wrestlers felt each other out. Sheamus took early control before WWE cut to a shot of Rusev and Lana watching the match on a backstage monitor. Kidd suddenly fired back on Sheamus with elbows and forearms in the corner, nearly getting himself DQ'ed.
Kidd slowed the pace with a chinlock, but Sheamus broke free and smashed Kidd with the Alabama Slam. Sheamus followed with the Texas Cloverleaf, but Kidd reached the bottom rope for a break. Kidd responded with a springboard dropkick that sent Sheamus through the ropes to the floor.
On the outside, Sheamus caught Kidd and dropped him on the floor with a rolling senton. Meanwhile, the ref counted in the background. Sheamus tried to follow up, but Kidd moved Natalya in the way as a shield. Sheamus stopped short, Kidd returned to the ring at nine, and Sheamus was counted out at ten.
Post-match, Kidd celebrated in the ring, greeted a conflicted Natalya, and turned around to take a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. Sheamus took his belt and left the ring, still having to face Rusev after Raw later tonight.
WINNER: Kidd via count-out at 5:14. Not exactly a strong endorsement of the U.S. champ heading into a post-Raw title defense on the Network. There's a difference between putting the babyface champ in jeopardy and having to overcome the odds versus making him look weak losing to a lower-card heel. WWE just can't help themselves having mid-card champs lose on TV, even when it would help entice Network sign-ups.
Backstage: IC champion Dolph Ziggler was shown walking down the hallway with a determined look on his face.
[Commercial Break at 8:55]
In-ring: IC champion Dolph Ziggler was introduced to the ring as the announcers speculated on whether Ziggler will join Team Cena at Survivor Series. "And the opponent..." Lilian Garcia announced. Triple H's music played. Lawler randomly assumed the entire Authority was coming out, exposing the show's scripting. Moments later, Triple came out with the entire Authority (except for Randy Orton, who is apparently now loosely affiliated with the group).
[Q5 -- second hour] In the ring, Stephanie McMahon spoke about The Authority being winners. Which is why they will put together the strongest Survivor Series team in history. Seth Rollins and Kane were named the first two team members. Hunter whispered into Steph's ear, then Steph announced Randy Orton as the third team member.
Hunter spoke next that unlike what people think, they do not hold grudges and are not making life miserable for those who team with John Cena. So, Dolph Ziggler, let's think about this. Let's say Team Cena wins - who gets the credit? Does Ziggler get any credit, or does Cena get all of the credit as the big hero? Or, what happens if Team Cena loses - who takes the heat for that loss? Hunter dogged Ziggler, saying every time he seems to rise to the top, something gets in his way. He then tried to kiss up to Ziggler working harder than anyone else in WWE, but there is always a glass ceiling. (John Cena)
Steph suddenly interrupted Hunter, asking where Cena is tonight. Hunter said Cena cares so much about his supposed team that he's not even here tonight. But, let's say Ziggler takes the gamble and he gets title shots by teaming with Cena. Let's ay he gets the title, the girls, the fame, and all their adulation. Maybe. "But, that's an awful lot of maybes," Steph interjected. Or, Dolph could just pick up the phone and tell Cena that the answer is no. He said Dolph knows he has the talent and ability, but if he wants certainty, all he has to do is join them. "You can have anything you want," he told Dolph.
Dolph stroked his chin to sell thinking it over, then Steph approached Dolph to tell him to think about himself, not listen to the fans. Dolph spoke for the first time. "I can have anything I want?" Dolph asked. Dolph said what he wants is ... Hunter out of power, his wife gone, the sell-out gone, the jabronis gone, and all of them out of power. For good! Hunter and Steph smirked as the crowd popped for Dolph shouting back at the heel faction.
Hunter smirked and said he wanted to give the fans what they want. Really, he wanted to, but Dolph won't let it happen. So, when the 12-year-olds out there tweet their displeasure about what happens to Dolph, don't blame him. Hunter said he hopes Dolph doesn't end up empty-handed, because it could happen anytime. Like, right now for example, when he defends the IC Title right now against the Future of WWE, Seth Rollins. Dolph sold not being worried as Hunter's music played. The Authority talked strategy as Dolph told them to come bring it heading to break.
[ JC's Reax: Big comeback for Dolph after being booked to look like a chump last week backing down at Kane's threats instead of being ready to fight back. ]
[Commercial Break at 9:10]
4 -- IC champion DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. SETH ROLLINS (w/The Authority) -- Intercontinental Title match
[Q6] Rollins controlled early on with a side headlock. As Dolph and Seth wrestled for control, Cole talked about wanting to see who will run the show if The Authority is out of power in three weeks. Why does there have to be an authority figure at the center of the show? Why not a supporting role (Jack Tunney) and allow the wrestlers to be the stars who decide things in the ring? The match moved to the floor, where Rollins took control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:20]
Back from break, Rollins retained control of the match back in the ring. Ziggler came back with an elbow drop, then he slingshot Rollins into the corner turnbuckle. But, Rollins responded with a running Bucklebomb across the ring for a two count. Rollins tried a move off the top, but Ziggler avoided and hit the Fameasser for a close nearfall.
Suddenly, Jamie Noble hopped on the ring apron to neck-snap Ziggler behind the ref's back. This allowed Rollins to drop Ziggler with the Curb Stomp, making it seem like Ziggler's title was gone. Rollins laughed as he prepared to pin Ziggler, but Randy Orton suddenly ran into the ring and RKO'ed his stablemate, Rollins. No bell from the ref for a DQ. Apparently Orton is still viewed as a teammate to Rollins, so it's not grounds for a DQ. Orton left the ring, walking past Kane, who yelled at Orton on the way down to ringside. Ziggler and Rollins remained in the ring waiting for the dust to clear to apparently go to a finish. But, suddenly, Ziggler was gone and Mercury and Noble entered the ring to join Kane checking on Rollins. No bell, no explanation, just a cut to commercial.
WINNER: ??? when Raw cut to break at 16:18; Ziggler presumably retained the IC Title. Lame ending to a solid TV match trying to get out of a finish. No attempt to protect the in-ring wrestling match by not having a decision.
[Q7] [Commercial Break at 9:30]
Moments Ago: Seth Rollins curb-stomped Dolph Ziggler, but Randy Orton sprung on Rollins with an RKO. They showed Kane yelling at Orton as Orton left up the ramp.
Authority's Office: Stephanie McMahon talked to Triple H about needing to get Authority on the same page, or else they don't have a chance at Survivor Series. Randy Orton then barged in and ranted and raved about Rollins. Steph asked what's wrong with him when he's co-captain with Rollins. "Co-captain?!" Orton shouted, insulted. Orton said he's going to keep doing this to Rollins since they don't have the stomach to deal with him. Orton said maybe he'll be on Cena's team at Survivor Series and he also wants Rollins tonight.
Hunter tensed up like a volcano ready to explode and shouted at Orton to stop. Hunter got in his face to tell him that he needs him to get this done at Survivor Series. He said they're in this together and if he burns, they all burn. He said he needs this Viper at Survivor Series. So, tonight, he gets Rollins and they get this out of their system. Because they need to be on the same page at Survivor Series. "We cannot afford to lose! We have to win, Randy!" Orton calmed down, then they shook on it.
Announcers: Cole and Co. reacted to the backstage bit, then a video interrupted. The video was the second installment of WWE zooming in on a man's eyes as he talked in riddles about wreaking havoc.
Smackdown Replay: Big Show and Mark Henry scrapped at ringside, with Henry getting the best of Show with a shove through the gimmicked ringside barricade. Tonight, they square off one-on-one.
[Commercial Break at 9:41]
[Q8] Back from break, Titus O'Neil was in the ring. Titus nervously repeated some lines about Survivor Series. He said that winning at Survivor Series will officially be spelled "T-I-T-U-S," and he has assured The Authority that he will not back down from anyone. Suddenly, Ryback's music interrupted. Out came Ryback to face O'Neil in singles action.
5 -- RYBACK vs. TITUS O'NEIL
"Feed Me More" chants (rather than "Goldberg" chants) once the bell sounded. Ryback blasted Titus early on, but the taller O'Neil cut off Ryback and kicked him around. "Feed me more now!" Titus taunted in a mocking voice. Ryback took exception and blasted Titus while The Authority watched backstage. Ryback hit the Meathook Clothesline into Shell-Shock for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Ryback at 2:29. More reinforcement of Ryback as a player heading into his "decision" for Survivor Series.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Big Show, who didn't want to talk about Mark Henry at first. Instead, he sent a message to John Cena to pick him for Survivor Series to get The Authority out of power. Show then talked about Henry, calling him a traitor. He said Henry has been to his house, ate in his kitchen, and rode in his bus. And now Henry has hurt him deeply. But, a part of him wants his friend back. Aaaah from the crowd. He said there's also another part of him that wants to knock Henry right out of his life. Show stomped off as Lawler plugged the match up next.
[Commercial Break at 9:51]
Ringside: Members of the Buffalo Bills were shown sitting on the front row. Ring announcer Lilian Garcia introduced the crew and said NFL players watch Raw on Monday nights (as opposed to Monday Night Football).
In-ring: Big Show was introduced to the ring for the Halftime Show match. Mark Henry then came out ready to fight his former friend.
6 -- MARK HENRY vs. BIG SHOW
Henry got in early offense, then got a little too cocky, allowing Show to rock him in the corner. Show followed with a big elbow drop to the chest for a two count.
[Q9 -- third hour] The two big men rolled to the outside, where they collided on the floor. Show rolled back into the ring to break the ref's count, then rolled Henry back into the ring. Show put Henry in his modified Indian Deathlock submission, but Henry grabbed the bottom rope for a break. Very quiet crowd through the first few minutes. This led to the crowd entertaining themselves with unrelated chants.
Big Show tried to engage the crowd by cautiously climbing to the top rope, but Henry knocked him off the top to the mat. Meanwhile, The Authority was shown watching this match on a backstage monitor. Henry then scooped up Show and dropped him with World's Strongest Slam, but Show kicked out at two, drawing a slight reaction to Show kicking out of Henry's finisher.
As the NFL game hit Halftime, Henry and Show brawled to the outside. Henry shoved Show into the ring steps, then picked up the steps and smashed Show in the face with the steps, drawing a DQ.
After the bell sounded, Henry re-arranged the ring steps to try to inflict more punishment to Show, who tried to fight back from his knees. But, Henry cut him off and delivered World's Strongest Slam onto the steps. Henry trash-talked Show, which could be heard throughout the arena as the audience sat quietly. WWE played Henry's music to provide audio, then replayed the DQ finish. As medics checked on Show, Henry pulled out a "That's What I Do" t-shirt and draped it over Show's fallen body.
WINNER: Show via DQ at 6:29. The quiet crowd captured a few things - WWE rushing into the first Henry vs. Show encounter following Henry's heel turn, two legacy stars being watered down and over-exposed by the booking (as Sean Radican wrote about in his Take last week), and two big-men wrestlers having a match designed for two mid-sized wrestlers. It was like two NFL offensive lineman having a route-running contest designed for Wide Receivers.
Backstage: Back to The Authority. Again. Hunter sent Kane off to find out Mark Henry's interest in being on Team Authority. Steph talked about having a solid team -- if Orton and Rollins are on the same page. Hunter said sometimes you have to let guys get this out of their system. "Trust me," he tried to assure Stephanie.
[Commercial Break at 10:08]
Announcers: Cole and Lawler hyped WWE Network while JBL waited his turn to speak. No words from JBL, though. Divas champion A.J. Lee was then shown at the announce position. A few words from A.J., then WWE cut backstage to Renee Young, who was set to interview Brie Bella about being Nikki Bella's personal assistant. But, Nikki interrupted to say she did not approve Brie for an interview. Nikki said no one cares what Brie has to say anyways. Nikki forced Brie to scram, then Renee tried to sign off, but Erick Rowan suddenly appeared in the camera shot wearing the sheep mask for his TV return. Rowan leaned over and touched Renee's hair. "Pretty," he said. "Thank ... you?" Renee said before leaving. Harper put the mask back on. Awkward comedy re-introducing Rowan.
[Q10] In-ring: Nikki Bella came to the ring with Brie Bella for singles action against Emma, who was already in the ring.
7 -- NIKKI BELLA (w/Brie Bella) vs. EMMA
The crowd quickly disengaged from the match and broke into a "C-M Punk" chant directed toward A.J. at the announce table. In the ring, Nikki controlled the match to try to put the focus on her. Nikki put Emma away with her Torture Rack finisher, then brought Brie into the ring to force her to raise her hand in victory.
Post-match, Nikki forced Brie to leave the ring and approach A.J. Lee, who dropped the headsets to hear from Brie. Or, receive a slap from Brie. Nikki celebrated in the ring, then A.J. shoved down Brie and chased after Nikki, who bailed from the ring. Another loud "C-M Punk" chant before WWE played A.J.'s theme music.
WINNER: Nikki at 2:24.
Tonight: Orton and Rollins try to get everything out of their system.
[Commercial Break at 10:20]
Vignette: Xavier Woods was reintroduced as a soul dancer with his own gospel choir. Xavier was clothed in a blue robe as the choir sang in the background. "It's a new day," Xavier exclaimed. The graphic said "A New Day Is Coming."
In-ring: Zack Ryder was standing by in the ring. WWE introduced a tweet from Ryder wanting to be on Cena's team at Survivor Series. Back on Raw, Rusev was introduced as Ryder's opponent. Rusev was sporting a different look with taped ankles/feet and no boots.
8 -- RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. ZACK RYDER
Lawler described this as punishment for anyone who sides with John Cena. Ryder tried an early Broski Boot, but Rusev easily shoved him off and nailed a standing sidekick. After another look at The Authority watching backstage, Rusev put Ryder in The Accolade for a tap-out.
WINNER: Rusev via submission at 1:18.
[Q11] Post-match: Lana took the mic to address Rusev challenging Sheamus for the U.S. Title after Raw. Lana said tonight they will fulfill Vladimir Putin's directive to bring him the U.S. Title. Rusev then took the mic and told Sheamus that he is no different than anyone else - he will hurt, beg, suffer, and be annihilated.
Sheamus's music interrupted for the rebuttal. Sheamus stood on-stage with a message for Rusev that he takes a tremendous amount of pride in wearing this title, using the same lines from Smackdown. Sheamus said Rusev and Lana really are delusional if they think he's losing the title tonight. He warned Rusev about being in for the fight of his life.
[Commercial Break at 10:33]
Backstage: Rusev and Lana were shown walking down the hallway. Stephanie McMahon approached them to talk about loyalty and respect for authority. Steph said everyone understands what could happen after Survivor Series, and since Rusev has never been pinned by anyone on the roster, they would be honored to offer Rusev a position on Team Authority. Lana said they will confer with Vladimir Putin and get back to her. Lana and Steph tentatively shook hands.
In-ring: WWE tag champs Goldust & Stardust were already in the ring for singles action. Opposite them were Los Matadores.
9 -- WWE tag champ "STARDUST" CODY RHODES (w/WWE tag champ Goldust) vs. FERNANDO (w/Diego and El Torito)
Miz and Damien Sandow returned to the show on commentary. Cole sighed and looked annoyed as Miz started his shtick while Sandow mimicked him over his shoulder. Cole asked why he's out here, and Miz said he pays attention to the tag division. Goldust and Diego got into in on the outside, so Torito dropkicked Goldust into Miz and Sandow. Chaos on the outside, then Fernando surprised Cody from behind with a backstabber in the ring. It was good for the win.
WINNER: Fernando at 2:40. That usual deal where the mid-card champ(s) loses to set up a future title match. Or not...
Earlier Tonight: Mr. McMahon set up The Authority's power on the line at Survivor Series, Randy Orton RKO'ed Seth Rollins in Rollins's IC Title match, and Hunter tried to get Orton on the same page by yelling in his face.
[Q12] Up Next: Rollins vs. Orton.
[Commercial Break at 10:46]
Friday night: Rhodes Bros. vs. Usos (instead of Los Matadores) in a steel cage for the WWE Tag Titles on Smackdown.
Ringside: The Authority was ringside. Hunter and Stephanie were sitting near the timekeeper's table, while Kane was ringside.
In-ring: Randy Orton was introduced to the ring first for the main event. Seth Rollins then came out with Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble to face Orton.
10 -- RANDY ORTON vs. SETH ROLLINS
The bell sounded and the two stablemates stood opposite each other. Orton delivered the first blow with a kick to the gut, then ran over Seth with a clothesline. Orton stared down at Hunter, who sold annoyance, and Steph, who frowned. Orton then chucked Seth out of the ring and followed up with a clothesline to the back of the head. Orton continued to punish Seth as the crowd sat quietly for the heel vs. heel match, despite WWE trying to put Orton in a "cheerable" position the past few weeks. Raw cut to break with Orton in control.
[Commercial Break at 10:55]
Raw returned with Orton on the floor and Rollins in the ring. In the background were Kane, Noble, and Mercury lined up shoulder-to-shoulder in their business suits. Orton returned to the ring and continued to punish Rollins as Hunter loosened his tie to sell that he was sweating the match.
[Q13 -- over-run] Rollins gained control as WWE cut to a shot of Noble talking into his wrist mic as if he were a Secret Service agent. Orton cut off Seth and threw him to the floor, where Orton bounced Rollins off the announce table with a back drop suplex. Orton cleared the table as Hunter tried to calm him down and keep things within the boundaries of blowing off some steam.
Back in the ring, Seth caught Orton with a kick to the face. But, Orton crotched Seth on the top turnbuckle. Orton followed with a big superplex for a two count. He tried to follow with a second-rope DDT, but Seth ducked and dumped Orton over the top rope to the floor. Seth followed with a suicide dive to Orton on the outside.
Seth rolled Orton back into the ring, then delivered a springboard kick to the head for a two count. Seth wanted the Curb Stomp, but Orton popped to his feet for a snap powerslam. Another nearfall. Orton followed with a second-rope DDT after eyeballing Triple H, then Orton woke up the crowd teasing the RKO. Steph held out her hand like, "What are you doing?," then Orton went for the RKO, but Seth ducked and caught Orton with a quick three count for the win.
WINNER: Rollins at 13:15.
Post-match: Noble and Mercury hit the ring to celebrate with Seth, then pat Orton on the shoulder to console him. Hunter approached the ring like, "Okay, we're good now, right?" as Seth continued to stand tall with Kane, Mercury, and Noble. Orton then approached HUnter to ask what he wants him to do, saying this is really hard for him. Hunter grabbed Orton's hand to keep him cool, then Orton approached Seth, who kept his distance. Orton shook hands with Noble, then a frightened Mercury, then Kane. Kane said they're all together here.
Finally, Orton approached Seth, who tried to say they're on the same page and they have to put their beef to rest. Seth extended his hand and said he's sorry. Orton shook his hand. Seth smiled. Orton pulled him in close, then dropped him with the RKO. Hunter ripped off his coat ringside, then Orton chucked Noble, Mercury, and Kane out of the ring. Orton wanted The Punt to Seth, but Hunter slid into the ring to cut off Orton. Hunter tried to get everyone to back down while he dealt with Orton. "Look at me!" Hunter told Orton as they stood forehead-to-forehead in the ring. Orton caught his breath, surveyed the damage, looked at Hunter, they bumped into each other, and Orton punched Hunter in the face. Orton putting his hands on the boss set up Kane, Mercury, and Noble tackling and attacking Orton. But, Orton fought them all off. He then grabbed Seth and pounded on him on the announce table. Mercury tried to intervene, but he took an RKO. Orton continued to punish Seth until Kane and Noble pulled him away. They couldn't get Orton away, so Seth came out of nowhere with Curb Stomp to Orton.
Orton sold being KO'ed as blood came off his forehead. Hunter woke up and assessed the situation while telling everyone to stop. Steph yelled down at Orton while Hunter unbuttoned his dress shirt and assessed the situation. Hunter and Steph kind of shared hidden messages, then Steph told Hunter to finish this. Hunter wiped his head in frustration, not wanting to do this. Hunter wiped Orton's head as Rollins and Seth told him to finish Orton because they don't need him. Hunter couldn't go through with it, so he left ringside as Rollins set up Orton for the end. Meanwhile, Kane tripped over one of the henchmen, drawing laughs ringside.
As Hunter and Steph watched the Titantron away from ringside, Rollins hopped on the announce table and measured Orton for a Curb Stomp into the ring steps, drawing more blood from Orton's forehead. Away from the proceedings, Hunter frowned and walked away with Stephanie. WWE cut back to Seth, who did Orton's pose as Orton sold unconsciousness on the ground. Raw signed off 16 minutes past the top of the hour.
WWE Network Post-Show
After Raw went off the air, the Network feed resumed with Orton being tended to by the ringside medic while Rollins helped the henchmen leave ringside. Back to Orton, who was fit for a stretcher by EMTs. Rusev's music played in the background as Orton was stretchered away from ringside. Rusev hit the ring as Orton disappeared to the back. Sheamus's music then played to bring out the U.S. champion for the title defense. Lilian Garcia handled formal ring introductions before the bell sounded.
11 -- U.S. champion SHEAMUS vs. RUSEV (w/Lana) -- U.S. Title match
Rusev controlled the action early on before Sheamus fought back with a clubbing forearm. Without John Cena on the show, a portion of the remaining crowd picked up a mini-dueling chant of "Let's Go Sheamus / Sheamus Sucks." Sheamus tried a running battering ram from the ring apron, but Rusev intercepted with a powerslam.
Rusev took control of the match back in the ring. But, Sheamus responded with Ten Forearms to the Chest. Sheamus followed with a battering ram from the apron for a two count. But, Rusev responded with a kick to the face. Rusev tried to put Sheamus in The Accolade, but Sheamus blocked the full application, powered to his feet, and delivered White Noise for a nearfall.
Both men were slow to their feet, but Sheamus wanted the Brogue Kick once Rusev got up. Rusev moved, though, and caught his knee in the corner. Rusev followed with kick strikes to a prone champion. Rusev then stomped Sheamus's back and slapped on The Accolade. Full application. Sheamus has never tapped out, according to the announcers. Sheamus faded out in the hold. No signs of life. The ref asked for some response, but nothing from Sheamus. He had to call for the bell, giving Rusev the win and the title.
WINNER: Rusev at 12:28 to capture the U.S. Title. Sluggish start and decent ending that engaged a worn-out crowd about 6/10 on a scale of 0-10.
Post-match, Lawler lamented Rusev winning the U.S. Title, going for FDR's Pearl Harbor line about this being a day that will life in infamy. JBL said he can't believe Rusev now holds the U.S. Title that he once held. After a replay of Sheamus fading out in Rusev's finisher, they showed Rusev and Lana standing tall in the ring as the Russian flag dropped from the rafters. Sheamus sold on the mat while Rusev continued to celebrate. Cole went heavy on the U.S. Title now in the hands of Russia. Cole signed off as Raw officially ended 38 minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A three hour and 38 minute edition of Raw. This show was stretching it at two hours, had no business being three hours, and certainly had no business going past three-and-a-half-hours. The Authority appeared in nearly every segment, the roster is grossly under-developed, and WWE does not allow the audience to anticipate and get excited for the majority of what happens on the show with a week-to-week booking approach. Henry turned on Show last week? Here's a grudge match this week. Rusev called out Sheamus three nights ago on Smackdown? Here's a title match with no bridge to Raw. And then there's Dean Ambrose, who went from a centerpiece of the show to being in a curiously slow-starting program with Bray Wyatt where he's now an after-thought. But, WWE put Ambrose - a rising, potential top babyface - in his place at Hell in a Cell when they had him lose the blow-off Cell match to Seth Rollins, so no need to invest in Dean, apparently. It's a weekly booking mess exacerbated by the three-hour format that drowns out some bright spots like a potentially refreshed Randy Orton being set up for the "lone wolf, justice-seeker" babyface role.
Finally, no mention of WWE World Hvt. champion Brock Lesnar during the show. Paul Heyman was mentioned once or twice, but the lack of acknowledgment of the top champion in the promotion continues to be an issue, even if he can't provide immediate help to current storylines.
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