Monday Night Raw
Date: April 28, 2014
Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
It’s the go home show for Extreme Rules and we’ve got most of the card set. The main stories are of course Daniel Bryan vs. Kane and Evolution vs. Shield with the latter being the bigger match of the two. Things are still solid after Wrestlemania but it feels like something is missing as we head into the follow up. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the Wyatts vs. Cena last week and Bray cradling Cena’s head to end the show in a disturbing scene.
There’s a cage around the ring in the arena and here’s John Cena to a good reaction. Cena had a disturbed look on his face and wants to know why the fans put him in a 3-1 handicap match last week. He seems hurt by the idea because the fans gave him no chance last week. John believes the statement that you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Ten years ago in this building, John Cena was drafted to Raw (it was nine years ago) and the fans cheered for him.
Now it’s ten years later and the fans aren’t cheering him as much because they’ve moved on to Bray Wyatt. Cena knows that he can’t do this forever and he has to step aside at one point. He loves that idea though because he sees a bunch of people in the locker room ready to take his spot like Reigns, Rollins, Cesaro and Bryan. Cena even knows names like Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn from NXT because they have the same passion that he has to entertain the people.
Bray Wyatt doesn’t have that passion because Wyatt’s passion is Bray Wyatt. On Sunday, the Wyatt Family will be kept out and Bray’s message will be kept in. If Wyatt escapes, his message and corruption will continue to manipulate and the world won’t have a chance. The Wyatts hack the feed but we only hear what sounds like a group of children singing He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.
The lights come back up and there’s a whole choir of children on the stage in black robes singing the song. Bray and the Family come out with the lantern to sing as well and the children follow him to the ring. Bray gets them to sing about having the whole Cenation and the Big Bad Monster in his hands as well.
The lights go out save for the lantern and when they come back on, all of the kids are wearing the sheep masks. Cena has no idea what to do. One of the kids is sitting on Bray’s lap as he laughs like a demonic villain. A closeup of the kid’s mask takes us to a break. This was one of the most bizarre and disturbing things I can ever remember watching.
Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel
Usos are defending and the challengers now have team music. We even get Big Match Intros before it’s Axel vs. Jey to start. Cole suggests that the Usos are in trouble here, despite being on fire for months and beating this team before. A quick cross body puts Axel down and it’s off to Ryback who misses a splash, allowing for the tag off to Jimmy. The challengers are sent to the floor and there are the double dives to put them down. Jey is holding his ankle though as we head to a break.
Back with Axel cranking on Jimmy’s arm as the trainer is checking on Jey’s ankle. A running knee to the head puts Jimmy down and it’s off to Ryback for a series of covers and two each. Jey is able to knock Ryback down and suplexes Axel down onto him, allowing for the tag to a taped up Jey. The injury doesn’t seem to matters as Jey comes in with a cross body for two on Axel and a superkick to Ryback. There’s a Samoan drop and the running Umaga attack for two but a blind tag brings in Ryback.
A spinebuster gets two on Jey and Ryback pounds on his own chest. The Meat Hook is blocked by another superkick and Jey fires off some chops, only to be taken down by a regular clothesline. Shell Shock is countered into a sunset flip for two but Ryback takes him down again. The Usos make their own blind tag though, so as Axel hits the PerfectPlex, Jimmy dives in with the Superfly Splash for the pin on Curtis at 11:16.
Rating: C-. So what was the point of the injury? It didn’t change a thing about the match and Jey barely sold the thing at all, so why bother having it except for some drama that was broken up about three minutes later? The division is very thin at this point and we have a bunch of talent with nothing to do. Why this isn’t a layup for WWE’s creative team…..really doesn’t surprise me.
Adam Rose debuts next week.
Heyman tells Cesaro to not listen to RVD about Heyman’s morals or business practices. This of course turns into a discussion about Undertaker’s Streak being broken when he messed with Heyman. Paul admits that he’s a ruthless liar and completely unethical but he takes his clients to the top. That’s all Cesaro needs to hear.
We recap Kane attacking Bryan last week. Stephanie will apologize later tonight.
Kane’s mask is in its case.
Sheamus vs. Titus O’Neal
Titus jumps Sheamus during his entrance and sends him into the barricade a few times. Sheamus tastes the post as well before being sent into the ring for some right hands to the face. He says he’s ready to go though and we have a bell. Titus is on him again and hammers in the corner as Sheamus still has his shirt on….but he hits the Brogue Kick anyway for the pin at 35 seconds. And the annoying booking of Sheamus continues.
You should Bolieve.
Dolph Ziggler is in the ring in street clothes to talk about how this is his favorite time of the year. The weather is nicer, the girls look a little bit better, and the superheroes return to the ring. He’s talking about explosions, things being thrown all over the place and total chaos. But enough about his place on a Saturday night. Here’s a clip from the new X-Men movie. Ziggler brings out X-Men star Hugh Jackman who plays to the crowd quite well.
Jackman talks about how much he loves Raw because anything can happen. Ziggler says that’s true and shows us a clip of Hugh knocking Ziggler out so Zack Ryder could get a pin. Dolph says Jack Swagger has hit him harder than that and they bury the hatchet. This brings out Damien Sandow in a Magneto costume to brag about how a supervillain is now played by someone with intelligence.
They trade some insults and Sandow says tonight the two of them will meet their fate. Jackman touches the cape as Ziggler looks like he’s about to lose it. Sandow displays his “power” by trying to pull the microphone out of Jackman’s hands but gets hiptossed and Zig Zagged instead. I’m not sure what to say about this one.
We look at Evolution reforming and Shield destroying a bunch of people on Smackdown.
Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger
Before the match, Heyman has a joke for us. Knock Knock. Who’s there? Mike. Mike who? Mike lient Brock Lesnar conquered the Undertaker’s Streak at Wrestlemania. Heyman promises to never mention the Streak again before bragging about Cesaro winning the battle royal.
Swagger tries an early suplex but gets countered into rolling gutwrench suplexes. They head outside with Cesaro being sent into the barricade for two before Swagger cranks on a double chicken wing. Swagger loads up the Vader Bomb but Heyman goes after Zeb’s mustache for a distraction, allowing Cesaro to hook a German suplex for the pin at 3:17.
Rating: D+. This feud isn’t doing much for me but it’s cool to see Cesaro throw people around like they’re children. Heyman going after the mustache was a great touch and the match was more entertaining than it should have been. I don’t care much for Swagger though and he drags things down when he’s on screen.
We look at the opening segment again.
Cena has nothing to say about what happened earlier.
The mask is still in the case.
Cody Rhodes vs. Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio quickly takes him down for two but Cody comes back with a clothesline and slam for two of his own. Not that it matters as Alberto hits him in the head again and gets another near fall off a belly to back suplex. Cody hits a dropkick but walks into the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to set up a chinlock. Back up and the springboard dropkick is countered with a punch to the ribs, setting up the armbreaker from Del Rio for the submission at 3:20.
Rating: D+. I’m guessing this is for angle advancement as it was basically a Del Rio squash. My goodness I can’t remember the last time I actually got to type that. The match was nothing special and I wish it had been Goldust doing the job instead of someone like Cody who might have a lengthy future.
Cody walks away from Goldust again post match.
Heyman and Cesaro have a meeting in the back.
Alexander Rusev vs. Xavier Woods
Squash for about 40 seconds until R-Truth runs in for the DQ. The team knocks Rusev to the floor and stands tall before their handicap match on Sunday.
We see John Cena granting three Make-A-Wishes this morning.
RVD is ready to beat Bad News Barrett tonight. Zeb Colter comes in and suggests an alliance against their common enemy in Paul Heyman but RVD declines.
Los Matadores vs. 3MB
McIntyre and Slater here. The pre show match on Sunday is a, I kid you not, Wee L C match involving all of these guys plus the small ones. McIntyre sends Diego into the corner to start before it’s off to Slater. Heath doesn’t do all that well and it’s quickly off to Fernando who cleans house. The announcers of course spend the match making short jokes as Torito Gores Mahal’s groin into Hornswoggle’s head. Back in the ring and Slater hits an elevated DDT on Fernando for the pin at 2:19. JBL: “OH MY GOD 3MB WON! BARRY HOROWITZ IS ROLLING OVER IN HIS GRAVE AND HE’S NOT EVEN DEAD!”
Post match Hornswoggle misses a dive and crashes on the floor. Torito dives on 3MB.
Here’s Stephanie for the apology to Bryan. She calls out the champ and gets both him in a neck brace (minus belts) and Brie Bella who leads the YES chants. Daniel says he almost believed Stephanie when she was telling Kane to stop last week but she’s full of lies. Stephanie says she deserves that and the truth is she and HHH never wanted Bryan to be WWE Champion. Emotions ran high and got out of control.
Bryan says Stephanie’s emotions ran high, so how do you think his wife felt when the Authority was trying to take him out and had to let him do it on his own. Stephanie apologizes again and says she knows what it’s like for your husband to be in an ambulance. She’s sorry on behalf of the entire family for unleashing the demon and for everything else she’s done. Daniel still doesn’t buy it so she asks him to come down to the ring to convince him face to face.
Bryan says he’s going to see a liar if he gets in the ring and that Kane will be here at the snap of a finger. His head hurts and he can’t move his neck, but he’s never given up in his life. He’s been cleared for Sunday and if Kane takes him down, Bryan is taking Kane with him. Stephanie says she can give them something to make up for what happened last week. She offers Brie a Divas Title match tonight but Bryan says he’ll be there with her. The match is right now.
Divas Title: Paige vs. Brie Bella
Paige is defending. Before the match we cut to the back and see that the mask is gone. They trade some holds to start with Brie taking over with a flying mare and dropkick for two. Paige screams a lot and slams Brie into the mat before getting two off a northern lights suplex. Brie comes back with a kick to the face and a hard running knee. She goes up top but gets punched in the gut, setting up a nice superplex to put both girls down. Not that it matters as we’ve got Kane.
Daniel is waiting for him in the aisle but Kane comes up through the ring and tries to pull Brie down. Bryan tries to make a save but the neck injury slows him down. Kane stalks Brie as Bryan is down on the floor. He drags her to the hole but Bryan comes in with I think a wrench to knock Kane silly. Of course he sits up as Bryan tells Brie to get out. A chokeslam leaves Bryan laying. She gets back in like an imbecile and has to scramble away from Kane as he tries to drag her into the hole. Bryan is helped to the back by medics. The match went to a no contest at about 2:20.
Back from a break and a doctor is checking on Bryan when Stephanie comes in again to apologize. Bryan says he’ll be at Extreme Rules and will make her regret dragging Brie into this. Brie yells at Stephanie and calls her something you don’t say to your boss.
We look at the opening segment again.
Cena says the choir freaked him out but he knows the crowd hasn’t turned their backs on him. The crowd was still reacting to him and that gives him hope. Cena is ready for Sunday and will buy Bray a singing mule. The singing ends on Sunday.
Bad News Barrett is on his podium and has some BAD NEWS for RVD. The slogan for the company is Then, Now and Forever. RVD should only be Then, because he’s only living on the past.
Intercontinental Title #1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Rob Van Dam vs. Bad News Barrett
Winner gets Big E. for the title on Sunday. Feeling out process to start with Rob taking him down to the mat with a headlock. Barrett misses a charge and falls to the floor, setting up a moonsault from the apron to take down Bad News. Back in and Barrett sends Rob out to the floor almost immediately before doing the thumb pointing. They head inside again with Rob getting two off a rollup but getting thrown into a kick to the ribs in the corner.
Back from a break with Barrett holding a chinlock. Winds of Change get two and a neckbreaker gets the same for Barrett. We hit the chinlock again for a bit before Rob fights up and nails a superkick. Some clotheslines and the step over kick look to set up Rolling Thunder but here’s Cesaro for a distraction. Swagger intercepts Cesaro but Rob has to duck the Bull Hammer. Rolling Thunder connects but Cesaro distracts him from the Five Star, allowing Barrett to get his knees up. Bull Hammer sends Barrett to Extreme Rules at 11:22.
Rating: C-. The match was dull at times but this should set up Cesaro vs. Van Dam to flesh out Sunday’s card a little bit. Barrett is much more interesting in this character and has looked great since Wrestlemania. I can’t imagine Big E. holds the title and that’s the right idea at this point.
Post match Cesaro goes after Van Dam but Swagger lays him out with a gutwrench powerbomb. Van Dam beats up Swagger though and hits the Five Star on Swagger.
We look at Shield destroying people on Smackdown again.
Shield says they’ve passed Evolution by. Rollins holds up his fist and says it’s the new symbol of excellence (the name given to the four fingers of the Horsemen). Reigns says Evolution looks more like the past.
Ambrose has to defend the US Title against Alberto Del Rio, Ryback and Curtis Axel in a handicap match on Smackdown.
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
Orton has Batista and HHH with him and comes out to the Evolution theme. Before the match, HHH says Shield is starting to remind him of Evolution. There’s a problem with that though: Evolution is still here and they’ll never be that good. Shield hits the ring….and here’s Ric Flair.
Ric looks bombed and asks if this is St. Louis, Missouri. He’s had a lot of fun in this town but says it’s great to be back in a ring with people who know what this business is all about: dominance. Flair talks about everything coming full circle, including greatness. Tonight he’s surrounded by superstars who exemplify power, style and greatness. By that he means the Shield and shakes all three of their hands. With that he leaves and Evolution is shocked.
We actually get a bell at 11:05 and Reigns hammers away but gets caught by a headbutt and right hands. They head outside and fight over a suplex with Reigns getting the better of it. Orton reverses a whip to send Reigns into the steps before taking it back inside for a chinlock. A hard clothesline puts Reigns on the floor but he fights out of the Elevated DDT.
The running clothesline and a right hand have Orton reeling and Reigns heads to the floor for the apron dropkick. Back in and HHH breaks up the Superman Punch as the brawl is on. The fans are WAY into this as Ambrose is thrown across the anounce table. Back inside and the Superman Punch connects but Reigns goes to the floor to get in on the fight for the DQ at 4:50.
Rating: C. This was a good moment for Reigns as he looked like he was capable of hanging with the guy that was World Champion coming into the main event of Wrestlemania less than a month ago. The match on Sunday is going to be NUTS and it should main event the PPV. I’d love to see a full match between these guys and it’s good to see Reigns getting some solo time.
Post match Evolution destroys Shield with spinebusters and slams. HHH loads up a Pedigree on Ambrose but Rollins makes the save with a springboard knee to the face. HHH is left alone and Reigns lays him out with the spear. Orton and Batista try to break up the Triple Bomb with chairs but get kicked in the face, allowing Shield to stand tall to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a rollercoaster of a show but the problem was it all had to follow that opening segment. There was just no way they could trump that all night long and it never did. I’m fired up for Sunday and the top three matches all look great on paper. The builds have worked perfectly and I’m looking forward to Sunday. More importantly, things seemed a lot more organic instead of scripted this week and that’s a VERY positive sign for the future.
Usos b. Ryback/Curtis Axel – Superfly Splash to Axel
Sheamus b. Titus O’Neal – Brogue Kick
Cesaro b. Jack Swagger – German suplex
Alberto Del Rio b. Cody Rhodes – Cross armbreaker
Alexander Rusev b. Xavier Woods via DQ when R-Truth interfered
3MB b. Los Matadores – Elevated DDT to Fernando
Paige vs. Brie Bella went to a no contest when Kane interfered
Bad News Barrett b. Rob Van Dam – Bull Hammer
Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton went to a no contest when Evolution interfered
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