Raw is overseas tonight, as it emanates from London, England! What will go down in the historical royal country? I can definitely guarantee you an appearance from The Undertaker, as “The Deadman” will team up with Tag-Team Champions “Team Hell-No” to face The Shield! Also, what will the fallout be from Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns’ attack on WWE Champion John Cena, while Ryback stood at the ramp and did nothing last week?
Is Triple H going to respond to Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman’s challenge for Extreme Rules? And, what lies in store for World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, knowing he will now defend his championship in triple-threat match against Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger at Extreme Rules?
All this and much more, I’m sure, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for April 22nd, 2013 – “Hardcore Encouragement”
Introduction Segment: Recap and Arena Promo
The usual video recalling recent events on Raw that I mentioned in my preview air, then it cuts to Paul Heyman in the ring right off the bat.
He puts over Brock Lesnar annihilating 3.M.B. and then laying the match out for Extreme Rules. Heyman shows the footage. Paul E. teases Triple H’s response to their challenge, and then announces that “The Game” is not here this evening.
“I, much like every member of the WWE Universe, have been let down by Triple H.” He then reads an email from “The Cerebral Assassin” verbatim: “Paul, I’ve never run from a fight in my life. But due to my current injuries, I will give you my answer next week.”
Heyman calls him a “gutless coward” for not appearing live, despite himself offering to shake his hand and admire HHH. However, as always, this must be a lie, because “Time To Play The Game” blares the speakers of the 02 Arena, and Triple H walks out to a stunned Heyman!
Paul tries to fake him out, but HHH declares that he did what Heyman does best – lied! HHH accepts the Steel Cage match at Extreme Rules, then drops Heyman with a Pedigree!
Later tonight, Chris Jericho will take on World Heavyweight Champion “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler! (Sweet!)
Match #1: Single – R-Truth VS. Antonio Cesaro
Prior to the contest, R-Truth raps his way to the ring while Cesaro “yodels” down the ramp. Clips of Antonio losing the United States Championship to Kofi Kingston is shown. An elbow/collar tie-up begins as Cesaro forces Truth into the corner and kicks away. He nails an uppercut and harsh clothesline. (Note: And the fun begins – the crowd starts chanting “ole, ole, ole, ole!”)
Truth battles out of a grounding rear chinlock and rolls up Antonio quickly, the soon after plants him with a front-suplex facebuster. 1 – 2 – kickout by Cesaro! Truth split-ducks another clothesline and hits the Jumping Flatliner for the quick victory!
Winner via Pinfall: R-Truth
Segment #2: Arrival
Outside, a helicopter is landing and it is revealed to be “The Shield.” Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns enter a jeep-like vehicle and drive off, presumably to the arena.
Brodus Clay, Sweet T., Naomi, and Cameron dance on out and perform for the fans now.
Match #2: Single – “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (with Sweet T. and “The Funkadactyls” Naomi and Cameron) VS. “The Intellectual Saviour of the Masses” Damien Sandow (with “Team Rhodes Scholars” partner Cody Rhodes)
Damien tries to clasp a standing headlock on, but Brodus shoves him into the corner. Sandow reacts with a quick punch and kicks in the corner, but Clay comes back again with headbutts and a large scoop slam.
He runs at Sandow in the corner but is cut off with a double-boot. Damien manages to bring Brodus down with a reverse facebuster, then delivers repeated knees to his head. He drops the “Elbow of Distain” for a two-count, then clamps on a grounding rear chinlock. Brodus pushes him back into the corner and clubs away. He whips Sandow into the opposite corner and follows with a splash. Cody distracts Brodus, allowing Damien to roll him up from behind for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Intellectual Saviour Of The Masses” Damien Sandow (with “Team Rhodes Scholars” partner Cody Rhodes)
Michael Cole, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, and Jerry “The King” Lawler discuss Dolph Ziggler’s World Heavyweight Title win two weeks ago in New Jersey, complete with replays.
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
The World Heavyweight Champion and A.J. are ogling the World Title, when Supervising Manager Vickie Guerrero and her assistant Brad Maddox interrupt. She announces (and laughs along with) that if Ziggler loses to Chris Jericho tonight, then the triple-threat match at Extreme Rules will turn into a Fatal-4-Way for the Heavyweight Championship!
Cole, Lawler, and Bradshaw talk about C.M. Punk’s promo and subsequent walk out, also with footage.
Segment #4: Video Promo
The Shield declares that while The Undertaker had been the “judge, jury, and executioner” of the WWE for the last 20 years, tonight Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns will stop him. “The Shield is the wall. We are the ‘judge, jury, and executioner.’ We make the rules, we hand out the sentences,” proclaims Dean Ambrose. “You, your brother, and your little buddy Daniel Bryan, at your expense, we make our greatest statement. We own the night!” threatens Rollins. “For the first time in his entire ghoulish existence, The Undertaker will know what justice tastes like,” says Ambrose. “Believe in ‘The Shield,'” finishes off Reigns.
Match #3: Chris Jericho VS. World Heavyweight Champion “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler (with A.J. and Big E. Langston)
(Note: Jericho made his entrance before the break) Lockup to begin the bout and Jericho takes Ziggler down with an armdrag. They measure up again and Jericho attempts a quick roll up. Side headlock takedown again by “Y2J,” but Dolph fights out and pushes down with a wristlock.
Jericho reverses that back into another headlock takedown, but Ziggler counters with a leg scissors, which Jericho uses the ropes to get out of and front dropkick him!
Off the ropes, Jericho comes with a shoulder block, but misses a clothesline as Ziggler goes to the outside and kisses A.J. for a break. Jericho takes advantage, nailing him with a baseball slide dropkick!
Back live, the World Heavyweight Champion is now in control with a neckbreaker for two! He jumps on Jericho with a high elbow drop for another two-count, and dives out of the way as Jericho ran at him in the corner. Jericho flips over the ropes and settles on the floor mats.
Ziggler rolls him in and covers for a near fall! Dolph “shows off” a bit then stiff-kicks him i
in the head. Jericho reverses another neckbreaker attempt into a backslide for two, but gets taken down with another clothesline. Dolph clutches a half-camel clutch, which “Y2J” hammers out of, but gets caught in the sleeper. Jericho is still standing and reverses with backdrop.
Chris gains some momentum after a missed splash by Ziggler. He hits a couple shoulder blocks, then flies off the ropes with a one-arm axe-handle! “The Ayatollah Of Rock N’ Rollah” attempts the Walls Of Jericho, but Ziggler flips him around, only to get an enziguri instead! 1 – 2 – Dolph kicks out!
Jericho nails a boot and the running bulldog, but gets a right hand courtesy of Big E. as he went for the Lionsault. Ziggler takes control again, hammering him into the corner. He trips up Jericho into a pinning combination, but still only receives two! Dolph clamps on the sleeper again and this time, Jericho drops to his knees.
He rises again though, and drops backward to break the submission. Ziggler ducks a clothesline and brings “Y2J” down with a Jumping DDT! 1 – 2 – Jericho kicks out!
(Note: As both men are down, a “wave” begins through the fans). Jericho plays to the crowd, but gets knees-to-the-gut from Dolph after another attempted Lionsault. Dolph takes advantage with the Fameasser, but still only gets a near fall! They trade counters back and forth, and Jericho eventually superplexes Dolph off the top rope! 1 – 2 – Ziggler kicks out! Codebreaker out of nowhere! 1 – 2 – Ziggler places his foot on the ropes!
A.J. distracts referee Mike Chioda again, but Jericho counters Langston’s second interference with a springboard dropkick. He grapples Ziggler into the Walls Of Jericho, but Fandango’s music and video play (much to the pleasure of the fans), and Ziggler capitalizes, crawling to the ropes. Dolph kicks Jericho in the knee and drives him down with the Zig-Zag for the long-earned triumph!
Winner via Pinfall: World Heavyweight Champion “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler (with Big E. Langston and A.J.)
After replays of Ryback leaving WWE Champion John Cena to receive a beat down from “The Shield,” it is announced that Cena and Ryback will face off for the title at Extreme Rules.
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Josh Matthews interviews Mick Foley, new WWE Hall Of Famer. He questions Foley on the differences between “The Attitude Era” and today’s WWE. Mick says that while most of the names have changed, the nature has not. (I disagree)
He says that is the same with Ryback and Cena. “It is not in man’s nature to look in the mirror and blame himself for his own shortcomings.” He says that “there will be no time for excuses in four weeks, when John Cena faces Ryback on my favourite night of the year, Extreme Rules!”
Match #4: Single – Cody Rhodes (with “Team Rhodes Scholars” partner “The Intellectual Saviour Of The Masses” Damien Sandow) VS. Sweet T. (with “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay and “The Funkadactyls” Naomi and Cameron)
Cody tries a standing side headlock but gets whipped into the ropes by Sweet T. Rhodes ducks a quick punch and delivers one of his own. He tries again, but gets a jab this time, then picked up upside down via a butterfly suplex from T.
Rhodes comes back with a couple of kicks and neckbreaker for two, then clamps on a grounding facelock. He pounds away, then hits the Disaster Kick for a close two! Rhodes angrily stomps and goes back to the grounding facelock. Sweet moves out of the corner and Cody runs into the post. T. begins to dominate and brings him out of the corner with a monkey flip! He follows up with a Sandman-like rolling senton!
Damien hops on the apron, but Brodus cuts him off, and Sweet T. double-chokeslams Cody, then drops on him with another senton for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: VS. Sweet T. (with “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay and “The Funkadactyls” Naomi and Cameron)
Post-match, all the faces dance to please the crowd.
Segment #6: Locker Room Promo
Tag-Team Champions “Team Hell No” talk about tonight’s six-man tag-team bout. Daniel is worried about The Undertaker not showing up, and wants to go over their match. He even gives Kane diagrams! “The Big Red Machine” warns him that this won’t be a good idea and “The Phenom” will not take kindly to being bossed around. Suddenly, they both go flying and three pairs of black pants and boots appear on camera and walk off, presumably being The Shield.
Segment #7: Video Recap
Cole, Lawler, and Bradshaw use footage to replay what happened on Smackdown between Sheamus, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, and The Big Show. (You can read that fine report on this fine website!)
Segment #8: Backstage Promo
Josh Matthews questions Ryback on his intentions regarding WWE Champion John Cena. “How does it feel John? Overwhelmed, helpless, maybe even violated?” states Ryback. The “new man-beast” says that Mick Foley may have been right about his comments earlier, but instead of looking into a mirror of shortcomings, Ryback will be looking into a mirror of the WWE Champion. He challenges Foley to face him in the ring to discuss this further. “Ryback rules!” he declares and walks off.
Match #5: Single – Big E. Langston VS. “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder
(Note: Big E. made his entrance prior to the break.) In short, Langston dominated and hit “The Big Ending” shoulder facebuster for the W!
Winner via Pinfall: Big E. Langston
Up next, the 6-Man Tag-Team!
Match #6: 6-Man Tag-Team – The Undertaker and Tag-Team Champions “Team Hell No” (Daniel Bryan and Kane) VS. The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose) (Non-Title)
Undertaker is the only one in the ring when The Shield arrive and begin to attack “The Deadman.” Kane’s pyro suddenly blows and “Team Hell No” run out to make the save.
Back live, the bout is on! Daniel and Ambrose begin, with a vicious Bryan delivering kicks and knees to Dean. He drags him to his corner with a surfboard stretch, then stags in Kane who delivers a legdrop. Kane holds Ambrose in a wristlock then tags in his “brother.” The Undertaker comes in to a huge pop and chant, then goes to work on Ambrose. He ascends the turnbuckle for “old school” but is cut off by Dean. He tries again and this time is good to go! 1 – 2 – Dean kicks out!
Kane is back in, and wrestles with Reigns. He gets stomped away in the corner and dropkicked by Bryan. He trades for Kane again, who runs with an elbow drop and clutches a grounding rear chinlock. Reigns ducks a clothesline and fires back with a jumping forearm. Rollins is in, and “The Shield” take control with all three members. The Undertaker is itching to get back in.
However, it is Bryan that gets the switch after Kane counters with a backdrop and uppercuts a diving Rollins. Bryan is fired up with repeated kicks and a running forearm. He kicks away again and covers for a near fall!
Bryan hurls Seth over the top and follows through with a suicide dive to the floor! He takes it back into the ring and off the top rope with a front dropkick, but misses the subsequent running front dropkick!
Reigns is back in, as we are live again, and Roman takes control back for “The Shield.” The dangerous trio dominate, with Bryan getting wrapped in a deathlock submission, then hit with a diving legdrop by Roman Reigns. Bryan musters the energy to move from a corner splash, then crawls and jumps his way to slap hands with ‘Taker.
The Undertaker unloads on all three members, and takes Dean down with snake eyes, the big boot, and a legdrop. 1 – 2 – Ambrose kicks out! He goes to Chokeslam both Rollins and Dean, but Reigns runs in with a spear! 1 – 2 – Undertaker kicks out, to Roman’s great shock!
‘Taker switches back to Kane, who drops Seth with a sidewalk slam, then flies off the top rope with a clothesline. Kane signals for the Chokeslam, but Rollins hops out and nails an almost-Pele Kick!
He tags in Ambrose, who jumps off the top rope but lands in the Chokeslam from Kane. Bryan is tagged in and goes for the flying headbutt, but Reigns cuts him off. The Undertaker and Kane brawl with Reigns and Rollins on the outside, and Dean moves out of the way of the diving headbutt by Bryan. He locks Daniel into a pin for the 1, 2, and 3!
Winners via Pinfall: The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns)
Post-mach, The Shield quickly high-tail it through the crowd as a frustrated ‘Taker, Kane, and Bryan look on.
Later tonight, Mick Foley has confirmed he will confront Ryback.
Segment #9: Locker Room Promo
Mick Foley is in a locker room, alongside WWE Champion John Cena. Foley already knows what Cena is going to do – convince him NOT to go out there and face off against Ryback. This is correct, but Mick declines the concerns and asks Cena to respect his decision. Cena does, but gives “The Hardcore Legend” a little backup – a steel chair!
Match #7: Single – Fandango (with Dancer) VS. William Regal
(Note: Fandango and Dancer made their entrance prior to the break). Fandango taunts Regal with some dancing to begin, then William mimics him right back. Regal takes it to Fandango with a hard left hand and backdrop. He flips Fandango over the ropes, but the flamboyant one comes back with a kick to the gut and begins to take control. Regal punches back again, until he gets a kick in the head and sweeping flatliner for the loss.
Winner via Pinfall: Fandango
Post-match, after pronouncing his own name, Fandango saunters up the ramp, but is surprisingly attacked by Chris Jericho, who chucks him off the stage. Jericho offers his hand to the Dancer and the two dance, much to Fandango’s dismay.
Match #8: Battle Royal for the #1 Contender’s Spot to the Divas Championship – A.J. VS. Aksana VS. Naomi VS. Tamina Snuka VS. Layla
In short, A.J. is knocked out with a superkick from Tamina after she jumped on Snuka and tried to kiss her. Aksana and Naomi are eliminated and it is left to Layla, an out-cold A.J., and Tamina. Layla front-dropkicks Tamina through the ropes and goes to pick up a dead-weighted A.J. She suddenly “wakes up” and A.J. forcefully kicks out Layla to become the #1 Contender.
Winner via Elimination: A.J.
Up next, Mick Foley will have a “chat” with Ryback!
Segment #10: Arena Promo
After being introduced as the first inductee of the 2013 Hall Of Fame class, Mick Foley takes the microphone and says he did not come with the intention of a confrontation, but he did anyway. He calls out Ryback to have the face-to-face talk.
Immediately, Ryback answers and asks how the chair Mick is holding thanks to WWE Champion John Cena help him out. Mick said he should’ve actually been offended at being given the chair, since he’s “The Hardcore Legend.” “No matter how bad the pain, whether it was a tooth stuck up my nose, or an ear being ripped off the side of my skull, I found a way to get back up.”
While is day has come an gone, Mick says he will still go down, even though he may not get back up. Mick airs the footage of Ryback leaving Cena to be assaulted by “The Shield.” Ryback says that he loved what happened last week. Foley asks him what happened to the guy that showed no fear and took the WWE “by storm.” Ryback warns Mick that he “better be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it.”
Foley gets intense. He says that throughout his career he did the best he could, no matter how many times he went down, and still became WWE Champion with “heart and guts and pride.” He questions if Ryback wants win WWE Championship just by standing back and letting Cena get bombarded. He tells Ryback that he needs to “wake up.”
Ryback cuts him off and orders him to “shut up!” He tears apart Foley, insinuating that all he does is relive his “glory days” and “sell some more DVDs.” Ryback says that “this is a results-oriented business and I get what I want. I wanted to send a message to ‘Super Cena’ and I sent it. I wanted a WWE Title match. Guess what Mick? I got it! I want to be WWE Champion, and at Extreme Rules, I will be.”
He berates Foley for lecturing him on how to “be a man,” while he holds a weapon. “So I’m going to ask you one more time, you fat, pathetic, lazy, bastard. How does John Cena giving you that steel chair help you standing in the ring with Ryback?” Mick asks Ryback to tell him, then gets in position with the chair.
Ryback orders him to look into his eyes and Foley gets right up in them. Ryback grabs and hurls the chair to the floor and before they can get into it, Cena runs out and gets in between. Foley exits the ring and Cena is ready to go against Ryback.
They’re back! “The Shield” return through the crowd, but Cena steps onto the apron, then walks off this time. Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns envelope the squared circle and quickly decide to pound away.
Cena runs in though and makes the save with the steel chair! He puts The Shield back through the fans and stares down Ryback in the ring. He drops the foreign object and gives Ryback an Attitude Adjustment when Ryback took his eye off him. Cena poses then walks to the back. Ryback is back up and smiles at Cena in the ring as the WWE Champion salutes from the ramp to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Overall, this was another great show. Feuds were continued nicely and the show flowed pretty smooth. Nothing really lagged, even though there were matches that could’ve done without. And as always, any show from outside the U.S. is usually pretty darn good. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Paul Heyman – being able to turn a flat opening segment into one of intrigue. He put the “umph” back into the promo, as it really, just began without any hype beforehand! Also, I actually was surprised that Triple H showed up – I must admit, I thought really would wait until next week. Nice twist.
Love the entrance of The Shield in the helicopter and jeep. Another way it shows how they are “outsiders” (pardon the pun/past reference!). Their video promo was superb too, declaring “war” on the one man who no one has stopped – The Undertaker. I am really liking this feud and I hope it continues for a long while. The 6-man match was great too and glad “The Shield” won.
Fantastic match between World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho. Plus, love the fact that Ziggler got the win for two reasons. 1 – legitimate victory now as World Champion. 2. a nice twist than the predictable, as when Jericho was announced as having to win the match to be in the Fatal-4-Way, that is usually an automatic. Also, still loving the feud and antics between Jericho and Fandango. Fandango also had a nice match with William Regal, even though it was short.
Very predictable, but glad A.J. won the #1 Contender slot for the Divas title – now they need to make her win (which is probably in the cards)and have her and Dolph as the “power couple.”
Awesome promo, as always, with Mick Foley. Great way to enhance the heel side of Ryback, and he too stepped up his oratory skills tonight, both on his own earlier with Josh Matthews and at the end with Foley. I am a little confused as to why “The Shield’ is attacking both Cena and Ryback, since right now they are involved with The Undertaker/Kane/Bryan, but at least they’re using that side distraction well as fuel for Cena/Ryback. Another feud I hope lasts more than one showdown.
Once again, the fans. They really put some excitement into the entire show, especially with Fandango and Mick Foley/Ryback – helped truly make him more of a bad guy!
Bogus: The opening – just nothing there, no video, pyro, hype, whatever. Immediately cut to Paul Heyman in the ring. R-Truth/Cesaro and Big E. Langston/Ryder were write-offs. Furthermore, Langston should’ve NOT followed Ziggler in match sequence, because Ziggler is the CHAMPION! Don’t care about the “Tons Of Funk” and “Team Rhodes Scholars” feud – Rhodes and Sandow are above this and should be next in line for the Tag-Team Championships. Where was Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett – especially in his home country?
After tonight, still looking forward to the buildup for Extreme Rules and next week’s Raw. That is a good thing, so keep it up! Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!