KELLER & MARTIN FLAGSHIP (11/28)
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The Card: Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker return to Raw along with Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair. Plus, final Hell in a Cell build-up, New Day vs. John Cena & the Dudleys in a six-man tag match, “Corporate Kane” suspended from Raw, and more from Dallas.
WWE Raw TV Report
October 19, 2015 – Episode #1,169
Live in Dallas, Tex.
Report by James Caldwell (@JCTorch), PWTorch assistant editor
Live Raw on USA Network
Raw opened with Michael Cole welcoming everyone to Raw. Pause… and the glass broke to bring out “Stone Cold” Steve Austin back home in Texas. The crowd erupted as Stone Cold marched down to the ring and did the four corner salute. Cole said this is Austin’s first live appearance on Raw in four years. Cole and JBL hyped Austin as he marched around the ring before talking.
Austin went back to 1989 when he started his career in Dallas at the ol’ Sportatorium. He said he and The Rock broke this building in back in the day, then asked the crowd to give him a hell yeah for Raw in Dallas and WrestleMania 32 in Dallas. Austin said he stomped so many mudholes in this town that he needs to drink a beer just thinking about it.
Austin plugged his live podcast interview with Brock Lesnar after Raw tonight on WWE Network. Then, he got down to business introducing a man he respects a whole lot. He’s one of a kind. (What?) He’s stepping into Hell in a Cell against Brock Lesnar on Sunday. (What?) … The Undertaker.
Pause, then the bell tolled to bring out Taker to a big reaction. For now, it seems like WWE has dropped the deal about Taker being heelish in his feud with Brock Lesnar. Instead, Cole and JBL talked up Taker’s accomplishments and they built up HIAC as potentially Taker’s last match, going for an historical selling point for Sunday.
Taker eventually made it into the ring, where he looked around the arena. “Under-Taker” chants from the crowd. Taker soaked up the chants hiding his eyes behind the brim of his hat, then he spoke. “Brock Lesnar,” he said to boos. “We have one last battle to fight. And, listen when I say this, son. The depths of hell will look like the gates to Heaven compared to where I’m going to take you this Sunday at Hell in a Cell.”
Suddenly, Lesnar’s music interrupted. Lesnar bounced out on-stage flanked by Paul Heyman and bounced up and down while Taker stared him down from the ring. Lesnar and Heyman remained standing on the stage, where Heyman addressed Taker from a safe distance. Heyman said he is the advocate for the Beast who will be unleashed this Sunday, Brrrrrock Lessssnar.
Heyman said that he and Brock were just talking about how fitting it is that this Sunday both combatants enter HIAC with the thought of revenge. Heyman said Lesnar wants to avenge Taker’s illegitimate victory at Summerslam. But, Taker, you lust over the chance to avenge Lesnar conquering your Undefeated Streak at WrestleMania. The crowd booed.
Heyman said this Sunday at Hell in a Cell when both men fight for the very last time, his client, Lesnar, will take his revenge upon thee. And then, Taker, you are going to be forced to learn what it’s like to live or die with a tainted legacy. “A legacy of dominance – dominant over everyone else, except for The Conqueror that took everything away from you, Brrrrock Lesssnar.”
Taker quickly jumped in. “You see, that’s where your problem is,” he said. Taker removed his hat. “When you take everything,” Taker said before removing his jacket. “Then that man ends up fighting with nothing to lose.” Taker told Lesnar to bring it to the ring. Lesnar started walking, much to Heyman’s dismay. No, Brock, not now. Lesnar approached the ring, stared down Taker, and hopped on the ring apron. “No!” Heyman shouted. “This is on his terms, not your terms!”
Lesnar smiled, then heeded Heyman’s advice and bounced off the ring apron down to the floor. Heyman said now Brock is in Taker’s head. Lesnar kept backing up the ramp with Heyman, then Taker sent Brock a final message with a throat slash gesture. Taker’s blue lighting filled the arena and Taker posed in the ring as Lesnar smiled from the entrance ramp. No physicality, saving the big fight for Sunday.
[ JC Reax: Lots of star power in the opening segment, but the mix-up of Taker being heelish in the overall storyline while playing sympathetic figure tonight opposite Lesnar as the guy not wanting to fight made for a strange dynamic. The decision to have Taker kind-of go heel in this feud has not connected with the audience. ]
[Q2] Up next: U.S. champion John Cena & The Dudleys vs. New Day in a six-man tag match. Byron Saxton chimed in with a plug for the opening match.
WM32 Plug: WrestleMania 32 tickets go on-sale Friday, November 6.
[Commercial Break at 8:16]
In-ring: U.S. champion John Cena was introduced first for the opening match. Cole plugged Cena on ESPN SportsCenter tomorrow night, then announced Cena with an Open Challenge for the U.S. Title at HIAC on Sunday.
The Dudleys were out next as Cena’s tag partner. Before New Day was introduced as the opposition, Cole unconvincingly framed New Day as liking to have fun, but also having a vicious side. Big E. then introduced New Day to the arena. The trio took their time coming to the ring, stopping on the entrance ramp to offer a speech. Big E. paused to note that “everything is booty in Texas.” Big E. heeled on the Cowboys, then Kofi Kingston noted Xavier’s trombone is the same brass that they used last week to kick their — (pause to check the PG restrictions) — assssss. Bubba, seething, told them to get in the ring and fight.
1 — U.S. champion JOHN CENA & THE DUDLEYS (BUBBA RAY & DEVON) vs. WWE tag champions NEW DAY (BIG E. & XAVIER WOODS & KOFI KINGSTON) — six-man tag match
Bubba Ray worked over Kofi in the opening seconds, taking out recent frustrations. Devon then tagged in and cleared New Day from the ring. New Day collected themselves on the floor heading to break one minute in.
[Commercial Break at 8:25]
New Day was working on Cena out of the break. Cole said the Dudleys and Cena were in control of the match right until they returned from break. Cena found himself in the corner taking a Stone Cold Mudhole from all three New Day members with in-and-out tags. As Cena took a beating, JBL hyped someone big stepping up for Cena’s U.S. Title Open Challenge on Sunday.
[Q3] Devon took a tag from Cena and all kinds of chaos broke out. Cena suddenly found himself on the top rope looking to splash Big E. on the outside. Cena connected, but Devon was distracted by what was happening on the outside. This allowed Xavier to roll up Devon from behind with a hook of the tights for a surprise three count.
WINNERS: New Day at 8:34.
Post-match: New Day celebrated in the ring, which angered the face trio. Cena and the Dudleys stormed the ring, clearing the heels, except for Xavier Woods. Cena dropped Xavier with the AA, then the Dudleys returned to the ring and teased a table spot. Bubba and Devon set up the table as Kofi and Big E. begged the face trio not to do this. Instead, the Dudleys and Cena delivered a top-rope powerbomb through a table, sending Xavier crashing to the mat. Bubba got the Crazy Look in his eyes, Cena celebrated in a corner, and Devon celebrated in another corner. Cole hyped the Dudleys going after the Tag Titles on Sunday.
Announcers: Cole and Co. reset the show, going to some “breaking news” that Randy Orton did not make last weekend’s Mexico Tour. And, he is not at Raw tonight. JBL said he heard that the Wyatts took out Orton and he is not going to make the Hell in a Cell PPV as Dean Ambrose’s tag partner.
Backstage: Dean Ambrose was shown talking to Fit Finlay and Dean Malenko while a referee stood there in the conversation. Apparently they broke the news to Ambrose that Orton is off the PPV on Sunday. Ambrose sold being frustrated, but not surprised.
[Commercial Break at 8:37]
Backstage: Rene Young was standing by to interview Dean Ambrose. Renee recapped Randy Orton not being at Raw, then she asked Dean to speculate on where Orton is. Dean said the rumors are the Wyatts injured Orton, and he’s not surprised. Dean said he’s tired of this crap and he wants a fight with the Wyatts tonight. He shouted that no one is going to stop him.
In-ring: The Bella Twins were introduced to the ring for tag action. Naomi’s music then brought out Team B.A.D. as the opposition. Cole called this rivalry “interesting,” which is a nice way of saying both teams are kind of heels.
2 — TEAM BELLAS (NIKKI BELLA & ALICIA FOX w/Brie Bella) vs. TEAM B.A.D. (SASHA BANKS & NAOMI w/Tamina)
The crowd chanted for Sasha early on, drawing a smile before A. Fox tried to slap the smile off her face. Sasha responded with a flying dropkick to take Fox off her feet. Raw cut to break.
[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:45]
Back live, everyone except for Sasha battled, as Nikki and Fox tagged in and out working over Naomi. Therefore, the audience’s interest waned until they started chanting for Sasha again. Sasha tagged in and briefly landed offense before Naomi tagged back in. Naomi airballed a corner attack, then took the Rack Attack from Nikki for the three count. Nikki is now set to challenge Charlotte (not pictured) for the Divas Title on Sunday.
WINNERS: Team Bellas at 8:50.
Announcers: Cole and Co. re-visited last week’s show when The Authority had plane problems and did not make it to Raw. And, Corporate Kane booked the Big Red version of himself against WWE World Hvt. champion Seth Rollins.
Cole relayed an update that “Corporate Kane” has been suspended from tonight’s Raw, per The Authority.
Backstage: “Nice Guy” Triple H was shown chatting with Shawn Michaels in The Authority’s office. Cole said HBK is up next.
[Commercial Break at 8:55]
Coming back from break, WWE ran a video photo gallery on cancer survivors. Cole said that tonight in Dallas, they are celebrating life.
HBK 1.0 and HBK 2.0 Segment
[Q5 — second hour] Right at the top of the hour, Shawn Michaels’s music played to bring out HBK returning to Raw TV in his home state. Michaels danced his way into the ring dressed like he drove straight to the building from his Texas ranch.
Once in the ring, Michaels sold being blown up from his ring entrance. He was also winded from eating a fan’s pizza on the way to the ring. Michaels got down to business about Hell in a Cell. He noted he has been inside a cage and a Cell, and nothing compares to being inside Hell in a Cell.
HBK said many years ago, he was in the first-ever Hell in a Cell. He said he can’t remember who he was in there with (a few fans shouted “The Undertaker!”). Yes, Michaels said, that’s right. And, 18 years later, Taker is stepping back inside the Cell against Brock Lesnar. If that’s not enough, there is going to be another HIAC match when Roman Reigns gets Bray Wyatt inside the Cell.
Michaels coughed, looked to the Titantron, and pretended to start talking again, but Seth Rollins’s music interrupted to bring out the WWE World Hvt. champion. Seth marched down to the ring with the title belt around his waist, then came face-to-face with Michaels in the middle of the ring.
Rollins smirked and looked down at HBK. “What are you doing out here, Shawn?” Seth mockingly asked. Seth said Michaels is not doing what he’s supposed to be doing – he was supposed to introduce The Man. Seth noted Michaels was supposed to start the second hour of Raw by introducing him. Michaels replied that he’s been given instructions for 20 years, and when he comes out here, it all goes poof. He said he called an audible to have some fun out here, and they were having a great time until Seth came out here and ruined it.
Seth smirked and said the orders came from HBK’s best friend, Triple H. And, if he doesn’t want to do what Hunter tells him what to do, that’s between them. But, he’s talking about Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. That’s old news. He said HBK needs to be talking about The Man who’s going to stop the show on Sunday. Seth told HBK to talk about the guy who is being called Shawn Michaels Version 2. Except, he’s a lot better than the original.
HBK said he’d be a billionaire for every guy who says he’s going to be the next Shawn Michaels. But, the thing is everyone is wasting their time trying to be the next version of him. He said he did not want to be the second coming of anyone else, but the best wrestler of all-time. HBK warned Seth to stop worrying about him, anyways, and worry about Kane trying to get him.
Seth replied that he was a huge fan of Michaels growing up, but now he’s better than Michaels. Seth shouted that he’s not worried about Kane because he’s going to be just like everyone else who has challenged him for the WWE Title. Seth said he’s done with this conversation. “Hit my music!” he shouted. No music. “Hit my music, I’m the champ!” he growled. HBK laughed and said the thing about being the second version of anything is they don’t always hit your music. But, when you’re the original, they always play your music. By the way, Seth, you’re not going anywhere because you have a match next. And it’s against Ryback. “Soooooo, hit my music,” Michaels comically called for. Michaels’s music played and he danced out of the ring as Seth seethed in the ring. No superkick. They’re really holding off on the physicality tonight.
[ JC Reax: Seth was really good here. It was refreshing to hear him verbal-battle someone else besides Kane and see how he handled himself with a big-name legacy star. ]
[Commercial Break at 9:12]
[Q6] Back from break, Ryback was introduced to the ring as Rollins’s opponent. No sign of Ryback’s HIAC PPV opponent, Kevin Owens, for bonus commentary.
3 — WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS vs. RYBACK — non-title match
The match quickly moved to the floor, where Rollins smashed Ryback’s mid-section into the ring steps. Ryback sold stomach pain and nearly got counted out, but Seth got impatient and decided to smash Ryback with a suicide dive. Seth then dragged Ryback back into the ring and went to work on his mid-section as Cole talked about Ryback being in trouble on Sunday since most of Kevin Owens’s offense targets the mid-section.
Ryback recovered, though, and nailed a spinebuster. Ryback collected himself in the corner and wanted the Meathook Clothesline, but Seth rolled under the ropes to the ring apron. Seth lured in Ryback and nailed a shot to the gut, then he drilled Ryback with the Pedigree for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Rollins at 4:06. Surprise of the night that the champ, Rollins, won a TV match. How far down the food chain does Ryback go from here?
Announcers: Cole and Co. reset, focusing on Randy Orton’s status. Cole said word is Orton was attacked by the Wyatts. Now, Ambrose has made a challenge for tonight. JBL said it’s official – Dean against Braun Strowman and Luke Harper tonight in a handicap match.
[Commercial Break at 9:23]
Ringside: WWE showed members of the Dallas Cowboys sitting ringside. The Cowboys playfully roughed up a few teammates and almost took out a dude on the second row wearing a #10 New York Giants jersey for Eli Manning. And, Eli just threw a Pick Six on Monday Night Football.
Video Review: The issues involving Dolph Ziggler, Rusev, Summer Rae, and Lana. WWE went back to Smackdown when Summer tried to get with Dolph after they were both dumped, but Dolph turned down the offer to be used.
[Q7] Back in the arena, Dolph Ziggler’s music played to bring out Ziggler doing a bit of a Shawn Michaels strut. Cesaro’s music suddenly cut off Dolph. Apparently they’re in tag action. Random, but Cole called it a “formidable team.” Dolph held up a “Cesaro Section” sign, then Neville’s music played. So, a six-man tag match? Neville was introduced to the ring as Cole hyped this trio facing Rusev, Sheamus, and King Barrett next. If this were Superstars, it would be Stardust and The Ascension.
[Commercial Break at 9:33]
Back from break, King Barrett’s music played. That was uneventful, so Rusev came out wildly waving his flag. The announcers noted Rusev was without a female by his side for the first time in forever. Sheamus was out next with his MITB briefcase. Thus far in the PPV hype, few teasers for Sheamus potentially cashing in MITB at Hell in a Cell. Cole offered a basic teaser as the bell sounded.
4 — CESARO & DOLPH ZIGGLER & NEVILLE vs. RUSEV & KING BARRETT & SHEAMUS — six-man tag match
WWE stuck an American in the all-European match this week, making Ziggler look weird standing on the ring apron watching everyone else battle. The crowd tried to make Ziggler feel better with a “U-S-A” chant as Neville and Rusev battled.
Sheamus provided a distraction as Neville prepared to fly, allowing Rusev to bump Neville off the ring apron into the announce table. Sheamus added another blow to Neville, drawing over Ziggler to express his displeasure. Raw headed to break with Sheamus gloating.
[Commercial Break at 9:43]
[Q8] Back from break, Neville dumped Barrett over the top rope to the floor, but he was too worn down to crawl across the ring and make a tag to his corner. Sheamus lost control, though, allowing Neville to tag in Cesaro. Cesaro warmed up the Uppercut Train, as described by Saxton. Cesaro followed with a top-rope cross-body splash for a two count.
Cesaro called for the Big Swing, but Sheamus blocked by grabbing the ropes. Sheamus then bodyslammed Cesaro and both men collapsed to the mat selling the effects. Long, awkward sell. Tags were finally made to Barrett and Ziggler. Rusev got involved, though, and the match broke down with wrestlers everywhere. A rapid-fire sequence of strikes followed, then Neville delivered a springboard flip dive onto the heels down at ringside.
Ziggler was left in the ring with Barrett. Ziggler had Barrett lined up for the win, but Sheamus suddenly nailed Ziggler from the outside with a Brogue Kick through the ropes. Barrett took advantage by pinning Dolph for the win.
WINNERS: Team Barrett at 12:55. Of course Ziggler took the fall in the match. He was out-numbered five-to-one. No real follow-up on the Dolph-Rusev soap opera drama, so it will be interesting to see if they move away from it until Lana returns.
Backstage: Shawn Michaels was shown talking to Ric Flair. They compared watches from WrestleMania 24, then Flair walked off to the ring for the Top of the Third Hour segment.
[Commercial Break at 9:53]
Smackdown plug: Dolph Ziggler and Summer Rae will be on Miz TV hosted by The Miz.
Back from break, Ric Flair was standing in the ring as his music played out. Lilian Garcia introduced Flair as the crowd woo’ed. JBL noted Flair’s Texas Stadium record here in Dallas before Flair began to talk.
“Oh yeah, Dallas, Texas,” Flair opened. “And the Nature Boy.” Flair said he’s had a lot history in this town. The Von Erichs, the Freebirds, Flair, woo! Flair said the most exciting thing to happen is WrestleMania in the Big D next year.
Flair had something else to share. He said that Dean Ambrose is teaming up tonight with his main man, Roman Reigns. Cole filled in the blank that Dean found himself a partner tonight. The Shield’s music played to bring out Reigns through the crowd down to the ringside area. Flair gave Reigns the big endorsement, then handed the mic to Reigns. But, the Wyatt theme interrupted.
[Q9 — third hour] Back live, the Wyatts were ringside as Reigns remained standing in the ring. Reigns thanked Flair for the endorsement, then talked to the Wyatts. Notably, Erick Rowan was randomly in place of Luke Harper. Reigns didn’t seem to notice the difference, as he left the ring and retrieved a few chairs. He set up a game of musical chairs or something. Reigns said he’s sitting right here ready for the Wyatts to start something. He called out Bray right here in the middle of Dallas, Texas.
Bray slowly climbed onto the ring apron, then approached the chair opposite Reigns. Bray slowly sat down for a face-to-face. Reigns said he knows Bray – he’s a bully who likes to pick on people. Bray chuckled. Reigns told Bray that he’s scared. He wanted to talk about ending this Sunday at Hell in a Cell. Reigns said they can’t get in, which means he’s not getting out. And that terrifies Bray. Reigns inched closer to Bray and started pushing him as he talked. Bray took exception, stood up, and took a right hand from Reigns.
The fight was on in the ring with chairs flying. Reigns cleared Bray, Braun Strowman, and Erick Rowan from the ring. Suddenly, Dean Ambrose stormed the ring to make sure the Wyatts didn’t get another shot on Reigns. Cole said the match is later tonight.
Backstage: Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Seth Rollins talked about Roman Reigns. They were talking about a handicap match of Reigns & Dean vs. the Wyatts, which is like the fifth change to the match tonight. Suddenly, Shawn Michaels walked in and joked about sticking Rollins in there. Shawn equated Seth to a child who Hunter and Steph protect and baby. Seth took the bait, took exception, and ranted about beating Ryback already tonight, so he’ll stop the show in the main event. Seth put himself in the match tonight, then stomped away. Shawn sheepishly said he was just trying to talk to the guy as Steph sarcastically thanked him for his help.
So, it started with Dean & Orton vs. Braun & Luke on Sunday, then Dean in a handicap match against Braun & Luke tonight, then Dean & Reigns against Braun & Luke, then Dean & Reigns against presumably Erick Rowan & Braun, then Dean & Reigns versus all of the Wyatts in a handicap match, and now Dean & Reigns & Seth in a Shield Reunion vs. all of the Wyatts tonight. What is going on here?
[Commercial Break at 10:07]
In-ring: Charlotte’s music was playing back from break. The Divas champion was joined by Becky Lynch to face Brie Bella in singles action.
5 — Divas champion CHARLOTTE (w/Becky Lynch) vs. BRIE BELLA (w/Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox)
Charlotte dominated Brie early on, drawing concern from Nikki down at ringside. They cut backstage to Paige watching her kind-of teammate in action. Back in the arena, Charlotte continued to dominate Brie, so she invited Nikki to fight her in the ring. Nikki balked, then Brie used the distraction to cut down Charlotte. Charlotte fought back and slapped on the Figure-Eight. Brie tapped, frustrating Nikki at ringside. Charlotte and Nikki had a stare down ahead of their title match on Sunday.
WINNER: Charlotte via submission at 5:30.
Backstage: Renee Young approached Paige to ask about her involvement with Becky and Charlotte. Paige laughed off the question, then laughed off the accusation about taking out Natalya on Smackdown. Renee got frustrated by Paige dodging the question, then Paige ranted about any number of current or former Divas who would have a grudge against Natalya. Renee said none of them have a personal issue with Natalya, like Paige does. Paige took exception and avoided the question again by personally attacking Renee, calling her a knock-off Erin Andrews. That ended the interview.
Still to come: Reigns & Dean & Seth vs. The Wyatts in a six-man tag match.
[Commercial Break at 10:20]
Back from break, Mark Henry was introduced to the ring as the designated fall-guy in his home state. IC champion Kevin Owens was introduced as Henry’s opponent. Cole hyped Owens’s title defense against Ryback on Sunday before the bell sounded.
6 — IC champion KEVIN OWENS vs. MARK HENRY — non-title match
When the bell sounded, Henry threw up the Hook ‘Em Horns sign a week removed from the Longhorns beating Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Owens insulted Henry, angering the World’s Strongest Man, who knocked him out of the ring. Back in the ring, Owens knocked down Henry, then talked trash, which angered Henry. Henry bodyslammed Owens, but missed a big splash. Owens talked more trash, so Henry shoved his boot in Owens’s face.
Henry shouted in Owens’s face that he’s been a bully for 19 years. Headbutt to the face, then Henry whipped Owens hard across the ring. Owens stumbled across the ring, then took a big splash from Henry. “That’s what I do!” Henry shouted. Henry charged again, but Owens caught him with a kick to the mouth. Henry then bounced off the ropes right into the pop-up powerbomb, which the announcers endorsed as a big deal executing on Henry. Owens covered Henry for the win.
WINNER: Owens at 3:40. Surprising amount of offense for Henry, who looked good before being utilized to enhance Owens and his finisher.
[Q11] Post-match: Ryback’s music played to cut off Owens’s post-match trash-talk to Henry. Ryback marched down to the ring looking to fight, but Owens ducked out of the ring. Owens said he’s not fighting Ryback, but Henry blind-sided Owens and chucked him back into the ring. Ryback said thank you very much and smashed Owens with a powerbomb before leaving the ring. And now Owens is the vulnerable heel champion heading into Sunday. Even-Steven from the match to post-match.
Announcers: Cole and Co. did the PPV vs. WWE Network sales pitch for Hell in a Cell on Sunday.
Backstage: Seth Rollins was shown walking down the hallway when Renee Young approached him for an interview. Seth laughed off the idea of a Shield Reunion tonight. He said this is about him. And him proving that he is The Man. Seth said if Dean and Roman want to re-hash the past, then he’ll destroy them again.
[Commercial Break at 10:33]
Video Package: The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar feud heading into their advertised final encounter at Hell in a Cell on Sunday.
After Raw: Lesnar on Stone Cold’s podcast on WWE Network.
Up Next: Wyatts vs. Shield in a six-man tag match.
[Commercial Break at 10:41. A trailer for “Spectre” aired with a very brief action shot of Dave Bautista.]
HIAC PPV change: The pre-show match is now Ziggler & Cesaro & Neville vs. Rusev & Sheamus & Barrett in a re-match from Raw. This was originally slotted as Dean & Orton vs. the Wyatt henchmen.
[Q12] In-ring: Roman Reigns completed his ring entrance for the main event, then Dean Ambrose was introduced to the ring. Seth Rollins was introduced as their tag partner after being suckered into the match by Shawn Michaels. Dean and Reigns shared a good laugh at Seth taking the bait being their tag partner. Seth confidently strutted down to the ring, then Dean and Reigns laughed at the sight of Seth standing with them in the ring.
Suddenly, the Wyatt theme interrupted. Bray Wyatt led Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan down to ringside as the announcers tried to figure out where Orton is, what happened to Harper, and why Rowan is back with the Wyatts. Too many questions to answer. It’s only a three-hour show.
7 — WWE World Hvt. champion SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS & DEAN AMBROSE vs. BRAY WYATT & ERICK ROWAN & BRAUN STROWMAN — six-man tag match
Before the bell sounded, five of the six participants came face-to-face for a stand-off. Seth finally decided to join the party, but then settled down Reigns and Dean and directed traffic. Seth said that he is starting this because he is The Champ and the brains of the operation. Seth turned around and found himself staring at Erick Rowan. Seth then backed away to the Shield corner and tagged in Reigns, who sold annoyance with Seth before locking up with Rowan.
Reigns dominated Rowan, then tagged in Dean, who fought the Wyatts by himself. Seth blind-tagged into the match, frustrating Dean. Seth was eventually knocked to the floor. Dean and Reigns tried to lend him a helping hand as Seth sold a mixture of pain and annoyance heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:53]
Back from break, they quickly built to Dean tagging into the match. Only, he ran into Big Braun Strowman, who rocked Dean. Dean tried to knock him down with a dropkick, only to run into a big body block. So, the Wyatts began wearing down Ambrose.
[Q13 — over-run] Ambrose continued to take a beating until finally breaking free of Bray Wyatt. But, Braun Strowman ran around ringside and yanked Reigns off the ring apron to prevent a tag to his friend. So, Dean had the choice to fight alone or tag in Rollins. Dean reluctantly crawled toward Seth, who suddenly sold injuring his ankle bouncing up and down on the ring apron. Dean didn’t buy it, but didn’t see Rowan coming with a big splash from behind.
Dean fought back and waited for Reigns to return to the ring apron to receive a tag. Reigns teed off on Rowan, dropkicked Braun through the ropes, and caught Rowan with a Samoan Drop. Superman Punch to Bray, but Strowman broke up the pin. This brought in Dean, prompting chaos to break out. Dean decided he had enough and went under the ring to retrieve a kendo stick. Dean attacked Braun with it, prompting the bell to sound.
WINNERS: Wyatts via DQ at 14:03. Weird deal giving away a Shield reunion match with Seth Rollins on a show where Seth’s WWE Title opponent on Sunday wasn’t even on tonight’s show.
Post-match, Dean tried to deliver a suicide dive to Braun on the outside, but Braun caught him in mid-air and slammed him to the floor. Bray and Rowan beat up Dean, then Reigns suddenly came flying (and nearly falling) over the top rope with a splash to the Wyatts.
Back in the ring, Reigns measured Bray for a big spear. Rowan kind of ran into the ring at the same time. Was he supposed to take the spear, but he was too late to be the sacrificial lamb? Regardless, it threw off the spot, so Reigns decided to just spear Bray. The Shield’s music played, then Dean and Reigns stood tall in the ring as the Wyatts retreated up the ramp.
Before Raw ended, WWE cut backstage to a shot of Austin and Lesnar sitting down at the Podcast station for their post-Raw chat. Back to Reigns and Dean standing tall in the ring as Cole hyped Reigns vs. Bray inside Hell in a Cell on Sunday. Raw ended eight minutes past the top of the hour.
[ OVERALL REAX: This show felt very disorganized. Is Taker a heel or not? Was this a record for most in-show changes to a TV main event? Where was the Big Red version of the challenger to the WWE Title match on Sunday? A Shield reunion on the PPV lead-in show? There were definitely some highlights, but the overall product is all over the place from week to week. ]
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