In light of the tragedy in Boston, I will not be giving my usual Raw preview or an episode title, but instead, offer my condolences, thoughts, and prayers to all affected by the incident. May God take care of all in need.
Monday Night Raw Report for April 15th, 2013
Introduction Segment: Recap/Preview and Welcoming
A montage of last week’s epic ending to Raw with Ryback and WWE Champion John Cena, as well as C.M. Punk’s return tonight following his WrestleMania XXIX lost to The Undertaker is aired, with speculation of what will go down.
We go right to the arena, with Michael Cole welcoming us to South Carolina. (Ok, I’m surprised and disappointed they did not open with any comments or tribute about the incident in Boston today. Usually, WWE is on top and pay respects nicely, but nothing so far…)
Match #1: 2-On-1 – “The Viper” Randy Orton and “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus VS. The Big Show
Sheamus and Show lock up to begin the bout, and Show shoves Sheamus into the corner. The Irishman fires right back with fists, but Show takes him down with a sidewalk slam. Sheamus batters Show on the ring apron with a couple shoulders and hammering blows, then flies at him with a shoulder-tackle off the top rope! 1 – 2 – Show kicks out! Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick, but Big catches him and chucks Sheamus over the ropes.
Sheamus makes it in the ring before the ten count, but Show takes control, slapping him numerous times against the ropes. He drops him with the Final Cut, but Orton breaks up the cover before three! Show drops Sheamus with another sidewalk slam, then slowly ascends the turnbuckle from the inside. Sheamus cuts him off and impressively lifts him up on his shoulders and falls back! Sheamus crawls over and tags in Randy!
Orton comes in with huge momentum, dropkicking Show and then planting him with the slingshot DDT! He zones in, but gets shoved off the R.K.O. Sheamus Brogue Kicks Show, allowing Orton to hit the R.K.O. for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: “The Viper” Randy Orton and “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus
Up next, 3.M.B. will discuss their confrontation with “The Shield” from Friday’s Smackdown! (Read that report on this fine website!)
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal all want an apology from Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns. They don’t get “The Shield,” but instead the return of Brock Lesnar! He comes out and destroys 3.M.B. Lesnar F-5’s Slater twice on to the barricade, then Paul Heyman runs out and gets in the ring with his client.
Heyman reminds us that his client is ready for a fight, and he wants it against Triple H! He says that HHH is the only person in WWE history to knock out Brock Lesnar, and for that, Heyman puts over Triple H as a “warrior” and “man.” However, Lesnar does not feel the same way. The score between the two is 1 and 1, so they want a tie breaker. They challenge “The Game” to a steel cage match at Extreme Rules, on May 19th, then walk off.
Match #2: Single for the United States Championship – Kofi Kingston (Challenger) VS. Antonio Cesaro (Champion)
Kofi immediately rolls up Cesaro for a quick count try but to no avail. He counters a hip toss into a backslide for another two, however misses a splash in the corner, which allows Antonio to whip him and clothesline him. Cesaro throws him down with a gutwrench suplex, then clamps on a grounding rear chinlock.
Kofi ducks a clothesline and hits a chop then jumping forearm. He nails the boom drop legdrop and measures the U.S. Champ for the Trouble In Paradise Kick. Cesaro counters with an uppercut for two.
Back live, Cesaro is pushing against Kofi’s face with his boot in the corner. Antonio gently and mockingly kicks away at Kofi, and runs at him with an uppercut in the corner. Kofi reverses a move into the S.O.S. pin combo for two,, before Cesaro grabs the ropes for a break. Kingston manages to nail the Trouble In Paradise spin kick but Cesaro rolls out of the ring. Kofi puts him back in but only gets a two count because of the delay.
Kofi flies off the top rope with a crossbody, but Cesaro catches him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! 1 – 2 – Kingston kicks out! Kofi sunset flips Cesaro for two, but eventually rolls Antonio into a standing position, then dropping him with the Trouble In Paradise spin kick again, this time for the hard-fought victory!
Winner via Pinfall and NEW United States Champion: Kofi Kingston
Post-match, Kofi says that he has brought the U.S. Title home!
Later tonight, Ryback will explain his actions from taking out WWE Champion John Cena last week
Segment #3: Raw Recap
The entire magnificent match and moment of Dolph Ziggler winning the World Heavyweight Championship last week on Raw is replayed.
Up next, the NEW World Heavyweight Champion will be out with Big E. and A.J. to talk.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, Big E. Langston, and A.J. walk to the squared circle. The Champ has a new vest with the words “Show Stolen” on the back, then tells us that his World Title win is the single greatest moment of Monday Night Raw.
“And it was all because of me, because of me.” Dolph puts himself over as the most charismatic, athletic, and flamboyant champion ever. “I do it better than everybody else! I am just too good. Some of you may boo and that’s fine. I don’t care. Listen to me as loud as you possible can, I DON’T CARE!”
Ziggler informs us that “showing off” is what you do when you are better than everyone else. “And I back it up every single night!” He claims that no one will ever be as good as him or take the title, but the former champion may have something to say about that.
Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez, limps out and meets the trio in the ring. He demands his rematch right now! Dolph tries to deny him, but gets interrupted by the Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero. She conquers, and declares this match official!
Match #4: Single for the World Heavyweight Championship – Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) (Challenger) VS. Dolph Ziggler (with Big E. Langston and A.J.) (Champion)
Prior to the bout, the “Real American” Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter interject, saying that neither deserve to be a champion or challenger, as Jack Swagger should be after taking out Del Rio last week. Alberto quickly attacks Swagger instead, but the “Real American” clutches on the “Patriot” Ankle Lock and demolishes Del Rio’s ankle. Ziggler just stands in the ring with Langston and A.J.
Winner: No Contest due to Interference
Up next, Tag-Team Champions “Team Hell No!”
Match #5: Tag-Team – “The Primetime Players” (Darren Young and Titus O’Neil) VS. Tag-Team Champions “Team Hell No” (Kane and Daniel Bryan) (Non-Title)
Bryan and O’Neil start off, with Bryan kicking away at Titus. Young is quickly brought in and takes control with a clothesline for two. Daniel fights out of grounding rear chinlock and jumps for Kane’s hand to get the tag. He is all over Darren, flying off the top rope with a clothesline.
Kane chokeslams Young and Bryan follows it with a diving headbutt from the top to get the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champions “Team Hell No” (Kane and Daniel Bryan)
Next, Ryback will attempt to explain himself.
Segment #5: Video Promo
Ryback is breathing heavily, then talks about WrestleMania. He says that it was John Cena’s greatest night, beating The Rock and winning the WWE Championship. This is in contrast to Ryback, who had the worst night of his life when he lost to “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry.
Ryback said there were only two ways to go: him up and Cena down. He goes through how Cena built up Ryback, then left him to be attacked by “The Shield,” both in November 2012 and January of this year, respectively. Footage is also shown of Cena not saving the pin on Ryback at Elimination Chamber against the trio.
Ryback says that Cena was only focused on the “golden prize,” and tried to keep him in his shadow. However, Ryback has come out of the shadow now and become “the biggest threat to your WWE Title reign, ever. Ryback rules!”
Match #6: Single – R-Truth VS. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett (Non-Title)
They lock up and Wade punches and knees his way out to start. Truth hangs on to the ropes and ducks a clothesline, then hits a jumping calf kick. After some domination by Barrett, Truth counters a “Winds Of Change” slam into a crucifix pin for two! He fires up with clotheslines and a suplex flapjack faceplant. Barrett moves from a scissors kick but gets a surprise jumping flatliner for the quick W by Truth!
Winner via Pinfall: R-Truth
Segment #6: Office Promo
Managers Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero are discussing Alberto Del Rio’s serious injury, preventing him from challenging Ziggler for the World Title. Smackdown Assistant Teddy Long walks in and provides a replacement: Jack Swagger. The managers agree and Maddox goes to inform Booker T.
Later tonight, the sensational Fandango!
Match #7: Tag-Team – The Great Khali and Santino Marella (with Hornswaggle and Natalya) VS. “Team Rhodes Scholars” (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)
In short, “Team Rhodes Scholars” take this bout with a roll up from Sandow. (Sorry, I really didn’t care about this match and “Rhodes Scholars” are way above these guys!)
Winners via Pinfall: “Team Rhodes Scholars” (Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes)
Up next, Fandango!
Segment #7: Arena Promo
Jerry “The King” Lawler introduces the newest dance craze, “Fandagoing!” He shows clips of fans and groups alike around the world performing the moves. He then brings out the man himself, and Fandango asks the crowd who wants to go “Fandangoing” with him.
He also inquires the fans to pronounce his name the right way. He leads the crowd in the proper pronunciation. He is not happy with the result though, and tells the fans they can go “Fandango” themselves.
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Matt Striker interviews WWE Champion John Cena regarding Ryback’s comments. Cena challenges him to a face-to-face confrontation.
Match #8: Single – “The Real American” Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) VS. World Heavyweight Champion “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler (with Big E. Langston and A.J.) (Non-Title)
Swagger and Colter made their entrance prior toe the commercials. Live, they measure each other out and as Ziggler grabs Jack’s ankle, he is shoved into the corner by Swagger. Dolph slaps Swagger and runs around the ring to gain an advantage by hammering away on him, but Swagger takes quick control.
He levels Dolph with a clothesline, but gets nailed with an elbow himself after whipping Ziggler into the corner. Dolph brings Jack down with a neckbreaker, but almost gets caught in the Ankle Lock. He jawbreaks Swagger on the ropes, but Jack returns the favour and places Dolph crotch-first on the top rope.
Back live, Dolph moves out of the way from Swagger’s running shoulder-tackle into the ring post. Dolph small packages Swagger for two, then almost gets pinned himself following a belly-to-belly suplex! Swagger knees Dolph in the stomach, but gets met by two boots from Ziggler out of the corner splash.
Dolph fights back with a high dropkick and high jumping DDT. 1 – 2 – Swagger kicks out! He tries for a Fameasser but ends up getting flapjacked across the ropes and rolled up for the sudden 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Real American” Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter)
Post-match, Alberto Del Rio returns and assaults Swagger on the stage. He kicks him off the ramp and locks in the Cross Armbreaker submission against the steel structure, until referees break them up. He and Ricardo also point at World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, who is back up and standing with Big E. and A.J. in the ring.
Segment #9: Backstage Promo
Matt Striker attempts to interview Sheamus, but before he gets a sentence out, Mark Henry spears Sheamus through the interview set. Referees check on Sheamus and tell the “world’s Strongest Man” to back off.
Segment #10: Arena Promo
C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman walk to the squared circle amid chants of his name. Punk says that during his 434-day WWE Championship reign, “I couldn’t enjoy the ride because I was always looking around the corner at what was next. The WWE Championship meant the world to me, it everything I dedicated my life to attaining. But I wanted that next challenge.”
The “Straight-Edge Superstar” talks about wanting more, from battling “the most electrifying man in sports entertainment” The Rock. He then looked at “the one thing that could possibly be bigger than the championship” – the streak, beating The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Punk declares that he pushed The Undertaker to the limit, and pauses. The fans cheer “respect,” “Undertaker,” and “C.M. Punk.”
Punk hugs Heyman and walks off, looking unsure. He walks to the side of the Raw set instead of through the main entrance on the stage.
Segment #11: Backstage Promo
Smackdown General Manager Booker T. is reprimanding Teddy Long for his earlier decisions. Booker then books (no pun intended) a World Heavyweight Championship Triple-Threat match, with Dolph Ziggler defending against Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger.
Match #9: Single – Nikki Bella (with Brie Bella) VS. Divas Champion Kaitlyn (Non-Title)
Kaitlyn shoves Nikki down to the mat and then out of the ring. The Twins chat up, as Kaitlyn delivers a double-baseball slide to both. Back in the ring, Nikki uses the ropes to lock on a Camel Clutch. Nikki then stands on Kaitlyn’ hair and pulls her arms up and pulls back on her chin.
Kaitlyn battles back and drops Nikki with the fireman’s carry knee-to-the-gut. Before she can cover, the Twins pull of a little “magic” and switch around. Nikki/Brie yanks Kaitlyn onto the middle rope and covers her for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Nikki/Brie Bella
Up next, Ryback!
Segment #12: Arena Promo
WWE Champion John Cena arrives to the ring and holds out the microphone to enlist the cheers and boos. He wastes no more time in calling out Ryback. The man walks out (to absolutely no reaction, meaning they fed in silent noise for TV!) Now the fans are chanting “feed me more.”
Cena says that Ryback is 290 pounds that has hurt everything in his sight and he should be shaking in his “khakis.” (Note: a shot backstage of Seth Rollins bending over quickly came up, which was obviously a huge mistake!)
Cena reminds Ryback that he had the chance to face him up front last week, when John called anyone out to challenge him for the WWE Title. Cena puts himself over as someone not to be messed with, and that he doesn’t like the way Ryback did it last week. Cena says that Ryback lacks the two things to be champion: “a space between your ears and a piece between your legs!”
He then orders Ryback to make a move and earn a championship. The two stare intensely, then Ryback walks off. Before he gets to the ramp, “The Shield” appears in the aisle way and make their way down. The trio slowly surround the ring, looking at both Ryback and Cena. John instigates the brawl and is taken apart three to one. Ryback just stands in the aisle and glares. He then walks off to the top of the stage.
Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins give the WWE Champion the triple-powerbomb and stand in the ring over a downed Cena to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was a great show to follow up to an amazing last week (one which will not be topped for a long time!) There was some continuity in storylines and a couple good matches too! Onto the analysis:
Excellence: The clean win for Randy Orton and Sheamus. I hope this is now the end of that storyline with The Big Show and all three can move on in their separate ways. Lesnar dismantling “3.M.B.” With them getting decimated two shows in a row, hopefully they will break up too. They are an epic fail for their angle. Also, of course, the promo by Heyman to challenge HHH to a third match. Was well done, as he put over both Lesnar and Triple H to build them more for the Steel Cage match.
The U.S. Championship bout flowed nicely and, as soon as they showed the clip of Kofi beating Cesaro in a non-title match, I knew that he was going to win the championship tonight. We shall see where is reign goes – hopefully stronger than Antonio’s. (good length, but no meaning behind it.) World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler’s promo – awesome! Enough said. Same for Ryback’s promo – well-told and actually made sense as to why he’d be ticked off at Cena! Fandango – really won over everyone last week, but is great at playing the arrogance role too. I liked C.M. Punk’s promo and it really leaves me wondering (for at least a week) what is happening with him, and will he return as a face or heel? What challenge is now big enough for Punk to accomplish?
Bogus: While a great match with World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger, do not like the fact that Ziggler lost in his second match as champion. I would’ve liked Alberto to cost Jack that bout, instead of a decisive win. I thought that the loss hurt Dolph a bit, especially since it ended up being a triple threat for down the road anyway. This was definitely senseless. Do not care/one-off file – “Primetime Players”/”Team Hell No” match, “Team Rhodes Scholars” VS. Great Khali and Santino Marella, and the Divas match. Again, Wade Barrett wins back the I.C. Title but loses a non-title bout to R-Truth. Unless this leads to a feud, I saw it as pointless and hurting Barrett/the Intercontinental Championship.
On the most serious side, again due to the tragedy in Boston yesterday (it is Tuesday when I completed this report), I did not give a preview or title for Raw out of respect. I felt ok reviewing the show, because there was nothing that was “crossing the line” this week and it was pretty average/safe.
However, as mentioned earlier, I am definitely surprised that WWE did not pay respects with a moment of silents or bell salute, like they usually do in circumstances like these. In all honestly, while I am disappointed they didn’t, they have their reasons and I will leave it at that.
To conclude, I reiterate my thoughts, condolences, and prayers to all affected by the incident yesterday and may God take care of them all.