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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 5/4: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Payback hype, Cena's Open Challenge produces NXT star & Bret Hart, New Day, more

May 4, 2015 - 10:11:37 PM


WWE Raw TV Results
May 4, 2015 - Episode #1,144
Live in Montreal, Canada
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor

- The Card: Dolph Ziggler & Neville vs. Sheamus & King Bad News Barrett in a tag match, John Cena's U.S. Title Open Challenge, Payback hype, and more.

Live Raw on USA Network

Live inside the Bell Centre, Michael Cole introduced the show, then Randy Orton's music played to kick things off. Orton, dressed to wrestle, stomped down to the ring playing to the crowd, trying to create some energy at the top of the show. Ringside, Cole, Booker T, and JBL talked about the WWE Title picture to set the stage, specifically Seth Rollins vs. Orton vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Title at Payback.

In the ring, Orton talked about "Payback" in front of a darkened arena. Orton said "payback" is exactly what he's going to get on Rollins in two weeks. He mentioned Roman Reigns, which drew some boos, and said there is nothing Reigns and Rollins can do about him winning the title in two weeks.

Cue up The Shield's theme music to bring out Reigns through the crowd. Reigns marched down to ringside as Orton paced the ring like a crazy-man. Reigns eventually entered the ring to boos and went face-to-face with Orton. Reigns said it's not going down like that at Payback. "RKO" chant as Reigns vowed to get payback on Rollins. The chant grew louder, so Orton encouraged it and paced the ring.

Orton and Reigns exchanged barbs, then Orton settled things down by noting he's a 12-time World champion and been in 12 consecutive WrestleManias. How many Manias have you been in? How many times have you worn gold? Orton told him he has some catching up to do. Reigns responded that he beat Orton one-on-one at Summerslam, which he plans to do at Payback.

Orton and Reigns argued off-mic, then New Day's music suddenly played. Orton kind of bounced to the beat as New Day walked out on-stage with the Tag Titles. Xavier Woods said all of this negativity has to stop. Xavier waited out a "New ... Day Sucks" chant that took a while to get organized. Xavier then noted they are the only champions out here right now, so they feel burdened to spread positivity. Xavier told them to stop being so negative with their "Montreal boo-hoo-job" and realize that it's a new day.

Kofi Kingston spoke next, but was interrupted by an organized "New ... Day Sucks" chant. Kofi said the past is the past, so don't worry about your prior failures. After all, New Day ... rocks. Big E. spoke next that Reigns should not let it bother him that he's never won the big one. And Randy shouldn't let it tear him up inside that Rollins has his number, and even has it on speed-dial. Orton sold the jab from the ring.

But, Big E. noted, Orton and Reigns have a chance to change everything by clapping with the New Day. Big E. then booked them in a tag match. Reigns and Orton laughed from the ring as Kofi announced it will be all three of them against Orton and Reigns, per Director of Operations Kane. New Day's music played and they bounced down to the ring as Orton and Reigns chatted in the ring. Apparently this match is happening next.

[Commercial Break at 8:11]


1 -- ROMAN REIGNS & RANDY ORTON vs. WWE tag champions NEW DAY (BIG E. & XAVIER WOODS & KOFI KINGSTON) -- handicap non-title match

The bell sounded back from break to set up Orton against Kofi to kick things off. Orton landed early offense, then tagged in Reigns, who casually worked over Kofi. Xavier then tagged in and celebrated a side headlock on Reigns. Reigns quickly cut him off with a shoulder tackle, then nailed a Samoan Drop. Reigns tagged in Orton, who kicked Xavier in the gut before stomping on his back. Orton and Reigns played nice tagging in and out working over Xavier, but without a sense of actually trying to win the match. New Day eventually ran interference to put Orton on the defensive. Tags in and out heading to break with the crowd starting to get restless.

[Commercial Break at 8:19]

Back from break, Reigns was now in the ring being worked on by New Day. "This is Roman Reigns?!" Xavier exclaimed as he stood over Reigns. Reigns fired back, but Xavier cut him off with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. A "JBL" chant in the first-half of the match was followed by a "C-M Punk" chant here as New Day continued to work on Reigns. The crowd then played along with a "We Want Randy" chant, which Cole acknowledged.

Reigns finally escaped Xavier and tagged in Orton as Kofi also tagged in. Orton ran over Kofi with clotheslines, but Kofi caught him with a kick to the face. Kofi wanted a top-rope attack, but Orton intercepted with a mid-air powerslam. Chaos with everyone in the ring. Things cleared out, then Orton dropped Kofi with a snap DDT from the second rorpe. Orton wanted the RKO, which the crowd popped for. But, Xavier entered the ring, and he took an RKO. Orton then turned around and Reigns accidentally speared him when he was going for Kofi. Big E. dragged a stunned Reigns out of the ring, then Kofi pinned Orton for the win.

WINNERS: New Day at 13:13.

Post-match, Reigns paced the ringside area upset with himself over missing the spear on Kofi. WWE replayed the finish before showing New Day celebrating on the way out. Back in the ring, Reigns paced the ring as Orton recovered.

Kane then walked out on-stage with mic in-hand. Kane said he would like their undivided attention. He said there is no shame in losing to the Tag Champs, but their evening is not ending right now. He said it appears there is a growing dislike between them, which he would like to exploit. Therefore, tonight's main event is Orton vs. Reigns. Reigns was unmoved. Kane said that's what's best for business. Reigns shook his head looking at Orton, then tried to explain what happened in the tag match. Orton didn't want to hear anymore, so he rolled out of the ring to continue recovering from the spear.

[Q3] Backstage: Kane walked past a celebrating New Day. Big E. shouted that he told Kane they would do it. Kane then walked up to WWE champ Seth Rollins, flanked by Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. Rollins said it's funny to him that Kane thinks booking the main event is going to make a difference. He said Kane is like the spoiled, misbehaving kid trying to shape up the night before Christmas to make right with Santa. Seth said he's just trying to make right before The Authority returns.

Kane replied that he didn't like Santa as a kid, then noted he's putting Seth in a match tonight. It will be Seth against Dean Ambrose and just to make sure there is not a repeat from last week's Smackdown, J&J Security is banned from ringside. Seth shouted back that Kane was the outside interference last week, not J&J. Seth complained that Dean will go out there to hurt him before Payback, so he's being stupid. Kane said he could just tie one hand behind Seth's back out there. He told Seth not to say one word, or else he'll make it happen. Seth seethed, then stomped away.

[Commercial Break at 8:34]

Back from break, the crowd was buzzing for Canadian Renee Young standing by int he ring for an interview. Renee brought out Ryback, who emerged on-stage dressed in track pants and a burnt-orange "Hungry" t-shirt. In the ring, Ryback noted that Montreal sounds hungry.

Renee asked Ryback about being attacked by Bray Wyatt. Ryback said he has no idea why Bray did what he did, but it's a stupid decision. Ryback said no one scares him, The Big Guy. "Goldberg" chant from the crowd. Ryback said he's had to face fear all his life, then paused to acknowledge the chant. "Feed Me More" chant followed. Ryback said throughout his years in WWE, he's had severe injuries, including breaking his ankle in three places. Some doctors said he might not wrestle again, then he told Bray he's had to face fear his entire life. And what he does is take fear and negativity and eat it. "That is what I do," Ryback said.

Ryback said he wakes up every day hungry to succeed, be his best, help others, and be a hero. Ryback led the crowd in a "Feed Me More" chant. Ryback told Bray that if he wanted his attention, he got it. He said Bray never will scare him and all he did was wake him up. "And I'm starving," Ryback said. He said talking time is done; it's feeding time.

Suddenly, Bray's video interruption played. Bray was standing by in a smoky, hazy room. Bray spoke about monsters. He said Ryback paints himself as an untouchable force, but beneath the surface is a scared little boy. He said Ryback is afraid that people will see through him to see his failures. Bray said everything that Ryback loves is going to fade away over time. Just like Ryback. Bray chuckled, then got serious. "Run!" he said and Raw immediately cut to break. Which, of course, was a Domino's commercial.

[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:44]

Back from break, Cesaro's siren wailed to bring out Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, and Natalya back home in Canada. Eden Stiles was shown on-camera introducing the next match, which brought out The Ascension to face former tag champs Kidd & Cesaro. Cole claimed to have a treat, which was an inset promo from The Ascension running down Kidd and the Hart Foundation.


As soon as the bell sounded, Ascension charged across the ring to attack Kidd and Cesaro. The Ascension worked over Kidd in their corner as JBL talked up the Hart Family. 50 minutes in for the announcers's first dig at the Montreal Canadiens being worked over by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL Playoffs.

Kidd finally broke free of Viktor and tagged in Cesaro, who went absolutely nuts on Viktor with a ridiculous number of running clotheslines from one corner to the next corner. The crowd played along as Cesaro kept going, then he ran over Viktor with a lariat. Konnor then charged Cesaro, who clotheslined him to the outside. Cesaro followed with the Big Swing into Kidd's dropkick on Viktor for the pin and the win.

WWE replayed Cesaro's repeated running clotheslines back and forth across the ring, then the finish to hype Kidd & Cesaro still going after the Tag Titles held by New Day.

WINNERS: Kidd & Cesaro at 4:07. Cesaro just owned that match with the repeated clotheslines.

Backstage: Renee Young caught up with Seth Rollins, who called Kane a moron before walking off for his match against Dean Ambrose.

[Commercial Break at 8:56]

[Q5 -- second hour] Dean Ambrose was introduced for the next match back from break. Ambrose marched down to the ring, then Seth Rollins came out alone with J&J Security banned from ringside. Just before the former Shield brothers locked up, Kane's music played. Kane emerged on-stage and addressed Seth. He said that per Seth's own words, if Dean wins this match, he will be added to the Payback main event in a fatal four-way match.

The crowd popped, then Seth demanded a mic. Seth shouted toward Kane that he can't take away the App vote last week on a triple threat match. Dean yanked the mic away to "Yes!" chants, saying he's pretty sure the crowd would love to see him added to the title match. Seth tried to yell at both Dean and Kane, but Kane cut him off and booked the match. Now.

3 -- WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS vs. DEAN AMBROSE -- non-title match -- if Dean wins, he's added to the WWE Title match at Payback

Dean almost got a three count via roll-up when the bell sounded since Seth was too busy pointing his finger at Kane. The now-high-stakes match continued with Dean delivering a rebound lariat to Seth when The Champ rolled to the outside for a breather. Back in the ring, Seth and Dean battled back and forth. Meanwhile, Cole went "WWE Math" on a potential four-way title situation at Payback. Dean knocked Seth to the outside and Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break at 9:09]

Back from break, Rollins was working on Ambrose inside the ring. Dean came back with a Tornado DDT, but was too worn out to make the cover. Dean took a breather to get his second wind for a combination of strikes, a bulldog, and a top-rope attempt, but Seth ducked. Seth rolled to the outside, so Dean charged through the ropes with a suicide dive to Rollins.

[Q6] Back in the ring, Ambrose missed with a rebound lariat, but hit a face-front slam for a close two count. Dean entered Shinsuke Nakamura mode stalking Seth for Dirty Deeds, but Seth avoided. So, Dean came off the top with a leaping elbow to a standing Rollins for a two count. The crowd celebrated the match with "Ole, Ole" chants. And, Seth quieted the crowd with a knee to the face for a two count. Seth then taunted Dean, who responded with a palm thrust to the mouth, but Seth smashed him with a sidekick for a close two count.

Reset at 14:00 with Dean recovering and Seth yelling at the referee. They traded bombs, then Dean charged Seth to clothesline him over the top rope to the floor. The fight continued ringside, then Rollins picked up Dean and gave him a running Bucklebomb into the guardrail. Ouch. Dean slumped down to the ground as Seth rolled back into the ring to see if he could get a count-out win. The ref made his count, but Dean ran back in just before 10, then collapsed to the mat.

Seth thought he won, then angrily stomped Dean when he realized the match was not over. Suddenly, Dean exploded on Seth with a corner clothesline, then a rebound lariat that turned Seth inside out. Tough landing on the neck. Dean was set to get the pin, but J&J ran down to ringside. The ref did not call for a DQ despite Noble and Mercury banned from the match, but Ambrose shook them off anyways, then surprised Seth with a roll-up and three count just before J&J hit the ring to try to break up the pin.

Post-match, Ambrose ran out of the ring and celebrated on the stage as Seth seethed inside the ring. Seth could not believe what happened as Dean played to a fired-up crowd.

WINNER: Ambrose at 16:30 to be added to the WWE Title main event at Payback. Excellent TV singles match with the raised stakes. Ambrose being added to the title match feels like WWE's response to a lukewarm reaction to Orton & Reigns, while also continuing to try to put Rollins's title in even more jeopardy. The goal being to prevent Network cancellations and boost Network subs, especially trial subs in a free May giveaway, by adding the popular Ambrose to the main event title match. (***3/4)

Still to come: Reigns vs. Orton in a singles match.

On the way to break, WWE ran a 20-second spot for NXT airing Wednesday nights on WWE Network.

[Commercial Break at 9:25]

Moments Ago: Dean Ambrose beat Seth Rollins to be added to the WWE Title match at Payback to create a four-way match.

Authority's Office: Kane was on the phone, but Seth Rollins barged in vowing to hurt him for what he did out there. J&J Security held him back as Kane told Seth that the audience voted on a three-way match and Seth is the one who made it a four-way. Kane said perhaps he'll keep adding more participants. Is seven your lucky number? Seth wanted to kill Kane, who responded that this is all about making Seth a stronger champion by overcoming adversity. Seth held his tongue, then Kane said he has a good plan and walked off.

Backstage: Byron Saxton brought in Lana to discuss a "positive reaction" from the audience as of late. Lana briefly broke from her accent to say, "I don't," in a somewhat American accent, then "I don't know what you're taking about," in her harsh Russian accent. Fandango jumped into the interview to tell Lana to let it flow. She gave him a quizzical look, then Rusev barged into the interview to reprimand Lana and pull her away from the interview.

[Q7] [Commercial Break at 9:30]

In-ring: Fandango was in the ring trying to engage the crowd in Fandango'ing. Rusev's music then played to bring out Rusev by himself on-stage. After a pause, Lana emerged on-stage waving toward the crowd. It was like Miz and Damien Sandow. Rusev reprimanded Lana, who soaked up the crowd's cheers behind Rusev's back as Rusev did his in-ring posedown routine.

4 -- RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. FANDANGO

The crowd picked up a Lana chant as Rusev dominated Fandango early on. Rusev wildly waved his arms toward the crowd, then continued the attack before tossing Fandango over the top rope to the floor. On the outside, Fandango walked toward Lana trying to engage her in some Fandango'ing. Suddenly, Lana started Fandango'ing, which the crowd cheered for. She is being overcome by Americanism. Rusev ran down to ringside to yell at Lana, then send her to the back. Lana hung her head and dejectedly walked to the back.

Back in the ring, Fandango delivered a dropkick to Rusev, then another. But, Rusev responded with a big thrust kick before slapping on The Accolade. Fandango tapped out, giving Rusev an angry victory. Cole noted that finisher could come into play at Fandango if Rusev can make John Cena say "I Quit" with the hold.

WINNER: Rusev via submission at 2:13.

Still to come: Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns.

Up Next: More Tough Enough submission videos.

[Commercial Break at 9:40]

Video: WWE came back from break with a clip of Triple H talking to the NXT roster from ESPN's "E:60" feature on ESPN airing Tuesday night. A bit too inside for the Raw broadcast.

Announcers: Cole and Co. talked about the ESPN special on how to make it in WWE, then transitioned to Tough Enough audition tapes from people wanting to "make their dreams come true" by joining WWE.

After the video package on amateurs trying to be wrestlers wrapped up, WWE was playing R-Truth's music. What's that supposed to mean? Truth was in the ring waiting for his opponent, who was introduced as Stardust. From an inset promo, Stardust vowed revenge on Truth following the King of the Ring last Monday.


Cole brought up Bad News Barrett winning the King of the Ring, which has been completely over-looked tonight, rendering it an after-thought thus far. Truth and Stardust battled back and forth as the fans entertained themselves. Truth then walked over to the bag that Stardust brought with him to the ring. Inside the bag were fake spiders, which scared Truth, who was rolled up from behind for the win. Post-match, Truth freaked out and left the ring as Stardust went nuts enjoying the spiders.

WINNER: Stardust at 2:56. The old Raw formula: one great TV match must be countered by one ridiculously stupid match on the same show.

Later tonight: Roman Reigns documentary on WWE Network. For a sample, they showed Reigns walking through fans for his customary ring entrance and included a voice-over of Reigns talking about sometimes being distracted by the ring entrance since he's not backstage in his own world.

[Commercial Break at 9:53]

Smackdown plug: Coming off a year-low TV rating, WWE is putting the four-way WWE Title match contract signing on Smackdown this Thursday.

John Cena Promo

In-ring: John Cena's music played back from break. The U.S. champion emerged on-stage ready for the sing-song "John Cena Suuuuuucks" from Montreal. Cena stood on-stage listening intently, then he held up the U.S. Title belt and jogged down to the ring. Cena stood in the ring and the sing-song continued after his music stopped.

Cena toyed with the crowd by pretending to speak, then pausing. He did a mock frowny face, then waited for the crowd to get out their boos. "I quit," Cena said. The crowd cheered. Cena said those words have meaning now. The crowd followed with an "Ole, Ole" chant. Cena paused, then said it sounds like some people here want him to quit. And walk away. "Yes! Yes!" chants.

[Q9 -- third hour] But, the fans know him. Cena said he's dealt with this type of adversity for years and years.
And whether you're a critic or opponent, you know that he does not give up. Cena said he faces Rusev for the last time in two weeks and he if he loses, then he doesn't deserve a re-match. Yes, the match at Payback will be punishing and it will test his will. Suddenly, Cena paused for some noise. The pause made the noise grow louder.

Cena said this is passion. He said they are a passionate people and that's the difference between he and Rusev. Cena said Rusev wants to crush him, then he asked the crowd what their answer is if someone asks if he wants to quit. "No!" the crowd shouted. Cena then pointed out a guy in the crowd wearing an old-school Nordiques jersey who will not give up the fight because he believes in something. Same with supporting with the Canadiens, which popped the crowd.

Cena said this is a city that knows tradition. He paused for a "Go Habs, Go" chant. Cena said that is the sound of people who believe. Cena shifted it back to Payback, saying he will proudly declare in two weeks: "The champ is here!"

Cena said he lost track of time, noting that The Champ is already here right now. Therefore, John Cena is the man to beat. So, it's time for the U.S. Title Open Challenge. Cena called down for anyone to come get some.

After a pause, Bret Hart's music played to bring out Bret Hart 10 years after Shawn Michaels's infamous Montreal promo leading into Summerslam 2005. Hart walked down to the ring to a huge ovation as Cena stood shocked in the corner. Hart waited out applause, then noted he's here for one reason. Hart said he is here to introduce a great wrestler. Suddenly, Heath Slater's music played. That's not who Hart had in mind.

Slater walked out on-stage to loud boos. He said he will not let his moment to become U.S. champion get stopped on again. Especially right here in Montreeeeeaaaal, baby. Slater walked down the ramp as the crowd greeted him with mockery. Slater mocked the crowd, told some fans to shut up, and recapped his recent problems. Slater said he is sick and tired of getting attacked out of nowhere. Slater walked right into Hart, who popped him with a mic.

Slater disappeared, then Hart said he came here to introduce a hometown boy from Montreal, Canada. And he cannot wait to watch Cena face a surprise challenge from NXT. Hart said it's Sami Zayn. The crowd went nuts as Zayn bounced out on-stage fired up in his hometown. Zayn fired up the crowd as Cena bounced the ropes prepared to fight. Cole called it the biggest moment in Zayn's career. Zayn shook hands with Hart, who then shook hands with Cena. Cole said the match is next.

[Commercial Break at 10:11]

6 -- U.S. champion JOHN CENA vs. SAMI ZAYN -- United States Title match

The match was joined in progress back from break. Zayn dropkicked Cena to the outside, then wanted a high-flying move, but Cena ran down the ringside area. So, Zayn adjusted to showing off some Lucha Libre and posing in the ring. Cena half-applauded Zayn from ringside, then returned to the ring. Cole plugged Zayn challenging Kevin Owens for the NXT Title on May 20 as the match resumed in the ring.

[Q10] Cena grabbed a headlock on Zayn, then slammed him to the mat. The ref checked on Zayn, who sold a shoulder injury. The ref then threw up the X signal as the announcers missed the signal, focusing on their talking points. The trainer then entered the ring to check on Zayn, who continued to sell a shoulder injury. The trainer let Zayn continue, then Cena checked on Zayn to make sure they were good.

Cena and Zayn danced around the ring, then Cena drove Zayn to the corner and lit him up with right hands. Suddenly, Zayn exploded on Cena with a clothesline. But, Cena cut him off and tried the Five Knuckle Shuffle, only to have Zayn counter with an inside roll-up for a close two count. Zayn knocked Cena to the outside, then flew over the top rope with a big dive that took out the champ.

Back in the ring, Zayn left an opening for Cena to slap on the STF. Zayn fought the hold and the shoulder injury, then made it to the bottom rope for a break. Zayn continued to sell the shoulder, then Cena went after him, but Zayn surprised him with an STO into the Koji Clutch. Cena fought the hold, then overpowered to his feet. Suddenly, WWE cut backstage to show Rusev and Lana watching on a monitor.

Reset at 6:30 with both men recovering from the exchange. Both men to their feet, and Cena landed a knock-down clothesline. Cena then wanted the AA, but Zayn landed on his butt and they met in the middle of the ring for a double knockdown clothesline. Both men rolled out of the ring, then Zayn sprung to his feet and nailed his signature diving DDT flying through the turnbuckle to land on Cena. Zayn was slow to recover, then picked up Cena and dragged him back into the ring.

Back inside, Zayn slowly walked toward Cena, who scooped him up and hit the AA. But, Zayn kicked out of Cena's finisher. Cena sprung to his feet selling shock over an NXT rookie kicking out of the AA. It's not that high-impact of a move, but it's been built up for so long that it was still a big deal that Zayn kicked out of the AA. Cena then ran into the Blue Thunder Bomb, but Cena kicked out just before three.

At 10:00, Zayn picked up Cena with his one good arm and landed a right hand. Cena responded with rights of his own. Cena then nailed the springboard Stunner into the AA, and this time it was good for the three and the win.

Post-match, Cena sold relief over the victory. As "the upstart" Zayn tried to recover in the corner, Cena checked on him, then extended his hand. Zayn continued to sell the shoulder, then Cena pulled him up to his feet and raised Zayn's arm in the air. Cena left the ring to give Zayn center-stage in his hometown. Zayn pounded his chest, then sold the shoulder on the way out as Cole hyped Zayn facing Kevin Owens on the May 20 NXT Takeover special.

WINNER: Cena at 10:45 of what was shown to retain the U.S. Title. Classic underdog match story. There will be agitation over Zayn losing his debut Raw TV match, but this was a really good story capitalizing on Montreal, Bret Hart endorsed him, they gave Zayn an "out" with the faux(?) shoulder injury, and the top star in the promotion endorsed Zayn after the match. That might not mean much coming from Cena for fans who already like Zayn, but to the general Raw audience they're trying to market Zayn toward, that means a lot. Plus, the whole deal gave Kevin Owens, also from Quebec, a ton of material to work with for final promos leading into their NXT Title match on May 20.

Still to come: Reigns vs. Orton.

Backstage: The Bella Twins were shown walking down the hallway. Apparently they're babyfaces this week? Or, perhaps not since they smiled and laughed New Day acting silly off-camera, endorsing the tag champs's behavior.

[Commercial Break at 10:28]

[Q11] Back from break, WWE ran a video package on last week's Network content.

Backstage: Renee Young wanted to get a word with Sami Zayn, but New Day interrupted the interview. Kofi Kingston asked why she would want to talk to anyone else besides New Day after they were victorious tonight. "Victorious!" Big E. shouted in his preacher voice. Xavier Woods said he will be in the E:60 special tomorrow night, then everyone will be singing with them: "New Day ... Rocks." The crowd didn't play along.

Cesaro, Kidd, and Natalya interrupted the "interview" to run down New Day. Xavier kept the barbs going, but Big E. cut him off and said they will rise above the negativity. Kidd and Natalya then led "New ... Day Sucks" chants, which drove New Day away from the exchange.

In-ring: The Bella Twins were introduced for the next match. They were booed. Suddenly, Naomi attacked them from behind. She was joined by a returning Tamina, who superkicked Nikki Bella. Naomi and Tamina then stalked Brie, who took a slap and kick. Well, the kick missed, but she sold it. Naomi then took the mic and said The Bellas's reign of dominance over the Divas division is over. She said this is what family is about. On commentary, Cole explained the family connection with Naomi marrying Jimmy Uso, who is related to Tamina. (And, Tamina managed the Usos five years ago on TV.)

Announcers: Michael Cole went to footage of Bad News Barrett winning the King of the Ring last Tuesday on WWE Network. "King" Bad News Barrett was then introduced on-stage. Barrett did the tired, over-the-top royal promo looking down on people, which did not connect to the crowd. Barrett vowed to deliver a Bullhammer to anyone who questions his rulership. Barrett posed in the ring leading into the semi-main event.

[Commercial Break at 10:40]

Back from break, Sheamus was in the ring preparing to team with Barrett. WWE cut to Neville's high-energy ring entrance and Neville made his way to the ring. Barrett told him to bring it after their KOTR Finals encounter last Tuesday. Dolph Ziggler was out next to team with Neville. From an inset promo, Ziggler ran down Sheamus and Barrett, noting that he cut open Sheamus last Tuesday.



Barrett used a distraction from Sheamus to take control on Ziggler. Ziggler came back with a DDT, though, for a two count. Barrett rolled to the outside, then Sheamus teased jumping into the ring. But, Neville backed up Ziggler to stand tall with Ziggler heading to break.

[Commercial Break at 10:47]

The match returned with Sheamus taunting Ziggler. He slapped him around a bit, then took a step back and Ziggler exploded on him with a superkick. Ziggler then crawled across the ring to tag in Neville, getting some cheers from the tired crowd. Barrett also tagged in and based for Neville to wow the crowd with his high-flying offense. Neville landed a standing Shooting Star Press for a two count, then Barrett came back with a blow to Neville's injured mid-section.

Barrett wanted the Bullhammer, but Neville ducked and executed a German Suplex with a bridge for a two count. Chaos in the ring. Ziggler and Sheamus found themselves brawling on the outside. Back in the ring, Zayn kicked Barrett in the head, then he went to the top for Red Arrow, but Sheamus provided enough of a distraction to allow Barrett to recover and smash Neville with a mid-air Bullhammer. Barrett covered Neville for the win.

WINNERS: Barrett & Sheamus at 8:38. All about getting heat on the heels with this match.

Post-Raw: Roman Reigns documentary on WWE Network.

Up Next: Reigns vs. Orton, with minimal time left in the show, pointing to a potential angle or quick match.

In-ring: The Shield's music played to bring out Roman Reigns through the crowd for his second advertised match of the show. As Reigns hung out ringside, Randy Orton's music played to bring out Orton to face Reigns. Cole said the main event is next.

[Commercial Break at 10:56]

[Q13 -- over-run]


Raw returned from break with Reigns shaking his head not too keen on this match happening. Just before the bell sounded, Kane's music played. Out came Kane dressed to wrestle, which consisted of slacks and no shirt. Kane was joined by Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble, and Joey Mercury. Noble randomly grabbed a mic and stood on the announce table to introduce himself as guest ring announcer. Mercury was special guest "bellkeeper." And, the ringside enforcer was Kane. Finally, Seth Rollins, who was just Seth Rollins. Actually, special guest commentator. Cue the bell.

8b -- ROMAN REIGNS vs. RANDY ORTON -- Kane ringside enforcer

Once the bell sounded, Reigns and Orton paced the ring, then had a conversation. Reigns wanted to bail and go after The Authority, but Orton sprung on him for an RKO attempt, but Reigns blocked and shook his head. So, the match began. Lots of kicks and punches. Orton then back-elbowed Reigns. The match moved to the floor, where Orton dropped Reigns across the barricade. Reigns fought back, then turned around and punched Noble right in the face.

Back in the ring, Reigns popped Orton in the mouth, stunning Orton, who sold a facial injury. Reigns stalked Orton to follow up, but Orton responded with right hand blows. Then, clotheslines. Orton wanted a powerslam, but Reigns saw it coming and avoided. But, Orton nailed his fall-away backbreaker. On commentary, Seth paused to yell at Jamie Noble. Meanwhile, Reigns left the ringside area and glared at Seth, then Kane. Reigns turned back to Orton to deliver his outside-the-ring dropkick as Orton rested on the bottom rope.

Reigns wanted the Superman Punch on Orton, but Orton side-stepped and caught Reigns with a powerslam. Orton followed with a second-rope DDT. He then stalked Reigns for the RKO, but the Law of Diminishing Returns kicked in, as the crowd was subdued. Reigns avoided, then hit the Superman Punch. He wanted to follow up, but "ringside enforcer" Kane yanked Reigns out of the ring. Suddenly, Kane, Rollins, and J&J attacked Orton outside the ring. But, Reigns gathered himself and jumped over the top rope to splash The Authority. Rollins apparently did not take the blow, as he got up and posted Reigns.

The Authority rolled Orton back into the ring to rough him up, then Reigns entered the ring, only to take a beating. The crowd chanted for Dean Ambrose, then Ambrose's music played to bring out Ambrose looking for a fight. Ambrose cleared J&J, giving Orton some room to get up. Reigns cleared Kane, then Rollins was left alone in the ring. Rollins tried to run away, but he took a spear from Reigns. Rollins then rolled out of the ring, leaving the babyfaces alone in the ring.

Suddenly, Orton spun Reigns around and dropped him with an RKO. Ambrose and Orton came face-to-face, then Ambrose dropped Orton with Dirty Deeds. Ambrose surveyed the scene, somewhat stunned by his good fortune as the last man standing to close the show. Cole signed off 11 minutes past the top of the hour by noting Ambrose could be WWE champion in two weeks at Payback.

WINNER: No Result around 8:00. The lack of a finish was predictable while also one of those bad habits WWE got away from a while. The crowd wasn't very lively for Orton & Reigns's second match of the show, with WWE over-exposing their PPV main-eventers.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Vast improvement from recent Raws since WrestleMania. Lots more energy and more reasons to be interested in the product, even if it was a one-night deal booking for Montreal. There are still booking holes, but WWE got away from a Kane-Rollins-centric show, pushing that conflict to a secondary story, while also mixing in some new players, like Ambrose in the WWE Title scene and Sami Zayn in the Open Challenge. There are 800 different possible reasons why they added Ambrose to the title match, but look ahead to next week's Raw - it's in Ambrose's hometown of Cincinnati. That should make next week's Raw not your typical skippable PPV lead-in show.


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