WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 5/11: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - final Payback PPV hype, D-Bryan announces future, Triple H returns, more developments
May 11, 2015 - 10:10:40 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
May 11, 2015 - Episode #1,145
Live in Cincinnati, Ohio
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: Triple H returning to TV to address The Authority issues, IC champion Daniel Bryan returning to address his future, U.S. champion John Cena vs. Rusev confrontation, final Payback PPV hype, WWE Title challenger Dean Ambrose in his hometown, and more.
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with a backstage shot of a limo in the parking garage. A pair of dress shoes emerged belonging to Triple H, who stepped out of the limo with a stern look on his face. On commentary, Michael Cole, JBL, and Booker talked about the mood changing with Hunter returning to Raw.
Live in the arena, Hunter's music played to boos to bring out the on-air COO. At commentary, Cole said there will be a U.S. Title Open Challenge tonight and Daniel Bryan is on the show to talk to the audience.
In the ring, Hunter said, "Daddy is home," which drew boos. Hunter said that's the same thing he tells his children when he comes home, and they immediately behave better. And perhaps that's what he needs to say to Kane and WWE World Hvt. champion Seth Rollins. Hunter said he left for a few weeks to run a billion dollar company and all he asked was for them to do what he asked them to do.
Hunter called down Seth and Kane for a chat. Seth came out without Kane and with J&J Security. Seth was all-smiles ready to greet Hunter coming home. Seth started talking, but was interrupted by a "We Want Ambrose" chant in his hometown. Seth waited it out, then said he has to worry about Kane, the seven-foot cancer of The Authority. Pause for a "You Sold Out" chant. Seth shouted at the crowd that he's trying to talk to his boss right now.
Seth said he feels like Kane has made it his personal mission to make him lose the WWE Title. Pause for another Ambrose chant. Seth said, yes, Kane added Dean Ambrose to his title match at Payback. Seth yelled at the crowd again, saying he finally said Dean's stupid name. The crowd started a taunting "Ambrose, Ambrose, Ambrose" chant. Seth paused, then collected himself and said he does not think Kane is fit to be director of operations. He said he gets it that Kane is Hunter's buddy, but he is broken and cannot be fixed. Seth said maybe it's time to put that old dog out of his misery.
That was enough for the old dog, as Kane's music played to bring out a suited Kane. Kane said he might be older than Seth, but with age comes wisdom. He vowed to grab Seth around his scrawny neck and chokeslam him, popping the crowd. Kane and Seth had their weekly argument, prompting Hunter to interrupt and keep them separated. As the crowd chanted Ambrose's name again, Hunter told them to calm down. He said sometimes Seth is so irritating that you just want to punch him in the face, but he's what's best for business. He told Kane that if Seth does not walk out of Payback as WWE champion, then maybe Kane's services as Director of Operations are no longer needed.
Kane grimaced, then said it's a shame that Hunter feels that way. He said that as much as he respects Hunter, it might be worth it to take out Seth. See, direct insubordination, Seth claimed. Hunter told him to shut up, then Hunter addressed Kane face-to-face. Can you handle the task? Otherwise, we will "amicably part ways." Kane backed up without responding. He said they need to know tonight.
[Q2] Hunter then booked matches for tonight. Hunter said all four PPV title match participants need to see action before the PPV. And, he needs to know that Kane is invested, so he faces Roman Reigns tonight.
As for Seth Rollins, the WWE World Hvt. champion, tonight you're going to face Randy Orton in the main event. Seth went from a big smile being addressed by Hunter to a mad face.
Jamie Noble then stepped up to Hunter's ... chest, saying it's easy for Hunter to stroll up here in his big limo and put the WWE champion in a match six days before the PPV after watching Raw from his big screen TV at home. Hunter looked down at Noble, saying he thinks another person in the PPV title match needs to see a little competition tonight. Hunter said he thinks the two of them (Noble and silent Joey Mercury) could add up to one full man against ... Dean Ambrose, popping the crowd. Hunter told Kane and Seth to leave with him, while this match is happening now.
As Hunter, Seth, and Kane left the ring, Dean Ambrose's music played. Big pop as Dean emerged in front of his hometown crowd. Dean walked right by Hunter, Kane, and Seth, giving him a little rub on the way by without looking at any of them, then hit the ring and fired up the hometown crowd. Raw cut to break with J&J freaking out ringside.
[Commercial Break at 8:18. The first spot was for "San Andreas" starring The Rock.]
1 -- DEAN AMBROSE vs. JAMIE NOBLE & JOEY MERCURY -- handicap match
J&J were dressed in all-black dress shirts and slacks for this match. Dean worked over Joey, then chucked him out of the ring. Noble begged off, so Dean extended his hand. Noble accepted,t hen Dean kicked him in the gut. Dean wanted Dirty Deeds, but Noble slipped out of the ring. Dean gave chase, but Mercury tackled him on the outside. Dean responded with a rebound lariat, sending both men over the announce table into the chairs. Dean played around with the office chairs, then chucked Noble back into the ring. He wanted a top-rope move, but Mercury cut him off and J&J isolated Dean in their corner.
Dean made a comeback, so Mercury pulled Noble out of the ring to avoid a corner bulldog. So, Dean re-adjusted and delivered a big splash to both men on the outside. Back in the ring, Dean delivered a flying elbow to Noble, but Mercury broke up the pin. Dean then smashed both men with the rebound lariat. Dean followed by chucking Noble into Mercury, then Dean grabbed Noble and dropped him with Dirty Deeds for the pin and the win. The crowd celebrated with Dean as the announcers hyped Dean challenging for the WWE Title at Payback on Sunday.
WINNER: Ambrose at 5:18. Good, high-energy start getting the babyface a feel-good win in his hometown, while also making it seem like the title is in jeopardy on Sunday since Dean is on a roll. Basic booking.
Still to come: IC champion Daniel Bryan addresses his future.
On the way to break, WWE ran the "Don't Try This At Home" P.S.A. after being in the news recently.
[Commercial Break at 8:28]
[Q3] Back from break, Sheamus was on commentary. Cole announced Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler in a singles match this Sunday at Payback, then Ziggler was introduced for the next match. Ziggler was dressed in some sort of jean jacket and headband deal. Cole noted Sheamus still owes Ziggler a Kiss Me Arse from the last PPV. Sheamus said that ain't happening, then King Barrett was introduced as Ziggler's opponent.
On the way to the ring, Barrett spoke that Ziggler's peasant friend, Neville, has tried to defy him the past few weeks, but he has a Bullhammer for him Sunday at Payback. Barrett laughed about Neville, then Ziggler before calling for the bell.
2 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. KING BARRETT
As soon as the bell sounded, Ziggler superkicked Barrett while still in his robe. Ziggler covered for a two count, drawing an angry response from Sheamus that Ziggler is a dirtbag who blindsided Barrett before he was ready. On commentary, JBL responded to the heel that Barrett is the one who called for the bell. Ziggler maintained control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:37]
Back from break, Barrett was in control while Sheamus remained at the announce table. Sheamus identified Barrett as "Wade Barrett," which was two gimmicks ago, then Ziggler suddenly surprised Barrett with the Fameasser for a close two count. Barrett tried to respond with the Bullhammer, but Ziggler sidestepped and dropkicked Barrett. Sheamus, sensing Ziggler could get the win, dropped the headsets and distracted Ziggler. This allowed Barrett to surprise Ziggler with the Bullhammer for the win.
WINNER: Barrett at 5:55.
Post-match, Booker sold indignation over the outcome and said he used to like Sheamus. He said he would like to see Ziggler get some payback on Sunday. Sheamus entered the ring and removed his golf cap to reveal flat hair that made him look like an 1800s barber. Sheamus taunted Ziggler that he's not fit to clean his shoes, then Ziggler exploded on Sheamus with a takedown. But, Sheamus responded with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus then stood over Ziggler to taunt him on the way. Cole said you have to wonder if that will be the scene on Sunday. "Yeah," Booker said. No defense of Ziggler? He's going to fight back? He's going to overcome the bully, Sheamus? Nothing.
Still to come: Reigns vs. Kane and Orton vs. Rollins in the main event.
[Commercial Break at 8:43]
[Q4] In-ring: Luke Harper was introduced to the ring for the next match. He was joined by Erick Rowan, who disappeared from TV until last Thursday on Smackdown when Harper beat Fandango, then Rowan showed up and decided to put the boots to Fandango in front of Harper. After a replay of Smackdown events, Fandango was introduced as the opponent for Rowan.
3 -- ERICK ROWAN (w/Luke Harper) vs. FANDANGO
Suddenly, the announcers started yelling about how long the match will go. JBL said 1:37, then Booker inexplicably said 1:32, leaving him little room to win without going over Price is Right style. In any event, Rowan won in 35 seconds. Afterward, Harper took out Fandango and the former Wyatt Family brothers stood tall in the ring as the announcers hyped them going after the tag division.
WINNER: Rowan at 0:35. The presentation was so random for the Raw audience - from Rowan's sudden return on Smackdown to the announcers yelling out match time predictions to Rowan suddenly being a squash match artist.
Up Next: John Cena's U.S. Title Open Challenge.
[Commercial Break at 8:52]
Raw Replay: Sami Zayn nearly pulled off a U.S. Title win over John Cena last Monday on Raw.
This week, Cena was introduced to the ring for the top-of-the-hour segment. Cena played to the fans standing on the stage, then marched down to the ring and proudly held up the U.S. Title belt in the air. Cole plugged Cena vs. Ryback in an I Quit match this Sunday at Payback.
In the ring, Cena said it sounds like there are actually some John Cena Fans here tonight. Loud cheers. And, there might be some of you are not John Cena Fans. Boos. But, Cena said they can all agree on the United States Title being a big deal. He said they all live in America, then did a ra-ra U.S.A. speech. Cena said he has been renewed with passion and purpose since winning the title. He said the WWE Title is "the trophy," but you heard Triple H talk about the plotting and scheming that goes with The Authority controlling the title. But, this U.S. Title is a symbol of excellence, sportsmanship, and opportunity for anyone who wants a title shot. Cena said everyone has a chance.
[Q5 -- second hour] Cena said there is one man who does not have a chance, and his name is Rusev. Because he faces Rusev in an I Quit match on Sunday. And the simple fact for him is that he never gives up. But, Rusev has vowed to explain to him how he will make him quit. So, he has been advised to cancel the Open Challenge tonight, but he thinks they should vote on it. The crowd wanted a title match, so Cena agreed and opened the door for anyone to come get some.
After a pause, Neville's music played to bring out Neville for a U.S. Title shot. Neville stormed the ring and squared off with Cena to let him know he wants the title. Eden Stiles handled formal ring introductions before the bell sounded.
4 -- U.S. champion JOHN CENA vs. NEVILLE -- United States Title match
Brief lock-up, then a dueling chant of "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks." Cena and Neville felt each other out, then Neville delivered a suplex into an armbar. Clean break, then Cena adjusted himself. They danced around the ring, then Cena suddenly punched Neville right in the mush. Neville sold like he got shot, then Cena capitalized with a headlock driving Neville to the mat. Neville responded with a leg whip, though, sending Cena to the floor for a breather. Neville checked his mouth as Cena confidently said, "Not bad, kid, not bad."
[Commercial Break at 9:06]
Back from break, Cena ducked a clothesline and hit two shoulder tackles, but Neville flipped out of Cena's trademark sit-out slam into a German Suplex with a bridge for a two count. Cena needed another breather, so he slipped to the outside. But, Neville knocked him down, then nailed a huge springboard corkscrew splash onto Cena on the outside. Back in the ring, Neville covered for a two count.
Neville went for a clothesline, but Cena ducked and hit the sit-out slam. Cena followed with the Five Knuckle Shuffle, bringing Neville to his feet. Cena wanted the AA, but Neville avoided, then kicked Cena in the face. Cena fell down in the corner, so Neville went for a corkscrew splash from the second rope as opposed to the top rope, but Cena kicked out just before three. The crowd thought it was over.
Reset at 9:00 with both men trading blows. Neville kicked him in the gut, though, then again. But, Cena caught Neville coming off the ropes with a modified Michinoku Driver for a two count. JBL gave a shout-out to TAKA as Cena and Neville recovered on the mat. Cena sold exhaustion, then shook himself off and wanted the AA again, but Neville countered with a rolling pin for a two count. Neville ran across the ring, then jumped right into a roll-through to the AA, but Neville landed on his feet to counter the AA. Neville responded with a kick to Cena, who kicked out again. Big sequence.
[Q6] Neville was the first to his feet and he dragged Cena to the corner for the Red Arrow, but Cena grabbed Neville and put him in the STF. Neville refused to tap out as Cena kept wrenching on the hold. Suddenly, Neville rolled over on top of Cena for a two count. But, Cena exploded on Neville with an inside-out clothesline that shook both men. Both were slow to their feet as Cena tried to find his fourth quarter burst. Neville kicked Cena, who bounced off the ropes, then scooped up Neville almost like an out-of-body experience and dropped Neville with the AA. But, Neville kicked out of Cena's finisher. The crowd could not believe it.
Reset at 13:30 with both men catching their breath. Cena walked across the ring toward Neville, who was recovering in the corner. Cena slowly picked up Neville, then wanted a Super AA, but Neville blocked and carried Cena across the ring for a sit-out powerbomb resulting in another close two count. Neville sensed Cena could be out, then he climbed to the top for the Red Arrow, and he connected flush on Cena. But, as soon as Neville hit his finisher, Rusev jumped into the ring to attack Neville and Cena, causing the bell to sound.
Post-match, Rusev tossed Cena out of the ring, then he pounded on a worn-out Cena. Rusev slapped on The Accolade in the middle of the ring as the ref tried to get Rusev to release the hold. Rusev continued to apply the hold, then finally released to loud boos. The crowd taunted Rusev with "We Want Lana" chants, then Rusev picked up the U.S. Title belt and held it over Cena. The Russian flag dropped and Rusev held up the title belt. As Rusev's music played, they replayed Neville hitting the Red Arrow on Cena until Rusev interrupted.
WINNER: Match Thrown out at 14:43; Cena retained the U.S. Title. Very good U.S. Title match. Cena has a lot of equity to hand out to the likes of Zayn last week and Neville tonight without losing much at all. Neville sure looked like a star out there. Rusev's interference was fine when Cena was most vulnerable to lose after the Red Arrow, even if the announcers missed the point, with Rusev wanting to beat Cena for the U.S. Title at Payback, not just beat Cena without the title on the line. Good booking getting heat on the heel for (a) interrupting a competitive title match and (b) ambushing his PPV opponent and gloating about it heading into the PPV. (***1/2)
[Commercial Break 8:23]
5 -- ROMAN REIGNS vs. KANE
Back from break, Kane was introduced first for the match against Roman Reigns. The Shield's music then played to introduce Reigns from a deep corner of the arena. Reigns hopped over the guardrail, but was attacked by Kane, who wanted to fight now.
[Q7] Kane and Reigns brawled around ringside, then Reigns decked Kane with a Superman Punch. Reigns followed with a spear over the announce table into the announcer chairs, knocking Cole off the air for a few moments. Apparently there will not be a match, as Reigns's music played and he stood on the announce table to stand tall heading into the PPV.
WINNER: No Match. Thus far, WWE is booking the PPV main-event babyfaces strongly to make it seem like the WWE Title is in jeopardy on Sunday.
Still to come: Daniel Bryan is on Raw to address the Intercontinental Title. Cole called almost dejectedly about what Bryan was going to talk about.
[Commercial Break at 9:33]
Back from break, Brie Bella's music played to bring out Brie with the Divas champion Nikki Bella. They were smiling like babyfaces tonight. Naomi's music then brought in Tamina Snuka making her in-ring return from injury. From an inset promo, Naomi vowed to become Divas champion now that she's backed by Tamina.
This presumably sets up Nikki vs. Naomi for the Divas Title at Payback. But, it could be a tag match. Tamina dominated early on, trying to get sympathy on the heel/face-today Brie. Brie tried to mount a comeback, but Tamina smashed her with a kick to the face for the pin and the win. The announcers said the Bellas are in trouble heading to Payback, which sounded like they're setting up a tag match as opposed to a singles match for the Divas Title.
WINNER: Tamina at 3:35.
Still to come: Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins in a re-match from the PPV main event just two weeks ago.
[Q8] [Commercial Break at 9:44]
Back on Raw, Curtis Axel was in the ring sporting his red & yellow Hulkamania t-shirt. Cole introduced footage from the Network pre-show of Damien Sandow (a/k/a Macho Mandow) confronting Axel about imitating other wrestlers.
Back in the arena, "Macho Man" Randy Savage's music played to bring out Damien Sandow dressed in shades, bandana, robe, green & white trunks, and white boots. The crowd was ... well, mixed in wanting to recognize Savage, but seeing this as silly.
6 -- DAMIEN SANDOW vs. CURTIS AXEL
Sandow did Savage's mannerisms as the announcers sounded like they were calling a WWE video game. Sandow wanted the top-rope elbow, but The Ascension's music interrupted. Konnor and Viktor stood on the stage, where Viktor ran down Sandow and Axel as not being entertaining. Viktor said they're pathetic for imitating two old relics. Konnor then offered some cliches as The Ascension walked down to ringside.
Ascension charged the ring and attacked Sandow as the ref waved off the activity and presumably the match. Sandow then joined forces with Axel, imploring him to drop the leg on Viktor. Axel obliged, then Sandow wanted the top-rope elbow, but Konnor pulled Viktor out of the ring. Sandow and Axel told them to get back in the ring, but Ascension walked away as the announcer sold not knowing what to do with this. Savage's music played to wrap the segment. But not before Savage extended his hand and Axel wiggled his fingers before shaking hands. Apparently the Mega-Powers cover band has been formed.
WINNER: No Decision at 2:02. And WWE is back to not knowing what to do with Sandow, so they're going for the short-play of a knock-off nostalgia pairing. Unless they try to squeeze more juice out of this than available.
Network plug: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens video package on the Network after Raw.
Up Next: Daniel Bryan speaks.
[Commercial Break at 9:54]
Back from break, WWE plugged the Tough Enough 2015 cast with Chris Jericho hosting. Cole fed to a video package on audition tapes. Included was Zack Ryder's old YouTube buddy, The Big O, as well as Scarlett Bordeaux.
Daniel Bryan Return Promo
Daniel Bryan, who will be an expert on Tough Enough, was introduced to the ring at the top of the hour. Bryan, who has been off TV for a month, was greeted by "Yes!" chants as he emerged on-stage holding the IC Title. Bryan marched down to the ring soaking up the crowd response as Booker talked about this potentially being bad news.
Bryan led the crowd in "Yes!" chants inside the ring, raising his arms over and over. Bryan waited out fan applause, then a "Daniel Bryan" chant before speaking. Long pause. Bryan said the last couple of weeks have included multiple doctor appointments. And a lot of downtime, but he needs to be where there is a lot of action and energy. Loud "Yes!" chants followed.
Bryan said he needed to be standing backstage right behind the curtain waiting for his music to hit so he could come out here and be part of a reaction. Bryan joked about the crowd treating him way better than anyone in the back ever has. And that's why it was so crushing to him last year when almost one year ago this week Stephanie McMahon stripped him of the WWE Title. He felt like he let the people down, when they were the ones who gave him the title shot since "they" were not.
Bryan said the hard thing for him to admit is that Stephanie was right to do it. Because no one knew how long he would be out of action being hurt. And the people deserve a fighting champion. Which is why he decided to come out here tonight. "No!" chants from the crowd. Bryan looked down at the mat, then said he had an MRI last week. And they don't know how long he will be out of action. He said the doctors think weeks, months, or he might not be able to wrestle again. Bryan got choked up thinking about the last option.
But, despite the uncertainty, that makes him know for a fact what needs to happen with the IC Title. Bryan said the fans deserve to have wrestlers fight for the title. He said they deserve Barrett, Ziggler, and Dean Ambrose (big pop) fighting for the IC Title. Bryan said the Intercontinental Title should not be sitting on a physical therapist's chair, but in this ring, which is where he is going to leave it. Bryan said he is officially relinquishing the IC Title. Bryan stared into the crowd of people, who picked up a "Thank you, Daniel" chant.
Bryan looked around the ring, then told the crowd they have it all wrong. He said he just has one thing left to say. "Thank you," he said. Bryan looked at the title belt, then placed it down in the middle of the ring. Bryan slowly backed out of the ring as the crowd applauded Bryan and thanked him. Bryan marched to the top of the ramp, then turned to look toward the crowd for more applause. Bryan then led the crowd in "Yes!" chants, showing good shoulder movement with each upward movement. Bryan disappeared to the back as Raw faded to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:10]
Announcers: Cole, JBL, and Booker sold concern as Raw returned from break to recap Daniel Bryan relinquishing the IC Title and his future in question.
[Q10] In-ring: New Day's music played to bring out New Day telling the crowd to clap for the WWE tag champs. Xavier Woods told the crowd not to embrace the negativity because Daniel Bryan is gone. He said it's a new day. Xavier tried to lead the crowd in a "New ... Day Rocks" chant, but they went "New ... Day Sucks" instead. Kofi was positive they will eventually get the chant right. Big E. then slipped in a dig at Cincinnati Reds legend Pete Rose, saying he does not deserve a second chance after betting on baseball.
And neither do Cesaro & Tyson Kidd. But, Kofi said, they will give them a second chance to become Tag Champs in a 2/3 Falls match. Xavier said they will give Cincy a second chance at the chant, too, but were unsuccessful in leading a "New ... Day Rocks" chant. Cesaro's music interrupted to bring out Cesaro, Kidd, and Natalya for singles action.
7 -- CESARO (w/Tyson Kidd and Natalya) vs. WWE tag champion BIG E. (w/Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston)
The announcers took a few moments to heel on the NFL and claim the whole thing is fixed based on the New England Patriots being punished Monday for Deflategate. Cesaro over-powered fellow powerhouse Big E. early on, then knocked him to the outside heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:20]
Back from break, Big E. was working on Cesaro, who came back with a throw across the ring. Big E. responded with a Samoa Joe-style corner frontslam for a two count. Big delivered more offense, then stalked Cesaro for the Big Ending, but Cesaro delivered an uppercut into a spinning European Uppercut off the second rope.
Cesaro then delivered a big German Suplex into a series of running clotheslines across the ring. He wanted the Big Swing on Big E., but Kofi hopped on the ring apron, drawing over Kidd, but Xavier yanked down Kidd. Back in the ring, Cesaro avoided Big E. and kind of rolled him up and trapped his shoulders for the pin.
WINNER: Cesaro at 8:54. Apparently Big E. has been wrestling tags too often, as he looked a step or two slower than Cesaro in this match.
Payback Pre-show: Axel & Sandow vs. The Ascension.
Announcers: Cole relayed breaking news that a second PPV has been added to the Network in the month of May: Elimination Chamber. Cole said it's a WWE Network exclusive on Sunday, May 31 from Corpus Christi, Texas. It's the last day of the month trying to help the average Network subscription count by keeping people subscribed until the end of the month, as well as trying to entice free trial subs from May 31 to June 1. WWE is being very strategic with the timing of their programming at the end and beginning of a month, at the risk of over-saturating the Network with free "PPVs."
[Q11] [Commercial Break at 10:30]
Thursday on Smackdown: Roman Reigns vs. Kane where there must be a winner.
Promo: Prime Time Players mocked the New Age Outlaws in a pre-taped video. They changed the closing line from "Suck it" to "Millions of Dollars."
Bray Wyatt's theme suddenly interrupted. Bray slowly walked down to the ring led by his lantern as Cole hyped Bray's feud against Ryback. In the ring, Bray said he wishes he could reach out and fix everyone and wake them up from this nightmare. Bray said fear has engulfed the world like a wildfire. He said fear is being sold in newspapers and televisions. Fear of the economy, global conflict, and a dying earth. He said people have adopted the man's idea of working hard enough to overcome the odds.
Bray said Ryback must be an inspiration to each and every one of them. "Feed Me More" chants from the crowd. Bray led them on. He said Ryback shattered his ankle, the doctor told him he won't be able to compete again (laughter), and Ryback fought through his injury to do what he loves once again. "My hero," Bray mockingly said. But, along came the spider. He said Ryback has never seen someone like him before. Why me? Bray said the answer is simple. "He was in my way," Bray cackled.
Bray told the kids something their parents will never tell them. Bray said the nightmares will never stop and sometimes the bad guy just wins. (Except at WrestleMania.) Bray knelt down and told the crowd to behold the new face of fear. But, Ryback's music interrupted. Ryback marched down to the ring and charged Bray for a fight. Ryback delivered a spinebuster, then a hard clothesline. Bray rolled out of the ring and Ryback led the crowd in "Feed Me More" chants. Ringside, Bray chuckled and checked his mouth while looking back toward Ryback in the ring.
Up Next: Rollins vs. Orton in the main event.
[Commercial Break at 10:42]
[Q12] Back from break, Randy Orton's music played to bring out one-fourth of the PPV main event. WWE World champion Seth Rollins was out next and without J&J Security, which the announcers assumed was because Dean Ambrose roughed them up in the opening match. But, it could have been giving Orton a false sense of security.
8 -- WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS vs. RANDY ORTON -- non-title match
The crowd was still engaged three hours in, so Rollins and Orton did not have to work as hard as past weeks to engage the audience at this point in the show. But, the crowd started chanting for Ambrose as Orton and Rollins exchanged control in the opening minutes. Rollins then knocked Orton out of the ring and Raw cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:52]
Back from break, Rollins was in control. Seth knocked down Orton, who rested on the mat and seemed to be a little woozy. Seth sent Orton to the corner, but Orton avoided a corner attack. Orton took a long time to shake the cobwebs before climbing to the top turnbuckle for a superplex on Seth. Orton slowly crawled over onto Seth for a two count.
[Q13 -- over-run] Orton and Seth came to their feet trading bombs before Seth kicked Orton in the side of the head. Orton stumbled across the ring, then Seth popped him with a springboard knee to the face for a two count. Seth took his time recovering to his feet to buy time for Orton to catch his breath to continue the match. Orton tried his trademark backbreaker, but Seth blocked, only to take a t-bone suplex from Randy.
Orton wanted his second-rope DDT, but Seth blocked with a kick off the ring apron. Seth followed with a suicide dive sending Orton into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Seth stalked Orton, then caught him with a standing kick to the jaw for a two count. Orton continued to sell being knocked woozy as Seth slowly recovered to his feet looking to follow up. Seth mocked Orton by doing his RKO warm-up, which angered Orton into delivering a second-rope DDT.
Orton popped to his feet trying to energize himself and the crowd looking for the big finish. Orton set up for the RKO, but J&J Security stormed the ring to attack Orton for a DQ.
WINNER: Orton via DQ at 15:15. Strange match. Orton looked out of it half-way through the match and the crowd lost interest sensing something wasn't quite right. But, if it was a work, Orton sold so convincingly that it took the crowd down.
Post-match, J&J roughed up Orton a bit, but RKO threw them away, only to take a knock-down blow from Rollins. The crowd chanted for Ambrose as Cole wondered what role J&J will play in the four-way on Sunday.
Instead of Ambrose, Kane showed up to join the post-match party. Rollins sold being unsure of what role Kane would have in this moment. Kane grabbed a chair from ringside, looked into the ring, and Rollins and J&J decided they didn't want to wait for Kane, so they put the boots to Orton. Ambrose suddenly stormed the ring sans music and Roman Reigns joined him. Rollins was cornered by Orton, Ambrose, and Reigns. Dirty Deeds from Ambrose as Kane remained standing on the outside. The crowd chanted for an RKO as the babyface trio continued to look down at Rollins, then down to ringside where Kane stood by.
Ambrose then picked up Seth and fed him to Reigns for a big spear. No movement from Kane. Reigns checked on Kane, then the crowd picked up another loud RKO chant. Reigns and Dean shared a Shield moment, then locked eyes with Orton, who walked across the ring to receive Rollins for a big RKO.
Suddenly, Reigns charged across the ring to drop Orton with a big spear. Ambrose then spun Reigns around to drop him with Dirty Deeds in a flashback to how last week's Raw ended. For the second week in a row, Ambrose stood tall over everyone, this week in his hometown. Meanwhile, Kane remained standing ringside and Cole plugged the four-way WWE Title match at Payback on Sunday.
Before Raw wrapped up, Cole plugged Zayn vs. Owens for the NXT Title from February to hype the re-match this month on WWE Network. Back to final shots of Ambrose and Kane, Orton recovering in the ring, Reigns catching his breath, and Rollins with a far-away look in his eyes to close the show 10 minutes past the top of the hour.
They didn't hit the high note of the final sales pitch for the PPV, but the feel-good of Ambrose standing tall worked in his hometown .
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
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PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
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