WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 3/30: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - WM31 fall-out, Lesnar seeks & destroys, WWE Title match teased, Sting on WWE Network
Mar 30, 2015 - 10:16:54 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
March 30, 2015 - Episode #1,139
Live in San Jose, Calif.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: Fall-out from WrestleMania 31 with new WWE World Hvt. champion Seth Rollins, former champion Brock Lesnar officially advertised on the pre-show, Sheamus returning, new U.S. champion John Cena with an Open Challenge, new IC champion Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Title, and more.
Live Raw on USA Network
The night after WrestleMania, Raw opened with the Raw intro video, full pyro and fireworks, and Michael Cole hyping WM31 fall-out tonight on Raw.
Suddenly, Brock Lesnar's music played. Out came the former WWE World Hvt. champion dressed to fight. Not to talk. Lesnar, sporting giant scratches on his face, marched to the ring with Paul Heyman by his side. Lesnar entered the ring to cheers as Heyman adjusted his tie and sneered in the background.
Heyman spoke first. He said his name is Paul Heyman and he is the advocate for the most non-PG ass-kicker of the PG Era. (Loud cheers) Brrrrrock Lessssnar. Heyman said they're going to talk about what happened last night at WrestleMania. (Boos) Heyman said his client put an ass-kicking on the Samoan badass (cheers) and suplexed him over and over again. "Suplex City" chant with a soccer rhythm chant from the international contingent. Lesnar smiled. Heyman said his client called it "Suplex City, b----."
Heyman continued to describe Lesnar's dominance until Reigns showed some fight. He said he will not sit here and talk up Reigns, but Lesnar agrees with him that Reigns showed something, despite having a long way to go, kid. Heyman said Lesnar had enough of the ass-kicking, so he put Reigns down with another F5. And here comes slimy Seth Rollins, who cashes in MITB, makes it a triple threat, Curb-Stomps everyone in sight, and scores a pinfall on the challenger, not the champion, and scurries away the most undeserving WWE champion in anyone's lifetime.
Heyman said his father was a prominent New York attorney and he has informed Lesnar of his legal rights - he can get a court order reversing the decision, Seth will no longer be the winner, he will tie up WWE in litigation for 3-4 months, and the title will be held up. Unfortunately for him, his client thinks all lawyers are scumbags, Lesnar will not go through the legal process, and does not want to tie up WWE. "My client Brock Lesnar wants to invoke his re-match clause!" Heyman said to cheers. And he has been authorized to tell you that the re-match will not happen at Summerslam, Extreme Rules, or next year's WrestleMania, but right here, right now, tonight. The crowd popped big. "Yes!" chants followed.
Cue up Stephanie McMahon's music for the interruption. Big boos for Stephanie's arrival on the stage. Steph said everyone is so ready to move past WrestleMania. (Boos) She said last year's Mania was so unbelievable. (Boos) And, Brock, that was one of the greatest main events she's ever seen. Brock took it to Reigns, but from the looks of things, she thinks Reigns took it to Lesnar a little too. "Ronda Rousey" chant from the crowd, which Michael Cole acknowledged on commentary. Steph played schoolteacher telling the audience not to talk over her and make her mad if they want an answer.
Steph continued that the new WWE champion Seth Rollins got on a plane, headed to New York to be on the "Today Show" in place of Lesnar, who lost, and Seth is not here yet flying back to California. Steph said she has no doubt that Seth will be up for the challenge tonight because he is a fighting champion.
Steph headed to the back, so Heyman spoke from the ring. Heyman said that for the first time in over a decade, his client is going to wrestle on Raw. He said that Brock will give Seth a beating, then he will make Seth tap out or he will pin him. Then, he will announce Lesnar once again as the reigning, defending, undisputed World Hvt. champion of the world. Lesnar confidently bounced up and down as the crowd cheered.
On commentary, Cole half-way advertised the title match, reiterating Steph's confidence that Seth will be up for the challenge. Cole, JBL, and Booker T then hyped two other title matches tonight - new U.S. champion John Cena's Open Challenge and Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Title. Bryan-Ziggler is next.
[Q2] [Commercial Break at 8:15]
WM31 Photo Gallery: Triple H in his gladiator costume, Ronda Rousey and the Four Horsewomen, pyro, A.J. Lee & Paige, John Cena, Roman Reigns punching Brock Lesnar.
In-ring: New IC champion Daniel Bryan was already in the ring back from break. The crowd enjoyed "Yes!" chants and Dolph Ziggler was also already in the ring. Formal ring introductions from Lilian Garcia, then the bell sounded to begin the match one night after a ladder match.
1 -- New IC champion DANIEL BRYAN vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER -- Intercontinental Title match
Former champion Bad News Barrett was on commentary to discuss the match and complain about losing the title in a ladder match last night. He noted he's in-line for a title re-match at a time of his choosing. Meanwhile, Bryan and Ziggler locked up to dueling chants of "Daniel Bryan / Let's Go Ziggler" for the babyface battle. On commentary, Barrett complained about having to defend the title in a seven-man ladder match last night, heelishly omitting information that he lost to almost all of the challengers in non-title matches before WM31.
Ziggler drove Bryan to the corner and got in a few headbutts before drawing the ref's ire. Bryan responded with strikes and blows to the face before putting Ziggler in the surfboard stretch to applause. Ziggler came back with a dropkick, then he charged Bryan against the ropes, but Bryan kind of ducked and Ziggler flew to the floor, but Bryan ended up falling to the outside, too. Both men sold on the floor heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:23]
Back from break, Ziggler was working on Bryan in the ring. Ziggler missed with a corner attack, then Bryan nailed a flying knee and running dropkick in the corner. Barrett said this is great watching them beat each other up before he gets his re-match. Bryan and Ziggler then battled up-top, where Bryan delivered a super back drop suplex for a close two count. Bryan recovered, then lit up Ziggler with kick strikes to the chest. Ziggler ducked the roundhouse kick finish, tried a roll-up, and a pin exchange unfolded. It led to a mid-ring Backslide Battle until Ziggler had enough and posted Bryan shoulder-first. Ziggler with a superkick, but Bryan got the shoulder up on a cover.
The crowd roared its approval as both men sold on the mat. Both men slowly came to their feet trading bombs. Suddenly, Bryan exploded onto Ziggler with his flying knee finisher. Bryan covered and it was good for the win.
WINNER: Bryan at 11:52 to retain the IC Title. Strong TV singles match. They could have torn the house down going 15-20 minutes, but WWE wanted the shift the focus afterward...
[Q3] Post-match, Bad News Barrett hit the ring and attacked Bryan from behind. As the crowd booed, Barrett warmed up for the Bullhamer. But, suddenly, Sheamus's music played. Some boos. Sheamus made his big TV return running off Barrett. Sheamus, sporting a giant mohawk with a crazy-looking beard, checked on Ziggler and Bryan. Then, he suddenly turned to Bryan and nailed the Brogue Kick, confirming a heel return. Sheamus then stalked Ziggler and pounded on him in the corner. Ziggler fought back to cheers, but Sheamus dropped him with White Noise.
After Barrett disappeared, Sheamus stood tall in the ring as the crowd booed. Then, the crowd chanted, "You Look Stupid." Sheamus egged on the crowd, then he grabbed the mic. "I'm back," Sheamus said after breathing in the moment. The crowd groaned as Sheamus left the ring. Sheamus posed on the stage to boos as the camera zoomed in on his new combination mohawk and Captain Lou beard.
Graphic: Rollins vs. Lesnar is now officially advertised as a WWE World Title match tonight. JBL shouted that Seth just walked in the door.
Network plug: Sting will be interviewed on WWE Network following Raw. But, what about the Hall of Fame ceremony on USA Network? Speaking of which, Cole advertised a video on the 2015 HOF after the commercial.
[Commercial Break at 8:37]
WM31 Photo Gallery: Big Show winning the Andre Battle Royal, Cena locking Rusev in the STF, Undertaker posing post-victory, Bray Wyatt's entrance pre-loss, and Rock and Ronda knocking fists.
Video Package: Clips from the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. Back to Cole, who plugged a one-hour version of the Hall of Fame special tonight after Raw on USA Network.
[Q4] In-ring: Cole introduced a new tag team on the scene. Lucha Dragons's music played to bring out Sin Cara and Kalisto making their official main roster debut after a few matches on Superstars and Main Event. The crowd jumped in with the "Lucha, Lucha" rhythmic chant, which Cole said was because tonight's audience knows NXT, where the Dragons came from.
2 -- WWE tag champions TYSON KIDD & CESARO & THE ASCENSION (KONNOR & VIKTOR) vs. NEW DAY (BIG E. & KOFI KINGSTON w/Xavier Woods) & LUCHA DRAGONS (SIN CARA & KALISTO)
Booker said SIn Cara has always been missing that one thing, and maybe his tag partner will take him to the top. They built to Kalisto tagging in to face crowd favorite Cesaro, who over-powered Kalisto for a second until Kalisto went Rey Mysterio on Cesaro with a flying head scissors after multiple revolutions. Cesaro rolled out of the ring and nearly headed to the back selling being stunned by the move.
Kalisto then tagged in Big E., drawing boos. "New Day ... Sucks" chants from the crowd, which JBL acknowledged. Kofi then splashed Konnor after receiving a tag. Sin Cara tagged back in to battle Konnor as the crowd chanted "NXT." Ascension double-teamed Sin Cara to no reaction, then Konnor covered Cara for a nearfall. Konnor worked on Cara heading to break. Basically, the post-Mania crowd cares about (1a) Cesaro, (1b) Kalisto, (2) Kidd, and that's it.
[Commercial Break at 8:50]
Back live, a European Football match had broken out during the break. "Ole! Ole" chants, then Cesaro and Kidd delivered the Big Swing and dropkick combo on Sin Cara. Back to Konnor, who worked on Cara to no reaction. Hot tag to Kofi, drawing boos. Kofi bounced around the ring, shouted "New Day," the crowd responded, "Sucks," and Kofi hit the Boom Drop for a two count. Cross-body on Kidd for another two count. JBL tried to own it as any reaction being a good reaction.
Suddenly, Cesaro and Viktor got into it after a blind tag went down. This allowed Kalisto to enter and dazzle the crowd with offense to Viktor. "This kid got a career," Booker declared. Bodies started flying in and out of the ring. Suddenly, Kalisto stalked Viktor for his Salida del Sol finisher and connected for the pin and the win. The crowd popped big for Kalisto, then babyfaces entered the ring to celebrate.
WINNERS: Team Kalisto at 10:03. Batter up on a new star. Kalisto has the Rey Mysterio combination of appealing to the younger audience/families and the older/hardcore audience who appreciates great action, skill, high-flying, and charisma.
Locker Room: Paul Heyman approached Brock Lesnar, telling him that Seth Rollins is here. Lesnar smiled and they walked off.
Vignette: Adrian Neville flying off the top rope in super slow motion. "NXT" chants in the background. "NEVILLE" flashed on the screen to a pop as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:56]
[Q5 -- Second Hour]
WM31 Photo Gallery: Seth Rollins as new WWE World champion, Levi's Stadium, IC Title ladder match, the NWO Reunion, The Undertaker's entrance, and Triple H's entrance.
In-ring: Michael Cole said it is time for the WWE World Hvt. Title match. They showed Lilian Garcia, but Brock Lesnar's music played and out came Lesnar with Paul Heyman. Lesnar stormed the ring ready for a fight, then Seth Rollins's music played. Out came Rollins sporting the WWE World Title around his waist. Rollins proudly pounded the belt as Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble clapped it for him. Rollins had a swagger as he walked down to the ring with the belt around his waist. Rollins walked right up to Lesnar and put the belt right in his face. Heyman had to pull Lesnar away to not do anything before the match.
Lilian Garcia then handled formal ring intros as the crowd continued to process what was happening, expecting some sort of shenanigans supposedly putting a supposed title match on now instead of at the end of the show. Seth continued to taunt Brock with the title belt, then he paused before handing over the belt to referee Mike Chioda.
x -- WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS (w/J&J Security) vs. BROCK LESNAR (w/Paul Heyman) -- WWE World Hvt. Title match
Suddenly, Seth left the ring. He said he spoke with Stephanie before he came out here and he's feeling kind of jet-lagged, to be honest. And his foot kind of hurts from curb-stomping Lesnar and Roman Reigns last night. Lesnar just seethed at this. Seth said he's a fighting champion and he will give Lesnar his re-match. Just not tonight. Rollins chuckled to himself, then Lesnar left the ring and destroyed Seth on the outside. Lesnar chucked Seth back into the ring and tried to take Seth to Suplex City, but Seth landed on his feet. Seth landed a kick to Lesnar's head, but Lesnar stood up and no-sold. Seth got the heck out of the ring, but Lesnar grabbed him on the outside. J&J Security ran interference, so Lesnar clotheslined them, then Seth ran over the guardrail.
Still on the outside, Lesnar straight shoved the announce table over onto the announcers. Lesnar lost his mind, as he scooped up poor Michael Cole and gave him an F5 in the middle of the ring. Heyman tried to calm down Lesnar, who then grabbed the cameraman and teased an F5, but Stephanie McMahon walked out and begged Brock to put that man down. Lesnar smirked like what are you going to do about it? Lesnar wasn't having it, so he gave the cameraman the F5.
Steph paced the floor, then she suspended Brock Lesnar indefinitely because his consequences have actions. Steph scolded Brock and told him to leave. Now! Brock remained standing in the ring as Heyman tried to talk him. They cut to ringside, where Cole was KO'ed, the announce table was a mess, and Booker T and JBL sold being crushed underneath the table.
Back in the ring, Lesnar picked up the cameraman and gave him another F5 to a pop. Lesnar then left the ring as paramedics came down to ringside looking for signs of life from the announcers. (Good report by VIP member Ted at Raw, who noted before the taping: "Watch for a stretcher angle tonight. Producers are spending a lot of time talking to folks dressed as paramedics in yellow and black firesuits to the left of the stage.")
WINNER: No Match. If WWE was going to pull the title match off the table, they had to deliver something big. Brock Lesnar destroying people was pretty big. And, it effectively wrote him off TV with the suspension until he comes back for a big title re-match.
[Commercial Break at 9:09]
Back live, paramedics put Michael Cole on a backbrace while other medical personnel checked on JBL, Booker T, and the cameraman. No voices since all of the announcers were taken out, so WWE cut to a replay from Moments Ago showing Brock Lesnar destroying everyone after Seth Rollins bailed on the title match. Then, footage of Stephanie McMahon suspending Brock indefinitely.
Back live, Cole remained motionless on the backbrace and JBL started to come to life.
Backstage: Renee Young caught up to Stephanie McMahon, who explained her decision suspending Brock after he took out a cameraman, Michael Cole, Booker T, and JBL. She said Brock endangered people tonight, and he will get his title re-match when she says it's time. But, you know what, a suspension isn't good enough. Stephanie said she's going to fine Brock. And, if Brock thinks he's going to go back to MMA, well he just announced on SportsCenter that he re-signed with WWE. "Which means I own that son-of-a-b----." Steph stomped off.
[Q6] Still to come: John Cena's Open Challenge for the U.S. Title.
[Commercial Break at 9:17]
WM31 Photo Gallery: Bray Wyatt hanging upside down vs. Taker, Sting splashing Triple H and DX on the outside, Travis Barker on the drums, Kevin Nash with a Too Sweet, Rusev's ring entrance, and John Cena winning the U.S. Title.
In-ring: Stardust was hanging out on the guardrail as Byron Saxton introduced the show standing by himself at the announce table scraps. Good thing the Raw pre-show was in the arena tonight for Saxton to be on-hand. Is Jerry Lawler already in Fresno for the Smackdown taping? Damien Mizdow was introduced to The Miz's theme music to a big reaction as Stardust's opponent. No sign of Miz.
3 -- DAMIEN MIZDOW/SANDOW vs. STARDUST
On commentary, Saxton tried to talk to the audience about getting organized after seeing his colleagues taken out just moments ago. Sandow, who broke free from Miz in the Andre Battle Royal at WrestleMania, played to an appreciative crowd, then pounded on Stardust in the corner. Stardust made a comeback, then taunted the crowd, which responded with "Cody, Cody" chants. A rally clap followed, then Sandow suddenly busted out Miz's Skullcrushing Finale. It was good for the pin and the win.
Post-match, The Miz stormed the ring and blasted Sandow from behind to boos. Miz nailed the Skullcrushing Finale, then shouted down at Sandow that he's nothing without him. "A-hole" chant from the crowd. Miz kept talking trash as the a-hole chant grew louder. "You're nothing!" Miz shouted at Sandow. Miz then stood up and shouted toward the crowd, saying they did this to Mizdow. Miz pointed to himself over and over before his music played.
WINNER: Sandow at 2:25. It will be interesting to see how non-post-Mania Crowds react to Sandow in a standalone face role, but it's apparent WWE is going to take their time getting there by keeping heel magnet Miz tied to Sandow's character. Also, there was something different about Miz delivering that beat down that felt superstar-quality and not "playing pro wrestler."
Network plug: Sting discusses his loss to Triple H at WrestleMania after Raw.
Up Next: The Rock & Ronda Rousey squared off with Triple & Stephanie McMahon.
[Commercial Break at 9:28]
[Q7] Photo Gallery: Media coverage of the Rock/Rousey-Hunter/Stephanie angle from WrestleMania. They went to still photos of how it played out, dryly narrated by Byron Saxton, who tried balancing selling the injuries to his colleagues with trying to be excited about the angle.
They cut to Saxton on-camera to introduce the annual WrestleMania Weekend video package. Cue up tonight's biggest heel, Stephanie McMahon, playing friendly corporate person in the community service portion. And, another top heel, Triple H, hanging out with kids looking like a nice person. Besides the inconsistent heel vs. face aspect, they just need to make it about the kids instead of patting themselves on the back.
In-ring: Curtis Axel was standing in the ring. After telling viewers not to change the channel, Axel claimed the entire roster is jealous of him. He said it took 29 other wrestlers to eliminate him from the Andre Battle Royal, so the Road to Axel-treme Rules begins now. As he ripped off his shirt, high-energy music suddenly played and the crowd popped when Adrian Neville appeared on the Titantron. "Neville" came out on-stage in a coat and posed on the stage before pyro shot off. Big reaction as Neville hit ringside to attack Axel. They eventually made it back into the ring and Lilian Garcia announced Neville as "The Man Who Gravity Forgot."
4 -- NEVILLE vs. CURTIS AXEL
Neville dazzled with strikes and high-flying offense as former NXT announcer Byron Saxton talked up Neville's NXT background. Neville dropped Axel to the corner, then he climbed to the top rope, balanced himself, the crowd hushed, and Neville came off the top with his twisting corkscrew press, the Red Arrow, for the pin and the win. Neville celebrated in the ring as the crowd cheered.
WINNER: Neville at 1:11. Good introduction. The strategy is putting the NXT guys in front of the biggest collection of NXT/hardcore fans of the year to make new stars seem like really big deals and hope the general audience catches on over time.
Up Next: John Cena's Open Challenge.
Network Plug: Stone Cold's Podcast is now Chris Jericho's space. John Cena will be Jericho's guest next Monday after Raw.
[Commercial Break at 9:41]
WM31 Photo Gallery: Rusev standing on his military tank, Taker dropping a leg on Bray Wyatt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hunter's entrance (again for the Terminator tie-in), pyro from the blimp shot, Brock Lesnar on the way to the ring, and The Rock.
[Q8] Ringside: The announce table was still messed up and Byron Saxton was standing behind the table scraps. Saxton reset the show, then flashed back to earlier tonight when Brock tried to get Rollins, but Rollins ran away, so Brock destroyed everyone ringside. Saxton said the early word on Cole is a potential cervical fracture.
On-stage: New U.S. champion John Cena came out on-stage sporting a new black t-shirt with red, white, and blue lettering. Cena heard the "John Cena Sucks" sing-song from the post-Mania crowd, comically pretended to leave, came back on-stage, smiled, and stormed the ring. Cena posed with the U.S. Title belt to boos, then Saxton narrated still photos of how Cena won the U.S. Title after Lana's interference back-fired against Rusev.
In the ring, Cena started talking. Boos. Cena said he doesn't think this audience gets the respect it deserves because it is by far the best audience of the year. Cena said they are always vocal, loud, and budding musicians. "John Cena Suuuuuucks" broke out. Cena held up the mic for them to sing it out. Cena then held up the U.S. Title belt and boldly declared, "The Champ is here." Cena said they've been going after it for a long time, and he might be dressed like Johnny Cash, but he is John Cena.
Cena said he is not here to change people's minds, but to issue an open challenge. He told anyone to come get some. "Here comes Rusev," Saxton said, jumping the gun. No Rusev, but Dean Ambrose's music played. Ambrose hit the ring and said he wants the title shot. Cue up Lilian Garcia for formal ring introductions on a pretty big U.S. Title match. Saxton said he's surprised to see Dean out here after being in the ladder match last night.
5 -- U.S. champion JOHN CENA vs. DEAN AMBROSE -- United States Title match
Early feeling-out process, then Dean cleared Cena to the outside. Cena bounced up and down shaking it off, then returned to the ring apron heading to an early break.
[Commercial Break at 9:54]
Back live, the match was ongoing and Smackdown announcer Jerry Lawler was now at ringside after not heading off to Fresno for tomorrow's taping. Saxton and Lawler reset the show heading to the top of the hour, then Cena did his handwave and delivered the Five Knuckle Shiffle. Cena wanted an AA, but Ambrose slid down the back. Ambrose then nailed a rebound lariat for a close two count.
[Q9 -- third hour] Ambrose wanted Dirty Deeds, but Cena blocked with an AA teaser. Right hand blow. Bombs traded. Rights. Rights. More right hands. Back elbow from Ambrose, then he nailed a swinging DDT out of the corner for a two count. After Cena rolled to the outside, Ambrose climbed to the top rope and delivered a flying attack to Cena on the floor. Referee Charles Robinson administered a ten count, which drew "Whoos" after each number. Nice. "Threeeeee - Whoo!"
Back in the ring at seven, Cena nailed the AA, but Dean kicked out just before three. "Let's Go Ambrose" chant as Cena and Ambrose battled on the top turnbuckle. Cena wanted a top-rope AA, but Dean blocked. Dean's hands slipped on a sunset flip powerbomb, Dean re-gripped Cena, and he went for it, but Cena went right into an STF. Cena loosely applied the hold, then Dean reached the bottom rope for a break.
"John Cena Suuuucks" chant threw Cena off his game, then Dean suddenly dropped Cena on the mat and put him in a tight-looking STF. The crowd popped for Dean putting Cena in his own submission move. Cena reached for the bottom rope, but Ambrose held onto his fingers trying to keep him from reaching the rope. Nicely done. But, Cena broke free. Back-and-forth, then Dean suddenly nailed Dirty Deeds, but Cena kicked out.
Saxton described this as sudden-death overtime seeing who can push through and get the win. Both men came to their feet at 13:30. Right hand from Dean. Kick to the gut by Cena. Right jab. Right jab. Wobble. Right hands. Dean sold feeling loopy, then wiped Cena's face. Dean suddenly went for a cross-body block, but Cena rolled through, squatted Dean in the air, and delivered an AA. It was good for the win.
Post-match, Cena stood up and celebrated to his music, then eventually stopped to look down at Dean, who collected himself after tasting defeat. Dean wobbled to his feet, then Robinson handed the U.S. Title belt to Cena. Dean then approached Cena, saying that's his belt. Cena appreciated the battle, then extended his hand and Cena slapped his hand. Cena left the ring and Dean's music played on the way out. No Rusev.
WINNER: Cena at 14:21 to retain the U.S. Title. Another really good TV singles match. Ambrose, who is booked like Mr. Teflon, was kept strong in defeat holding his own with a top star like Cena. This is what the U.S. Title and IC Title can mean for the roster helping elevate everyone in the process of making both titles mean something.
WM31 Photo Gallery: WrestleMania main event.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in new WWE World champion Seth Rollins. With Lesnar kicked out of the building and suspended, Seth acted tough and flashed a big smile. Seth said he thinks Lesnar got what he deserves. He said Brock's behavior is compeltely unbecoming of a WWE Superstar, much less a WWE champion. So smug. He said he hopes Brock gets a hefty seven-figure fine. Seth said he earned the right to cash in his MITB contract whenever he wanted to, which was when Brock and Roman Reigns least expected it. Seth said they should focus on him, not Brock and Reigns. He vowed to keep the title for a very long time.
Suddenly, Randy Orton walked into the shot. There it is. Orton told Seth to focus on the fact that he beat Seth at WrestleMania. Not just beat him, but damn-near ripped his head off with an RKO. Orton told Seth that he has a big problem staring him in the face. Plus, he never got his title re-match after last year's WrestleMania. Kane and Big Show then walked in to stand behind Seth. Seth said he might have one problem, but it looks like Orton has three. But, he is a fair champion, so he will give Orton until the end of the night to find two partners to face the three of them tonight. Seth cackled about Orton having no friends. Seth left, then Big Show chuckled in Orton's face.
In-ring: A.J. Lee was introduced to the ring for a Divas tag match.
[Q10] [Commercial Break at 10:14]
WM31 Photo Gallery: Rock/Ronda-Hunter/Stephanie. Saxton and Lawler drew attention to Ronda Rousey's tweet advertising they're "just getting started."
6 -- A.J. LEE & PAIGE & NAOMI vs. NATALYA & THE BELLA TWINS (Divas champion NIKKI BELLA & BRIE BELLA) -- six-Divas tag match
Back at ringside, Natalya was standing by in heel mode. The Bella Twins, who lost to A.J. and Paige at WrestleMania, were introduced for the tag match. It was Natalya with the Bellas against A.J., Paige, and Naomi in a six-Divas match. After everyone processed Natalya on the heel side of things, the Divas settled in with some good back-and-forth leading to a mid-match break. A good night for full-length or effectively short matches.
[Commercial Break at 10:23]
Back live, Saxton and Lawler reset the show. Lawler said he's back at Raw not because he wants to be, but because circumstances dictated it. The crowd started various European chants as the action continued with A.J. selling for the heels. The crowd eventually played along with a "Let's Go A.J." chant.
[Q11] Naomi finally got the hot tag after the long beat down. Chaos broke out, then the Bellas accidentally took each other out. Naomi capitalized with the Rear View for the pin and the win. A.J., Naomi, and Paige celebrated another victory over the Bellas, who tried to regroup on the outside.
WINNERS: Team A.J. at 13:07. The first chapter in the Bellas breaking up (again), or just a one-off to get to the finish? It will be interesting to see. Surprising not to see an NXT women's wrestler debut tonight, like Paige last year, but this was about continuing A.J. and Paige's issues with the Bellas.
Announcers: Saxton and Lawler reset the show standing behind what was left of the announce table. Saxton fed to a replay of Brock Lesnar snapping when Seth Rollins dodged a WWE World Title match, sending Brock into a rage. And then he was suspended indefinitely by Stephanie McMahon.
Locker Room: Ryback approached Randy Orton looking for a tag chance. Ryback cut a Ryback Promo as Orton kind of leaned back not sure what to do with this guy. Ryback said he likes feeding on The Authority, and Orton shook his hand. Lawler said Orton has one friend for tonight's main event.
[Commercial Break at 10:36]
WM31 Photo Gallery: Mania stage, Sting's orchestra, Bellas vs. Paige & A.J., Brock Lesnar sitting on the ring apron, Seth Rollins new WWE World champion, and Undertaker posing on the ring steps.
This Thursday: Dolph Ziggler & Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus & Bad News Barrett in tag action on Smackdown. Also, John Cena, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns will be on Smackdown.
In-ring: Goldust was standing by for singles action. Cue up Rusev's music to bring out the former U.S. champion sans Lana. Rusev waved his Russian flag and posed, then glared toward Goldust. Before the match started, they cut to the announcers. Lawler said the news on Michael Cole is not good - possible cervical damage.
7 -- RUSEV vs. GOLDUST
Rusev picked Goldust apart, yelling in Goldust's face in-between moves. Goldust put up a little fight, which only angered Rusev. So, he slapped on The Accolade and Goldust tapped out. Rusev kept the hold locked on since Lana was not present to call him off. The ref finally got Rusev to release his finisher and Lawler dejectedly said they might be looking at another win streak for Rusev. Saxton said he has Cena in his sights.
WINNER: Rusev via submission at 2:17.
[Q12] Up Next: Main Event with Rollins, Kane, and Show against Orton, Ryback, and a third friend. Well, there's only one person left who has not shown up tonight.
[Commercial Break at 10:46]
WM31 Photo Gallery: Cena running to the ring, D-Bryan capturing the IC Title in the California sun, fireworks, Maria Menonous, Hunter's entrance again, and Lesnar F5'ing Reigns.
In-ring: Seth Rollins's music played to bring out the announced trio of WWE World Hvt. champion Seth Rollins, Andre Battle Royal winner Big Show, and plain 'ol Kane. No J&J Security, who Brock Lesnar destroyed earlier in the night.
Randy Orton's music then played to bring out Orton by himself. Ryback came out next to join Orton at ringside while Lawler played up the idea of these two going at it alone. Pause. Orton paced the ring as some of the crowd could be heard booing in anticipation the music. The Shield's music played and Roman Reigns emerged in the crowd. Reigns marched down to the ring and chased off Seth Rollins, who smiled toward Reigns. Reigns locked eyes with Seth as the crowd booed Reigns's arrival. Before the bell sounded, Seth handed over the title belt, which rested next to Big Show's Andre trophy.
8 -- WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS & BIG SHOW & KANE vs. RANDY ORTON & RYBACK & ROMAN REIGNS
Kane started things off with Ryback as the crowd chanted, "Suplex City" toward Reigns. Ryback wanted the Meathook Clothesline, but Kane scampered out of the ring. The babyfaces hit the ring to intimidate the heels, then Reigns suddenly jumped straight over the top rope to splash The Authority. Some cheers and boos, then Reigns ran back into the ring. Orton and Ryback tried to hype up Reigns as Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:55]
Back from break, Orton was working on Kane as the crowd did "Ole! Ole!" chants in the background. The heels then cut off Orton and Seth tagged in looking for an opening to beat down Orton. But, Orton responded with an uppercut. And another one.
[Q13 -- over-run] Orton lost control and the heels took over. Meanwhile, the crowd entertained themselves with several chants, some expressing their displeasure with Reigns. A "Please Retire" chant toward Show got a chuckle, then he owned the chant by ripping up Orton in the corner. The heels kept working on Orton, so the crowd broke out into a wave. Seth tagged in, stomped Orton, then tried to own the chants by standing there watching the wave. WWE's hard camera operator was then instructed to follow the crowd waving, making it seem less rebellious when the promotion takes part. This year, WWE decided not to fight it and just join it.
Back to the heels working on Orton. A clear "C-M Punk" chant briefly broke out, then a louder chant of "We Own Raw" broke out. It's as if there was a conscious effort to wait until Roman Reigns's match to take over the show. On cue, Reigns tagged in to boos. Reigns worked over Kane with strikes, then went to the corner for his Superman Punch. More boos. He tried the punch on Show, but Show blocked to cheers. Show then speared Reigns to cheers. Suddenly, Ryback lifted Show in the air for Shell-Shock to a big cheer. But, Rollins cut off Ryback with a Curb Stomp.
Seth got up, saw Reigns coming for him, leapfrogged, ran out of the ring, and Kane grabbed Reigns for a chokeslam, but Orton hit Kane with an RKO. Reigns then speared Kane to boos. It was good for the pin and the win to give Reigns a win back after being pinned in the WrestleMania main event. Post-match, Seth high-tailed it to the top of the entrance ramp to avoid Reigns's wrath.
WINNERS: Team Reigns at 12:59. Flat main event to close a post-Mania show that started off very strong and finished poorly. The main event just did not have any juice, even independent of the crowd trying to take over. The overall story coming out of Mania and post-Mania Raw is Seth Rollins being chased, but the story stops and starts with Brock Lesnar because of how good he is right now. Orton is solid as a future title opponent for Seth, but he's not Brock. And, there's just no depth to Reigns's character. He was mad and huffing & puffing in this match to somewhat sell the Mania ending, but the audience needs something from the character. For Reigns Fans, it's knowing that he cares as much as they do that he got screwed at Mania. Not in a pouty way, but determined to make it right. For non-Reigns Fans, it's something - anything - to latch onto.
Next on WWE Network: Sting speaks. They showed Sting standing by in facepaint and his red-sequin jacket.
Back to the arena, where Seth stood on the entrance ramp and Orton, Reigns, and Ryback walked around the ring while Shield's music played out. Saxton unenthusiastically signed off while Lawler tried to excitedly plug Sting up next on the Network seven minutes past the top of the hour to close a flat ending to an otherwise good Raw.
After Raw signed off on USA Network, they returned to the ring on WWE Network. Ryback and Reigns were shown leaving the ring. On the way out, Ryback took a victory lap while Reigns just kind of stomped off to the back. Very telling, even if he was trying to be "in-character" mad about the Mania loss. Orton got his music on the way out and he turned around to face the crowd and pose on the stage.
WWE cut back to the ring, where Renee Young was standing by to welcome out Sting. Sting got the full ring introduction (sans orchestra) and Sting entered the ring.
Renee asked Sting what it felt like to have his first WWE match last night at WrestleMania. Sting took the mic, talked up the match, waited out "Thank You, Sting" chants, and said he came up short against Triple H, but at least he got to say he was there. What happened to the justice-seeking mission to take out The Authority?
Renee asked Sting what the future holds for him. Sting said he's not sure. Pause for "Undertaker" chant. Sting said he doesn't know. He said he really does not know what the future holds. The crowd howled. Sting said he's not sure what opportunities WWE will throw his way, but he will reach out and grab them. And if nothing gets thrown his way, it's a crying shame. And that was it.
Suddenly, Bo Dallas's music played. Dallas marched out on-stage sporting his new goatee. "Steeeve," Dallas said. He said Sting was such an idol of his growing up. And, when he was a little kid, he painted his face just like Sting's. He said Sting waited his entire life to make it to WrestleMania, and he did just that last night. But, he lost his entire legacy ... in front of a record-breaking record at Levi's Stadium!
Bo entered the ring and told Sting that if he wants to succeed in WWE, all he has to do is Bo-Lieve. Sting promptly grabbed Bo around the throat, then delivered a Scorpion Death drop. Sting's music played again and he played to the crowd. Lawler said Sting is ready for another opportunity if WWE throws one his way. Sting posed in the corner turnbuckles and Raw officially signed off 16 minutes past the top of the hour.
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