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The following report originally published 10 years ago this week here at PWTorch.com…
WWE Raw TV Results
February 10, 2014 – Episode #1,080
Live in Los Angeles, Calif.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
WWE Raw opened with TV legend Betty White introduced on-stage. Out came Big Show accompanying Betty, who flashed a big smile to the crowd. Once her music stopped, the crowd picked up a “Betty White” chant. Betty said she is thrilled to be a guest tonight on Raw, then Big Show asked what they’re going to do tonight. “I’m going to kick some ass!” she declared.
Suddenly, Triple H’s music interrupted to bring out Hunter and Stephanie McMahon on-stage to boos. Stephanie hugged Betty as Hunter flashed a big smile to Show, who sold annoyance with his presence. Hunter and Steph then walked past Show and Betty down to the ring.
Once The Authority entered the ring, Hunter said he would like to clarify some confusion from last week. Hunter immediately jumped into Daniel Bryan business. He said if Bryan beat Randy Orton last week, they would re-consider Bryan as the new Face of WWE. But, they’re also re-considering Sheamus, Antonio Cesaro, Christian, and even John Cena.
Triple H tried to hype all six of these men in the Elimination Chamber match in two weeks, but Orton’s music interrupted. Orton marched down to the ring with possession of the top WWE titles as Hunter and Steph sold annoyance with his interruption. Orton eventually entered the ring as Michael Cole hyped Orton vs. Cena tonight on Raw.
After Orton’s music stopped, Stephanie spoke first: “Are you seriously doing this again?” Steph said she highly recommends that Orton head back to the locker room and prepare for the main event tonight. Orton ignored her, saying he has been doing some thinking. He needs to apologize for his actions. Orton said he’s not apologizing to the people, but to Steph and Hunter. Orton said he has been childish, selfish, and foolish. He said if he wants to get what he wants, he has to give them what they want. Orton vowed to bring The Viper, which starts tonight when he beats Cena tonight. Again.
Steph said that all sounds fantastic, but how can they trust him? Orton said this is coming from the heart as a “Daniel Bryan” chant picked up, stopping Orton mid-sentence. Orton paused, then Steph asked Orton if he’s feeling the pressure with everyone talking about Daniel Bryan. Orton ignored the Bryan talk, then went back to this very arena at Summerslam in August when all of this began. Orton said they stood here united at that time and he wants to make good on the trust put in him. He said he wants to be on Kelly & Michael, appear on cereal boxes, and be the Face of WWE. Not the Chamber opponents. Not Batista. “I am the Face of WWE.”
Pause, then Daniel Bryan’s music played. “An explosion in L.A.!” Cole declared as Bryan came out to an appreciative crowd. Orton sold annoyance in the ring, Hunter stood back with hand-in-pocket, and Cole said the Yes! Movement is going worldwide. Once the crowd calmed down, Bryan asked Orton if he really thinks he’s the heart and soul of WWE.
Steph interrupted, saying she does not appreciate them interrupting their time. Steph said everyone will need to make an appointment with their Director of Operations (Kane). Bryan said the problem is Kane is nowhere to be found. Except when he’s doing their bidding. But, last week, Kane failed because he beat Randy Orton last week. Orton clenched his jaw in frustration as the crowd picked up a “Yes!” chant. Bryan said this week, he wants to face Kane right here, tonight.
Steph said she and Hunter do not condone Kane’s actions last week, so he is on admin leave this week. And, he has a strongly-worded letter in his file. Bryan sarcastically said that sounds harsh, then asked who’s evaluating their performances. Bryan said it’s arrogance (Steph) and stupidity (Hunter). Orton responded with butt-kissing to The Authority, saying they will lead WWE into the future and Bryan needs to kiss the ground they walk on.
Bryan said they all know that Orton really, really likes Stephanie. He remembered when Orton handcuffed Hunter to the ropes and kissed Stephanie. Orton seethed, then asked Hunter for the word because he will punt Bryan’s head all the way back to Seattle. Hunter interjected that Bryan will face in this very ring tonight … no one. Hunter said what is best for business is giving Bryan a well-deserved night off. Bryan shook his head as the crowd did loud “No!” chants. Bryan told Hunter to listen to the them, then led the crowd in “No!” chants. Bryan got in Hunter’s face, telling him off-mic that the crowd wants to see him wrestle. Before Hunter could respond, the Raw theme music played to end the segment.
[Q2] Still to come: Mark Henry is back. Plus, Orton vs. Cena. Up next, it’s the Wyatts vs. Rey Mysterio and Rhodes Bros. in a six-man tag match.
[Commercial Break 8:16]
In-ring: Rey Mysterio was introduced to the ring first for the opening match. Rey, dressed in Lakers purple & gold colors, hobbled down the ringside area high-fiving fans before Rhodes Bros. were introduced as their tag partner. Before they could get down the aisle, the Wyatts’s theme interrupted. Bray Wyatt declared their presence on the Titantron, then Bray, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan made their way down the aisle.
1 — REY MYSTERIO & CODY RHODES & GOLDUST vs. THE WYATTS (BRAY WYATT & LUKE HARPER & ERICK ROWAN) — six-man tag match
Rowan and Cody started things off, prompting Cole to draw attention to Cody wearing a heavy kneebrace on his right knee. Cole said Cody suffered the injury on his moonsault off the top of the cage in the Tag Title match last week. Cole then noted the Rhodes Bros. feel like they’ve fallen on hard times as of late. Rhodes Bros. and Rey took control with some combination moves on the Wyatts leading to break.
[Commercial Break at 8:25]
Back from break, the Wyatts were “decimating Goldust,” according to Cole. Chaos broke out momentarily when Cody tried to back up his brother, but the ref returned him to his corner. Meanwhile, the announcers hyped The Shield vs. The Wyatts at the Chamber PPV in two weeks. “I mean, who do you bet on?” Cole asked. Leaving that alone…
[Q3] Wyatts continued to wear down Goldust as Cole reset the show. Rey finally got a hot tag and kicked Harper in the chest before posting him. Rey then came off the top with with a seated splash into a tilt-a-whirl DDT for a two count. Bray broke up a pin, so Rey set up for a double 619 on Bray and Harper, but Bray bailed. Harper took the 619, but Bray yanked Rey to the floor. Cody then came off the top with a splash to Bray, but Rowan posted Cody. Goldust then cannonball-splashed Rowan on the outside.
Back in the ring, Rey and Harper were still legal. Rey set up Harper for another 619, but Bray blind-tagged out of Rey’s sight. Bray then intercepted Rey and snapped off Sister Abigail, ragdolling Rey to the mat. Bray pinned Rey for the win.
Post-match: Bray spoke from his rocking chair that Shield will fall at the Chamber PPV. Bray said it will then be time for his next game to begin. “Follow the buzzards,” he said. The feed cut out to send Raw to break.
WINNERS: Wyatts at 10:25. More strong build-up for the Wyatts heading into the Chamber and a likely match against John Cena at WrestleMania. Good opening match to bring some energy to the show.
[Commercial Break at 8:36]
Tonight: Raw is in L.A. After a flashy video played, Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL were shown ringside. They transitioned to the Royal Rumble match, hyping Roman Reigns’s record-setting performance eliminating 12 wrestlers. Apparently the goal was to babyface Reigns in advance of Shield’s break-up. The video ended with a look at Shield having some issues during the Rumble.
Backstage: Roman Reigns was focused on as Renee Young interviewed Shield about The Wyatts. Reigns told “baby girl” that actions always speak louder than words. Seth Rollins said they don’t speak in riddles, like the Wyatts. Dean Ambrose said they will “absolutely” destroy everyone. Renee then brought up Ambrose having not defended the U.S. Title in a long time. Ambrose said he can’t just pull contenders out of thin air. Reigns laughed and asked what kind of champion he wants to be. The crowd oohed and Ambrose snapped back that he resents that. Ambrose said he’ll put out an Open Challenge tonight, then stomped away as Reigns leaned back in a casual manner.
Backstage: The cast of “Total Divas” were with Betty White. Vickie Guerrero then walked into the shot to talk with Betty after Natalya explained the premise of Betty’s Lifetime show. The New Age Outlaws interrupted and took Betty away for a cup of tea as the TD cast talked amongst themselves about wanting to have a cup of tea with Betty.
Orton-Cena Flashback: Breaking Point from September 2009 when Orton “tortured” Cena, but Cena fought back and tried to choke the life out of Orton to force him to quit.
Tonight: The next chapter in Cena vs. Orton. Still to come: Sheamus & Christian vs. Real Americans.
In-ring: Santino’s music played to bring out Santino and Emma, who did her funky dance to Santino’s music. The duo then power-walked down to the ring. Cole said Santino is in action next against Fandango.
[Q4] [Commercial Break at 8:45]
Back from break, Fandango and Summer Rae were posing in the ring. Cole hyped Emma joining them from NXT, which he labeled “the next generation.” Cole hyped NXT available on WWE Network in two weeks.
2 — SANTINO (w/Emma) vs. FANDANGO (w/Summer Rae)
Fandango controlled early on. Suddenly, The Miz walked down to ringside in a suit. Miz grabbed a headset and said he is sidelined from competition for “twinkle toes” and a guy whose act is older than Betty White. “This, this is awesome,” he sarcastically said before dropping the headset and walking off. Back to the action, where Fandango delivered a top-rope leg drop for an anti-climatic pin for the win.
WINNER: Fandango at 2:17.
Locker Room: Cole sent it to new backstage interviewer Byron Saxton, who was standing by with Sheamus. Byron asked Sheamus about teaming with Christian tonight two weeks before they square off in the Chamber match. Sheamus said he respects him as a competitor and doesn’t have a problem teaming with him tonight. He might ask him to join him for a pint after the match. He said an Irishman and a Canadian walking into a bar on Hollywood Blvd. sounds like the start of a bad joke, then got serious that the Chamber PPV is the last chance to headline WrestleMania. He vowed to do whatever is necessary to reach that point.
[Commercial Break at 8:55]
Back from break, Christian’s music was playing. Christian, looking beat up and ragged, was shown watching an inset promo of him saying maybe he could be the Face of WWE. He paused and said maybe he’s not poster-boy material, but wants to become three-time World champion in the Chamber. Sheamus was then given a full ring entrance to join Christian in the ring.
[Q5 — second hour] Real Americans’s music played to bring out Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro, and Zeb Colter on-stage. On the way down to the ring, Colter cut a promo on Sheamus and Christian, saying they found a way to sneak back across their borders, like the fans in the crowd. Colter then handed the mic to Cesaro, which drew cheers. Cesaro smiled, collected himself, and vowed to become World champion. No mic time for Swagger, who stewed in the background. On commentary, Cole noted Cesaro is in the Chamber match, while Swagger is not.
3 — SHEAMUS & CHRISTIAN vs. REAL AMERICANS (JACK SWAGGER & ANTONIO CESARO w/Zeb Colter)
Colter instructed Cesaro to start the match and for Swagger to hang back. The crowd picked up an ironic “We The People” chant as Cesaro dominated Christian early on. Sheamus tagged in and battled Cesaro, setting up a “Yeah! / Boo!” exchange that backed Cesaro. Cesaro smashed Sheamus in the corner, drawing more cheers, but Sheamus told him to bring it harder, turning into a “European Brawl,” as Cole described. Sheamus knocked Cesaro to the floor, but Swagger used the numbers advantage to give the heels control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:06]
Back from break, Sheamus dropped Cesaro with an Irish Curse backbreaker. Christian tagged in and battled Cesaro, forcing the crowd to pick a favorite of two wrestlers viewed as under-utilized. Christian smashed Cesaro with a European Uppercut as the announcers continued to dog Christian’s look. Cesaro then smashed Christian with a toss-up Eurocut, drawing a nearfall.
Swagger tagged in and catapulted Christian throat-first into the bottom rope. On the ring apron, Sheamus tried to fire up the crowd, which drew some boos. Christian fought back on Swagger, but Cesaro tagged in and lit up Christian. Cesaro beat down Christian in the corner, then set up for the Big Swing, drawing big cheers. The crowd counted along with Cesaro, who ripped off about ten revolutions. Christian fell to the floor and the ref applied a ten count as Christian sold dizziness. Christian barely made it back in before ten, then Cesaro catapulted Christian into Swagger for a big power move, but Christian escaped a two count.
Christian escaped Swagger, then tagged in Sheamus, who delivered offense to Swagger. Sheamus stalked Swagger for the Ten Forearms, which the non-vocal majority of the crowd cheered along for. So, the vocal males don’t like Sheamus, but the crowd likes gimmicks they can count along with. Chaos broke out moments later, then Swagger put Sheamus in the Patriot Lock, but Christian came off the top with a big splash to Swagger. Bodies on the outside, then Sheamus smashed Swagger with a Brogue Kick back in the ring. Sheamus pinned Swagger for the pin and the win.
[Q6] Post-match: Zeb Colter sold annoyance with the situation as Sheamus and Christian celebrated in the ring. Colter then chewed out Swagger before WWE replayed the highpoints. Back to a live shot, Sheamus and Cesaro glared at each other to hype their involvement in the Chamber match in two weeks.
WINNERS: Sheamus & Christian at 14:26. Good, physical tag match and very intriguing crowd involvement. Good energy to the show tonight, unlike last week’s flat, uninspired effort.
Backstage: Renee Young brought in John Cena to a mixed reception. Cena did a corporate-sounding set-up that two men have dominated WWE for a decade – John Cena and Randy Orton. But, change is coming. Cena said the audience is getting behind other stars, including Daniel Bryan. Cena vowed to close his rivalry with Randy Orton tonight. “I will beat him. I will beat him right in the middle of the ring – 1, 2, 3,” he said. Cena said that statement goes to the Wyatts, Cesaro, Bryan, or The Shield. He said if they want to be the future of WWE, they will have to go through him to get it.
[Commercial Break at 9:19]
Earlier Tonight: Betty White said she’s here to kick some ass. Lawler said Betty set the tone for tonight, as it has been very physical on Raw.
Video Package: Batista’s power and strength. The title of the YouTube clip was “Batista Bombs!” Interesting word choice. The announcers hyped Batista as the #1 contender to the WWE World Title at WrestleMania.
In-ring: Dolph Ziggler was introduced to the ring for the next match. Alberto Del Rio was out next, creating a conversation about Del Rio’s issues with Batista. They replayed Del Rio running down Batista last week, then striking Batista, who fought back and knocked Del Rio out of the ring.
4 — ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Ziggler scored with an early dropkick, then delivered nine elbow drops and a big tenth drop. Ziggler wanted the Zig-Zag, but Del Rio blocked. Ziggler nailed the Fameasser moments later, but Del Rio avoided a pinfall. Suddenly, Del Rio yanked Ziggler’s shoulder, then nailed a standing sidekick for a pin and the win.
WINNER: Del Rio at 1:32. You could tell that this would be a short match based on Ziggler getting in his signature offense early on…
Post-match: Ziggler started to leave the ring, but smirked, and returned to the ring. Del Rio then slapped on the cross arm-breaker. Ziggler writhed in pain as ref Mike Chioda tried to get Del Rio to break the hold. Batista’s music suddenly played, bringing out Batista dressed to wrestle. Batista entered the ring and speared Del Rio to a mix of boos and indifference.
To the floor, where Batista posted Del Rio, then cleared the announce table, which drew some cheers. Batista then gave Del Rio a Batistabomb through the announce table, which drew some cheers. Batista stood tall over Del Rio, then slowly walked away from ringside. After a replay of the Batistabomb, WWE showed referees and medics checking on Del Rio. Batista then picked up a TV monitor, but Lawler pleaded with Batista to walk away. So, Batista did with a frown on his face.
[Q7] Hype Video: WWE Network. The Bella Twins, wearing flight attendant outfits, explained how the Network can be accessed set to a light theme of pre-flight instructions. Lots of information thrown at viewers about devices, compatibility, analog vs. digital, etc.
Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and JBL were shown sitting ringside sans announce table. Up next is the next 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductee, joining Jake Roberts and Ultimate Warrior.
[Commercial Break at 9:34]
Backstage: Batista was still frowning. The live crowd kind of booed. Triple H then approached Batista. He said he can’t have Batista going off like he just did on Del Rio. Batista said he deserved it. Hunter said that might be the case, but this is a publicly-traded company. He told Batista that he’s just trying to fit him into what’s best for business. Batista said Del Rio is his business. Hunter then booked Batista in a match against Del Rio at the Chamber PPV. “Good,” Batista quietly said. Hunter said he’s just looking out for him. Batista said things sure have changed around here, then stomped off.
Ringside: Lawler said that has to make Batista happy to get his hands on Del Rio. He just did. JBL hyped Batista before Cole switched gears to the next HOF inductee.
HOF Video Package: Lita. Current Divas talked in sit-down soundbytes about what Lita brought to the ring. Jim Ross’s voice was heard commentating on clips from Lita’s career. Michael Hayes and Michael Cole also talked up Lita. The current Divas commenting were Natalya, Tamina Snuka, and Summer Rae. No A.J. Lee, but they included heel Summer Rae.
Holding Area: New Age Outlaws were with Betty White. Betty said she’s heard a few things about the Outlaws. Road Dogg changed the discussion to his favorite tea. He said their tea is the secret to their Tag Title success. Betty sold nervousness, then asked for a lemon for her tea. Billy Gunn offered to get the lemon, but Dogg got up. They argued over the lemon while White switched teas. White smiled as the Outlaws chugged their switched teas.
Still tonight: Mark Henry returns.
[Commercial Break at 9:43] […Q8]
[Q8…] Back from break, Ryback and Curtis Axel were in the ring. Lawler and Cole then apologized for mis-speaking about items while JBL sold annoyance. Cole apologized for confusing everyone about a Network trial offer. Next at the commentary position were the Outlaws. Gunn was selling some health issues before The Usos were introduced to face Ryback & Axel.
5 — THE USOS vs. RYBACK & CURTIS AXEL
On commentary, Dogg said the Usos haven’t proven they deserve a Tag Title shot while Gunn continued to sell health issues. Gunn said the Usos haven’t shown the same fighting spirit as their dad or the Wild Samoans while Gunn elbowed Dogg that he wasn’t feeling good. The announcers were produced to play dumb about Gunn’s condition, acting like they forgot about the Betty White prank in the previous segment.
In the ring, Ryback tagged in to “Goldberg” chants. The announcers continued to focus on Gunn’s health before the Usos made a hot tag. Jey Uso superkicked Axel in the gut, then legswept him. Jey delivered a Samoan Drop, but Ryback broke up a pin. The Usos then pulled off a stunt where Jey flew over the top rope to splash Ryback while tagging Jimmy in mid-air. Jimmy then top-rope splashed Axel for the pin and the win.
Post-match: New Age Outlaws prepared to enter the ring, but Gunn held his stomach and back of his trunks to high-tail it to the back. The “Dumb & Dumber” comedy plotline finished with Gunn leaving to the back as the Usos mocked his condition. Six minutes later, Lawler was produced to figure out that it must have been the tea.
WINNERS: Usos at 4:22. Crafty. Gunn didn’t say a word on commentary, but managed to get the focus of the match on him.
Up Next: U.S. champ Dean Ambrose has issued an Open Challenge.
[Commercial Break at 9:53]
In-ring: Justin Roberts announced a U.S. Title match up next. It’s Ambrose’s first televised defense in months, which is the basis of this storyline development. After The Shield hit the ring, Ambrose stood in the ring ready to hear who accepted his Open Challenge. No one’s music played, then Mark Henry’s music played. Roman Reigns smiled to Ambrose’s side as Ambrose contemplated potential destruction. Reigns then tried to talk up Ambrose as Henry walked into the ring.
[Q9 — third hour]
6 — U.S. champion DEAN AMBROSE (w/Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) vs. MARK HENRY — United States Title match
Justin Roberts handled formal ring intros as Ambrose tried to hype himself up standing alone in the ring with Henry. Once the bell sounded, Ambrose looked to his stablemates for an encouraging word. Henry, whose elbow was taped up to sell Brock Lesnar injuring him several weeks ago, shoved down Ambrose a few times. Ambrose then left the ring to consult with his Shield mates.
Ambrose returned to the ring and targeted the left elbow/shoulder, but Henry fought back with kicks and stomps. Henry posted Ambrose, who released a guttural sound to sell pain. Henry then hip-tossed Ambrose over the top rope to the floor for a Royal Rumble-style elimination heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:05]
Back from break, Ambrose was working on Henry’s left elbow. It sounded like there was a “C-M Punk” chant in the crowd. Ambrose then tried a top-rope move, but Henry used his own good arm to press slam Ambrose to the mat. Henry delivered a walking powerslam, concerning Reigns and Rollins ringside. Henry then delivered World’s Strongest Slam and pinned Ambrose, but Rollins jumped into the ring to break up the pin for a DQ.
WINNER: Henry via DQ at 8:01; Ambrose retained the U.S. Title. From correspondents at TV: a Punk chant broke out during the commercial, prompting Seth Rollins to ask the crowd: “C-M-Who?” That explains the Punk chant returning from break.
Post-match: Henry chucked Rollins to the outside, then pushed Reigns to the floor. Henry tried to follow up on the outside, but took a big spear from Reigns. Ambrose demanded his U.S. Title belt before The Shield regrouped ringside. Lawler rhetorically asked if Ambrose would still be U.S. champ if The Shield were not ringside.
Suddenly, the Wyatts interrupted on the Videotron. Bray Wyatt led Erick Rowan and Luke Harper down to ringside in the darkness of the arena. The lights came back on to reveal the Wyatts ringside. Shield then decided to step toward the ring on the opposite side of the ringside area. “Yes!” chant as the two teams eyeballed each other. Reigns then led The Shield to stand on their side of the ring apron. Bray Wyatt’s move. Bray led them onto the ring apron, drawing cheers.
WWE went to a wide camera shot of the two trios staring each other down from opposite ends of the ring. Next move went to Reigns, who entered the ring. Then, Bray Wyatt teased entering, but slipped back to the ring apron to boos. Bray told Rowan and Harper to drop off the apron, then Bray joined them on the floor. Bray extended his arms, then told Shield to make their move. Suddenly, the feed “cut out.”
Last Month: Randy Orton lost to Kofi Kingston, then attacked John Cena’s father. Cena ran off Orton, then Cena’s dad was sent to the hospital.
Tonight: Cena vs. Orton one more time.
[Q10] [Commercial Break at 10:15]
This Friday on Smackdown: Randy Orton’s next gauntlet series challenger. It’s either Sheamus or Antonio Cesaro.
Ringside: Wiz Khalifa was shown sitting on the front row. JBL added that UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar is here tonight.
Video Package: Bobo Brazil for Black History Month. Gordon Solie was included in the audio track. WWE then showed Ernie Ladd inducting Bobo into the 1994 WWF Hall of Fame. Jerry Lawler talked up Bobo back live on the air.
7 — Divas champion A.J. LEE (w/Tamina Snuka) & ALICIA FOX & AKSANA vs. BRIE BELLA & NIKKI BELLA & CAMERON (w/Eva Marie) — six-Divas tag match
Following the video package, the Divas were in the ring. Naomi was not included in the proceedings after suffering an eye injury last week on Raw. But, Eva Marie resurfaced on TV to hold her place. The heels isolated Brie Bella early on. Cameron then took a hot tag and cleaned house. The rest was academic, as Cameron delivered her “Girl Bye” DDT finisher for the pin and the win. Afterward, the Bellas celebrated with Cameron as A.J. frowned with Tamina ringside.
WINNERS: Team Cameron at 4:42. Cameron replacing Naomi on the Divas Title chase, or just a placeholder?
Earlier Today: WWE appeared at a B.A. Star rally in Los Angeles.
Tale of the Tape: John Cena vs. Randy Orton. And how their in-ring careers have mirrored each other over the past 11+ years.
[Q11] [Commercial Break at 10:29]
Vignette: Evil, foreign valet. She supports an evil, foreign, super-athlete, Alexander Rusev.
Earlier Today: Randy Orton tried to kiss up to The Authority.
Suddenly, Kane’s pyro shot off. Kane, who was placed on “administrative leave” for one week, marched down to the ring in a suit. JBL tried to come up with various timelines to explain where the one week fits in. Then, in the ring, Kane said he has been placed on one week of admin leave, which he fully understands. Kane said he acted on his own last week, which he admits was ill-advised.
Kane tried to continue, but Daniel Bryan’s music interrupted to loud “Yes!” chants. Bryan charged the ring, ducked a punch, and punched and kicked Kane. But, Kane smashed him with an uppercut. Kane ripped off his suit jacket and tie, then measured Bryan for a chokeslam. But, Bryan slipped out, ducked Kane, and Kane went flying to the outside. Bryan then delivered a suicide dive to the outside.
“Yes!” chants as Bryan beat up Kane ringside until Kane shoved him down. But, Bryan got up and kicked Kane into the front row. Bryan then led the crowd in “Yes!” chants as Kane bailed through the crowd. WWE went to various crowd shots of the crowd joining Bryan in “Yes!” chants before hyping Cena vs. Orton up next.
[Commercial Break at 10:38]
This Friday on Smackdown: Rhodes Bros. & The Usos vs. New Age Outlaws & Ryback & Curtis Axel in an eight-man tag match. Plus, it’s Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro in Match #4 of Orton’s gauntlet series. That unofficially leaves Sheamus for next Monday on Raw.
Backstage: Betty White said she’s had a blast tonight. She said she hasn’t been around this many shirtless men in tights since…well, last night. “Now, let’s get to the main event!” she declared.
In-ring: John Cena was introduced first. Cena shouted into the on-stage camera that this defines their future tonight. Cena stormed the ring to a mix of cheers and boos as a “Curt Hawkins” sign was visible on the front row. Randy Orton was then introduced to face Cena. Orton took his time coming to the ring as the announcers hyped Orton vs. Cena vs. Bryan vs. Christian vs. Sheamus vs. Cesaro in the Chamber match in two weeks.
8 — WWE World Hvt. champion RANDY ORTON vs. JOHN CENA — non-title match — Match #3 in Orton’s pre-Chamber gauntlet series
As the bell sounded, Cole recapped recent Cena-Orton history, including the TLC unification match and the Wyatts getting involved in their match at the Royal Rumble PPV. Things started off with a feeling-out process as the crowd buzzed. Cole then brought up Cena beating JBL for the WWE Title in this building nearly a decade ago at WM21.
Reset, then another lock-up as the crowd continued to buzz and make noise. Cena knocked down Orton, who slid out of the ring for a breather as Cena sold annoyance in the ring. Orton then slid back into the ring and kicked Cena in the gut to take control. Cena fought back with right hands, then nailed a running bulldog for a two count. Cena then called a spot so loudly near the ring mic that Orton could be heard agreeing: “Yep.” The result was Orton delivering a back-elbow smash to regain control.
So far, no loud “Daniel Bryan” chants, unlike the Rumble. WWE smartly gave the audience their “Bryan satisfaction” in the previous segment to put the focus on another round of Cena vs. Orton. Orton remained in control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:52]
Back from break, Orton was working on Cena with stomps as “boring” chants rang out in the arena. Cena then teased a comeback to change the look & feel of the match. Cena and Orton traded standing punches, mainly drawing boos with few “yeahs.” Orton then sent Cena flying to the outside and pointed his ear toward the front row in a taunting way. After Cena re-entered the ring, Orton slapped on a side headlock. Cena tried to fight back, but Orton spiked him into the mat with a DDT for a two count.
Orton went back to the Stomp, making Cena cry out in pain. He paused as if to egg on “boring” chants. The crowd booed Orton, who walked into a takedown from behind. Cena delivered the Five Knuckle Shuffle, then wanted the Attitude Adjustment, but Orton slipped out into a backbreaker for a two count.
[Q13 — over-run] Cena dumped Orton over the top rope to the floor as Cole reset and WWE went to a wide-shot of the arena. Orton slid back into the ring and nearly took the AA, but Orton reversed into a powerslam for a two count. Orton then tried a superplex, but switched to a trademark elevated DDT from the middle turnbuckle. Orton flipped out and screamed at the crowd, telling them to watch this. “What’s wrong with him?” Cole said nearly under his breath.
Orton took his time going for his next move – an RKO – allowing Cena to trip him and flow into the STF. Orton kicked free, then both men sold on the mat. Orton was up first and looked toward the WM30 sign hanging in the arena, then stalked Cena. Orton contemplated a Punt Kick as Cena looked down and out, but Cena avoided, popped up, and took an RKO. Orton covered, but Cena kicked out before three.
Orton flipped out about Cena kicking out, then regrouped. Lots of crowd noise for and against Cena as the match reset. Cena suddenly sprung on Orton for an AA, but Orton kicked out. Cena then took Orton to the top turnbuckle, measured him for a Super AA, but Orton slipped out. Cena then nailed a top-rope guillotine leg drop and sprung on Orton for an AA. It was good for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Cena stood tall in the ring celebrating a promise fulfilled. After a replay of the high points from the match, WWE showed Cena standing tall in the ring. Cole asked if Cena will be champ again in two weeks. One more shot of Cena celebrating in the ring, the WM30 sign hanging over him, and Cole signing off to close the show nine minutes past the top of the hour.
WINNER: Cena at 20:47. About what was expected – finisher kick-outs, Cena comeback, and Cena with a victory after he made the promise earlier in the show that he would beat Orton. It was a good version of their match formula, but not fresh after two recent match-ups at TLC and the Rumble. The closing image also solidified the idea that this is still Cena’s promotion and not yet Daniel Bryan’s. Or someone else’s.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Better Raw than last week’s uninspired effort. But, there still remains a fog hanging over the WM30 line-up. WWE is banking on the post-Chamber Raw two weeks from now to kick things off, especially with Legends returning, but they’ll have to come stronger than this recent TLC-to-Chamber stretch.