WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/13: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of London Raw - Cena's latest U.S. Title Open Challenge, battle royal, Extreme Rules hype, more
Apr 13, 2015 - 10:10:08 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
April 13, 2015 - Episode #1,141
Taped in London, England
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: John Cena's latest U.S. Title Open Challenge, Randy Orton vs. WWE tag champion Cesaro, WWE champion Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler in a #1 contender match, #1 contender Divas battle royal, Roman Reigns promo on not winning the WWE World Title at WrestleMania, latest Extreme Rules PPV hype, more.
Taped Raw on USA Network
Raw intro video, full pyro from London, and Michael Cole was back on commentary after selling Brock Lesnar's beating for one whole week.
After a pause, John Cena's music played to loud boos to kick things off. Some cheers picked up, but were drowned out by the "John Cena Suuuuuucks" sing-song to his entrance music. Cena stood on-stage smiling with hands on hips before jogging down to the ring. Cena, sporting a black eye, held up the U.S. Title belt in the ring.
At ringside, JBL asked Cole how he's feeling after missing last week's show. Cole, without a neckbrace or really selling the effects of Lesnar's beating, said he'll update everyone on his neck later, but they've had a great time in London. Booker said he spent some time with the queen while in London.
Back to Cena in the ring. Cena said they are in London tonight, and they are loud. Cena said there are times when he and London don't exactly get along. But, no one can deny that the O2 in London is packed. And they have more excitement than any other audience they "perform" in front of. A lot of noise from the crowd, then some united "Yes!" chants for Daniel Bryan.
Cena said he thinks London deserves WrestleMania. Louder "Yes!" chants. But, those who make that decision have decided for them to wait. Just like Rusev. They can fight right now, but he wants to wait until Extreme Rules. And, he wants to fight tonight. So, the U.S. Open Challenge starts now. Cena opened the door for someone to come on down for a title shot.
After a pause, Bad News Barrett's theme music played to bring out Barrett in his home country. The crowd was mixed for Barrett, a heel. Barrett took out a mic and stood on-stage. Barrett said he doesn't want to wait to face Daniel Bryan for the IC Title at Extreme Rules when he can go ahead and beat Cena tonight for the U.S. Title in front of England. Eden Stiles handled formal ring introductions before the opening bell sounded.
[Commercial Break at 8:09]
1 -- U.S. champion JOHN CENA vs. BAD NEWS BARRETT -- United States Title match
The crowd offered football chants supporting Barrett, who kicked Cena out of the gut in the early going. Cena recovered on the floor, then returned to the ring to trade control with the challenger. Barrett delivered a boot to the face, but Cena kicked out of a pin. Barrett delivered another big boot, this time sending Cena to the floor. Barrett then went Cactus Jack on Cena with a running elbow off the ring apron. But, back in the ring, Cena kicked out of a pin attempt.
[Q2] Cena came back with a top-rope cross-body block, then Barrett rolled to the outside to avoid the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena gave chase, but Barrett ran Cena into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Barrett scored another two count. Barrett wanted a top-rope elbow, but Cena avoided, then set up for and connected with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena wanted the AA, but Barrett countered with Winds of Change for another two count.
Reset at Barrett sold frustration. Barrett caught Cena with a two-step suplex, but Cena came right back with an STF. Barrett escaped, then kicked Cena in the gut. Barrett with a standing sidekick to the face, but Cena kicked out again. The two traded bombs as they came to their feet, then Barrett caught Cena in the corner for another kick to the chest. Barrett followed with Wasteland, but Cena kicked out again. The crowd was frustrated and not buying the nearfalls since it was apparent Cena was not losing.
Reset at 8:00. Barrett teased the Bullhammer Elbow, but Cena ducked and dropped Barrett with the AA. Cena covered, but Barrett kicked out, giving the crowd something to cheer about seeing Barrett kick out of Cena's finisher after Cena escaped six or seven pin attempts during the match. Reset, then Barrett caught Cena with the Bullhammer Elbow. The crowd bought that as a potential finisher, but Cena kicked out just before three.
Reset again, then Cena suddenly caught Barrett with his new springboard turnaround Stunner move. Cena caught a stunned Barrett with the AA, then pinned Barrett for the win, drawing boos and "John Cena Suuuucks" chants.
WINNER: Cena at 9:51 to retain the U.S. Title. Solid match trying to give Barrett a lot of offense and nearfalls before his inevitable defeat. They got the crowd to buy the final nearfall for Barrett, so well done.
Post-match, Rusev's music played, but Lana came out on-stage instead to cheers. Lana reprimanded Cena for taunting Rusev over waiting for his title re-match at Extreme Rules. The speech allowed Rusev to sneak into the ring and smash Cena in the face with a chain. Lana smiled, then continued. She said that Rusev waiting for his re-match allowed her to negotiate with The Authority - the U.S. Title match at Extreme Rules will be a Russian Chain Match. Rusev celebrated in the ring, then held up the chain and U.S. Title belt before the Russian Flag dropped from the ceiling, drawing boos.
Announcers: JBL tried to get Michael Cole to disclose his lawsuit against Brock Lesnar. Cole said he will keep that private for now, as he wants to focus on other matters.
Later tonight: Seth Rollins and Randy Orton in action. Cole said whichever wrestler wins his match will be able to pick the stipulation for their WWE World Title match at Extreme Rules. Cole did not say what would happen if both win. The match-ups will be Seth against Dolph Ziggler and Orton against Cesaro tonight.
In-ring: The Bella Twins's music played to bring out Divas champion Nikki Bella and Brie Bella, who was scheduled for the #1 contender battle royal.
[Commercial Break at 8:28]
[Q3] Next Week: Triple H will return to Raw TV with an announcement on Tough Enough.
2 -- DIVAS BATTLE ROYAL -- #1 contender to the Divas Title
Back from break, Divas were in the ring for the battle royal. Natalya, who was in babyface mode taking a victory lap around ringside, completed her ring entrance. Meanwhile, Brie Bella was at ringside for commentary with Nikki instead of entering the battle royal, as advertised. Paige was introduced last to a big reaction in her home country. The line-up was Naomi, Natalya, Emma, Rosa Mendes, Summer Rae, Paige, Alicia Fox, and Cameron.
The bell sounded and Divas with the worst odds of winning were quickly dumped out. The Final Four was Fox, Cameron, Naomi, and Paige, who was nearly tossed out, but she held on, then Naomi rear-viewed Fox and Cameron, who both got tossed. So, it came down to Naomi and Paige, who was nearly eliminated again. But, she held on again. Paige then kicked Naomi and tossed her out of the ring, getting the win. Afterward, Paige paraded around the ring, then stated her case for winning the title as Nikki held up the Divas Title belt at ringside.
WINNER: Paige at 3:56 to become #1 contender to the Divas Title. They couldn't have both Barrett and Paige lose back-to-back in England, right, even if this was Naomi's spot?
Still to come: Roman Reigns talks about WrestleMania.
[Commercial Break at 8:38]
Back on Raw, Paige was still in the ring. Byron Saxton resurfaced on Raw to interview Paige about her victory. More like Paige took over the mic and talked about her journey to another Divas Title shot. She fired up the home-country crowd, then Byron asked her about facing Nikki Bella for the Divas Title.
Suddenly, Naomi jumped back into the ring and attacked Paige. Big heel turn for Naomi destroying Paige in the ring, then ringside before finally walking away. Paige sold the effects as Naomi stormed off. This was inevitable since no one escapes his/her hometown or home country unscathed in WWEland.
[Q4] Suddenly, Bray Wyatt's theme interrupted. Bray, with his entire face covered by his long, black hair, talked in a dark room about what he has decided. Bray said he has decided to reach deep inside "you" and take that love away from you and replace it with fear. Bray told the object of his promo to watch everything he loves fade away. Bray said he's doing him a favor. So, pay close attention because he's talking to "you." Bray turned to reveal the back of his jacket, which was some sort of artistic rendering. Bray signed off.
[Commercial Break at 8:47]
Back from break, Lucha Dragons flew into the ring for tag team action. "Lucha, Lucha" chants before WWE showed The Ascension at ringside. Cole threw to the Spanish announce team at ringside before the opening bell.
3 -- LUCHA DRAGONS (KALISTO & SIN CARA) vs. THE ASCENSION (KONNOR & VIKTOR)
The match built to a hot tag to Kalisto, who face-planted Viktor, then kicked Konnor in the face. Twisting plancha to Viktor, then Cara flew through Kalisto's legs to dive at Konnor on the outside. Back in the ring, Kalisto hit Salida del Sol to Viktor, then Cara came off the top with a Swanton Bomb to for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Lucha Dragons at 2:14. Kalisto is just great. Just great. Kidd & Cesaro vs. Kalisto & Cara should be a good Tag Title match soon, or down the road, as the announcers hinted at.
Announcers: Cole and Co. hyped WWE Network.
Up Next: Roman Reigns talks WrestleMania.
Reigns Promo Segment
In-ring: Booker T was standing by in the ring to introduce Roman Reigns, whose name was greeted by a mix of boos and cheers. According to correspondent Robert at the building, it was a chorus of boos and cheers in the building. Reigns emerged through the stands and walked down to the ring trying to act like a babyface and not Grumpy Gus.
[Q5 -- second hour] Reigns grabbed a mic as he entered the ring to talk it out with Booker. Booker said the WWE Title was ripped away from Reigns at WrestleMania, so how is he feeling right now? Reigns smirked, then paused for a "Suplex City" chant directed at him. Reigns said he went there, but he woke up the next day. He said it hurt taking the suplexes from Brock Lesnar, then asked the crowd if they like brutal fights. He said that's what they delivered, and he also vowed to make Lesnar taste his own blood. "I made Brock Lesnar look different," Reigns said. He said he was "this close" to getting his moment, but Seth Rollins did what he had the chance to do - cash in MITB. That's fine, but he will become WWE World champion eventually. (Boos and cheers)
Booker said he believes that, but if it were not for Big Show last week, Reigns would be facing Seth Rollins for the title at Extreme Rules. "Thank you, Big Show" chant from the crowd. Reigns smirked, then said Show screwed him. Reigns said he thinks Show is just Seth's "giant b-----." Suddenly, Show interrupted from the Videotron. Show told him to stop talking before he says something really dumb. He said Reigns failed at WrestleMania, which he was certainly happy about. Show noted that while Reigns failed, he won the Andre the Giant battle royal to become the greatest giant in history. "You're a bum, Roman," Show said. He said Reigns is all about untapped potential. Show said his goal is to make Reigns the most epic failure in WWE history. "Boring" chant from the crowd.
Reigns responded that Show is a Jumbotron Giant talking from the back. He said there are two different types of giants in WWE - guys who fight in the ring or stand back there and talk. Reigns said Big Show is either too lazy or has no balls to come down here to the ring. Reigns said if Show doesn't fight him, then he will take that Andre trophy, shove it down his throat, and retire him for good. Reigns told Show that he can believe that.
After Cole and JBL talked on-camera, WWE showed Reigns walking up the entrance ramp to the back. Suddenly, Big Show attacked Reigns on the stage. Show threw Reigns into the Videotron, then slammed Reigns into the side of the taxi cab on-stage. "Please retire" chant from the crowd, which only incensed Show. Show slammed Reigns into the cab again, then listened to a "You sold out" chant. Show paused, then lifted Reigns onto the hood of the cab. Show climbed up the hood of the vehicle, then stood on top of the roof, grabbed Reigns around the throat, and chokeslammed Reigns onto the hood of the cab, stunning the crowd. Reigns sold the effects remaining back-first on the hood, then Show stepped down off the vehicle and marched to the back as Raw faded to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:10]
Moments Ago: Big Show ambushed Roman Reigns, then chokeslammed him on the roof of the taxi cab.
During the break, according to Cole, medical personnel tried to check on Reigns, but he refused help and walked away from the virtual car crash under his own power.
[Q6] In-ring: Randy Orton was introduced for the next match. Orton played to the crowd, then entered the ring. Cole said Orton or Seth Rollins will pick the stipulation at Extreme Rules based on which one wins. JBL asked, "What if both win?" Cole had no answer. So, JBL asked again. Cole said they'll find out, apparently. JBL chastised Cole for not knowing the answer. Poor Cole having to sell being brain-less to get over the inane booking. Cesaro then came out with Tyson Kidd and Natalya to face Orton.
4 -- RANDY ORTON vs. CESARO (w/Tyson Kidd and Natalya)
Man, this match could have really meant something if WWE thought Cesaro was a big deal. About two minutes in, Kidd hopped on the ring apron and touched Orton, who knocked Kidd off the ring apron. The ref called for the bell on very light interference, indicating something else was coming. Orton was declared the winner and the crowd sat quietly on the awkward finish.
WINNER: Orton via DQ at 2:18.
Post-match, Kane came out on-stage to heel on London. And note that he's in-charge. Kane said he is fair and impartial toward each and every employee. As for (an independent contractor), Orton, he cannot allow this match to end in a DQ. And, he's sure Orton wants retribution on Kidd. So, he is ordering this match restart as handicap match. Cole was indignant on commentary.
4b -- RANDY ORTON vs. WWE tag champions CESARO & TYSON KIDD (w/Natalya) -- non-title handicap match
Orton took a beating from the tag champs and Raw cut to an early break with Orton in trouble.
[Commercial Break at 9:20]
The tag champs continued working on Orton as Cole noted the stakes for both Orton and Rollins tonight. JBL asked what would happen if both guys lose. Cole did not answer the question, instead calling a replay. Cole finally had enough of trying to explain the booking, saying he doesn't know what The Authority is thinking out here. JBL heeled on Cole for losing himself while "taking time off," acting as if Cole was on a dreaded and vile vacation instead of selling Brock Lesnar's beating. Meanwhile, Kidd delivered a springboard elbow to Orton's chest for a two count. Kidd went back to the well again, but Orton caught him with a mid-air RKO. Orton covered Kidd for the win.
Cole instantly declared that Orton gets to pick the stipulation for Extreme Rules. Rollins hasn't even wrestled yet. Cole then changed the verbiage to Orton picking "a" stipulation for the title match, implying multiple stipulations, after WWE used "the" throughout the show.
WINNER: Orton at 6:46.
Raw faded from the ring to backstage, where Seth Rollins was watching. Seth asked Kane if he has any other brilliant ideas. Kane said if Rollins wins, then he gets to pick "a" stipulation for the title match, making two stipulations available. Like a First Blood Cage match? Or a reverse battle royal ladder match? Or a No DQ Falls Count Anywhere match? Basically, they should come up with something ridiculous or contradictory since the set-up tonight has been so silly.
[Q7] Rollins said he's not facing Dolph Ziggler tonight. Rather, he's going to face Jamie Noble. Jamie wasn't so sure about this, then Kane told Rollins not to mess with him. Seth challenged Kane's authority, suggested they face each other, and then told Kane to go call The Authority. Kane stomped off. Seth assured Noble and Joey Mercury that he has this under control.
DVD plug: Ultimate Warrior's new DVD. Stephanie McMahon, a top heel, talked up Warrior in the first clip. Vince McMahon was shown looking emotional, with a soundbyte about not knowing what you have until it's gone. Dana Warrior was also shown.
[Commercial Break at 9:32]
In-ring: Adam Rose was standing by in the ring as the Rosebuds moved around. Dean Ambrose came out to face Rose as WWE showed Ambrose taking a powerbomb through a ladder at WrestleMania and a powerbomb through a table from Luke Harper on Smackdown two weeks ago. Not acknowledged is that in-between taking the powerbomb through a ladder and taking a powerbomb through an announce table, Ambrose willingly accepted John Cena's Open Challenge for a U.S. Title match on the Raw after Mania.
5 -- DEAN AMBROSE vs. ADAM ROSE (w/Rosebuds)
JBL wondered how long Ambrose will hold up if he keeps wrestling without regard for his body. Ambrose made short work of Rose, delivering a rebound lariat and Dirty Deeds for the pin and the win. Cole said Ambrose has not missed a beat since Smackdown two weeks ago.
WINNER: Ambrose at 2:11.
Hallway: Kane hung up the phone with The Authority, then Big Show found him for a conversation. Show took Kane back to Survivor Series when he knocked out John Cena to be part of the winning team, The Authority. Show said they know that Seth Rollins losing tonight is not best for business, because they cannot exist in a world where Orton is WWE champion. So, Kane needs to think about doing the right thing for everyone. Kane sighed, then agreed to the match-up of Rollins against himself. And he will do what's best for business.
[Commercial Break at 9:42]
[Q8] In-ring: Stardust was in the ring preparing to face Fandango.
6 -- FANDANGO (w/Rosa Mendes) vs. "STARDUST" CODY RHODES
Another filler match, so the crowd offered half-hearted "Cody, Cody" chants trying to taunt Stardust. Fandango wanted a top-rope leg drop, but Cody avoided and delivered his step-up kick to the face. It was good for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Stardust at 1:07.
Post-match, Rosa entered the ring to console Fandango, who took the mic and said he figured out the problem. Fandango said he has been sharing his gift of dance with Rosa ... and not the whole world. The old Fandango music played, drawing singing and dancing from the crowd. Fandango strutted on the announce table as Rosa sold anger in the ring. Fandango danced with JBL's cowboy hat, then saluted the crowd. This feels like Zack Ryder trying to re-create what worked two years after it worked.
Hallway: Kane approached Daniel Bryan in the hallway. Bryan asked Kane what happened to him, then noted that Kane is going to go out there and lay down for Seth Rollins. Bryan said that's one of those things that put WCW out of business. Bryan said he feels sorry for Kane. All of Kane's inner anger built up, then he shouted, "Leave!" Bryan did not flinch, then told a huffing & puffing Kane not to be a stooge, but a man. Bryan walked off, leaving Kane to calm down by himself.
[Commercial Break at 9:50]
Extreme Rules plug: Cena vs. Rusev in a Russian Chain match for the U.S. Title. Cole said probably the most famous Russian Chain match in WWF/E history was Bruno Sammartino vs. Ivan Koloff in the 1970s.
Cole plugged Cena appearing on Smackdown this week to have another U.S. Title Open Challenge.
In-ring: Seth Rollins's music played to bring out the WWE World champion. Cole said now they understand that if Rollins wins, he gets to pick a second stipulation for the WWE Title match at Extreme Rules. Kane's music then brought out Kane dressed in a suit, indicating he was not prepared to wrestle. Seth, Mercury, and Noble applauded Kane appearing to make the right decision laying down for Seth.
7 -- WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS (w/J&J Security) vs. KANE -- non-title match
The bell sounded and Kane slowly removed his suit jacket. Seth said Kane doesn't have to take his jacket off. Kane then removed his tie, making Seth more concerned that Kane was not willing to do the job. Kane then unbuttoned his dress shirt. No sign of him going for the belt. Kane walked right up to Seth, who told him to lay down and get this over with. Kane thought it over, then took a knee. Seth consoled him as the crowd chanted, "You sold out." Kane then placed himself on the mat and told Seth to hurry up. Seth covered, but Kane kicked out at two.
[Q9 -- third hour] J&J Security hit the ring to tell Kane what the instructions are tonight, but Kane shoved them down. Seth then yelled in Kane's ear that this is his WWE. "Are you even listening?!" Seth shouted before spinning Kane around. Kane then smacked Seth in the face and prepared to give him a chokeslam. But, Seth told Kane to think about his job. Kane slowly lowered his chokeslam hand and took a deep breath as Seth told him to do the job. Kane took a knee, but Seth talked too much, so Kane chokeslammed him.
Kane went into crazy mode and started to signal for the Tombstone, but he couldn't do it. Kane calmed down, then knelt down next to Seth. Kane draped Seth's arm over his chest and allowed the ref to count to three.
Post-match, Kane quickly walked out of the ring after losing, prompting JBL to say he just lost all respect for Kane and is disgusted with him. This from the heel announcer, Voice of The Authority, JBL, after Kane "did the right thing" for The Authority. So inconsistent. On-camera, Cole said Orton and Seth will each pick a stipulation for Extreme Rules later tonight.
WINNER: Seth at 4:33. Was the audience supposed to care about Kane's inner conflict or see this as Kane getting his comeuppance getting embarrassed in this match after selling out months ago? Just an all-around complete mess of storytelling tonight capped off JBL's inconsistent commentary.
Backstage: Damien Mizdow was shown walking down the hallway for the next segment.
[Commercial Break at 10:04]
In-ring: The Miz was introduced to the ring for the next match. Cole said Miz beat Damien Sandow last week, but he cheated to win. Booker said it's pro wrestling, he won the match. Tapping on these announcers who couldn't generate heat if given an oven, toaster, and stovetop. Damien Mizdow was out next, flanked by Summer Rae, who apparently fell head over heels for Sandow after he planted a kiss on her last week on Smackdown. Either that or she's a total heel who is using Sandow's popularity to get revenge on Miz for over-looking her in the "Marine 4" credits.
8 -- DAMIEN MIZDOW vs. THE MIZ
The first 55 seconds consisted of Sandow playing copycat with Miz, who finally chucked his trenchcoat at Mizdow, trying to get a jump on the physicality. Miz landed early offense, but Sandow suddenly rolled up Miz for a three count and the win. Afterward, Summer kissed Sandow on the cheek as Miz threw a fit in the ring.
WINNER: Sandow at 2:01.
Vignette: Prime Time Players, in their WordArt t-shirts, mocked New Day and then Los Matadores, drawing crickets. Titus O'Neil pulled out a stuffed bunny representing El Torito. Titus said Los Matadores lost themselves and culture, since no one has ever heard of Puerto Rican bullfighters, breaking down the wall of character identity for Los Matadores, who have not been linked to their previous identities of Primo and Epico.
Still to come: Cole said "they're calling it" the "Extreme Decision" between Rollins and Orton tonight. Who are "they?" The Authority? Random person in the graphics department? Cole's inner voices? More random and odd use of words tonight.
[Q10] [Commercial Break at 10:16]
In-ring: Ryback was introduced to the ring next from the random match generator. Presumably 1-3 minutes in length. The Random Match Generator produced Luke Harper as his opponent.
9 -- RYBACK vs. LUKE HARPER
The announcers treated this like a comedown match, then woke up when Harper suddenly blasted Ryback in the face with a standing kick. Harper only scored a two count, though. Ryback came back with a powerbomb, then kind of yelled toward the crowd. Ryback tried to wake up the crowd with a Meathook Clothesline, but Harper slid out of the ring. Ryback followed up and Harper jabbed him in the gut with the announce table lid for a DQ.
WINNER: Ryback via DQ at 1:46.
Post-match, Dean Ambrose returned to the ring looking for a piece of Harper, but Harper bailed to the outside and started chucking chairs toward Ambrose. Harper retreated to the back as Ambrose stood on the top turnbuckle wanting a piece of Harper.
Announcers: Cole confirmed that Paige will meet Nikki Bella for the Divas Title at Extreme Rules. Then, Naomi attacked Paige in a post-match interview.
Backstage: Byron Saxton asked Naomi about her decision to attack Paige. Naomi said she feels really disappointed in herself for losing her cool. She laughed and said "yeah, right." Naomi said this is about her. "Me," she said. Naomi said Nikki Bella is the Divas champion, who she beat twice, so why did they have to have a Divas battle royal tonight? "Uh, I don't know," Saxton mumbled. Naomi said none of this makes any sense and she wants to know why wins & losses don't matter. (Take it up with Kane, who was coerced by rival Divas into making the battle royal last week. All of the heat for the bad booking is falling at Kane's feet tonight so Triple H and Stephanie can return as the "welcome relief" from Kane.) Naomi said her kindness has been taken for weaknesses for far too long, so she's taking her opportunity instead of waiting on it. This was a total babyface promo stressing wins & losses, just with a heel, self-centered tone.
In-ring: Dolph Ziggler was introduced to the ring as WWE cut to a random trivia question sponsored by Little Caesars.
[Commercial Break at 10:28]
[Q11] In-ring: Dolph Ziggler was standing by in the ring encouraging the audience to keep chanting his name. Ziggler called out Kane, telling him to change his name to the devil's favorite dumbass. Ziggler did the ra-ra speech about living to compete in the ring every single night. So, taking a page out of John Cena's notebook, he is challenging anyone to come face him. Suddenly, Neville's music played and Neville emerged on-stage tasked with re-energizing a home-country crowd long ago taken out of the show.
10 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. NEVILLE
Ziggler opened things up with a dropkick, but Neville did acrobatics into a standing moonsault on a surprised Ziggler for a two count. Suddenly, Ziggler snapped off a DDT planting Neville head-first into the mat. Ziggler covered for a two count, prompting Cole to declare that Ziggler is in complete control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:36]
Back from break, Neville knocked Ziggler to the outside before delivering a springboard moonsault onto Ziggler. Neville has dramatically improved his facial expressions since his debut TV match, just by flipping his long hair back to show his face. Neville then walked across the guardrail, measured Ziggler, and delivered a big 450 splash off the barricade onto Ziggler, popping the crowd and announcers.
Back in the ring, Neville covered Ziggler for a two count. Neville followed with a step-up enziguiri, but Ziggler caught him with a standing kick to the face. Ziggler came back with a kick to the face, then he climbed to the top looking for the Red Arrow, but Ziggler moved. Ziggler posted Neville, then dropped him with the Zig-Zag. Ziggler covered for the win. The crowd was conflicted since they like Ziggler, but Neville was their home-country guy.
WINNER: Ziggler at 9:08. Solid match showcasing Neville's offense before taking the loss against an opponent higher up than him.
Post-match, Ziggler helped Neville to his feet as the announcers talked up Neville learning as he goes in WWE. Suddenly, Sheamus stormed the ring and took out both Ziggler and Neville, continuing his mission to take out high-flyers, who he sees as not real men. Sheamus then taunted Ziggler before trying the Brogue Kick, but Ziggler caught him with a knee to the gut, knocking Sheamus to the outside.
On the floor, Ziggler angrily went after Sheamus, blasting him with aggressive strikes. But, Sheamus posted Ziggler and smashed him with the Brogue Kick. Sheamus then stood on the announce table and stood tall to his new heel music. Sheamus was not done, though, as he hopped off the table to stand over Ziggler as Dolph recovered.
[Q12] Earlier Tonight: Big Show ambushed Roman Reigns and destroyed a taxi cab in the process.
Smackdown plug: Big Show will address his actions.
Up Next: Rollins and Orton make an "Extreme Decision" for their title match at the PPV in two weeks.
[Commercial Break at 10:47]
Next Week: Triple H makes a Tough Enough announcement.
In-ring: Seth Rollins's music played to bring out the WWE World champion. Rollins was selling injuries from Kane battering him before doing the job. Noble and Mercury tried to talk up Seth as he marched down to the ring. Already in the ring was a recliner for Seth and two waiting room chairs for Noble and Mercury.
Seth reclined in the chair and soaked up silence from the crowd. Seth said the crowd can boo him all they want (the crowd mustered some boos), but that cannot change the fact that he is the future of WWE. And he is the greatest WWE champion of all-time. After all, Seth said he defeated Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar in the same night, over-boasting on his MITB cash-in in classic heel form. Seth then defended Kane for knowing when to take a dive and put the team before himself. And, because of Kane, he gets to pick (a/the) stipulation for Extreme Rules.
Seth told Orton to come on down here so he can deliver the news to Orton's face. Cole clarified that Orton also gets to pick a stipulation tonight. Seth continued to recline as Orton walked into the ring and surveyed the scene. Orton said this is one heck of a set-up. "Are you comfy?" Orton asked. Orton said Seth is over-complicating things, but they could simplify things by clearing the furniture and having a fight. He said he would knock Seth unconscious, by the way.
Seth said simple is so boring because complicated creates opportunities, which is where he thrives. Seth said this is how he won the MITB briefcase, how he won the WWE Title, and how he will beat Orton at Extreme Rules. Seth stood up from his chair and went face-to-face with Orton to announce his stipulation. He said this will eliminate Orton's greatest weapon: the RKO is banned. Seth sat back in the recliner and cackled that The Authority always wins.
[Q13 -- over-run] Orton said that's well-played. So he thought he would take away Seth's greatest weapon. Is it his speed and strength? No. Not his intelligence, either. Actually it's his connection to The Authority. What if they could not get to him? What if no one could help him? That's right, the stipulation for Extreme Rules is them fighting inside the steel cage. Too bad the cage has been compromised over and over and over again. Seth was unmoved, already contemplating ways to get around the cage format. Seth confidently said Orton will be his first victim at Extreme Rules.
Orton replied that since the RKO is banned at Extreme Rules, he'll have to give the people their money's worth now. Orton tipped over Rollins in his recliner, then took out Mercury and Noible. Orton dropped Noble with an RKO. But, Seth ran away. Seth stood alone on the entrance stage a safe distance away from Orton, who stood tall in the ring. Cole signed off with a plug for a Warrior DVD plug on WWE Network coming up next. "My time!" Seth shouted toward Orton as Raw signed off.
After Raw signed off, the Network picked up with post-Raw happenings with Orton still posing in the ring. WWE cut to Cole and Co. on-camera to lead into the post-Raw programming sneak-peek into Ultimate Warrior's new DVD. The program began with an on-camera message from Vince McMahon reflecting on Ultimate Warrior.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Even by taped Raw standards, this was a pretty weak offering. Raw really needs to drop to two hours, in general, but especially for the taped international Raws. So many short, filler matches featuring over-exposed wrestlers took the crowd out of the show. And, the set-up for the "double stipulation" for the WWE Title match was so disjointed. This is an episode that serves as Exhibit A for WWE needing an off-season or talent rotation system, not just for the wrestlers, but for Creative to refresh and re-approach the product after WrestleMania Season concludes.
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