WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/20: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Battleground fall-out, Taker-Lesnar pullapart, big six-man tag main event, Divas, more
Jul 20, 2015 - 10:10:48 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
July 20, 2015 - Episode #1,155
Live in Kansas City, Mo.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
- The Card: Battleground fall-out, The Undertaker scheduled to open the show, Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns vs. Luke Harper, Brie Bella vs. Charlotte, more.
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with video and photo highlights from last night's Battleground main event of Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins. Lesnar had the WWE Title won, but The Undertaker appeared, low-blowed Lesnar, and took him out to close the PPV.
Live in the arena, the bell tolled and The Undertaker's theme played. Michael Cole called it a rare appearance on Raw, then went through Taker's WWF/E history to re-acclimate the audience with Taker. Byron Saxton chimed in, then JBL talked about his long history of matches with Taker. Taker slowly made his way to the ring as Cole brought it to WrestleMania 30 when Brock Lesnar broke Taker's Undefeated Streak.
Once Taker entered the ring, the arena remained lit with Taker's trademark blue lighting. Taker looked around the arena, then growled into the mic. Taker said he stands here tonight "a relentless, remorseless, cold-blooded, vengeful, grim reaper."
Taker said Streaks are made to be broken. "That is the painful truth," he said. "But, Lesnar, you had to continuously, week after week, month after month, remind everyone of your greatest accomplishment." And now, Taker continued, "I say enough."
"You have taken what once was smoldering ashes and turned it into a raging inferno," Taker said. "Last night was my true ... resurrection." Taker told Lesnar that he can't kill what won't die. He said unleashed forces will now set their careers toward new destines. "And I will challenge your mortality. I will conquer what was yet to be conquered," he said.
Taker said that in the end, just like all living things, be it man ... or beast ... "you will Rest in Peace." Taker's bell tolled and the crowd cheered. Taker remained standing in the ring as Cole described Taker as the man who never forgets, waiting 15 months to strike after Lesnar broke The Streak. Taker slowly left the ring and they cut backstage...
Authority's Office: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon reacted with excitement to Taker returning and this Summerslam match being dropped in their lap. Steph said she's going to get marketing on this. Hunter said he needs to talk to Paul Heyman to tell him and Brock Lesnar to stay away from Raw because if Taker and Brock are in the same building, it could jeopardize Summerslam.
Announcers: Cole, Saxton, and JBL hyped Taker vs. Lesnar at Summerslam.
[ Reax: It was interesting to see how WWE would handle Taker after heelishly attacking Lesnar but getting cheered at Battleground. They basically simplified the story to Taker being mad about Lesnar bragging about breaking The Streak, which is probably for the best so people aren't asking too many logic questions. Will Heyman return fire by pointing out Taker low-blowing Lesnar at Battleground, making the case that Taker is afraid of Lesnar? There's a lot of material to work with; the issue is making it make sense. And not making the audience feel conflicted to the point of being lukewarm toward both characters, but excited to see Taker and Lesnar go at it. ]
Main Event Announcement: John Cena & Cesaro & Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens & Rusev & Sheamus in a six-man tag match. Cole then hyped Charlotte vs. Brie Bella, crediting Stephanie for "transforming the Divas division."
[Commercial Break at 8:12]
[Q2] Back in the arena, Team "B.A.D." was assembled ringside - Sasha Banks, Naomi, and Tamina Snuka. Charlotte's music then brought out Charlotte, Paige, and Becky Lynch. They cut to post-match footage from Battleground of an emotional Ric Flair greeting his daughter, Charlotte, after her first main roster match and victory against Brie Bella and Sasha Banks. Back in the arena, the Bellas's music played to bring out Brie Bella along with Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox.
1 -- CHARLOTTE (w/Paige and Becky Lynch) vs. BRIE BELLA (w/Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox)
Team B.A.D. joined commentary; JBL had the talking points asking the trio why they want to be part of "change" to the Divas division now, after they were so resistant when Paige was trying to go after the Bellas. They had heelish excuses of course. Charlotte dominated Brie early on, then Brie recoiled to the outside looking for space. Charlotte tried a plancha, but Brie moved and Charlotte crashed to the floor. She sold heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:21]
Back from break, Charlotte tried to fight back against Brie after wiping out on the outside. Charlotte responded with chops, but Nikki distracted her on the ring apron when she set up for the figure-eight leglock. Charlotte brushed her aside, then tackled Brie. Charlotte followed with the figure-eight leglock for the submission win. Afterward, B.A.D. were shown no-selling Charlotte's victory, then Charlotte celebrated in the ring with Becky and Paige.
WINNER: Charlotte via submission at 9:00 flat. They had to have Charlotte wipe out on the outside to put Brie on even footing since there was such a size mis-match. It seems like just a matter of time until Charlotte wins the title from Nikki, potentially setting up jealousy issues for Chapter 2 of her introduction.
Announcers: Cole and Co. re-hyped Taker vs. Lesnar for Summerslam.
[Q3] Authority's Office: Triple H was on the phone with Paul Heyman. He tried to make the sales pitch to Heyman that he should want Taker vs. Lesnar for financial reasons. The implication was Lesnar did not want the match, which sounds pretty weak for a babyface. Or pseud babyface. Or someone who the audience is allowed to cheer. In any event, Hunter yelled into the phone to stay home with Brock and not ruin this.
Meanwhile, The Miz tried to interrupt, but Hunter gave him the cold shoulder and kept yelling at Heyman. Hunter eventually hung up, then Miz complained about what Big Show did to him last night at Battleground. Hunter ignored him, then booked Miz against Big Show tonight. Miz said that's not what he wants. Miz complained that his face still hurts from being KO Punched.
[Commercial Break at 8:32]
In-ring: Los Matadores were standing by in the ring back from break. Prime Time Players's music played to bring out the WWE tag champs, who beat New Day last night. Cole relayed an update from New Day that they are looking at today as a new day and will not be held back by yesterday's failure.
2 -- WWE tag champions PRIME TIME PLAYERS (TITUS O'NEIL & DARREN YOUNG) vs. LOS MATADORES (DIEGO y FERNANDO w/El Torito) -- non-title match
The announcers tried to put the teams on equal footing by noting Los Matadores are motivated by a potential Tag Title shot if they win this match and the Players might over-look the masked men after their big PPV win last night. D-Young sold early on, then Titus tagged in and squashed Diego and Fernando. Titus hit the Monty Brown Pounce, then D-Young suplexed the other masked man on the ring apron.
Suddenly, New Day's music played. Xavier Woods said from the stage that they are not here to hate, but to congratulate. Suddenly, un Matador snuck up behind Titus in the ring and dropped him with the Backstabber. It was good for the pin and the win. Xavier, Kofi Kingston, and Big E. celebrated the Players's loss with a mock dance, then Xavier called them terrible.
WINNERS: Los Matadores at 4:05.
Announcers: Cole, JBL, and Saxton were shown on commentary transitioning to Roman Reigns vs. Wyatt Family discussion. Cole hyped Reigns vs. Luke Harper tonight.
Also still to come: Cena & Orton & Cesaro vs. Owens & Sheamus & Rusev.
[Commercial Break at 8:42]
[Q4] Back from break, The Miz was in the ring playing to the crowd, drawing boos. Big Show's music played to bring out the giant looking for a snack.
3 -- BIG SHOW vs. THE MIZ
As soon as the bell sounded, Miz ran out of the ring. Show palmed him back into the ring, then tossed him across the ring. Miz tried to run in and out of the ring to wear down Show. Meanwhile, Cole defended Hunter booking this match, which continues to sound weird since there has not been an Authority face turn. Or any sense of them being good people worthy of being complimented. Show finally caught up to Miz back in the ring, then threw him in the corner. Show slowly climbed to the second rope and flew down onto Miz with a big elbow smash. It was good for the win.
Post-match, Show took the mic and ran down Miz. He asked Miz if he can feel him now. He said the only thing missing right now is Ryback and the IC Title. Show paused for a "Feed Me More" chant. Show said that's exactly what he's going to do - feed him his fist and take the IC Title. Show said he doesn't care if it's Raw or Smackdown or even Tough Enough tomorrow night. Show transitioned to running down Tough Enough, then wondered if the males are strong enough to handle his fist. Show stomped Miz in the gut on the way out. On commentary, JBL warned Tough Enough contestant Z.Z. to run.
WINNER: Show at 1:28. Miz to Ryback to the IC Title to Tough Enough. That was a bit all over the place, but got across Show as a mad giant. He didn't exactly come across like a huge heel since he took out loud-mouth Miz, as opposed to a babyface getting that spot, but that's the nature of the booking right now. A lot lukewarm characters pivoting back and forth.
Speaking of which...
Backstage: Stephanie McMahon and Triple H were hanging out with wrestling artist Rob Schamberger putting over his art work. Steph wanted to know if he could draw the main event of Summerslam. Suddenly, Hunter saw Paul Heyman standing across the backstage area. They chased him down and Heyman defended his presence. He said Brock is not here, but he would like to offer Brock's rebuttal. Then, he will leave. Is that okay? Hunter grimaced, Steph said she doesn't trust him, and Hunter said they need security and about half of the locker room. Grrrr from Hunter heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:53]
Somewhere in the building: Hunter and Stephanie were standing on a podium in front of a purple and blue curtain while the locker room was talking amongst themselves. Steph told her students to shut up. Hunter said Summerslam - and their paychecks - depend on Lesnar vs. Taker happening, so they need to stand between The Beast and The Dead Man if it comes to that tonight. Hunter and Steph stepped off the podium and the locker room of heels and faces hanging out nicely together went back to discussing random things.
In-ring: Paul Heyman was standing by to cheers. Heyman asked why Brock Lesnar is not the WWE World Hvt. champion right now. That's right, the WWE Title. Heyman said Lesnar is not WWE champion tonight not because Rollins out-wrestled, out-fought, or survived Suplex City, but because of Undertaker. Heyman called it the "demonic resurrection" of Taker, tying in the heelish tactics.
Heyman said Lesnar and Taker went face-to-face last night on WWE Network for the first time since April 2014 - the night that his client, Lesnar, conquered The Streak at WrestleMania. The crowd was mixed. Heyman said he knows that bothers some of you, but that upsets Taker even more. He said Taker waited 469 days to exact his revenge. And, yes, he did brag day after day, week after week, month after month because of how big that accomplishment was.
[Q5 -- second hour] Heyman said Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Ric Flair, Edge, Randy Orton, and Batista failed in their task. But, his client, Brock Lesnar, did not fail. He succeeded. Now, what happens? The Undertaker decides to come back for revenge and he has decided that now is the time. Why? Because Lesnar ripped Taker's greatest claim to fame from him and now Taker has ripped the WWE Title away from Lesnar. And, at Summerslam 2015, the Phenom, the badass, The Undertaker faces the Beast, the Conqueror, Brock Lesnar.
Heyman said Taker wants to make this personal, so he will respond accordingly. "My client, Brock Lesnar, broke The Streak at WrestleMania!" he declared. Heyman screamed that Taker sold his soul to the devil in order to exact revenge on Lesnar, but his ass belongs to Brock Lesnar!
Suddenly, the lights went out and the bell tolled. The Undertaker was in the ring. Taker circled Heyman, who begged off, saying he is a human being who has children. Taker stalked Heyman into the corner, then Brock Lesnar's music played. Heyman disappeared from the ring and Taker turned to look toward the entrance ramp.
Brock charged the ring and the fight was on in the middle of the ring. Taker got the best of Brock early on with right hands, then Lesnar tackled him. Hunter showed up on the stage and sent security into the ring to try to restore order, drawing boos. Lesnar broke free and charged Taker, so Hunter sent the locker room down to the ring. Various lower-carders were the first to hit the ring, then mid-carders entered the ring. A giant sea of humanity circled Lesnar and Taker, then eventually pulled them away to separate corners. It looked like a giant battle royal.
Hunter eventually grabbed Lesnar by the head and pulled him out of the ring, but Lesnar ran around ringside to the ring apron and attacked Taker. Wrestlers eventually pulled Lesnar away, but he escaped them and ran back into the ring to keep fighting Taker and the audience shrieked. WWE went to an interesting overhead shot of the ring, which was filled with stars.
Suddenly, Taker broke free and charged Lesnar on the outside as Hunter shouted at the roster to pull the wrestlers away from each other. "I will kill you!" Lesnar shouted. "You're going to have to!" Taker shouted back. Wrestlers eventually pulled Lesnar to the top of the stage as other guys held Taker back at ringside. Raw cut to break with a shot of Taker staring toward the entrance ramp wanting another piece of Brock.
[Commercial Break at 9:07]
Backstage: Lesnar was shown being led down the hallway by various mid-carders. Suddenly, Undertaker attacked him after breaking free from a contingent of wrestlers. Lesnar broke free of his sea of people, then charged Taker. Blows were exchanged as Xavier Woods yelled over everyone. Hunter tried to grab Taker, but Taker broke free and the fight spilled down to the floor. "I will kill you!" Lesnar shouted. Bo Dallas was in there like a referee trying to separate football players fighting for a fumble.
Lesnar came to his feet with a torn-up shirt, then was surrounded by men dressed in police clothes. Lesnar removed his shirt, then took deep breaths, and tried to calm down as Taker disappeared somewhere else in the building. Lesnar held out his hands and was tied up, then led away from the building. The locker room stayed close to Lesnar in case he tried anything, then Raw cut to break.
[ Reax: They are really trying to hype the Lesnar-Taker re-match as a huge deal, pulling out the rare giant pull-apart brawl to add to the visual of two legendary figures locking horns. Now they have tons of footage to replay over the next few weeks to reinforce the physicality leading into Summerslam in lieu of regular appearances by Taker and Lesnar. It was also interesting to see which stars were not part of this segment - John Cena, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, among other top stars. ]
[Commercial Break at 9:13]
[Q6] Back from break, Cole narrated footage from "Moments Ago" when Taker and Lesnar brawled in the ring, out of the ring, and backstage. Replay #1 of 100 to come.
Authority's Office: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon talked about Lesnar being arrested. In walked WWE World champion Seth Rollins, who said he has a lot to get off his chest and he wishes Brock was still here to hear it. Talking tough with Lesnar gone, reinforcing him as a smarmy heel. Hunter sighed and told Seth to go ahead and say your piece in the ring.
Suddenly, Bray Wyatt's video interruption played. Wyatt was shown standing next to Luke Harper's jacket, which contained a silenced photo of Bray Wyatt. Bray spoke that he is more than just flesh and blood, but an enigma. He said he sees Roman Reigns for who he truly is. And you, you chose Reigns and anointed him. Now you're going to burn for it. Harper said this is just the start. He said he will tear Reigns down brick by brick. Bray said he will continue to fix the mistake. "Anyone but you," he said.
[Commercial Break at 9:22. They're really letting Brock-Taker breathe before getting back to regular old wrestling matches.]
Back on Raw, the arena was dark. Out came Bray Wyatt along with Luke Harper. They entered the ring and the lights came back on. The Shield's music played to bring out Roman Reigns to mostly cheers. Reigns walked through the crowd down to ringside and glared into the ring, where Harper was standing in front of Wyatt. Suddenly, Dean Ambrose's music played to a big ovation. Out came Ambrose looking to even the odds for this match. Ambrose knocked fists with Reigns, who locked eyes with Harper before the bell sounded 42 minutes after the previous match.
4 -- ROMAN REIGNS (w/Dean Ambrose) vs. LUKE HARPER (w/Bray Wyatt)
The crowd had ample time to come down from the Lesnar-Taker pull-apart brawl to engage in the match early on. Reigns nailed a big clothesline sending Harper reeling to the outside. Harper talked with Wyatt then returned to the ring. Tight lock-up, then Reigns nailed a suplex to a strong reaction. Harper rolled to the outside and contemplated matters heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:33]
Back from break, Harper had Reigns in a chinlock. Meanwhile, Wyatt was sitting in Byron Saxton's chair, forcing Saxton to stand at the announce table. In the ring, Reigns fought to his feet, but Harper chucked him through the ropes and Reigns awkwardly fell to the ground. Reigns sold an arm injury, then threw himself back into the ring at nine to avoid being counted out.
Harper continued to punish Reigns as the crowd tried to rally behind Reigns. Harper then missed a corner attack, flew over the top rope, and fell down in front of Wyatt. Reigns used the breather to recover and then attack Harper when he returned to the ring. Reigns landed a leaping clothesline, then a one-arm Samoan Drop.
Ambrose called for Reigns to keep going after Harper, but Wyatt stopped Reigns on the outside. So, Reigns uppercut him, then hit a double pump kick to the Wyatt Family members. Back in the ring, Reigns wanted the Superman Punch, but Wyatt pulled Reigns out of the ring, prompting the bell to sound for a DQ.
Post-match, Ambrose fought Harper while Reigns and Wyatt fought. Wyatt sneak-attacked Ambrose after knocking down Reigns. Then Harper picked up Ambrose and smashed him into the barricade next to the timekeeper's area. The crowd sounded concerned since the landing looked pretty awkward. Wyatt and Harper then dragged Reigns into the ring to punish him.
But, Ambrose came back to life and charged the ring to a huge reaction. Ambrose nailed the rebound lariat on Harper, but Wyatt grabbed him for Sister Abigail, only to have Reigns catch Wyatt with a punch to the face. Wyatt and Harper bailed from the ring, then walked through the crowd to escape Reigns and Ambrose, who posed triumphantly in the ring. JBL said this is far from over.
WINNER: Reigns via DQ at 13:01. The crowd was hot for the segment, which was much different than last night at the PPV when the crowd sounded indifferent to Reigns. Adding Ambrose to the mix certainly upped the intensity making for a good segment advancing the feud without giving away much.
Backstage: WWE World Hvt. champion Seth Rollins was shown walking down the hallway with a smug look on his face. Rollins addresses the crowd next.
[Q8] [Commercial Break at 9:46]
Summerslam Hype: Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker.
Last night: Seth Rollins was taking a beating from Brock Lesnar and about to lose the WWE Title when The Undertaker interrupted. And that is why he is still WWE World champion. Cole said there is no doubt in his mind that Lesnar was going to win the WWE Title last night.
World Champ's Address
In-ring: Seth Rollins, showing no effects of being taken to Suplex City last night, was introduced to the ring with a big ol' smile on his face with the WWE World Title belt still around his waist. In the ring, Seth smiled as he looked around the arena. He said it's good to see you, Kansas City. But, he has to ask them a question. How does it feel to be wrong about Seth Rollins again?
Seth said everyone bought into Paul Heyman's bullcrap propaganda, then pointed out Suplex City t-shirts in the crowd. He said everyone cheered when Brock took an axe to his $55k Cadillac. And how happy the crowd was when J&J Security was taken out and then when Kane was taken out. But, guess what, he is still WWE World Hvt. champion.
Seth said he doesn't care about Brock Lesnar. "I am the WWE World Hvt. champion and the most under-appreciated champion in the history of WWE," he declared. Seth said he took Brock's best, but he's still here. He said they will never understand what he has to go through to keep this title around his waist. Seth said everyone can talk about the means of keeping the title, but all that matters is the ends. He said he is the be-all, end-all of champions in this industry.
Rollins said Brock Lesnar's past caught up to him last night when Undertaker came calling. He said Brock played with fire and got burned. But, he can't help but feel like he was robbed last night by Brock and Undertaker. He needs to fix that, though. He asked Lilian Garcia to make her way into the ring to make the official announcement.
Seth asked Lilian to make the announcement that should have been made after his title match last night. Lilian announced Seth as the winner by disqualification, but Seth cut her off to add more information. And still WWE World champion, Seth Rollins.
[Q9 -- third hour] Suddenly, John Cena's music played at the top of the hour. Out came U.S. champion John Cena to go face-to-face with the WWE World champion. Before speaking, Cena paused to smile at a big pro-Cena sign in the crowd that had been on-display throughout the night. Cena told Lilian that she can leave the ring and not deal with Seth's crap anymore.
Seth wanted to know what Cena is doing out here since his business has nothing to do with him. Seth mock-congratulated Seth for his victory over Kevin Owens last night, then said this must be his little Open Challenge segment trying to carve out a niche. So, the floor is yours, John. Cena told him to hang back for a second. He said they became champions on the same night at WrestleMania, then ran him down as a weasel, suck-up, poor excuse for a champion. He said that actions speak louder than words around here and Seth's actions every night make people lose faith in the WWE Title and gain respect for the U.S. Title. "Thanks chief, I owe you one," Cena said.
"U-S-A" chant from the crowd. Seth told the crowd to shut up. He said Cena comes out here acting like he's carrying a symbol of excellence because he defends the title against anyone who comes down to the ring. He said no one has to earn a title shot against Cena, then he got in Cena's face reminding John that he is World champion. He said Cena defending the title every week is just John placating the people because he can't stand them hating his guts. Seth said Cena can have his little Open Challenge while he continues being THE champion in WWE.
Seth left the ring, prompting Cena to call him a coward running away from every challenge he's faced since becoming champion. Cena declared that The Champion is right here. He said it's not the title that makes the title, but the man that makes the title. "You don't want to be a boy? Fine. I'll tell you as a man that I think you're a joke," Cena said. He asked Seth if he wants to fight right now. Seth removed his shirt, then Cena tossed his shirt aside. They squared off, then Seth waved off Cena and bailed from the ring. Cena smirked at the familiar sight of a heel backing down from a fight.
Cena picked up the mic and mock-introduced WWE champ Seth Rollins. He then shouted that The Champ is here, referring to himself. Cena posed with the U.S. Title belt as the announcers debated the Cena-Rollins exchange. Cole said Seth failed to step up to Cena's challenge.
[ Reax: They stopped short of announcing WWE champ vs. U.S. champ at Summerslam since they want to focus on Taker-Lesnar tonight, but certainly planted the seeds. This was a big topic of discussion on the Battleground post-game show with Greg Parks, which you can hear discussed HERE at PWTorchLivecast.com ]
Still to come: Cena in the main event with Cesaro and Randy Orton against Rusev, Kevin Owens, and Sheamus.
[Commercial Break at 10:08]
Announcers: Back from break, Cole fed to a video package on last week's re-boot of the Divas division introducing Charlotte, NXT Women's champion Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch from NXT.
Ringside: The Bellas and Alicia Fox were at the commentary position. Is it the July 27 Raw now? Paige was introduced to the ring with Becky Lynch and Charlotte, who beat Brie Bella earlier in the night. Also appearing for the second time tonight were B.A.D., sending out Sasha Banks and Naomi for tag action.
On commentary, JBL asked the Bellas if they are on-board with Stephanie wanting a Divas revolution. Divas champ Nikki said the misconception about Team Bella is they are ducking new competition, but they welcome the influx of NXT talent to face new challengers. That was a semi-babyface line from a semi-heel champion, capturing how wishy-washy the division has been since WrestleMania. In the ring, Becky dominated the action early on, then Paige got in some offense. Becky tagged back in, but lost control against Sasha and the heels isolated her in their corner heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:20]
Back from break, Becky was still in trouble being worked on by the heels. Meanwhile, Team Bella was too busy talking amongst themselves to notice what was happening in the ring, a classic heel move. Sasha and Naomi continued to use heel tactics to keep Becky grounded, drawing Paige's ire from the ring apron. Paige finally got the hot tag and teed off on Naomi. She had Naomi locked in the PTO, but Sasha broke it up. Paige knocked Tamina off the ring apron, but Sasha was now legal and surprised Paige with the Bank Statement. Paige was forced to tap out.
WINNERS: Sasha & Naomi via submission at 13:31. Impressive win for Sasha linking up with Charlotte's impressive debut. It will be interesting to see when the first Charlotte vs. Sasha match happens on the main roster. It's also apparent that WWE put the entire "we got nothing for you" mid-carders in the Brock-Taker pull-apart to give them TV time with two long-form Divas matches on the card tonight.
[Q11] Announcers: Cole and Co. were shown on-camera to talk Tough Enough and transition to a piece of marketing for the new "Southpaw" movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The video included comments from TE trainers Booker T, Billy Gunn, and Lita talking about Gyllenhaal's training for the movie role.
Up Next: Cena & Cesaro & Orton vs. Owens & Rusev & Sheamus in a six-man tag main event.
[Commercial Break at 10:33]
Smackdown announcement: Naomi & Sasha Banks face the Bellas on Thursday. So, the Bellas will be back to semi-faces for that match?
Earlier Tonight: Brock and Taker tore each other apart until Triple H tried to save his Summerslam main event. Cole noted that both men were arrested, but he's not going to press charges, just let them cool down.
Summerslam hype: Taker vs. Lesnar in five weeks. Cole called it more of a reason than ever to subscribe to WWE Network.
Two Weeks Ago: Cole flashed back to Lana-Summer Rae business involving Dolph Ziggler and Rusev, who "injured Ziggler's throat" with a crutch shot. Saxton noted they have not seen Ziggler since being injured and hospitalized.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in Lana, who said Dolph is recovering at home and there is no permanent damage to his windpipe. Now they are waiting for him to be medically cleared. Suddenly, Summer Rae was standing off in the corner dressed like Lana. Rusev walked in and told Summer that she looks beautiful. Angel-like, he said. Rusev said his actions are better than his words, then he smooched Summer in front of Lana, looking out of the corner of his eye to see if Lana was jealous. Rusev said he must leave for his match. He then walked up to Lana, saying she looks tired and might need rest. Rusev cackled and walked off. Summer walked up to Lana and slapped her across the face.
In-ring: Cesaro was introduced to the ring for the first match. Randy Orton was out next to a strong reaction and Raw cut to break before Cena made his entrance.
[Q12] [Commercial Break at 10:45]
Back from break, Cena was in the ring. Cole plugged Cena granting a Make-a-Wish on ESPN SportsCenter Tuesday night. Out first for the heel trio was Kevin Owens looking for revenge on Cena, who beat Owens in Match #3 of their series last night at Battleground. Owens waited for Rusev, who was joined by Summer Rae dressed as Lana. Owens and Rusev hung out ringside, then Sheamus made his entrance with the MITB briefcase.
6 -- U.S. champion JOHN CENA & CESARO & RANDY ORTON vs. SHEAMUS & KEVIN OWENS & RUSEV (w/Summer "Lana" Rae) -- six-man tag match
The bell sounded and there was a "Fight Owens Fight" chant. Cena smiled and owned the pro-Owens/anti-Cena chant, encouraging Owens to meet him in the ring. Owens started the match, circled the ring, and then bailed by tagging in Rusev. Cena smirked, then Rusev locked up with Cena and bodyslammed into the heel corner. Owens took advantage by entering the match and talking trash, but Cena trapped him in the STF. Owens broke free, then nailed a DDT. Owens tried to follow with his cannonball splash in the corner, but Cena avoided.
Tags to Cesaro and Sheamus. Cesaro lit up Sheamus with uppercuts, then nailed a spinebuster. Cesaro dumped a charging Owens, but Rusev caught Cesaro with a standing kick to end his hot run. Sheamus took control of the match heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:54]
Back from break, Cesaro tried to fight back against the heels. They repeatedly cut him off, so Cesaro tried to land his own offense, but Owens caught Cesaro with a Codebreaker. Suddenly, Sheamus and Owens had an issue after Owens accidentally bumped into Sheamus. They had a shoving match, then Owens roughed up Sheamus's hair, so Sheamus smashed Owens to the mat.
[Q13 -- over-run] Sheamus took his MITB briefcase and left the ringside area, saying he doesn't need this. Sheamus shouted on the way out about being the next WWE World champion. Back in the ring, Owens tried to tag in Rusev, but Rusev was down and out on the floor being checked on by Summer Rae. Rusev finally returned to the ring apron and wanted a tag, so Owens told "you idiot" to get in the match. Rusev argued with Owens, who then superkicked Rusev. Owens bailed from the ring, leaving Rusev alone with three babyfaces.
Cesaro finally crawled across the longest desert in the world to tag in Orton. And the crowd exploded. Orton came in hot on Rusev, delivering signature offense. Orton then snapped off an exploder suplex on Rusev, setting up for the second-rope DDT. Orton threw in a Jake Roberts finger twirl and planted Rusev. He wanted the RKO as Cena led the cheers. Rusev slowly got up, then Orton tried the RKO, but Rusev pushed off and sidekicked Orton.
Suddenly, Lana showed up. Lana walked down to ringside to big cheers and confronted Summer Rae, tackling her to the ground. Rusev freaked out, telling Lana to get out of here. Lana won the scrap, then left ringside with her head held high. Back in the ring, Cena dropped Rusev into Cesaro's Big Swing. And, Cesaro turned the Big Swing into a slingshot right into the RKO. The babyfaces freaked out, the crowd celebrated, and Orton pinned Rusev for the win.
Post-match, Orton, Cena, and Cesaro stood tall in the ring taking a feel-good babyface curtain call. Cole hyped Taker-Lesnar at Summerslam as the babyfaces stood tall for the final sign-off seven minutes past the top of the hour.
WINNERS: Cena & Orton & Cesaro at 14:57. That was the ultimate feel-good, babyface triumph typical for a post-Raw dark main event, complete with a Big Swing RKO to send the crowd into pandemonium. It captured an overall tonal shift - at least for one week - going heavy on feel-good moments and exciting segments mixed with a lack of The Authority doing anything really heelish trying to make Raw seem exciting again and not depressing. We'll see if it affects TV Ratings over time as Raw tries to get out of historical-low ratings territory.
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