Live from my home country, Canada, Raw is back in Calgary! And of course, along with Raw is Bret “The Hit Man” Hart! The “Excellence Of Execution” makes a triumphant return home and will be appreciated/celebrated tonight, (hopefully) on the air, as well as off. FYI – since I live in Canada, I get to watch the post-Raw footage, so I will be reporting on that as well, but it will be under a separate headline on the website – look for it to read all the accolades “The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be” will receive later!
Also, continuing is the feud between Ryback and WWE Champion John Cena, and The Shield’s championship dominance, Plus, who will Curtis Axel face (if anybody) tonight to keep his new build-up and stardom going? Read on to find out all that goes down in Alberta!
Monday Night Raw Report for May 27th, 2013 – “Leveling Up”
“A hero is someone who has given his life to something bigger than oneself” – Joseph Campbell. WWE first honors war veterans with a video tribute on today’s Memorial Day holiday in the United States. (Always a since and wonderful gesture from them.)
Introduction Segment: Recap
Footage of Curtis Axel’s bringing in from last week and Triple H’s dreary ending airs, promising an update on “The Game’s” condition tonight.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
WWE Champion John Cena is back, out first, and seems to be all healed. He talks about the unrest with the non-finish to his Last Man Standing Match with Ryback at Extreme Rules. After mocking Ryback’s “robotic though-process” to having an Ambulance Match, he proposes a different solution following a week of though of his own.
Cena brings up the idea of a “3 Stages Of Hell” Match, with the first being a Lumberjack Match, then a Tables Match, and finally the Ambulance (if necessary.) Cena tells Ryback and the fans not to worry, since if it doesn’t get to the Ambulance match, the driver will still earn his keep, because the former “Dr. Of Thuganomics” will still beat him up enough that Ryback will need the EMT transportation to leave anyway.
His challenger joins him on the stage and actually agrees. Ryback sais that “payback should be hell.” Ryback calls himself all the devil’s different monikers, then finishes off “say hello to Ryback” and walks off.
Not to give Cena a break, Paul Heyman follows immediately and asks the current WWE Champion to say “hello” to a future WWE Champion, the “newest Paul Heyman Guy,” Curtis Axel.
Heyman claims they were impressed on how Cena CHALLENGED Ryback to a “3 Stages Of Hell.” He then wants to book “WWE Champion John Cena Vs. future WWE Champion Curtis Axel.” Cena replies with a little advice, informing Curtis to stay away from Heyman, as he is “full of more crap than the stables after the stampede.”
Axel says “we didn’t ask for your opinion, we asked, ‘are you looking for a fight?'”, so Cena does oblige, and they will face-off.
Heyman isn’t finished with interviews though, as later tonight he will be Chris Jericho’s guest on the “Highlight Reel.” (That should be entertaining!) Up next, Alberto Del Rio will take on Big E. Langston.
Match #1: Single – Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) VS. Big E. Langston (with A.J. Lee)
This is the third match between the two, as footage showed both competitors getting the best of each other from Raw and Main-Event respectively last week. Big E. pounds away and rams him with his shoulder in the gut in the corner. Del Rio fires back with a dive through the ropes, but Langston takes control by running him into the ring post. Big E. drops him three times with a rib/backbreaker, and gets a count of two.
“The Mexican Aristocrat” gains momentum with clotheslines, a backstabber, and a kick-to-the-head for a near-fall! He attempts the Cross Armbreaker submission, but gets shoved into the ropes and belly-to-belly suplexed.
A.J. tries to distract Del Rio by untying the turnbuckle, but Alberto manages to lock on the hold anyway. Big E. breaks out of it by picking him up, but he gets pushed into the steel post and rolled up for the victory by Alberto!
Winner via Pin-Fall: Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)
Post0match, A.J. is astonished and yells at Big E. for losing the bout. They argue all the way to the back.
Later tonight, two championships will be decided, as all three Shield members will put up their Tag-Team and United States Titles against the men they won them from at Extreme Rules.
Segment #2: Locker Room Promo
Daniel Bryan is pacing back and forth in “Team Hell No’s” dressing room with Kane. He is still insecure about being the “weak link.” Kane tries to convince him otherwise with a “yes-no” argument, but it takes Bret “The Hit Man” Hart to change Bryan’s mind.
Bryan asks Bret if anyone thought he was the “weak link.” Hart says that the fight in someone has nothing to do with their size and that “Team Hell No” is one of the best tag-team partnerships he’s seen in WWE history, and Daniel is “one of the best toughest WWE Superstars I’ve ever seen. Nothing stops you, nothing.”
Bryan is completely enamored and inspired. Kane wonders why that is, and Daniel says because it’s Bret Hart, and “you’re just Kane!”
Match #2: Single for the United States Championship – Dean Ambrose (Champion) (with “The Shield” partners, Tag-Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) VS. Kofi Kingston
(Note: The Shield made their usual entrance before the break.) Kofi tires to get the early jump on Ambrose with a quick couple of covers, then kicks away with low boots and a spin-kick. He leapfrogs Dean a couple times, but misses the Trouble In Paradise Spin-Kick as Ambrose slid out of the ring. He also moves from an attempted dive by Kingston to get a break.
Back live, Ambrose has Kingston tied up in a submission, then drops an elbow for two. Kofi counters, sweeping up Dean and slingshotting him into the turnbuckle, then springboarding off the middle rope with a crossbody for a near-fall!
They engage in a series of back-and-forth pin combos, and Kofi nails the S.O.S. or another close two! Kofi flies off the top rope with a forearm, but gets swept up and dropped face-first on the steel steps. This sets up Ambrose to finish Kofi off with his bulldog/DDT combo and retain his championship.
Winner via Pin-Fall and STILL United States Champion: Dean Ambrose (with “The Shield” partners Tag-Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns)
As they are celebrating over Kingston’s body, Kane’s pyro explodes and they get right into the Tag-Team Title match with Rollins and Reigns!
Match #3: Tag-Team for the Tag-Team Championship – The Shield (Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) (Champions) (with “The Shield partner United States Champion Dean Ambrose) VS. “Team Hell No” (Kane and Daniel Bryan) (Challengers)
Bryan is all over Rollins, kicking away at him. Kane takes control for a bit, then switches back to Daniel. He locks Seth in a grounding hammerlock and beats him with his elbow. Kane is back in and tries the Chokeslam, but Rollins counters with a jumping enziguri.
Reigns relieves Seth, and dominates Kane. He grounds him with a rear chinlock, then switches back with Rollins. Kane counters a backdrop with a clothesline, and gets the hot-tag to Bryan. He takes Roman off the apron, then flips Seth over with a German suplex and running dropkick into he corner. He viciously delivers kicks to Rollins’ head and covers. 1 – 2 – Seth kicks out!
He hangs Rollins upside down and kicks away in the corner again, then runs with a low dropkick. Bryan ascends with Rollins on the top rope and both come on down with a super-backdrop suplex! Both men are down on the canvas.
Back live, Bryan has the momentum and is geared up, but Reigns cuts all that off with a resounding smack of a clothesline! Rollins is back in and clamps on a surfboard stretch in the middle of the ring. He also mocks Bryan’s taunt while he’s at it. Daniel works his way out of it, but gets tripped up and held back before he can make the tag to Kane.
Reigns is back in, stomping all over Bryan. Rollins does the same thing, and walks all over Daniel, yelling at him that he is the “weak link” and they’re the champions now. He drives Bryan into the second turnbuckle with a flatliner. Bryan manages to come back and get the hot-tag to Kane, who is on fire against Rollins with a backdrop and sidewalk slam.
Bryan suicide dives Reigns on the outside, while Kane flies off the top with a clothesline to Seth! Instead of going to his corner, Daniel decides to take one more run at Reigns, but he gets caught and slammed to the floor. This distracts Kane, who is taken down with a springboard knee-to-the-face by Rollins, and the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pin-Fall and STILL Tag-Team Champions: The Shield (Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) (Champions) (with “The Shield partner United States Champion Dean Ambrose)
Up next, news on Triple H’s status will be provided.
The news is good for “The Game,” as he was basically advised to just take this week off, and the symptoms were from a sledgehammer shot by Lesnar at Extreme Rules.
The Miz is out the fans will choose where they want “The Awesome One” for the match between Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and Fandango. Will Miz be a ring announcer, commentator, or referee? (I think this one’s pretty easy to guess!)
Match #4: Single with Guest Referee The Miz – Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett VS. Fandango (with Summer Rae) (Non-Title)
Lockup between Fandango and Barrett begins the bout, and Wade argues with Miz to get Fandango off him. ‘Dango comes back with a smacking chop, then sits in between the ropes. Barrett gets frustrated, and shoves the referee, but Miz comes back and plants the I.C. Champion with the Skull Krushing Finale. Fandango takes advantage and covers for the victory.
Winner via Pin-Fall: Fandango (with Summer Rae)
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
John Cena is staring at his WWE Championship when, of all people in Calgary, Shawn Michaels approaches. “The Heartbreak Kid” warns Cena of the dangers of Ryback, amid chants of BOTH “H.B.K.” and “you screwed Bret!” Cena listens but walks off.
Match #5: 6-Man Tag-Team – 3.M.B. (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre) VS. “Tons Of Funk” (“Sweet T.” Tensai, “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay, and The Great Khali) (with Hornswaggle and Natalya, and The Funkadactyls Naomi and Cameron)
In short, because I don’t care about anyone in this bout except for Hornswaggle and Natalya, “Tons Of Funk” get the duke following a big splash from Brodus onto Heath.
Winners via Pin-Fall: “Tons Of Funk” (“Sweet T.” Tensai, “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay, and The Great Khali) (with Hornswaggle and Natalya, and The Funkadactyls Naomi and Cameron)
Post-match, The Great Khali sings Happy Birthday to Natalya, as it is her special day.
Up next, Chris Jericho will have Paul Heyman on the Highlight Reel.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Chris Jericho brings Paul Heyman, saying that he has been called many terms from “genius” to “walrus.” Jericho does compliment Heyman on his ability to align himself with “tremendous talent.” Paul E. agrees, but also corrects as he reminds us that he “discover and develop great talent as well.” He cites Jericho, rightfully so, as a prime example. Chris concurs, but also reminds Heyman that he is still owed money!
Jericho puts over Curtis Axel with “tremendous potential,” and is a big fan too but cuts to the chase. However, he does not want to talk about Brock Lesnar, like Heyman presumes. “Y2J” wants to talk about the missing in action C.M. Punk. Chris replays the footage from when Punk was last on Raw, on April 15.
Jericho questions whether Paul was “shocked and surprised” when C.M. made the announcement to walk out. Heyman does not give a “straight-edge” answer (yes, pun intended!), instead touting “The Straight-Edge Superstar’s” success over the last year and a half.
Jericho doesn’t buy it and just wants to know where Punk is. Heyman says he and Punk will have an announcement in the next few weeks, but Jericho isn’t a fan of that. He challenges Punk to a match at Payback, WWE’s next Pay-Per-View, which conveniently takes place in “The Second-City Saint’s” hometown of Chicago.
Despite defense from Heyman, “Y2J” still declares that “Chris Jericho is the best in the world at I do.” Paul E. calls this “pulling his ‘Punk card,'” and Heyman actually accepts. He gets right in Jericho’s face, and Jericho tells Paul to inform Punk that after payback, he will “never, ever be the same again.”
Match #5: Tag-Team – Natalya and Divas Champion Kaitlyn VS. The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie) (Non-Title)
Kaitlyn and a Bella begin, with the Twin clamping on a waistlock. She sweeps Kaitlyn on the apron, then chokes her against the middle rope, using her rear. The Twins switch, and Kaitlyn is dominated until she tags into Natalya. The favorite Diva is all over the Twin, and locks in the Sharpshooter, but is slapped out of it by the other Twin. Kaitlyn takes out one, but accidentally spears Natalya, giving The Bellas the W!
Winners via Pin-Fall: The Bella Twins (Nikki and Brie)
Post-match, they also sing Happy Birthday to Natalya, calling her a loser instead.
Segment #5: Locker Room Promo
Curtis Axel is getting ready when Bret Hart walks in. They discuss Hart’s legendary matches with Axel’s late-great father, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, with Hart saying that he put him through some of the hardest matches of his career.
Axel asks if Bret saw what he did to Triple H last week. Bret advises Curtis to get rid of Heyman, but Axel says that Paul E. was the only one that paid any attention to him before he took out HHH. Axel tells Bret to “go on and enjoy your ‘Appreciation Night.’ I’m gonna go beat the WWE Champion.” Axel walks out, leaving Bret glaring.
Randy Orton makes his way to the ring, and up next, he and Sheamus will take on “Team Rhodes Scholars.”
Segment #6: Video Promo
A “Deliverance”-like clip airs of The Wyatt Family – Bray Wyatt, and his followers Luke Harper and Eric Rowan. He prophesies about society “poisoning the souls of men.” Harper says “we are the ones, the ones you have been told about. And we are walking up right.” Wyatt yells “witness the new faces of fear,” while either he or Rowan sing a line from “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” and wear lamb masks. They will be coming, proclaims Wyatt. (Very creepy, as my Dad put it, but these guys are loaded with character and in-ring ability, judging from watching them weekly on NXT.)
Match #6: Tag-Team – “The Viper” Randy Orton and “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus VS. “Team Rhodes Scholars” (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)
Rhodes and Orton begin with an elbow/collar tie-up. Orton controls, and tags in Sheamus, who slingshots himself over with the Battering Ram shoulderblock. Both teams switch in and out, and Sheamus now hammers away on Cody on the canvas. Rhodes reverses and kicks Sheamus in the corner, but Sheamus comes back with a neckbreaker.
Rhodes shoves him into the corner and tags Sandow. Sheamus catches him off the ropes with a rolling fireman’s carry, but Rhodes distracts Sheamus, allowing Damien to chuck him off the top rope.
Sheamus is cornered, and Rhodes pulls him back into a leg scissors with a chinlock. Cody runs at him, but is caught in an Irish Curse backbreaker. Orton gets the high-five, and explodes with clotheslines on both “Rhodes Scholars,” then a powerslam on Cpdy and slingshot-DDT on Sandow. Rhodes pulls Damien out as Orton was zoning up for the R.K.O., then takes control with a cover for a near fall.
Cody rips at Orton’s face with another chinlock again, then switches back with Damien. He brings Randy down with a Russian legsweep and the Elbow Of Distain drop. 1 – 2 – Orton kicks out! Rhodes is back in, punching away and delivering kicks in the corner.
He knees Orton in the head as he came running at him, but gets t-bone suplexed as he came out of the corner. Sheamus wants that hot tag and Orton is slow to make it.
The big Irishman gets the momentum and clubs away on Sandow against the ropes. However he turns around into a Disaster Kick, courtesy of Rhodes. Damien only gets two, and his Termaneuse finisher reversed into the White Noise drop! Sheamus fires up the crowd and waits upon Damien. He nails a rising Sandow with the Brogue Kick to get the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pin-Fall: “The Viper” Randy Orton and “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus
Up next, it’s our main event with WWE Champion John Cena taking on Curtis Axel!
Match #7: Single – WWE Champion John Cena VS. Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman) (Non-Title)
Axel gets the best of Cena with a lockup, headlock take down, and grounding headlock. Cena leapfrogs Curtis and hip-tosses him. Axel goes tot he outside for a consultation with his manager and break.
Back live, Axel slams Cena’s head into the ring apron then throws him into the steel steps. Heyman is coaching Curtis to get back in the ring and take the count-out, but it is not in the cards, as John dives back in at 8.
Axel is still all over the WWE Champion, wearing him down with an armbar. (Note: something is going on in the crowd, as the fans are not paying attention to the match and my Dad points out the camera is focused only on the wrestlers, and barely the people.)
Axel stomps away and chokes Cena against the ropes with his boot, but Cena starts to come back with a couple diving shoulder tackles and a spin-out backdrop. He drops the 5-Knuckle Shuffle fist drop, but Axel gets out of an Attitude Adjustment try with a dropkick. He dives off the middle rope once with a forearm, but misses the second one and gets scoop slammed by Cena.
Curtis hits a big boot and snapmare, for a near-fall! Cena reverses a Russian legsweep attempt into an STF submission try, but Axel gets out of that. Axel executes the “Perfect Plex,” emulating his late-great father “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. 1 – 2 – Cena kicks out! The WWE Champion nails Axel with a clothesline, but is distracted by an ambulance that speeds into the arena. Due to this, Axel wins the bout because of a count-out.
Winner via Count-Out: Curtis Axel
Post-match, Ryback attacks Cena from behind, but Cena runs him off. The WWE Champion stands tall and applauds Curtis Axel, who is celebrating with Paul Heyman, holding up two fingers to signal he has now 2 – 0 and/or beaten two of the biggest names in wrestling, closing the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Another great show overall, although not as “fantastic” crowd-wise (more on that in Bogus) as I thought. The wrestling, which always counts in my book, was pretty good again, so that for sure was wonderful. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: The wrestling! Particularly, both “Shield” matches, the tag-team bout of Sheamus/Orton/”Rhodes Scholars” and the singles of Big E./Del Rio and Axel/Cena. I have definitely changed my mind and am no longer on the fence about Curtis Axel. After watching Smackdown (which you can read that fine report on this fine website), as well as tonight’s Raw, I feel that he is superbly talented and can only rise up to big things with Heyman by his side. I liked his interactions tonight with the WWE Champion John Cena and Bret Hart. I can see him facing Chris Jericho next week, to further both his “big-name” storyline and Jericho now with the fresh feud against Heyman.
Heyman/Jericho’s segment was awesome, as two “masters of the mike” verbally jousted. I knew going in this would be a cool promo, and I was right. Loved Jericho’s small “dig’ on how Paul E. still needs to pay him! It will be interesting to see if C.M. Punk a) comes back and b) still aligns himself with Heyman. Either way, a beautiful feud between the three is on the way.
Liking the “cracks” in Langston and A.J.’s alliance. Who will World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler side with when he returns? Liking the feud between Fandango and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, as well as The Miz. This story of “old-school/serious wrestler taking on flashy newcomer” could play out well, and lead to a great reign with the IC. Title for Fandango. Also, liked “uping-the-anti” with the WWE Championship match between Cena and Ryback. However, no matter the result, this should definitely complete the feud, as these particular stipulations are used to absolutely finish a rivalry.
Was absolutely disturbed by The Wyatt Family’s introductory promo and that is great! I love these guys on NXT and they will be a great addition to the roster. I’m not sure who their first feud could be against yet, though. Any ideas?
Bogus: Did not care for the 6-Man with “Tons Of Funk” and “3.M.B.” Why are “3.M.B.” still around? I thought they were put out a long while ago! Thought Natalya was wasted – she should’ve been in a Divas Championship match, with decent time and wrestling, even if she lost, especially tonight since Raw was in her hometown too and it was her birthday. Kaitlyn and Natalya can wrestle well – it was done on NXT before, now bring it to Raw! The Calgary fans – while respectful and definitely made themselves known (especially whenever Bret Hart was mentioned or appeared), they weren’t up to the usual standard of a Canadian “wild” crowd, I felt. Disappointing, so hopefully Edmonton’s fans are out there in force when I watch Smackdown later this week.
In general, this was a pretty darn good Raw and they have continued the awesome wrestling and building of stars throughout. Keep it up, WWE! Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-online Readers and Wrestling Fans!