5 YRS AGO – WWE Raw Report (5/13/13): Triple H-Lesnar confrontation, The Shield, Ryback, Cena, Bryan, Kane, Miz, A.J. Lee, Big E, Sandow


The Shield (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

The following was originally published on PWTorch.com five years ago this week…


WWE Raw TV Results
May 13, 2013 – Episode #1,041
Live in Tulsa, Okla.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

This week’s WWE Raw opened with a video package recapping last week’s events. Specifically, Ryback defeating Kane before John Cena and Daniel Bryan fought The Shield, only to have Ryback destroy Cena with a chair to close the show. And, follow-up on Brock Lesnar trashing Triple H’s personal broom closet.

In the arena, Raw started with Michael Cole introducing the show before WWE cut to Jerry Lawler in the ring. Lawler, standing on a mustard-yellow carpet covering the ring mat, announced Chris Jericho vs. Fandango at Extreme Rules. Lawler then plugged their dance-off tonight on Raw.

Fandango was introduced on-stage flanked by his Dancer of the Week, Summer Rae. On commentary, JBL hyped Fandango’s upset victory over Chris Jericho as Fandango and Rae very slowly and deliberately made their way to the ring. Lawler then introduced Fandango’s dance-off opponent, Chris Jericho, and his dance partner, Edyta Sliwinska.

The lights went out, then Jericho’s light-up jacket filled the stage. Jericho emerged on-stage before he was joined by Kelly Kelly look-a-like Sliwinska. Cole listed Sliwinska’s credentials on Dancing with the Stars before the duo made their way down to the ring.

Once everyone was assembled in the ring, Lawler requested fan voting not be a popularity contest, but an evaluation of their dancing abilities. Lawler brought up Fandango losing to Great Khali, which prompted Fandango to defend himself. He said he doesn’t think – he knows – that he will defeat Jericho tonight. Jericho responded by saying this show is still Raw is Jericho. He said he’s had a lot of great victories on Raw, but he won the first-ever Musical Chairs competition and won Price is Raw. So, he’s confident he will win again tonight.

But, even better, this Sunday at Extreme Rules, Jericho told “Fan-dunghole” that he will create a new dance sensation that will sweep the nation called “The I Just Kicked Your Jackass All Over This Ring.” Fandango was not amused by this. He then vowed to dance all over Fandango’s face this Sunday. And Fandango will never, ever, evvvvvver be the same again.

With that out of the way, Lawler noted there was a coin-toss earlier today to determine who will go first. And, Fandango won. So, they go first.

[Q2] Fandango and Summer Rae prepared to dance, but Fandango was not feeling the odd music selected, prompting boos from the crowd. Fandango demanded the mic to “You Suck” chants, then shushed the crowd. “Hush, hush, hush,” he said. “I’m trying to create a masterpiece out here.” Fandango said he needs to focus. “What’s this, golf?” Cole asked, prompting a Sergio Garcia reference from JBL.

Fandango and Rae got into position again, then started dancing, but Raw sold a left ankle injury mid-way through the routine. Fandango told Rae to stop messing around, then called her useless. Fandango lamented his bad luck as Sliwinska came over to check on Rae. The ringside doctor then checked on Rae while Fandango bailed. Jericho, feeling confident that Fandango was done, turned his back to check on Rae, too. However, Fandango ran back into the ring and popped Jericho in the face with a bicycle kick when Jericho turned around.

Fandango followed with right hand strikes and clubbing blows that knocked Jericho to the outside. Fandango smashed Jericho into the announce table, then ran Jericho hard into the ring steps. Fandango ignored “You Can’t Dance” chants, then smashed Jericho into the guardrail. Lawler said he snapped. Fandango then took a piece of the “dance floor” from the ring, hoisted it in the air, and measured Jericho for a big smash. Jericho then turned around and ate the floor piece right in the face. Ten years ago, Jericho is bleeding, but Jericho simply sold face pain as Fandango surveyed his work.

Fandango then re-entered the ring and stared down at Summer Rae, who suddenly popped to her feet showing no ill-effects from the “ankle injury.” Fandango and Rae then posed in the ring as JBL said they were duped. Fandango and Rae danced their way out of the ring before WWE replayed Rae faking an ankle injury to allow Fandango to ambush Jericho. Back live, Fandango and Rae were shown posing on-stage as Jericho sold ringside.

Announcers: Cole, JBL, and Lawler were shown on-camera reacting to the segment. Cole plugged their one-on-one match this Sunday at Extreme Rules before announcing a six-man tag main event tonight: Cena & Bryan & Kane vs. The Shield.

Backstage: A jacked-up Ryback was shown walking down the hallway. Cole said he’s in action next. Raw cut to break after a 22-minute opening segment.

[Commercial Break]

1 — RYBACK vs. ZACK RYDER

Ryder was already in the ring back from break. As Ryback marched to the ring, the announcers said they could be looking at the new WWE champion at Extreme Rules. After the bell sounded, there was a light “Goldberg” chant in Goldberg’s hometown of Tulsa. Also, an O’Doyle Rules sign was visible on the front row. WWE then plugged their App and went to a video box of Alberto Del Rio being interviewed on the App. Oh, and Ryback finished Ryder with Shell-Shock in one minute.

WINNER: Ryback at 1:04. Too much going on during the presentation for viewers to digest Ryback’s squash win.

Announcers: As Ryback left the ring, Cole quickly transitioned to April 2012 for the origins of the Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar feud when Lesnar “broke Hunter’s arm.”

Live tonight: Hunter and Lesnar have a face-to-face ahead of their match at Extreme Rules on Sunday.

[Q3] [Commercial Break]

Back from break, Tons of Funk were in the ring dancing. Suddenly, the Prime Time Players were ringside. Apparently they’re having a match.

2 — TENSAI & BRODUS CLAY (w/Cameron and Naomi) vs. PRIME TIME PLAYERS (TITUS O’NEIL & DARREN YOUNG)

Shenanigans in the ring and on commentary involving J.R., then Titus rolled up Clay from behind for a three count. WWE production pulled a TNA by missing the pin attempt until the referee hit three for the finish. WWE then replayed D-Young using his hair-enhancer to spike Clay in the eyes to allow Titus to score the win. This was the moment where Cole decided to flip out about the heels cheating instead of saving it for a match that counts.

WINNERS: Players at 1:36.

Up Next: An important announcement about the World Title match at Extreme Rules due to Dolph Ziggler’s concussion.

[Commercial Break]

On-stage: Matt Striker was standing on-stage to welcome out Smackdown authority figure Teddy Long to address the World Title. As Long was introduced, Cole noted Smackdown GM Booker T is out of commission as of late due to an infected elbow, requiring surgery. Striker asked Long what he plans to do since Ziggler has not been cleared to compete at Extreme Rules.

Before Long could say anything, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter interrupted and demanded the World Title. Big E. Langston and A.J. Lee then interrupted. A.J. complained about Swagger concussing Ziggler, then they argued. So, Long calmed everyone down and said Ziggler will not be stripped of the title, as it will now be Swagger vs. Del Rio in a #1 contender I Quit match at Extreme Rules. The crowd reacted with silence.

Long then booked Big E. in a match tonight against either Del Rio or Swagger. Big E. over-dramatically asked which one it is, then Long said the audience will vote in a poll. Striker put the mic near Big E. for reaction, but he didn’t have a response, so he and A.J. left. They plugged the poll to close the segment, but then Cole said the polls are not open yet. On dear.

[ JC’s Reax: That skit came across like amateur hour, like something from a high-school drama class. In other news, WWE just took a three-way World Title ladder match and reduced it to a #1 contender I Quit match. ]

Still to come: Mark Henry plans to call out Sheamus. And, Team Cena vs. The Shield in a six-man tag match.

[Q4] In-ring: Kofi Kingston was introduced for the next match.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole plugged Big E. versus either Swagger or Del Rio later tonight. Cole again pitched the new tagline for the App being “The New Way to Watch Television,” before announcing a new match for Extreme Rules: Kofi Kingston vs. Dean Ambrose for the U.S. Title.

In-ring: Damien Sandow was introduced as Kofi Kingston’s opponent tonight. Sandow ran down Kofi and his theme song before declaring the imminent end of Kofi’s U.S. Title reign. Kofi was not impressed by this.

3 — U.S. champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. DAMIEN SANDOW — non-title match

Kofi nearly won the match in five seconds with a quick roll-up upon Sandow’s entrance to the ring. But, Sandow escaped and went on the attack. As the match unfolded, the announcers discussed Turkish comic books and giant snails. Kofi then popped Sandow with Trouble in Paradise for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Kingston at 2:30. Basic deal giving Kofi momentum heading into Extreme Rules.

Backstage: Mark Henry was shown walking down the hallway with a strap around his neck. Henry calls out Sheamus next.

Back live two minutes before the top of the hour, Mark Henry was standing by in the ring. The announcers plugged Henry vs. Sheamus at Extreme Rules, then Cole fed to a video package from June 2004 when JBL and Eddie Guerrero faced off in a bullrope match to demonstrate the match format.

[Q5 — second hour]

Henry-Sheamus Segment

Josh Mathews was in the ring with Mark Henry to get Henry’s thoughts on the strap match. But, first, another video package. This time, Henry assaulting Sheamus with a strap last Monday on Raw. Back in the ring, Henry vowed to drag Sheamus’s carcass around the ring. Then, Henry introduced video from Smackdown when he dragged trucks across a yellow line.

Back in the ring, Mathews asked Henry how that power will propel him to victory at the PPV on Sunday. Henry said he can do better than that, then asked Mathews to put the strap on. “I said put it on!” Henry shouted. Mathews, intimidated, put the strap on to attach himself to Henry, who then shoved down Mathews. Henry followed with a demonstration of touching each corner, which Cole just did on commentary. Henry hit all four corners as Mathews writhed around on the mat. Henry then untied Mathews, who scrambled out of the ring.

Henry said he’s feeling generous, so why wait until Extreme Rules? Henry called out Sheamus to get some, but no sign of Sheamus. Henry began talking trash, but Sheamus’s music interrupted. Sheamus came out on-stage and insulted Henry’s intelligence, so Henry told Sheamus to come on down to the ring if he’s feeling him tonight. On-stage, Sheamus said Henry is awfully tough standing in the ring with a strap. Henry laughed to himself and called Sheamus a coward.

Sheamus said Henry talked him into a fight, then he marched down the ring. Sheamus told Henry to “back his back arse up” so he can get in the ring, then Sheamus said he remembers leaving a present under the ring. Sheamus grabbed his own strap, then hit the ring. The two men started strapping each other, then Henry bailed from the ring to escape Sheamus, who stood tall in the ring. Henry teased running back into the ring, but opted to head to the back, leaving Sheamus to celebrate in the ring.

Still to come: Triple H and Brock Lesnar go face-to-face. But, first, a look back to January 2013 when Vince McMahon tried to fire Paul Heyman, but Brock Lesnar returned and destroyed McMahon.

Up Next: Randy Orton is in action. Cole then plugged the next WWE Studios release, “12 Rounds 2,” starring Orton. Cole then fed to the trailer for the movie.

[Commercial Break]

Earlier Tonight: Fandango destroyed Chris Jericho after ambushing Jericho during their dance-off segment. This Sunday, they go one-on-one.

In-ring: Antonio Cesaro was standing by in the ring. Randy Orton was then introduced to a loud reaction to face Cesaro in yet another singles match-up between the two. Cole referenced their most-recent re-match last Wednesday on Main Event before plugging Orton against Big Show in an Extreme Rules match on Sunday.

[Q6]

4 — RANDY ORTON vs. ANTONIO CESARO

As the match started, WWE introduced an in-screen App video of Matt Striker attempting to interview Big Show in the locker room. Paging Andrew Green. In the ring, Orton quickly snapped off a powerslam before stalking Cesaro for the second-rope DDT, but Cesaro countered with a roll-up for a two count. That was it for Cesaro, as Orton suddenly struck with the RKO. Orton covered Cesaro for the win.

WINNER: Orton at 3:10.

Still to come: Hunter-Lesnar face-to-face and Team Cena vs. The Shield in an elimination six-man tag match.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: And now for something different with the blow-out Heat-Bulls Playoffs game ending, 3MB was in the ring pretending to play air-guitars. The Miz’s music then played to bring out Miz, who has been off TV for a month. Cole and Co. hyped Miz filming another movie and returning to Raw tonight. Before the bell sounded, Cole announced Miz vs. Cody Rhodes on the Extreme Rules pre-show.

5 — THE MIZ vs. HEATH SLATER (w/Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre)

Early on, Lawler had to wake up JBL on commentary by asking if he likes Slater. Miz with the Reality Check, then Lawler offered his Musical Joke of the Week, annoying Cole. Meanwhile, WWE ran some pro-heel tweets on a lower-third crawler. As Miz built momentum and made his comeback, another App Insert video played showing IC champion Wade Barrett talking in the locker room.

The announcers snorted to withhold laughter about some sort of joke between the three of them, then Miz chucked Slater off the top rope onto the other two 3MB members on the outside. Back in the ring, Miz kicked Slater at the knees to set up for and execute the figure-four leglock. Slater quickly tapped out.

WINNER: Miz via submission at 4:13. Fine return for Miz, but the entire segment was another trainwreck that’s becoming bad for business. Too much going on during the matches.

[Q7] Video Package: WWE Divas went to D.C. to support the Susan G. Komen organization. The video focused on Layla, Alicia Fox, and breast-cancer survivors.

Up Next: Team Cena vs. The Shield in a six-man tag elimination match.

[Commercial Break]

February 2013: Vince McMahon wanted to fight Paul Heyman, but Lesnar interrupted, then Triple H attacked Lesnar to set up their WrestleMania match.

Still to come tonight: Lesnar and Hunter go face-to-face. Cole then re-plugged WWE’s App and the Poll of the Week on who should face Big E. Langston tonight.

In-ring: Justin Roberts gave a formal ring introduction for the elimination six-man tag match climaxing Act II of the show. Out first were WWE tag champs Daniel Bryan and Kane. As the tag champs were introduced, Cole announced Kane & Bryan vs. Reigns & Rollins in a Texas Tornado match for the Tag Titles at Extreme Rules.

John Cena’s music then played to bring out the WWE champion. Cole said Cena’s ankle is getting better, then Cole noted Cena has never lost at Extreme Rules. JBL questioned the true condition of Cena’s ankle, then Shield’s music played to bring out Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins from separate portions of the arena. As Shield hit the ringside area, Cole plugged Kane vs. Seth Rollins this Wednesday on Main Event. The bell sounded 18 minutes before the top of the hour.

6 — WWE champion JOHN CENA & WWE tag champions DANIEL BRYAN & KANE vs. THE SHIELD (DEAN AMBROSE & SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS) — six-man elimination tag match

As the match started, Cole painted an ominous picture of what would happen if Ambrose won the U.S. Title and if Reigns & Rollins won the Tag Titles on Sunday. Cena entered the match two minutes in, then took control as Raw cut to break.

[Q8] [Commercial Break]

Back from break, it was “still six-on-six,” according to Cole. “Three-on-three,” Lawler corrected, ensuring the home-viewing audience that six wrestlers were not added to the match on the App. It’s becoming more apparent that Cole is being fed too much information during these three-hour shows, affecting his announcing. Speaking of the App, Cole introduced an in-screen video of Matt Striker talking to Ryback in the locker room.

In the ring, Shield dominated D-Bryan, but they couldn’t put him away for the first elimination. Kane then tagged into the match and clotheslined Ambrose before delivering a sidewalk slam. DDT resulted in a nearfall. Kane then climbed to the top rope and clotheslined Ambrose. He wanted a Chokeslam, but Rollins hit the ring, so Kane shoved both men over the top rope to the floor. Kane then punched Reigns off the ring apron, prompting the announcers to declare that this could be the night Shield loses.

On the outside, Kane dismantled Shield members, then cleared the announce table. The ref told Kane not to do it, then Kane smashed Shield with the announce table lid, drawing a DQ. Raw then cut to break with Kane forced to leave ringside.

*** Kane DQ’ed and eliminated at 12:05 ***

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Shield was taking apart Cena in their corner. Rollins then came off the top rope with a boot to Cena’s face for a two count. Shield continued the attack leading to the top of the hour.

[Q9 — third hour] Cena hot-tagged Bryan, who proceeded to double-dropkick Reigns and Ambrose off the ring apron before targeting Rollins. Bryan then flew through the ropes with a suicide dive to Reigns. Bryan quickly jumped back into the ring to smash Rollins with a top-rope missile dropkick, popping the crowd. Bryan covered Rollins, but Rollins kicked out just before three for the first great nearfall of the night.

Bryan followed up with monster kick strikes to Rollins, then wanted the No! Lock, but Rollins fought to his feet to block. Ambrose then tagged in, but Bryan caught a kick to the face from Rollins. Ambrose followed with his finisher to eliminate Bryan.

*** Bryan eliminated by Ambrose at 19:55 ***

Cena, now facing a stacked deck, was left alone in the ring as Cole said Ryback must be licking his chops right now. As Cena recovered before entering the ring, Cena motioned to the crowd with his eyes to draw support. Cena then hit the ring and was quickly beat down by Ambrose and Reigns. But, Cena made The Comeback on Rollins. Chaos, then Cena dropped Rollins with the AA. JBL said Rollins has never been pinned, then Cena pinned Rollins.

*** Rollins eliminated by Cena at 21:52 ***

After the elimination, Reigns argued with the ref, then speared Cena. The ref DQ’ed Reigns for his illegal activity, then Reigns trash-talked the ref on the way out of the ring.

*** Reigns DQ’ed at 22:12 ***

Ambrose crawled back into the ring and covered Cena, who kicked out of a pin attempt. Cole said it’s one-on-one now with Shield’s unbeaten record on the line. As Ambrose trash-talked Cena, Cena sprung to life and slapped on the STF. But, Shield hit the ring and attacked Cena, drawing a DQ. So, there’s Shield’s first six-man tag loss.

WINNER: Cena via DQ at 23:18.

Post-match, Shield quickly tried to cover for the end of their streak by destroying Cena and hitting him with the Triple Powerbomb. Big boos for Shield, who then stood tall over a fallen Cena. After Shield left, Ryback’s music played to bring out the #1 contender to the WWE Title.

Ryback hit the ring and looked down at a fallen Cena while audible “Goldberg” chants were heard. Ryback then left the ring and shook his head. But, Ryback stopped and went under the ring to grab a chair. Ryback measured Cena’s ankle and popped it with the chair, drawing shrieks from the kids in the crowd. “Ryback Rules!” Ryback shouted to the hard camera before leaving as Cena clutched his ankle in the ring. WWE replayed the chair shot to the ankle, then went to a live shot of refs checking on Cena, who sold being unable to put weight on his ankle.

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL reset the show before plugging the WWE App poll results up next to determine who faces Big E. Langston tonight.

Still to come: Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H confrontation. Leading to break, WWE replayed footage of their match at WrestleMania on April 7.

[Commercial Break]

Coming back from break, WWE ran the trailer for “No One Lives,” which was released over the weekend.

[Q10] Backstage: Ryback was shown marching down the hallway. Matt Striker asked Ryback about his “extreme actions” against John Cena in the previous segment. Ryback simply said that’s not extreme compared to what he does to Cena on Sunday.

Raw last Monday: Jack Swagger destroyed Alberto Del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Dolph Ziggler.

In-ring: Big E. Langston was introduced to the ring. A.J. Lee skipped past Big E. down to the ring as Langston clapped weightlifting powder in his hands to signal his arrival. As Big E. hit the ring, WWE replayed Swagger kicking Ziggler in the head on Smackdown, concussing him. Cole said Ziggler is not able to be here tonight.

Jerry Lawler then stood up at the announce table to introduce Big E.’s opponent. The poll results were 65 percent for Swagger and 35 percent for Del Rio, surprising Cole and JBL. To cover for only 35 percent of the audience wanting to see Del Rio in action giving Big E. comeuppance, Lawler said he thinks the audience just wants to see Swagger and Big E. beat each other up.

7 — BIG E. LANGSTON (w/A.J. Lee) vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Zeb Colter)

JBL said this match-up is like someone from Texas watching OU and OSU play college football – you hope both lose. The crowd responded accordingly with silence as the two big men battled and stood off. Raw cut to break as Cole plugged the match continuing on the App.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Big E. dropped Swagger across his knee with a backbreaker. On commentary, Cole mustered congratulations to the audience for voting on this match as JBL said he was surprised by the audience not voting for Del Rio. Lawler again framed this as the audience wanting to see the two big men beach each other up. WWE inserted video on the screen of Dolph Ziggler speaking from home while recovering from his concussion. Only mumbling was heard, which was apparently the sales-pitch to download the App to hear what Ziggler said.

Langston and Swagger battled to the top rope, then Big E. superplexed Swagger. Langston dropped his straps, then scooped up Swagger for the Big Ending, but Swagger avoided and chopblocked Big E. Swagger then locked in the Patriot Lock, but Big E. crawled across the ring to break the hold. Langston then dumped Swagger over the top rope to the floor.

On the outside, Big E. flung Swagger into the barricade. Langston then wanted a follow-up attack, but Swagger dumped Langston over the guardrail into the front row. Meanwhile, Swagger re-entered the ring as the ref hit an eight count. The ref hit ten and that gave Swagger a count-out victory.

WINNER: Swagger via count-out at 10:08.

[Q11] Post-match, Alberto Del Rio hit the ring to try to attack Swagger, but Swagger fought him off before kicking Ricardo Rodriguez out of the ring. Del Rio used the distraction to attack Swagger and apply the Cross Arm-breaker, but Big E. re-entered the ring and blasted Del Rio. Del Rio fought back and cleared both Swagger and Langston from the ring. Del Rio stood tall in the ring to minimal reaction. Lawler asked who will stand tall in the #1 contender match between Del Rio and Swagger on Sunday.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Cole plugged Miz vs. Cody Rhodes on the Extreme Rules pre-show this Sunday as Hart music was playing in the background. Ringside, the Bella Twins and Divas champion Kaitlyn were shown ringside. WWE then showed Hornswoggle and Great Khali randomly in 501 Levi’s jeans and a button-down dress shirt standing around ringside. In the ring were A.J. Lee and and Natalya for a random match.

8 — A.J. LEE vs. NATALYA (w/Great Khali and Hornswoggle)

As the match started, Kaitlyn was given a new gift from her secret admirer. After a brawl on the outside, A.J. sold unconsciousness, so Natalya dragged A.J. back into the ring. Natalya tried to follow up, but A.J. suddenly sprung on Natalya with the Black Widow submission. Natalya was forced to tap out, giving the #1 contender a submission victory. Natalya, Khali, and Swoggle then helped Natalya out of the ring as the announcers cracked Munsters jokes.

WINNER: A.J. via submission at 3:11.

Still to come: The Hunter and Lesnar face-off. WWE then played a sponsored replay of Lesnar destroying Hunter’s broom-closet office last week on Raw.

[Commercial Break]

[Q12] Announcers: Cole said they are in Tulsa, Oklahoma, then Lawler plugged Jim Ross not here tonight because he’s hunting with Shawn Michaels in Texas. Cole changed subjects to the opening segment of the show when Fandango used the Dance-off Contest to set up Chris Jericho for a brutal attack.

Backstage: Matt Striker brought in an angry Chris Jericho. Striker asked Jericho if he felt foolish out there earlier. Jericho paused and said it was his fault. He said he’s been trying to play other peoples’s games and play by other peoples’s rules, but that’s no more. Jericho said fun & games is over. He said he is a six-time World champion who has done it all and beaten them all. He said his name is pronounced Chris Jericho. And, this Sunday at Extreme Rules, if Fandango wants to dance, he is going to show him how to dance Chris Jericho style. “See you Sunday!” Jericho said between his teeth.

[ JC’s Reax: Simple and effective “babyface vows revenge on Sunday” promo, but where’s Cena’s promo on the final Raw before the PPV to verbally sell the main event and vow revenge on Ryback? ]

In-ring: Triple H’s music played to bring out Hunter for the main event segment. Hunter, dressed for a street fight, tossed his water bottle into the crowd before spitting water in the air to complete his ring entrance. Hunter then posed in the ring as Cole recapped both Hunter and Lesnar having one victory in their series. Cole said the rubber match is Sunday. A steel cage hanging above the ring was lowered down to the ring as Raw cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Friday on Smackdown: Chris Jericho is bringing back the Highlight Reel. This Friday, Randy Orton and Big Show will be on the Highlight Reel.

Triple H-Lesnar Confrontation

Back live six minutes before the top of the hour, Hunter was shown pacing the ring surrounded by the cage. Hunter growled about nothing being settled between them. That is, until Sunday when it all gets settled. Hunter said this ring is where he learned to be a man, but a man he respected early in his career told him that to get good at this, you have to learn how to hate. Hunter said he learned to hate and thrive on that hate. And nowhere did he excel more than when this ring was surrounded by steel. Hunter hyped the steel cage, then said what he’s trying to say is that Brock Lesnar is here, he’s here, the crowd is here, and, more importantly, the steel is here.

Hunter said he’s at home, then invited Lesnar to come take it. After a pause, Brock Lesnar’s music played to bring out the big man flanked by Paul Heyman. JBL talked in hushed tones as Lesnar bounced out on-stage, where he remained. Heyman then took the mic and tried to introduce himself, but Hunter shut him up. Hunter said everyone knows who he is, then told Lesnar to get in the ring. Heyman laughed and said Hunter knows who they are, but he doesn’t think Hunter knows what they are about.

Heyman said they are about perverse pleasures in life, such as Hunter using the word “hate.” Heyman asked Hunter isn’t the word “hate” unacceptable in WWE, a global entertainment company? Heyman continued to call out Hunter before noting that since they’re using the word “hate,” he will acknowledge that both Hunter and Lesnar hate each other. Heyman then said Hunter will “hate” facing his family and father-in-law after letting everyone down on Sunday. He will also “hate” the result on Sunday when Hunter goes down in history as the loser. “I cannot imagine how much you’re going to hate that,” Heyman said.

[Q13 — over-run] Heyman excitedly said his client, Lesnar, is excited for a fight tonight. But, the fight is on Sunday. He said his client does not fight for free. Lesnar’s music played for them to leave, but Hunter interrupted. Hunter said it just dawned on him why Lesnar won’t face him like a man. He said The Destroyer won’t stand face-to-face with him because Heyman can’t afford Lesnar to do that. Hunter said he did the unthinkable at WrestleMania when he knocked Lesnar out. And, he beat Lesnar.

Hunter continued that if Lesnar walks down the ramp right now and steps into the cage and maybe, just maybe, he kicks his ass one more time, that doesn’t bode too well for Heyman as a businessman. And, even worse, if Lesnar steps inside the cage and he beats him again, then the sound will not just be the roar of the crowd, but Brock Lesnar’s mystique flying out the window. Along with Heyman’s meal ticket. Hunter said he can look at Brock and tell that Brock still believes inside himself that he is the Baddest Man, but the problem is Heyman doesn’t think that’s true anymore. That’s why as of this moment, he’s no longer talking to Paul, but to Brock.

Hunter asked Brock if he’s going to walk down the aisle and try to prove that he is Brrrrock Lessssnar, or is he just going to let Heyman tell him what to do and prove that he is Brock Lesnar, the Bitch? On-stage, Lesnar’s mood changed from amusement to anger. Lesnar started walking down the ramp as Heyman tried to calm him down. Refs spilled out, too, to wave off Lesnar as the cage door remained wide open. Lesnar stepped on the ring steps and slowly approached the cage door as Heyman pleaded with him not to do this. Lesnar hit the top step, then put one foot inside the cage as Hunter smiled from a distance. Lesnar then put both feet inside the cage and slowly walked toward Hunter.

Lesnar and Hunter came face-to-face in the middle of the cage, then Lesnar landed a right hand. Lesnar drove Hunter into the corner, then Hunter made a comeback. But, Lesnar ducked a right and smashed Hunter into the mat with a release belly-to-belly suplex. Lesnar then chucked his shirt away and demanded the door be shut. But, Hunter side-stepped an attack and ate the cage. Hunter then removed his shirt and landed a right hand to Lesnar. Another one. Hunter then chucked Lesnar into the cage door, bouncing Heyman off the steel steps. Lesnar fell through the cage door to the outside in the process, then slowly got back to his feet as the crowd chanted, “Triple H.”

Lesnar contemplated re-entering the steel cage, then WWE replayed the cage fight as Lesnar continued to think things over. Back live, Lesnar was shown backing away from ringside with a smirk on his face as the announcers sold this as being “far from over.” Lesnar then picked up Heyman and helped him away from ringside to the entrance ramp. Lesnar turned to look back to Hunter, who paced the cage before Hunter’s music played. Hunter then climbed onto the cage wall and stared down at Lesnar, who stood on-stage with Heyman. Raw went off the air nine minutes past the top of the hour with back-and-forth shots of Hunter and Lesnar. Cole asked who will be the King of the Cage on Sunday.

[ JC Reax: Strong emotion in the final segment pitching Hunter-Lesnar. It was interesting that Hunter brought up Lesnar losing his mystique, as it allowed Lesnar to show why he has mystique by fighting Hunter in the cage, but Hunter sending Lesnar packing seemed to reinforce that Lesnar isn’t all that he’s built up to be. Of course, that reinforces Lesnar as the heel, but Lesnar hasn’t played a traditional heel since returning to WWE, as he’s been more of a special attraction star with heel tendencies, but not a chicken heel like the rest of the roster.

On the flip-side, WWE wanted Hunter strong at the end to get the pro-babyface WWE audience fired up to see Hunter on top of his game and ready to give Lesnar comeuppance for all those nasty things he did over the past year-plus. So, at the end of the day, the strong emotion won out, but did it sell any fence-sitters the PPV and did it do long-term damage by somewhat reinforcing Lesnar as just another heel on the roster? ]


NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS AGO FLASHBACK: 5 YRS AGO – WWE in Shreveport, La. (5-10-13): Bryan & Kane vs. The Shield, plus Cena, Sheamus, Ryback, Vickie Guerrero, Cesaro, Neville, Prime Time Players

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