WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/6: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - more WrestleMania fall-out, new #1 contender, Cena's latest Open Challenge, more
Apr 6, 2015 - 10:03:06 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
April 6, 2015 - Episode #1,140
Live in Austin, Tex.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: New U.S. champion John Cena's Open Challenge continues, The Miz vs. Damien Sandow I, latest WrestleMania fall-out, more from the University of Texas.
Live Raw on USA Network
WWE Raw opened with the Raw intro video package and full pyro inside the Erwin Center. Byron Saxton, not Michael Cole was at the commentary position. Apparently WWE decided it was best for Cole to sell Brock Lesnar's beating for longer than one week after advertising Cole mid-week last week. Saxton said Cole is "convalescing," while JBL and Booker have returned from lesser injuries from Lesnar last week.
Saxton added that The Authority is on vacation, then WWE went to a photo gallery from WrestleMania eight days ago documenting The Authority's involvement on the show, culminating with Seth Rollins cashing in MITB to win the WWE World Title.
Back in the arena, Rollins was standing in the ring with J&J Security, Kane, and Big Show. Rollins tried to begin his speech, but was booed by the live crowd. Seth milked the boos a few times, then Show took the mic and shouted at the crowd to show some respect to the Champion. Seth calmed Show down, saying he understands they're all just jealous of him.
Seth tried to talk again, but the crowd chanted "You Sold Out." Seth waited out the chant, then said the biggest takeaway from WrestleMania was obviously that The Authority always wins. Seth said The Authority made moments all night long, including Triple H hammering the final nail in the coffin of WCW by "single-handedly" defeating Sting. (Boos) Seth said Big Show cemented himself as the biggest giant of all-time by winning the Andre Battle Royal. And there's Kane. "Uh, you, uh, you were there!" Seth said, drawing mock applause from the crowd.
Show said he is no longer in Andre the Giant's shadow and he is the greatest giant of all-time, but now every WWE star is under his shadow. (Seth kept smiling.) Show said the greatest WrestleMania of all-time ended with a new WWE champion. A true fighting champion with honor, dignity, and respect. Seth thanked Show for the kind words, then proclaimed himself the greatest champion of all-time to loud boos. Show responded that Seth gave them an epic memory. Just epic. It will live forever on WWE Network. "And speaking of WrestleMania, there was ... Kane," Seth said. "Dammit. Tell them Kane." Kane said The Authority was successful at WrestleMania because .....
Suddenly, Randy Orton's music interrupted to a loud reaction making the save on Authority's lovefest. On-stage, Orton mock applauded Seth for finally having his WrestleMania Moment. (Boos) But, cashing in MITB still doesn't change the fact that he hit Seth with the best RKO of his career. And, history says that he beat Seth one-on-one. "RKO" chant from the crowd.
Seth said he detests someone like Orton who is a whiny complainer. Boo hoo. Orton said he's calling it like it is since he beat Seth at WrestleMania and he deserves another match against Seth, this time for the WWE World Title. Orton presented his request to Kane, then paused before asking if he needs to call mommy and daddy to see if he can make that call. Kane shouted back that he still has power and he needs to be shown some respect!
Kane said he has decided they will have a triple threat match to determine who faces Seth for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules. Seth seemed taken aback by the booking since it wasn't run by him. Kane said the stars are Roman Reigns, Ryback, and Randy Orton. Kane said that's best for business, then he said each one of them compete in singles competition prior to the #1 contender main event. And, Orton's match is next. "Against me," Kane said. Seth had to be restrained after processing Kane's booking plans.
1 -- RANDY ORTON vs. KANE
They went right to the opening bell as JBL and Booker took over commentary for Saxton, who took a back-seat filling in for Cole. Kane uppercut Orton over the top rope as Raw cut to an early break 40 seconds into the match.
[Q2] [Commercial Break at 8:15]
Kane was in control back from break. Orton came back with his snap DDT from the second rope, then fired up the crowd teasing an RKO. Orton dropped down tot he mat, then stalked Kane, but Kane saw it coming and rolled out of the ring. Kane walked around ringside, where he was met with a big clothesline from Orton.
Kane recovered on the floor, then grabbed a chair from the timekeeper's area and jabbed Orton in the gut. The ref saw it and called for a DQ. Afterward, Kane ran away from Orton, who sold not being satisfied as he posed in the ring.
WINNER: Orton via DQ at 6:53. Either Saxton lacks confidence in the lead position or he's being instructed to take a back-seat, but JBL and Booker dominating commentary by yelling random phrases and one-liners is going to make for a long night. If the strategy is to make people to miss & appreciate Michael Cole via comparison, it will just make people want Jim Ross back on Raw.
Announcers: Saxton was shown on-camera with JBL and Booker, who continued the theme of yelling at Saxton to make things sound bigger than Saxton was making them sound.
Still to come: Ryback's pre-#1 contender match is against Luke Harper and Roman Reigns's match is against Big Show.
[Commercial Break at 8:23]
Announcers: Saxton brought up the news of A.J. Lee retiring from WWE, as announced Friday. WWE drawing attention to her departure makes it sound fishy, since they usually just have people disappear when they exit.
Authority's Office: Former Raw GM Brad Maddox was randomly in the room trying to talk to Kane, who was toweling off after his match against Orton. But, Seth Rollins barged in and asked Kane who he thinks he is not protecting his interest. Kane reminded Seth that he won his MITB contract because of Kane, which means Seth would not be WWE champion if not for him. Kane said his job is to do what's best for business, and he thinks Seth facing a viable challenger at Extreme Rules is best. Seth angrily replied that Kane should step down from his position, and he thinks that Stephanie McMahon and Triple H would agree.
Kane replied that they are on a private island with no Internet connection or cell phone reception, so he is running Raw whether Seth likes it or not. Seth angrily waved him off, then ran back into the camera shot to tell Kane that he will have a lot to answer to when they return. Kane said that's nice, but his attitude is border-line disrespectful. So, he's doing what's best for business and putting Seth in a match. Next. "You gotta be kidding me!" Seth shouted, ending the long backstage exchange.
[Q3] Announcers: Saxton, JBL, and Booker were shown on-camera again. Saxton brought up Brock Lesnar taking out Cole and injuring Booker and JBL last week on Raw. This led to a video package on Lesnar's destruction last Monday on Raw, which led to him being "suspended indefinitely."
In-ring: After the video ended, Seth Rollins's music played to bring out the WWE World champion with J&J Security. JBL said Seth has a match right now and he has no idea who he's about to face.
[Commercial Break at 8:35]
Back on Raw, Seth Rollins was yelling to Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. They tried to calm him down and tell him to breathe. Before Rollins's opponent was announced, the announcers hyped WWE Network's free April month for new subscribers. After a long pause, a comet suddenly shot toward earth on the Titantron. After the video exploded, Neville emerged on-stage for his second main roster match to face Rollins. "NXT" chant from the crowd as Seth laughed at the idea of Neville coming out to face him.
Seth took the mic and laughingly said he was not expecting this. Seth sarcastically asked everyone to welcome Neville to WWE. Seth said he just made his Raw debut last week and now he's standing in the ring with the WWE World champion. Seth asked Neville to tell everyone about himself, but Seth pulled the mic away and tried to intimidate Seth. "Let's Go Neville" chant from the crowd. Seth told Neville to think about sitting this one out, but Neville delivered a big roundhouse kick to the gut. Seth sold the pain, then tried to smile and not sell before the bell sounded.
2 -- WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS (w/Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury) vs. NEVILLE -- non-title match
As the announcers discussed Neville's NXT background, Neville continued the assault until Seth exploded on him with a big clothesline. Seth cockily walked around the ring thinking he has this won, but Neville suddenly exploded on him with high-flying offense. Neville knocked Seth to the outside, then nailed a flip dive on the outside. Neville ran away from J&J to stand tall in the ring heading to break.
[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:44]
Back on Raw, Rollins was in control after slamming Neville face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Seth continued to taunt Neville as he worked on his face. "Let's Go Neville" chant from the crowd, but Seth maintained control. Seth spent too much time arguing with the referee, allowing Neville to come back with a roll-up, but that only angered Seth, who pounded on Neville with punches. The crowd booed as Seth paced the ring.
Neville fought back with right hand jabs, then a roundhouse kick to the gut. And another. But, Seth smashed Neville with an inside-out clothesline for a two count. Seth seethed and sold craziness not being able to put Neville away. He taunted him some more, then tried a corner Bucklebomb, but Neville countered with a mid-air head scissors sending Seth into the corner buckles. Neville saw an opening for his top-rope finisher, which the crowd recognized and cheered for, but J&J ran interference. This allowed Seth to nail a Bucklebomb, then hit the Curb Stomp. Seth covered Neville for the win.
Post-match, Seth was not done. Seth delivered a second Curb Stomp, then stood over Neville and taunted him some more while J&J Security stood by with approving applause. Seth and J&J then left the ring while Neville recovered in the ring. The announcers treated J&J's interference in the match like any old event, showing no anger about their involvement, just accepting it as part of the match.
WINNER: Rollins at 11:45. Yep, Tyler Black vs. PAC on Raw TV. Overall, good presentation of Seth as a smarmy heel champion looking down on a new competitor and leading the match as a "veteran" in comparison to Neville when Seth is only a few years into his WWE run. Also, good showing for Neville in defeat, and good for him that a general, non-post-WrestleMania crowd has already taken to him. The criticism he'll get behind-the-scenes is not showing facial expressions since his hair covered his face throughout the match, though.
Up Next: John Cena's U.S. Title Open Challenge.
[Commercial Break at 8:56]
Back from break, the announcers hyped "Furious 7" starring "The Rock" Dwayne Johnson having an "incredible opening weekend."
[Q5 -- second hour] At the top of the hour, John Cena's music played to bring out the United States champion. Cena wanted to talk, but Saxton was in the middle of plugging Cena on WWE Network after Raw. Cena opened his promo saying Austin has declared it WWE Day, so it sounds like a good day for The Champ to be here.
Cena said it sounds like there's a group of people who are very glad that he beat Rusev for the title at WrestleMania. (Cheers) He said there's probably another group that wants to see someone come take the title from him. (Cheers) Cena said that is why he fought so hard to win the title so that it could symbolize opportunity for anyone to get a title shot.
Cena hyped his U.S. Title re-match against Rusev at Extreme Rules, then noted they can also have a U.S. Title match right here, right now in Austin, Texas. But, he has a warning that anyone who takes this challenge is just an opportunity to compete. He said he is a proud representative of the United States of America. So, if you show up and don't step up, you will get stepped on. Cena said the challenge is now open.
Cena handed over the U.S. Title belt, then waited to see who would step up. It was Stardust, who bounced out on-stage gyrating and crotch-chopping in his shoulder pad costume from WrestleMania.
3 -- U.S. champion JOHN CENA vs. STARDUST -- United States Title match
The crowd chanted "Cody, Cody" toward Stardust, which sounded like a mix of taunts toward Stardust, who says "Cody Rhodes" is dead, and cheers for Cody opposite Cena. Cena dominated the match early on as JBL talked to himself on commentary. Cena even pulled out a delayed vertical suplex on Stardust, who was presented as over-matched against Cena.
Cena went for a reverse chinlock to maintain control. Stardust broke free, but Cena landed a back-elbow. Cena then measured Stardust for a kick to the gut. Then a right hand to the top of the head. Stardust eventually rolled out of the ring and "recovered" by jumping on the guardrail and kind of wandering around. They cut to break four minutes into the match.
[Commercial Break at 9:10]
Back from break, Cena was still in control. Cena lifted up Stardust for the AA, but Cody broke free and nailed a step-up kick to the face to finally land some offense. Stardust followed with a front-flip faceslam out of the corner for a two count. Stardust tried a springboard top-rope move, but Cena countered with a mid-air powerbomb. Booker offered non-sensical commentary about this not about wins & losses for Cena, then Stardust blocked the AA again and nailed the Alabama Slam for a close two count.
[Q6] Cena delivered a bodyslam for a two count, then both men sold on the mat. Cena responded with a sit-out slam, then he set up for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Stardust kicked Cena in the shoulder and dropped him with an implant DDT for a two count. A replay focused on a potential head/neck injury to Cena (planting seeds for Cena vs. Rusev in a few weeks).
Stardust recovered to his feet, but Cena trapped him for the STF. Stardust broke free, then nailed his Cross Rhodes finisher, but Cena kicked out. Stardust complained about the count, taking his eye off the ball. This allowed Cena to nail his new springboard turnaround Stunner. He flowed into the AA for the pin and the win, popping the pro-Cena audience.
Post-match, WWE went to another replay of Stardust's implant DDT to Cena, then a replay of Cena's springboard Stunner into the AA for the win.
WINNER: Cena at 13:06 to retain the U.S. Title. This started off looking like a squash for Cena, but they built to a nice back-and-forth exchange enhancing Rhodes in a spotlight match. The issue for the Open Challenge before Extreme Rules, though, is making people think the challenger actually has a shot at beating Cena before Cena defends against Rusev.
Still to come: Orton vs. Reigns vs. Ryback in a #1 contender match to the WWE Title. Before that, though, Reigns faces Big Show and Ryback faces Luke Harper.
Backstage: The Bellas were shown walking down the hallway for the next match.
[Commercial Break at 9:21]
In-ring: The Bellas were in the ring back from break, then Paige was introduced for tag action. Her new partner replacing A.J. Lee was revealed as ... Naomi. The crowd seemed to be anticipating someone new to the roster post-A.J. Before the match started, WWE replayed events from last Monday on Raw when The Bellas accidentally took each other out in a six-Divas tag match won by Naomi, Paige, and A.J.
The announcers brought up A.J. Lee announcing her retirement, prompting Booker to say that A.J. "went out on top," despite not being Divas champion. Apparently winning a tag match at WrestleMania is more important than being Divas champion.
[Q6] The match started with The Bellas dominating Paige. She ended up on the outside selling for a while that made it seem like she was injured. But, the match continued in the ring with the Bellas dominating. Naomi finally got a hot tag and hit Rear View on Nikki, but Brie broke up a pin. After Paige cleared out Brie, Naomi kind of leg-whipped Nikki to the mat for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Naomi at 4:58. More build to Naomi getting a Divas Title shot.
Full Screen Inset Video: Prime Time Players, wearing t-shirts with WordArt-looking text, ran down the tag division. They started with the individual New Day members before moving on to The Ascension as knuckleheads ripping off the Road Warriors. Titus O'Neil and Darren Young did the Millions of Dollars dance to wrap up.
Still to come: The Miz vs. Damien Mizdow.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
In-ring: Luke Harper was introduced for the next match. It appeared Harper just dumped a bucket of water over his shirt before walking to the ring. WWE cut to a replay of events from Smackdown involving Harper and Dean Ambrose. JBL said Ambrose had no business being in a match after the WrestleMania ladder match, much less Luke Harper. So, is John Cena chop liver, since Ambrose faced Cena in a U.S. Title match the night after Mania last Monday on Raw? Ryback then came out to face Harper as the announcers noted Ambrose has been disallowed from wrestling tonight.
5 -- RYBACK vs. LUKE HARPER
The match started with Harper in control to sell the idea of Ryback looking ahead to the three-way #1 contender match later in the show. There was nothing from the announcers on that point, but Harper continued to attack Ryback on the outside. Harper paused at the announce table, scaring JBL and Booker, then he returned to the ring. Harper measured Ryback for a discus clothesline, but Ryback ducked, only to take a Black Hole Slam for a two count.
[Q8] Harper gator-rolled Ryback, but Ryback suddenly came back with Shell-Shock. He didn't get all of it, and the audience didn't buy it as the finish, but Ryback scored an anti-climatic three count for the win.
WINNER: Ryback at 2:47. Basic match conserving Ryback for the main event.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in New Day. Renee asked the trio about the crowd chanting "New Day ... sucks" as of late, trying to own the audience taking over the act. Xavier Woods said it hurts. "It hurts," he solemnly said. Kofi Kingston said it's disappointing, but it will not affect their dancing or clapping. Either they clap or they snap. Big E., in his T.D. Jakes preacher voice that Titus O'Neil referenced earlier, responded to the resentment. He switched to a young boy's voice telling a story about a fan telling him at the airport that New Day sucks, but he wanted like him to sign this breakfast menu. Big E. said he did it because he claps. The trio clapped their way off screen.
[Commercial Break at 9:49]
In-ring: New Day was in the ring clapping and dancing. Booker said they clap because they're Baptists. "Southern Baptists?," JBL asked. That's usually just the welcome song. Lucha Dragons were then introduced as the opposition. Like Neville, the crowd recognized the NXT call-ups and chanted along with the "Lucha, Lucha" bit.
6 -- NEW DAY (BIG E. & XAVIER WOODS w/Kofi Kingston) vs. LUCHA DRAGONS (SIN CARA & KALISTO)
New Day worked as heels, aggressively working on Sin Cara. Meanwhile, WWE tag champs Tyson Kidd & Cesaro watched backstage with Natalya. The match built to a hot tag to the new hot act, Kalisto. Kalisto dropped Xavier with a head-scissors, but Kofi Kingston kicked Kalisto in the head from outside the ring out of the ref's view. Xavier was only able to get a two count, though. Xavier got up and acknowledged Kofi's cheating ways. But, in an environment where the announcers don't pay attention to heels cheating and see it as part of the match, there was no focus on this official shift in the characters, so no heat was generated.
Kalisto then came back on Xavier with Salida del Sol. After tagging in Cara, Kalisto flew over the top rope with a splash to Kofi. Sin Cara then nailed a top-rope Swanton Bomb on Xavier for the pin and the win. Lucha Dragons celebrated as WWE cut backstage to a shot of the tag champs watching intently.
WINNERS: Lucha Dragons at 3:00. Kalisto continues to shine two weeks into Lucha Dragons's official main roster call-up. Meanwhile, WWE decided to "own the rebellion" by turning New Day heel, so it will be interesting to see where it leads.
Up Next: Reigns vs. Big Show.
[Commercial Break at 9:55]
Back from break, The Shield's music played to bring out Roman Reigns atop the arena. A mostly favorable crowd response in a typical pro-babyface town. Reigns slowly made his way through the crowd down to ringside, looking less grumpy than last week on Raw when he was selling not winning the WWE Title in the WrestleMania main event. He didn't have a tip-top Superstar vibe to him, though. The announcers talked up Reigns standing toe-to-toe with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, then Big Show was introduced as Reigns's opponent. Show paused at ringside to stand next to the Andre the Giant trophy and pose like Andre.
[Q9 -- third hour]
7 -- ROMAN REIGNS vs. BIG SHOW
Show dominated Reigns early on, selling the story of Reigns having to fight uphill against a giant, similar to facing Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. The match moved to the floor, where Reigns pushed Show into the ringpost, but Show responded with a big tackle/spear to the floor. The referee was counting a potential count-out in the background, but Saxton robotically went to break without selling the urgency of the match potentially ending. Not that it matters since moments ago Saxton wondered if Reigns should just lose the match and save himself for the #1 contender match later in the show.
[Commercial Break at 10:06]
The match did not end on the App during the break. Instead, it continued in the ring with Reigns selling the beating from Big Show. Show took some time to yell at the ringside fans, allowing Reigns to recover. But, Show landed a sidewalk slam. Show went for the Vader Bomb, and he connected. But, Reigns lightly escaped a pin attempt. Reigns recovered on the ring apron, then Show showed some athleticism delivering a running slide-dropkick that sent Reigns off the apron into the guardrail.
On the floor, Show rammed Reigns into the guardrail. Show returned to the ring as Reigns sold on the outside. Show palmed Reigns back into the ring, but Reigns fired back with strikes into a Superman Punch. Reigns landed two more big punches back in the ring, but Show refused to go down. Show tried the chokeslam, but Reigns escaped, ducked a clothesline, and speared Show. It was good for the pin and the win. The crowd popped seeing the big comeback result in a victory, unlike at WrestleMania.
WINNER: Reigns at 10:40. It's the John Cena booking of taking a huge - make it giant - beating, then making an unrealistic superhero comeback to win. Eventually it just becomes part of the norm.
Authority Office: Kane talked to someone on the phone that he wants to send a message to Triple H and Stephanie next time they check in from vacation that he has everything under control. Suddenly, Divas barged in trying to butter up Kane. The group was Natalya, Summer Rae, Alicia Fox, and Cameron wanting to get a Divas Title shot, not Naomi. Cameron suggested a battle royal to determine the #1 contender. Summer rubbed up against Kane's towel to get across the final sales pitch. Kane booked a #1 contender battle royal next week.
[Q10] Backstage: Sheamus was shown walking down the hallway with a cocky swagger. JBL hyped Sheamus addressing his attacks on Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler up next.
[Commercial Break at 10:16]
Backstage: Renee Young caught up with Roman Reigns, who said Big Show cannot stop him. So, wait until you see what he does next in the main event. Reigns cocked his fist and walked off.
In-ring: Sheamus was introduced to the ring for a match. WWE replayed Sheamus taking out Ziggler and D-Bryan last week on WWE television. Before the match, Sheamus cut a promo saying this is what a real man looks like. Sheamus paraded around the ring displaying his braided beard and wild mohawk. "You look stupid" chant from Sheamus. He channeled his inner Silas Young saying he is the last real man around here. He said everyone likes a little underdog like Ziggler or Bryan, but he is the Celtic Warrior.
Suddenly, Mark Henry's music played. Out came Mr. Texas Longhorn looking for a fight. And perhaps to finish their series from Summer 2011. "The talking stops!" Henry declared as he marched down to the ring. Henry entered the ring and told Sheamus that he's here for a fight. Sheamus waved him off, though, and hit the ring apron. Sheamus said he's not wasting his time on a has-been. So, Henry hip-tossed Sheamus into the ring and the referee called for the bell.
8 -- SHEAMUS vs. MARK HENRY
Henry grabbed Sheamus by the foot and pushed him down to the mat, then pounded on Sheamus in the corner. But, Sheamus came back with a claw-like grip on Henry's forearm. Henry over-powered Sheamus, though, and pushed him over the top rope to the floor. Sheamus pounded the announce table, then kicked the lid away, scaring the announcers again.
Back in the ring, Sheamus chopblocked Henry, taking out his knee. Sheamus then blasted Henry with a Brogue Kick, ending Henry with a three count. WWE replayed the Brogue Kick from a few different angles, then showed Sheamus standing tall in the ring.
WINNER: Sheamus at 2:34 to win the Summer 2011 series. More build for Sheamus as a top challenger to the IC Title.
[Q11] WrestleMania Flashback: Stephanie McMahon slapped "The Rock" Dwayne Johnson, drawing out UFC star Ronda Rousey to scrap with Stephanie and Triple H.
Still to come: Orton vs. Reigns vs. Ryback in a #1 contender match to the WWE Title.
[Commercial Break at 10:31]
Smackdown plug: Bryan & Ziggler vs. Sheamus & Barrett this Thursday. Take 2, since this is what was announced last Monday for the Thursday show. But, it turned into singles action.
Suddenly, Bray Wyatt resurfaced on Raw after losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania. In a smoky setting, Bray addressed "you." He said your entire life has been dedicated to competing against the forces of nature. He said you cannot compete with the greatest power of them all, fear. Bray asked if he has your attention. He still claimed to be the New Face of Fear. And they're back to Bray not making sense.
Backstage: Renee Young asked Ryback what it's like to be The Big Guy in the main event. Ryback noted everything is bigger in Texas, and he fits that mold. Ryback said if he wins tonight, he advances to face Seth Rollins for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules. He said Orton and Reigns will find out why he's hungry for the WWE Title. "Feed Me More," he closed. Repeat.
In-ring: The Miz's music played to bring out The Miz for the semi-main event. JBL hyped Miz vs. Mizdow happening next.
[Commercial Break at 10:39]
Raw returned with a trailer for The Miz in "Marine 4." Back in the ring, The Miz applauded himself after watching the trailer from the ring. Miz's excitement turned to anger watching a replay of events from the Andre Battle Royal at WrestleMania when Mizdow dumped him over the top rope. Damien Sandow/Mizdow/Wizdow was introduced to Miz's theme music to cheers. Booker said Sandow wants to keep the Mizdow name "like a wife." The delivery sounded off, prompting questions from JBL.
9 -- THE MIZ vs. DAMIEN MIZDOW
Miz bailed from the ring as soon as the bell sounded, so Mizdow chased him down on the outside, then blasted him back in the ring. Mizdow put on Miz's sunglasses, then chucked them aside and continued to blast Miz with kicks. Not much response from the crowd, though, with the match positioned in the dead period of a three-hour Raw. Miz came back with a big boot, though. Miz continued to stomp away at Mizdow, but he found himself in electric chair position, which Mizdow connected on.
Mizdow delivered a headbutt at 4:00, but Miz neck-snapped him. Miz tried to charge Sandow, but he nailed a clothesline before delivering Miz's own Reality Check move. Sandow kipped up to a crowd pop, then wanted the Skullcrushing Finale, but Miz blocked his finisher. Miz tried a low kick, but Sandow caught his foot, dropped him to the mat, and landed left hand strikes to the face. But, Miz ducked underneath Sandow and hooked the tights out of the ref's view for a three count. Saxton offered zero indignation over the heel cheating to win, just acting like it was part of the match.
WINNER: Miz at 4:57. How in the world are heels supposed to get heat and how are babyfaces supposed to recover in this environment? Unbelievable. Now Sandow looks like a dope for being "out-smarted" by the rule-breaker since no one bats an eye at cheating.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Randy Orton, who offered final thoughts on the #1 contender match. Orton said he has no beef with Reigns or Ryback, just proving to The Authority that he deserves the title shot against Seth Rollins.
WM32 hype: WrestleMania, including The Undertaker, is coming to AT&T Stadium in April 2016.
[Commercial Break at 10:51]
Back from break, Roman Reigns was making his way through the crowd. But, his face was covered up by a sign in the crowd. Ryback and Randy Orton were already in the ring. The match did not have the vibe of a big-time #1 contender match, just feeling like another match on the show, especially with the announcers acting casual about this match coming back from break.
10 -- RANDY ORTON vs. RYBACK vs. RANDY ORTON
In-and-out action to start with all three men teasing pinfalls. Suddenly, WWE champ Seth Rollins and The Authority walked out on-stage for a closer look at the action. Ryback wanted the Meathook Clothesline on Reigns, but Orton cut him off. Orton wanted the second-rope DDT on Ryback, but Reigns blasted him from behind to block.
[Q13 -- over-run] Reigns exploded on Ryback with a spear at the top of the hour, but all three men were down on the mat selling the effects of this match and their earlier matches. Rollins and Co. then walked down to ringside, but Reigns suddenly flew over the top rope taking out the group. Big Show was the least affected, as he stood up and KO Punched Reigns, seemingly taking him out of the match.
Back in the ring, Orton went after Rollins, who found his way into the match, but J&J Security ran interference. Ryback tried to clear J&J, but Orton pushed them all away and dropped Ryback with an RKO. Orton covered Ryback for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Orton at 5:12. Quick, dry, blah main event. And this was to set up the next PPV main event. (As well as Reigns vs. Show.) The roster is over-exposed in the three-hour Raw environment, and putting all three wrestlers in two matches on the same show made the issue more pronounced. There just wasn't a lot of energy to this match, which the announcers showed little ability to make up for throughout the night.
Post-match, Rollins quickly dropped Orton with a Curb Stomp, cutting off Orton's theme music after two seconds. Rollins then stood tall over Orton and held up the WWE Title belt. After a replay of the finishing sequence, they went back to Rollins crouching down over Orton.
Backstage: WWE cut to a shot of Chris Jericho and John Cena sitting down for a podcast, coming up next on WWE Network.
Back to Rollins for a final shot of Rollins standing over Orton. Saxton casually signed off to end the show only three minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The show started off okay-to-good, then slowly faded out. No Bryan, Ziggler, or Ambrose in the ring really put the burden on the rest of the roster to carry the in-ring portion of the show. It was hit-or-miss. Plus, the announcing hit an all-time low tonight. Michael Cole leading the show is about a 5-to-7 on a scale of 0-10 (with 9-10 being Jim Ross) and this was about a 2-4. It's not just the lack of energy, but consistently ignoring heels cheating to win or trying to affect match outcomes. It's not even the deal of the announcers not wanting to speak out against The Authority, as it happened in a completely unrelated match between Miz and Sandow. It's just low IQ announcing. It happens when Cole is at the desk, too. This was just more pronounced since Saxton acted like he didn't have confidence or was produced to just casually walk through the show without questioning anything.
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