As always, 13 is my favourite number, and that is how many days we are away from the May Pay-Per-View, Extreme Rules. Already booked for the show is Evolution (Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista) going against The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns), as well as John Cena facing Bray Wyatt in a Steel Cage Match, Paige defending her Divas Championship against Tamina Snuka, and Big E. Langston putting his Intercontinental Championship on the line against the winner of the Tournament over the next two Raws (tonight and next week.)
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan is schedule to return tonight following his real-life marriage to Brie Bella and their honeymoon. Who will the (arguably) most-popular wrestler on the roster be taking on for the Title at Extreme Rules? If recent events are an indication, Director Of Operations Kane may step up and challenge.
Regarding that I.C. Title Tournament, it is down to the final four of Rob Van Dam, Cesaro, Sheamus, and Bad News Barrett. I for sure see it being Cesaro and Barrett next week, and from there, not entirely positive, because both are getting great re-pushes and could equally deserve the Intercontinental Championship.
What else will go down tonight? Read on to find out!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for April 21st, 2014 – “They’ve Got The Whole World…”
Introduction Segment: Recap
Highlights from The Shield taking on pretty much the entire Raw roster from last week is shown, then the reformation of Evolution (mixed in with original clips from 10/11 years ago.) This is the same package from Smackdown.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
He’s back! WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan wastes no time in making is presence known, as well as his new wife, Brie Bella (now Danielson, I guess!) who joins him in the ring and leads the fans in “yes” chants. Before they can get going, one of the Principle Owners, Stephanie McMahon, walks out.
She takes the mike first and cheap shots at the new couple’s wedding. McMahon gives them a wedding present, his Extreme Rules match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Kane. She threatens that Kane is back to the “Big Red Monster” form and warns Daniel to get his “pretty little wife out of harm’s way.”
Kane’s pyro blows, but no appearance. Stephanie orders him to stay away and it is not the right time. Bryan and Brie slide out of the ring and back into Kane himself, who appeared through the crowd. McMahon tries to get control of Kane as Brie gets out of dodge. Kane decimates Bryan, tombstoning him on the floor mats. He takes the steel steps apart and drags Daniel over. Kane picks him up and Tombstones him again, this time on the metal stairs! McMahon asks for the EMTS as Kane stands over an unconscious WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Paramedics rush to Bryan’s aid as Kane walks off.
Back live, Brie is walking with the EMTS and a stretchered Daniel Bryan. Stephanie has his Championships on her, and asks for a “warm round of applause.”
Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and John “Bradshaw” Layfield talk about what just transpired, then go over the Intercontinental Championship Tournament.
Match #1: Single in the Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament – Bad News Barrett VS. Sheamus
Prior to the bout, Barrett declares that “the luck of the Irish is running out. This isn’t St. Patrick’s Day; this is the day that Sheamus is defeated by me, Bad News Barrett!”
Barrett slugs away in the corner until Sheamus punches back in the opposite one. Sheamus whips him into the other corner and rolls over him with a Samoan Senton Drop. (Note: the fans are heavily behind Bad News!) Sheamus ascends the top rope, but is cut off by Barrett until he kicks Bad News to the floor. He follows up with an impressive crossbody to the floor! Sheamus clutches Wade against the ropes, but Barrett elbows out of it and boots him off the apron.
Sheamus fights out of a grounding headlock and catches Wade off the ropes with a tilt-a-whirl slam! He nails a running knee in the corner, then hammers away on Barrett with the “10 Beats Of The Bowron” against the ropes. Sheamus soars off the turnbuckle again with the Battering Ram shoulder block for two! He gets another close one after the Irish Curse backbreaker. (Note: Intercontinental Champion Big E. is shown looking on backstage.)
Wade slides out of White Noise and throws Sheamus into the turnbuckle. He goes for Wasteland, but Sheamus wiggles out and tries for the Brogue Kick. Wade moves and catches Sheamus in the Winds Of Change spinning slam! 1 – 2 – Sheamus kicks out! Bad News winds up for the Bullhammer elbow, but gets a double-boot out of the corner. Barrett is caught off the turnbuckle and driven down with White Noise, but he still gets the shoulder up!
Both are now on their knees on the mat, punching back and forth. Sheamus runs at Barrett on the ropes and send each other to the outside! Wade kicks Sheamus off, then nails him with the Bullhammer Elbow to receive the hard-earned victory!
Winner and ADVANCING: Bad News Barrett
Later tonight, Evolution will be here.
Segment #3: Video Promo
Another Bo Dallas highlight airs, once again asking us to “Bo-lieve.”
It is announced that Hollywood Actor (and real fan of professional wrestling) Hugh Jackman will be the guest star for next week’s Raw to promo his new film (which I guess I’m doing now!) “X-Men: Days Of Future Past.” (I really like him as an actor/person, and he is a genuine fan, so that’s good!)
It is also said that the fans get to choose who John Cena will take on tonight – Luke Harper, or Luke Harper and Erik Rowan, or Luke Harper, Erik Rowan, and Bray Wyatt!
Segment #4: Arena Promo
The Wyatt Family appear on stage, and the light is only shone on Bray, with both Harper and Rowan standing still behind. Bray begins to prophesize: “I remember the first time I was ever struck with ‘truth.’ The taste was bitter, and it was SO intense. But I liked it. It was something ‘real.’ Free will has become man’s biggest illusion. They promised it to you, just in time to take it away again. And what have they left us with? What have we become? Just a nation full of ‘mindless sheep,’ led by ‘wolves,’ and owned by ‘pigs.’ But I was thinking, tonight man, tonight would be, what a wonderful night for change. What a wonderful night for change, indeed. I was thinking, tonight they have left the power in your (pointing to the fans) hands. Those fools! Tonight, free will does exist. Tonight, you (fans) make a choice. And what fate will you choose for your ‘knight in shining armour?’ Will you choose the path of less pain for your hero? Or will tonight be the night that John Cena finally learns ‘the truth.’ And ‘the truth’ is that we stand against you. Whether it be this brother or that brother. Whether it be in a steel cage, or inside your own mind; John we stand against you! And at Extreme Rules, inside that Steel Cage Match, two monsters will enter. But on this night, it will not matter which monster has the sharpest teeth or the longest claws, because one thing will remain the same – they (fans) do not love you anymore, John. Can’t you feel it? Brothers, can’t you feel it? Do you feel the same that I do? Every time we cross paths John, I take more of them with me. You, and you, and you my brother. And you my brother, and you my sisters; they are all coming with me! Listen John, listen as it happens, John. Won’t they sing with me? ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands.’ Sing brothers! Sing brothers! ‘(The crowd begins to sing along.) He’s got the whole world in his hands, he’s got the whole world in his hands.’ Feel, feel with me!”
Bray gets down on his knees and smiles. (Fantastic!)
Match #2: Six-Man Tag-Team – 3.M.B. (Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, and Hornswaggle) (with 3.M.B. member Heath Slater) VS. Los Matadores (Fernando, Diego, and El Torito)
Hornswaggle and El Torito begin, with a face-off. Torito gets the better with a Hurricanrana and a Bronco Buster. He covers, but Mahal yanks him off. Fernando/Diego take out Mahal, and Torito gores Slater off the apron. He also nails Drew below the belt and Fernando/Diego hold up McIntyre while El dives off the top rope with a seated senton for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: Los Matadores (Fernando, Diego, and El Torito)
Recap of Evolution’s reforming and assault on The Shield is shown. A limousine pulls up in the garage and out walks the trio, now decked out in suits.
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Evolution are back and walk out with pride! (I admit, I remember clearly when they initially ran roughshod over WWE ten years ago, and that really just feels like last week! Man, how time flies! However, they are missing Ric Flair, and he should really be included here as the manager for the true incarnation – much like the Four Horsemen & J.J. Dillon)
“You know, I laugh every time I think about it,” Triple H begins in a raspy tone. (Sounds like he’s lost his voice.) “Imagine what it feels like. Imagine what that had to feel like. You tell the whole world, you tell the whole world that you are the badest guys on the planet. Week in, week out, you tell the world you are the baddest people around. And then one day, your daddy comes out and he spanks you in front of the world. That’s humiliating, that is humbling, and that, quite frankly, isjust the beginning.”
“Sometimes all it takes is a single spark to set the world on fire,” Randy takes over. “In this case, it was one careless act by The Shield that brought on, that set into motion, the gears of their destruction; and that is the reformation of the most dominant, fiercest group ever: Evolution. Now, in case you’ve forgotten…”
A highlight video of Evolution’s career together is played.
Batista finishes, “are you starting to get it now, is it becoming clear? Thirty-one World Titles in this ring, between the three of us. The Shield has absolutely no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into. Deal with that.”
Their opponents for Extreme Rules interject and march through the crowd. U.S. Champ Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins enter the ring, but Evolution back away and up the aisle. Ambrose tells them that last week’s Raw was not the only time they were taken out, and won’t be the last. However, Dean screams, inquiring if The Shield look “humbled.” He reminds Triple H why he initially hired them to protect “that little ‘cream puff’ to your left, Randy Orton.” “We are the ‘meanest, nastiest, dirtiest, most ruthless animals in this industry. THESE DOGS ARE HUNGRY, AND NOW THESE DOGS ARE ANGRY!”
Rollins concurs that they have a reason to be irate, and informs Batista they really do know what they’re getting into. He basically calls them hypocrites for not standing up against The Shield tonight. Rollins speculates that Evolution will implode at Extreme Rules, because their egos are too large. “What you’re looking at is the most dominant force in the history of this company! And in two weeks, at Extreme Rules, we are going to rip you to pieces! And this little ‘reunion,’ that you’re so proud of, it’s going to come to an abrupt end. And you got no one to blame but yourself. Because when you made the match, Evolution versus The Shield, you put a nail in your own coffin, and at Extreme Rules, WE’RE GOING TO BE THE HAMMER THAT DRIVES IT HOME!”
Roman threatens a choice, “here in a few seconds I’m going to drop this mike, and we’re coming up that ramp and we’re going to beat your asses. You got two options – you can be ‘men,’ and you can try, try to fight. Or you can be ‘cream puffs,’ and you can calloway and you can hide. Watch.”
The Shield make good on their promise, but as they approach, most of the roster from last week get behind Evolution. “Listen up boys, I said it once, I’ll say it again. In life, you either adapt or you perish. That is ‘evolution,’” Triple H quips and smirks.
Segment #6: Video Promo
Another Adam Rose highlight airs, and he is coming … soon.
Match #3: Tag-Team – Tag-Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) VS. The Brotherhood (Cody Rhodes and Goldust) (Non-Title)
(Note: Rybaxel – Ryback and Curtis Axel – are on commentary.) Goldust and Jey start out (thanks Cole for telling me the difference in Usos!) Goldust off the ropes with a shoulder block and inverted atomic drop. They trade armdrags, shoves, and slaps. Rhodes in with a springboard front-dropkick for two. He clamps on a hammerlock, but is tossed up in the air with a flapjack!
Jimmy now in and headbutts Cody and grounds him with a rear chinlock. Cody slips out and uppercuts Jimmy, then switches with Goldust. Jimmy tags in Jey, who flips Goldust over. Cody rolls up Jey, who kicks Goldust down. Jimmy comes in and superkicks Rhodes as he went for Crossrhodes on Jey, then covers to take this one!
Winners via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champions The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Post-match, Cody shrugs off Goldust in frustration, while Rybaxel attack The Usos from behind.
Match #4: Single – Layla (with Fandango) VS. Emma (with Santino Marella)
Despite a distraction from Fandango, Emma still finishes off Layla a Cobra Shot of her own.
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with a fear-looking John Cena. She asks him about the mystery of who of the Wyatt Family he will face. Cena puts over the fans for their choice and says he will go with whatever they pick. He can hear the loud “let’s go Cena / Cena sucks” chants, and chooses not to ignore them. “Ever since WrestleMania, I’ve heard the same song and it gets louder and louder. ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands,’ and he just might.” Cena says he just needs to get through tonight. “Tonight, the objective is simple – survive. Bray, you may have the whole world in your hands. You just remember when you come at John Cena, you can try your best to put me down, but you should never count me out.”
Cesaro, complete with Paul Heyman and new theme music, makes his way to the ring. Heyman proudly announces who his new client is, then is all-too-happy to also be the advocate for “The Beast Incarnate,” who defeated The Undertaker at Wrestlemania, Brock Lesnar.
Heyman is still going on about Wrestlemania until Rob Van Dam’s music cuts him off.
Match #5: Single in the Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament – Cesaro (with Paul Heyman) VS. Rob Van Dam
Lockup and traded waistlocks. Cesaro shot off the ropes, comes back with a shoulder block. Van Dam leapfrogs and flips over Cesaro, but is caught in a suplex position. Van Dam flips over again and kicks Cesaro, but is caught and slammed down for two. R.V.D. comes back with a springboard kick and monkey flip, but is hit down by Cesaro. He suplexes Rob for two, but Van Dam nails Cesaro with a spin-kick. He follows with a couple shoulder-rams in the corner, but is sent into the ring post and outside quickly.
R.V.D. battles out of a standing side headlock, but can’t get the sunset flip takedown. Cesaro stomps on him instead and turns him over with a gutwrench suplex. Cesaro places both feet on the back of the head of R.V.D. and presses down. He stomps away on Van Dam in the corner, then dives off the second rope with an elbow. Van Dam blocks a slam in the corner and kicks Cesaro back; he fights back with punches and a clothesline.
Van Dam kicks Cesaro down again and follows with the Rolling Thunder senton. 1 – 2 – Cesaro kicks out! He elbows Cesaro out of the corner and rockets off the top with a side kick. He sets up for the 5-Star Frogsplash, but Cesaro crotches him with an uppercut! Van Dam kicks him back down and dives with the split-legged moonsault. 1 – 2 – Cesaro still kicks out! Van Dam misses a running spin-kick, which allowed Cesaro to hit a fierce uppercut; but only got two!
Both slug it out back and forth now, and Van Dam rolls-up for two! Cesaro catches Van Dam with a nasty-looking Tigerbomb for another near-fall! Cesaro sweeps up Van Dam and sets up for the Big Swing, but Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter’s music plays. This distracts Cesaro a bit, however he still uppercuts Van Dam down. On the outside, Heyman and Colter argue, allowing Swagger to run Cesaro into the ring post while Mike Chioda tried to break up the managers. Referee Chioda then begins the count and gets to ten!
Winner via Count-Out and ADVANCING: Rob Van Dam
Post-match, Swagger attacks Cesaro but Cesaro fends him off. He then looks at Zeb and wants to swing him, but Jack stops it. Instead, Swagger takes the ride for about fourteen rotations!
After a replay of Kane’s assault on WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan, Cole updates us and says the hospital is keeping him overnight for a “bad stinger.”
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is about to interview Rob Van Dam on his advancement to the finals of the Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament when Cesaro and Paul Heyman interrupt. Van Dam is happy with the W, while Heyman can’t believe “the Rob Van Dam I knew so well would never take such a ‘tainted’ victory.” R.V.D. then warns Cesaro to “keep your wallet, your house, and your future as far away from this guy (pointing to Paul E.) as possible.”
Match #6: Single – Aksana VS. Divas Champion Paige (Non-Title)
Paige kicks Aksana right away and yanks at her hair. She tosses Aksana around by her black locks, then springboards out of a headlock into a sunset flip for two! Paige repeatedly knees Aksana in the head, but is chucked off the top rope.
Aksana suplexes her down and kicks away in Paige’s gut. Aksana rips away with a grounding chinlock and hits a clothesline. Aksana misses a move, allowing Paige to repeatedly slam her head into the mat. Aksana picks up Paige out of the corner, but did not follow through properly with the spinebuster, instead just dropping her.
Aksana picks her up again, but Paige begins to reverse into a guillotine choke. Paige knees Aksana hard in the face and clotheslines her, then locks on the Modified Scorpion Cross-Lock Submission for the tap-out!
Winner via Submission: Divas Champion Paige
It is announced that Cesaro will face his former tag-team partner Jack Swagger this week on Smackdown!
Match #7: Single – “The Super Athlete” Alexander Rusev (with Lana) VS. Sin Cara
Rusev forces Cara to give to The Accolade (Camel Clutch) in short order.
Winner via Submission: “The Super Athlete” Alexander Rusev
Segment #9: Video Promo
Another “Bo-Lieve” highlight airs.
John Cena makes his grand entrance and the WWE Universe Poll Results reveal that Cena will go up against … all three Wyatt Family members, with an overwhelming 53%!
Match #8: Three-On-One – John Cena VS. The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper, Erik Rowan, and Bray Wyatt)
All three Wyatts charge Cena and beat him down right away. They back off so the referee can officially start it. Harper begins now, hammering away at Cena. He elbows him down and pushes Cena against the turnbuckle, then tags in Rowan. He scoop-slams Cena down, then rams his head into the top turnbuckle. Cena tries to punch back but is caught off the ropes with fall-away slam. Bray is now in and toys with the (sometimes) fan-favorite.
Bray holds up an out-of-it Cena and dances with him! Harper back in, but is whipped into the corner and splashed by Cena. Harper comes back with a splash of his own and walks over Cena. He goes for a clothesline, but Cena ducks and brings him backwards with a German Suplex. Luke manages the tag and Rowan is back in, dominating over Cena.
Wyatt himself switches with Rowan, and again messes with Cena. He goes to kick him, but backs off and instead tags Luke back. He is caught and trapped in the STF, but Rowan breaks up the submission. Harper back into dominance, and hurls Cena into the steel steps.
Back live, Cena lands on the outside after a dive, but gets up. Harper brings him up to the turnbuckle top, but Cena shoves him off and follows with a jumping Tornado DDT! Bray gets back in and gives Cena a heck of a high Chokeslam! 1 – 2 – Cena gets the shoulder up. Bray mount-punches Cena, then measures him from the outside and punches the side of Cena’s head against the post. Bray runs after Cena with a headbutt against the steel!
Bray begins to sing, “he’s got the whole world in his hands,” then tags Rowan back in. He also controls Cena, but misses a run in the corner. Bray’s turn again, and he launches his body into Cena against the corner. Bray flips himself upside down and smiles, then spider-walks! He rolls over, right into a running clothesline by John!
Cena hammers Harper and Rowan off the apron, then hits Bray with shoulder tackles and spin-out suplex. He pulls down the ropes, which sends Luke to the floor. Cena drops the 5-Knuckle Shuffle fistdrop and Attitude Adjustment on Bray, but Harper and Rowan come back in. Referee dq’s The Wyatts.
Winner via Disqualification: John Cena
Post-match, the trio continue to assault Cena, with Bray driving him to the canvas with Sister Abigail. He takes the microphone and proclaims, “in time, all things come to light. He’s got the whole world in his hands. He’s got the whole wide world in his hands. He’s got the whole world in his hands. He’s got the whole world in his hands. He’s got you and me, brother, in his hands. He’s got you and me, brother, in his hand. He’s got you and me brother, in his hands.” Bray continues to serenade Cena and the crowd, mixing between laughing and crying, to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was another great edition, from start to finish, and built up the next Pay-Per-View well. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Kane back to his “demon” side. It was awesome that he never said a word and just demolished WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan instead, even ignoring Stephanie McMahon’s orders. This is the Kane of 1997/1998, which I greatly appreciate!
Both I.C. Title Tournament bouts – although I was fully expecting it to be Cesaro in the finals, I enjoyed each match (Sheamus/Barrett much more though) and am still looking forward to Bad News versus R.V.D. next week! (Again, Barrett should win because of his reignited push.)
Bray Wyatt/Wyatt Family – both promo-wise and in ring; need I say more!?
Loved the Evolution/Shield face-off, particularly the mike work. I thought even Batista’s was pretty good! Plus, all six participants in-ring styles will match (no pun intended) well and provide for some great physical action! I am actually looking forward to this feud, especially after tonight, and truly hope it runs for a while (through June?) The Shield do need to come out on top in the end though, to “pass the torch” and establish the new breed of dominance.
Loving Divas Champ Paige (always have since watching her through NXT) and I am actually re-invested in the Divas Division overall now. Keep the challenger’s coming for Paige!
Great main-event, and super-creepy ending! (Again, Bray Wyatt – need I say more?!)
Bogus: did not care for Los Matadores/3.M.B. or Emma/Layla – both stupid “feuds” need to end now! Unfortunately, the Tag-Title situation has taken a bit of a dive for the worse; I don’t like the idea of The Rhodes Brothers breaking up – this should’ve been done in time for Wrestlemania XXX, not now. Also, I just don’t see Rybaxel as credible challengers. Usos should be able to steam-roll them. I would much rather see a classic long-standing rivalry between The Rhodes Brothers and Usos (heritage), where they trade the titles back and forth for a couple of months.
Where was Dolph Ziggler? I understand they’re trying to get Rusev over as another monster, hence squashes, but I really just don’t see who he can feud with for his first real program.
Really worried about Cesaro – on one hand, he’s a face when going against Colter and Swagger; but then when he’s alone with Heyman, Cesaro is a heel because Heyman is also sided with Brock Lesnar. While usually being associated with Paul E. is a great thing for a career, in this case, I believe that he can’t be both face and heel, and after the Andre The Giant Battle Royale at Wrestlemania XXX, Cesaro could’ve been a great good-guy on his own; he’s already got the wrestling skill, and has become really good on the microphone too.
It’s a short review for tonight, because a lot of my likes and dislikes were combined in segments/matches, but in general, it was an enjoyable show and look forward to the continuation next week! Until then, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!