The following report was originally published five years ago this week on PWTorch.com…
KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
APRIL 21, 2014
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
– The show opened with clips of last week’s big angle with Evolution reforming and attacking The Shield.
They went live into the arena where Daniel Bryan’s ring entrance took place. Brie Bella was standing in the ring cheering for him. Bryan looked a bit choked up as it was his first TV appearance not only since his wedding, but since his dad died. As he entered the ring and celebrated with the fans, Stephanie McMahon walked out in a red dress and wide smile on her face. Stephanie talked about what a big week it was for him to go from winning the WWE World Title at WrestleMania to getting married in “what was an organic, crunchy, rustic wedding. I saw the pictures online, and they were breathtaking if you’re into that kind of thing.”
Stephanie made it official that at Extreme Rules, Bryan will defend the title against Kane. Bryan really looked like he was having a tough time holding himself together during this, and it was smart to not ask him to talk. Steph suggested Bryan get his “pretty little wife” out of harm’s way. Kane’s music played. Steph said this wasn’t the time and seemed sincere. Bryan backed into the announce desk area and protected Brie. Kane surprised Bryan out of the crowd from behind. Steph all along commanded Kane to stop and get away from Brie. Bryan jumped Kane and then Brie ran, as Steph encouraged her to run. Kane then plowed Bryan back-first into the barricade. Then came a Tombstone on the floor, again with Steph demanding on the house mic that he stop. Then came a Tombstone on the base of the ringside steps. Bryan was put on a stretcher, but Kane tipped him over. Kane then took Bryan to the announce table and gave him a Tombstone on the table. Cole super-sold it. Steph walked over to Kane and said, “You bastard!” Kane walked away. Medics put Bryan in a neckbrace. [c]
After the break, Bryan was being rolled from ringside to the back, with Brie at his side. Cole said Steph is the one who unleashed “the Demon Kane.” Steph asked the crowd for applause for Bryan.
(WK Reax: Good intense angle to get heel heat on Kane and give new life to Kane’s character and give fans a reason to believe Bryan might be doomed already. I still wonder where all of Bryan’s friends were during the extended brutal attack, though? For so long, there’d be a run-in by other wrestlers and it just doesn’t make Sheamus, et al look good that they just let all of that happen. It also, if you think about it, just cuts away at the reality of it since it seemed everyone was simply ordered to stay in the back.)
(1) WADE BARRETT vs. SHEAMUS – IC Title Contender Tournament Semi-finals
Barrett said he had some bad news, but not as bad as the news has been for Bryan. He said Sheamus is about to lose to him because shamrocks and lucky charms won’t be working tonight. [c]
WINNER: Barrett at 10:33 to advance. [c]
A Bo Dallas vignette aired. He said, “It’s hard for an egg to become a bird, but an egg can never learn to fly.” They went to the announcers at ringside and Cole snickered at the vignette. The announcers then hyped that Hugh Jackman returns to Raw next week. They showed clips of Jackman punching Dolph Ziggler and then hugging Zack Ryder.
(WK Reax: Boy that did wonders for the careers of Ziggler and Ryder.)
The announcers then announced fans could vote for Cena to face either Harper, Harper & Rowan, or Harper & Rowan & Bray Wyatt. They said the only way Cena can get his hands on Wyatt was if fans voted for a three-on-one match. Lawler wondered if it was worth it to throw Cena to the wolves like that.
On the stage the Wyatt Family stood in darkness. Bray said free will is just an illusion and that the people are mindless sheep led by wolves and owned by pigs. He said tonight would be a wonderful night for change. Bray then began bragging that every week that goes by he takes more Cena followers go with him.
(2) LOS MATADORES & EL TORITO vs. 3MB (Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre & Hornswoggle).
WINNERS: El Torito & Los Matadores at 2:48 when Torito pinned McIntyre.
A video package aired on Evolution reuniting. Then they went to the parking garage where a sleek black limo arrived. Out walked Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton in dress clothes. [c]
Evolution walked onto the stage. Still no mention of the missing member from the original group. Cole asked JBL what he thought of Evolution during his prime. JBL said he thinks it’s the greatest faction of all time. Please. JBL cited that there are 31 World Championships between all three of them. What about all of those reigns by that unnamed other member? A hoarse Triple H talked briefly, then Orton. Then they went to a video package on Evolution, the third of the show. Then Batista spoke and said they humbled The Shield last week.
The Shield then came the ring from the crowd. Dean Ambrose asked if they look humbled. After Seth Rollins talked for a minute, Roman Reigns said they are heading toward the stage and they can be creampuffs and run or be men and fight. As The Shield headed toward the stage, Evolution were surrounded suddenly by a bunch of other roster-members. Triple H said there’s a third option, and in life you either adapt or you perish, “that is Evolution.” Lawler wondered if Evolution will always be one step ahead of The Shield.
The announcers threw to a video package on Bryan-Kane earlier. Cole said Bryan was at a local medical facility getting X-Rays and CAT scans.
Another Adam Rose vignette aired. He introduced his new catch phrase. “When I say it’s party time, you say ‘all the time!’” The screen said he is “coming soon.” [c]
The announcers plugged Best of Hall of Fame week. Cole said, “WWE Network, it’s just like Netflix, only better!”
(WK Reax: They finally compared it to Netflix! I don’t know what took them so long, unless they had to clear it with the legal department. It totally makes sense to let fans know that technologically it’s just like Netflix.)
(3) THE USOS vs. THE RHODES BROTHERS
Ryback and Curtis Axel joined the announcers on commentary. Ryback said his dad used to serve Curtis’s dad Curt Hennig and Scott Hall drinks in Las Vegas. Ryback said he was 13 when he watched Goldust wrestle at the Thomas & Mack Center, and that for an old guy he can still go.
WINNERS: The Usos at 3:20.
-After the loss, Cody Rhodes showed frustration by shoving Goldust when he went to check on him after the loss. Goldy looked hurt as Cody stormed off. Lawler said it’s just a sibling rivalry, nothing to worry about. Then Ryback & Axel attacked the Usos.
The announcers threw to a clip of WWE’s Slam City cartoon. [c]
WWE Fact: More people watched WrestleMania 30 than any other WrestleMania in history.
(4) LAYLA (w/Fandango) vs. EMMA (w/Santino)
Jerry Lawler said: “I can’t wait to be ashamed of what I say during this match.” JBL laughed. JBL later said, “You never really know a woman until you meet her in court.”
WINNERS: Emma. in 2:20.
Lawler plugged the Cena match voting. He said the WWE Universe would decide, and then clarified, “That’s you!” [c]
Lawler then plugged Legends House.
Renee Young interviewed Cena backstage. He said said if the WWE Universe votes for him to fight the entire Wyatt Family that’s what he’ll do. A “Cena sucks!” chant broke out. He said he’s been hearing the song “He’s Got the Whole World in his Hands” in recent weeks and it keeps getting louder. He said if he can make it through Extreme Rules in that cage, which ensure the odds are even, he can move forward.
Paul Heyman and Cesaro made their ring entrance, with new music for Cesaro. Heyman called Cesaro the “King of Swing” again. He began bragging about also representing the man who conquered Undertaker’s undefeated Streak. They cut away as he spoke. [c]
When they returned Heyman rubbed it in over and over. Lawler said it was brutal.
(5) ROB VAN DAM vs. CESARO (w/Paul Heyman) – IC Title Contender Tournament Semi-finals
As Lawler complained about Heyman, JBL said he was still mad that Heyman shaved his head in Memphis one time. Cole talked about RVD being an original Heyman Guy. JBL noted the signs in the crowd that say “Cesaro Section” (which WWE hands out for some reason before the show). Late in the match, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger came out to distract Cesaro. Heyman and Zeb argued. Lawler said, “One’s scared and the other’s glad about it.” Swagger shoved Cesaro into the ringpost; the ref didn’t see it. Cesaro was counted out.
WINNER: RVD via countout at 13:13.
Swagger attacked Cesaro afterward as RVD return to the back. As Cesaro was about to give Zeb the giant swing, Swagger made the save.
Cole noted that next week Barrett faces RVD for the IC Title in the no. 1 contender tournament finals.
Cole said the latest update on Bryan is he suffered “just a stinger” and is being held overnight as a precaution. Lawler said Bryan is an overachiever and if he comes through this, he lives up to that rep. Then they plugged the Cena fan poll. [c]
Renee interviewed RVD backstage. Before RVD could say anything, Heyman and Cesaro walked in. Heyman congratulated RVD. RVD said he bets he is excited. Cesaro said he should thank Zeb and Swagger, because everybody knows RVD couldn’t beat him on his own. Heyman said, “It is so.” He said the RVD once knew so well wouldn’t have accepted such a tainted victory. RVD said he can sleep well and his conscience is clear. RVD told Cesaro to keep his wallet, house, and future as far away from Heyman as possible. Heyman was offended.
(6) PAIGE vs. AKSANA
The announcers spoke about Paige being a “flash in the pan” according to many in the locker room.
WINNER: Paige at 4:42.
Cole bragged that Smackdown as the most watched show on basic cable on Friday night for the third straight week. He thanked the fans. Cole then announced Swagger vs. Cesaro on Smackdown this Friday.
(7) RUSEV (w/Lana) vs. SIN CARA
WINNER: Rusev with his camel clutch at 3:01. [c]
Another Bo Dallas vignette aired. He says without the will to prepare, the will to win means nothing. You know, what he says makes a lot of sense.
Cena made his ring entrance. Lawler revealed that 53% voted for Cena to face all three Wyatt Family members, compared to 38 percent just Luke Harper, and then 9 percent just Harper & Rowan. Cena looked like he was just dealt a tough hand. [c]
(8) BRAY WYATT & LUKE HARPER & ERIK ROWAN vs. JOHN CENA
Lawler said a lot of the people who voted for this match were Wyatt fans, who grow in numbers every week. Cole called Wyatt a false prophet. Two minutes in, when Cena was knocked silly, Bray danced with him like he was on “Dancing with the Stars.” Lawler wondered what Bray says that resonates with fans. Cole said Bray is saying Cena’s message to fans as a role model the last ten years has been a ruse. Cena fears Bray is brainwashing the fans. At 16:00 Bray did the crab walk toward a fallen Cena, but Cena popped up and clotheslined him as soon as flipped over. Cena went into his finishing sequence, and then Rowan and Harper interfered.
WINNER: Cena via DQ in 14:01.
Afterward Bray held a KO’d Cena in his lap and sang “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” And that’s how the show ended.
(WK Reax: It’s still tough to tell how fans are going to react to all of this. Bray is just so out there, but in a cool, intriguing way, that he might continue to get a – excuse the expression – cult-like following, and it seems WWE is embracing that to a degree. I like that they’re going all-in with him in a feud with Cena to elevate him to a top tier heel spot.)