We have a lot on the cards tonight as it is the go-home show for Extreme Rules! First-up, is the finals in the Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament. Bad News Barrett faces Rob Van Dam – who will prevail to take on I.C. Champ Big E. at the Pay-Per-View this Sunday?
Also officially made is Daniel Bryan defending his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Kane! Will the fan-favorite be in the house tonight to face the man who demolished him with two Tombstone Piledrivers seven days ago? Or will Kane still have the psychological and physical advantage?
The Shield VS. Evolution has been really heating up, with The Shield taking out Evolution’s planned 11-on-3 Tag-Team bout last week on Smackdown! How will Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista respond prior to their contest with “The Hounds Of Justice” at Extreme Rules? As well, another former member of Evolution is in the building tonight – “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair! What will “the man” have to say about his friends rebuilding their union?
Tamina Snuka is scheduled to challenge Divas Champion Paige on Sunday – who will get the advantage tonight going into that contest?
Bray Wyatt and his “family” certainly have that mind-game edge figured out over John Cena. Will Cena be able to play back as equally, or does Bray have him cornered for good?
Lastly, as always, my picks for the upcoming PPV!
All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for April 28th, 2014 – “Extreme Mind Games”
Introduction Segment: Video Recap
Highlights from The Wyatt’s 3-on-1 match from last week’s Raw start the show.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
The steel cage is surrounding the ring and John Cena’s music plays to kick off Raw. As always, he is greeted with a mix of cheers and boos. He has a very serious look on his face and just walks straight inside the cage.
Michael Cole announces that the Tag-Team Championship will be on the line as The Usos will defend against Rybaxel. Also, Randy Orton will face The Shield’s Roman Reigns in the main event.
Back inside the cage, Cena has the microphone. “Why?” he begins. “Why?” “Why did you, along with the 11-million people that downloaded the WWE app, when you were given a choice, why, why did I deserve last week, why?” Cena is perplexed that the fans picked the 3-on-1 bout. He now puts his faith in a phrase, “you either die a hero or you live long enough to become a villain.” Cena recounts that when he was drafted to Raw in 2005 and called it “the loudest ovation that I’ve ever heard in my entire career.”
However, Cena doesn’t blame the people for changing their opinion on him. He says that he has never left them or the WWE. John cites that there will be a time when he has to head out, but there is going to be a new crop of superstars coming up. He lists Roman Reigns, Cesaro, Seth Rollins and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. He also puts over NXT wrestlers (Champion) Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn. Cena informs us that all these guys have the same passion he has for us and the WWE; meanwhile Bray Wyatt is a madman. “Bray Wyatt is not like them. He shows up on WWE like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Bray Wyatt is a mystery, and when he speaks, it is beautiful, it’s captivating, it is motivating. Bray Wyatt’s heart is cold and Bray Wyatt’s passion is not the WWE. Bray Wyatt’s passion is Bray Wyatt!” John loves this match because it means that the Wyatt’s message will stay inside the steel mesh.
“He’s got the whole world in his hands ….” The song begins, but it is not being sung by Bray, but by a bunch of children standing on stage in Gospel Choir like attire. After they melody the song, the lights go out and The Wyatt Family appear, singing the song again. He adds a couple of verses “he’s got the whole Cenation in his hands,” and “he’s got the Big Bad Monster in his hands.” The children follow Bray, Luke, and Rowan down the ramp and surround the ring. The light flicker off and on again, and now the kids are wearing the sheep masks! (The fans start to chant “this is awesome!”) One of them is sitting on Bray’s leg in the rocking chair as he laughs very creepily, while Cena falls to his knees in an appearance of disbelief.
(That was creepy, but probably one of the better segments in Raw’s history!)
Match #1: Tag-Team for the Tag-Team Championship – The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (Champions) VS. Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) (Challengers)
(Note: They are now doing formal in-ring introductions for this title match – nice touch!) Curtis and Jimmy begin (thanks Cole for differentiating The Usos!), with Jimmy getting an advantage for two after a jumping shoulder block. Axel tags into Ryback, who tries to bully Jimmy first. He slaps back, but gets scoop-slammed by Ryback. He misses a splash and Jimmy tags in his brother. Both Usos take to the air with a plancha splash, but one Uso appears to be hurt.
Michael said it was Jey hurt, so Jimmy is alone battling Rybaxel. Curtis dives off the second rope with a forearm smash, then clamps on an armlock while tearing at his face. Axel whips Jimmy off the ropes and comes back with a knee-to-the-face, while Jey hops (literately) back onto the apron and in the match. Ryback in and overpowers Jimmy. He tries a succession of pins. Rybaxel now both ascend the turnbuckle, with Jimmy propped on top. They try a double-team, but Jimmy fights out of it and front-suplexes Axel onto a downed Ryback!
Jimmy crawls and gets the hot-tag! Jey climbs and soars with a crossbody! He is on fire, taking on both members of Rybaxel! He Samoan Drops Axel and runs at him with a rear-bump in the corner. Ryback blind-tags in as Curtis backdrops Jey. Ryback follows with a spinebuster, but only gets two! Ryback gears up and measures for the Meathook Clothesline, but Jey counters with a superkick! 1 – 2 – Ryback still kicks out! Jey chops away and Irish Whip Ryback. He gets clotheslined however off the ropes, and but wiggles out of the Shellshock Marching Samoan Drop and into a sunset flip! 1 – 2 – Rybacks gets the shoulder up! He tags in Curtis, but Jey ducks a double-clothesline and tags in Jimmy. He flies off the top rope with a Superfly Splash as Curtis had Jey in the Perfectplex! The Usos earn the hard-fought victory after Jimmy covers Axel!
Winners via Pinfall and STILL Tag-Team Champions: The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
Segment #3: Video Promo
“It’s party time all the time!” Adam Rose is featured and his next stop is Monday Night Raw, and it will be next week!
Segment #4: Locker Room Promo
Cesaro and Paul Heyman are chatting. Heyman is not pleased with R.V.D.’s comments about him last week, mainly because he was a former “Paul Heyman Guy.” Cesaro insinuates “that’s all I needed to hear,” speculating that he will deal with Rob Van Dam.
The commentators recap Daniel Bryan’s beatdown by Kane.
A shot of Kane’s mask, back in the glass box and presumably in Stephanie’s office, is shown.
Sheamus attempts to make his entrance, but is promptly assaulted by Titus O’Neil. He just rips the big Irishman apart around the ring, but the referee begins the bout anyway.
Match #2: Single – Sheamus VS. Titus O’Neil
Titus continues to pound away on Sheamus in the corner, but is quickly Brogue Kicked! Sheamus crawls on top for the
1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Sheamus
Segment #4: Video Promo
Another “Bolieve” package is shown.
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Dolph Ziggler is in the ring and panders to the crowd about his favourite time of year, because Superheroes return to the big screen. He is mainly out here to put over Raw Guest Star, and star of “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” Hugh Jackman. (Who I actually do really like as an actor and give credit to for being a real wrestling fan.)
Jackman makes a happy entrance and puts over the hometown crowd and Raw. This leads to Ziggler reminding him of when Jackman punched him out on Raw in September of 2011 (the 19th from Cleveland “rocks” Ohio, to be exact!). They end up putting that to rest and become friends. Contrary to Raw’s opening, in one of the WORST segments in history, Damien Sandow comes out “dressed” as “Magneto” from X-Men; he tries to control everything with his “magnetic” powers for way to long before Hugh slaps the microphone out of his hands and hip-tosses him. Dolph follows up with the Zig-Zag, and he and Jackman celebrate. (That. Was. Horrible. My how far Ziggler and Sandow have fallen, which is just sad.)
Match #3: Single – Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) VS. Cesaro (with Paul Heyman)
(Prior to the bout, Paul Heyman walks out and reminds everyone that his clients Brock Lesnar and Cesaro conquered The Undertaker’s streak and won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale, respectively.)
Swagger wasitlocks and slams Cesaro down, but Cesaro wiggles out and impressively counters into a couple of gutwrench suplexes. He follows with an axe handle smash from the second turnbuckle to the floor! Swagger whips Cesaro into the barricade and follows him with a splash, then throws Cesaro shoulder-first into the ring post and clotheslines him.
Jack locks him in a Butterfly Lock and shouts “we the people” into Cesaro’s ear. Swagger punches, but is caught with an uppercut. They run at each other and Swagger counters with a big boot. Cesaro comes back with a snap suplex, but is pushed into the ropes where Zeb grabs his ankle. Heyman runs over and clutches Colter by his mustache. This distracts Jack, who gets German-suplexed by Cesaro and loses!
Winner via Pinfall: Cesaro (with Paul Heyman)
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Rene Young walks into John Cena, and wants his thoughts on Bray Wyatt’s antics tonight. John has no words and just walks off.
Match #4: Single – Alberto Del Rio VS. Cody Rhodes (with Goldust)
Del Rio all over Rhodes early and gets a two-count after a suplex. Cody comes back with a slug and scoop-slam. He snapmares Alberto and clamps on a wristlock, but Del Rio comes back and grapples him with a grounding rear chinlock. Cody flips out and dropkicks Del Rio down, but runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He nails the kick a bit later and forces Cody to tap to the Cross Armbreaker.
Winner via Submission: Alberto Del Rio
Paul Heyman and Cesaro are seen conversing backstage.
Match #5: Single – Xavier Woods (with R-Truth) VS. “The Super Athlete/Bulgarian Brute” Alexander Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana)
Complete domination by Rusev until R-Truth and attacks, causing the DQ.
Winner via Disqualification: “The Super Athlete/Bulgarian Brute” Alexander Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana)
Post-match, both Xavier and R-Truth put Rusev out of the ring, and the big-man backs away with Lana.
Segment #6: Video Promo
John Cena’s sincere and extremely commendable work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation is shown, as he just granted wish numbers 402, 403, and 404.
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Rene Young asks Rob Van Dam about his match with Bad News Barrett for the #1 Contender’s Spot to the Intercontinental Championship. He basically says he will beat Barrett. Zeb Colter walks up and inquires if Van Dam would like to join him and Swagger in their battle against Paul Heyman. Rob declines, wanting to be on his own.
Match #6: Tag-Team – Los Matadores (Fernando and Diego (with El Torito) VS. 3.M.B. (Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre) (with Jinder Mahal and Hornswoggle)
In this waste of television time (I’m mainly talking about Los Matadores; at least 3.M.B. elicit a reaction), 3.M.B. take this after an Implant DDT by Heath onto a Matadore.
Winners via Pinfall: 3.M.B. (Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre) (with Jinder Mahal and Hornswoggle)
Post-match, Hornswoggle tries to dive but misses, so El Torito follows and nails Slater and McIntyre.
Up next, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley will be out to publicly apologize to WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan.
Segment #8: Arena Promo
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley walks to the ring, but before she can say anything, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and his real-life wife Brie Bella (Danielson) appear on stage.
Stephanie applauds Bryan, and the loud chants of “Daniel Bryan” begin. Bryan calls Stephanie’s reactions “full of crap.” McMahon-Helmsley claims she gets it, but reveals the honest-truth that she and Triple H never wanted him to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Bryan questions Stephanie on Brie’s emotions when he was being tortured by The Authority. McMahon relates to Brie, saying that she too has been at Triple H’s hospital bedside numerous times and declares that she was trying to motivate Kane and give Bryan a “credible opponent.” She “sincerely” apologizes, but Daniel and the fans don’t believe. Stephanie wants them to meet her in the ring and look her in the eyes, but Daniel protests and says they will still see a “liar.”
Bryan proclaims that he has “never, ever, ever given up!” He has been medically cleared to wrestle at Extreme Rules and will not give up then either. “I promise you, I promise you this – if he (Kane) takes me down, I’m taking him down with me, straight to hell!”
Stephanie does not know where Kane is and assures them that his mask is in her office. For a consolation prize, she books Brie to take on Paige for the Divas Championship now!
A quick camera backstage reveals that the mask is gone!
Match #7: Single for the Divas Championship – Brie Bella (with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan) (Challenger) VS. Paige (Champion)
They lock up and Paige takes Brie down with a side headlock. Brie gets out of it with a leg scissors, and flips Paige over with a snapmare then hits a dropkick. Paige comes back with a harsh kick and flings her across the ring by her hair. Paige stomps away in the corner. Brie elbows back but Paige ties her up in the ropes and delivers knees to her stomach. Brie counters with a kick and runs at Paige with a knee. She goes to the second rope but is cut off quickly. Paige suplexes her from the top, but Kane’s pyro blows before this match can continue.
Bryan approaches the aisle, but in the ring, Kane clutches Brie and tries to pull her through! He fends off Bryan and goes again, but Bryan saves her with a shot-to-the-head via a wrench! Kane sits back up and Chokeslams Bryan as Brie rolled out of the ring. She gets back in to check on Bryan, but backs away. Kane almost gets her back under the ring but she gets away again and escapes with Bryan and crew. Kane blows his pyro again at the stage and on the ring posts, laughing smiling maniacally.
Segment #9: Locker Room Promo
Bryan and Brie are being tended too when Stephanie enters and tries to make more amends. Bryan is determined to fight back and win over Kane at Extreme Rules, and threatens Stephanie that she “will regret dragging my wife into this.” Brie follows, yelling at McMahon-Helmsley to “get out, you bitch!”
Segment #10: Locker Room Promo
Rene Young tries again with John Cena. He apologies for being silent earlier, but was completely astounded by Wyatt and the choir children. Unfortunately, he goes back into “John Cena childish-insult-promo-mode,” which absolutely ruins his part in the opening segment. He basically says he will win.
Segment #11: Arena Promo
Bad News Barrett is on his podium and delivers the “bad news” that Rob Van Dam is no longer relevant, so he will win.
Match #8: Single – Finals in the Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament – Bad News Barrett VS. Rob Van Dam
An elbow/collar tie-up begins and neither get an advantage. Van Dam works over Barrett’s wrist, but Bad News punches out of it. They circle each other in the ring and Van Dam clamps a waistlock. He takes him down with a side headlock, then pulls the ropes down as Bad News runs, sending him to the floor. R.V.D. follows with a moonsault from the apron, (although he pretty much missed him!) In the ring, Van Dam shoots Barrett off the ropes but is elbowed out of the ring. Barrett follows up, whipping Van Dam into the corner barricade then into the side of the announcer’s table. In the ring, Van Dam reverses with a leg scissors roll-up, but is kicked hard in the gut off the turnbuckle.
Van Dam fights out of a grounding rear chinlock, but is caught with the Winds Of Change Spinning Slam! 1 – 2 – kickout by Van Dam! Barrett dives off the ropes with an elbow for two. He chokes Rob in the corner with a big boot, then turns him around with a swinging neckbreaker. Van Dam rolls through on a run and almost gets this, then kicks Wade down. Van Dam gears up with clotheslines and a spin-kick, but Cesaro shows up.
He tries to distract Van Dam, but Jack Swagger takes him away. Barrett measures for the Bullhammer Elbow, but Van Dam sees it and kicks Bad News down. He nails Rolling Thunder, but is distracted again by Cesaro. He kicks Cesaro off and soars for the Five-Star Frogsplah, but Barrett gets the knees up! He lines up again and hammers Van Dam with the Bullhammer elbow and earns the #1 Contender’s Spot!
Winner via Pinfall and NEW #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship: Bad News Barrett
Post-match, both Cesaro and Swagger attack Van Dam after they attack each other, but Van Dam fights back and hits the Five-Star Frogsplash on Cesaro.
Segment #12: Backstage Promo
The Shield are hanging out in the hallways as United States Champion Dean Ambrose proclaims that “The Hounds Of Justice” are going to “chew you up and spit you out!” Rollins detests that Evolution’s fanciness are not actual “symbols of power,” but the beliefs of The Shield are. Reigns holds his fist to the screen and says that it is the future, not Randy Orton. “Believe in The Shield!”
Match #9: Single – “The Viper” Randy Orton (with Evolution partners C.O.O. Triple H and “The Animal” Batista) VS. Roman Reigns (with The Shield partners United States Champion Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins)
(Note: Prior to the bout, Evolution cuts a quick promo saying that The Shield are trying to be like them, but they’re actually not. “On Sunday, you will either adapt, or you will perish,” Triple H declares.)
Before this can get underway, “Whoo!” blares the speakers and Ric Flair struts out! Evolution looks pleased at their mentor’s return. He hugs all three members then takes a microphone. At first, he puts over his past in St. Louis. He is happy to be in the ring with wrestlers with “men that exhume what this business is all about – dominance.” He recalls his favorite times with The Four Horseman, and is pleased to be “surrounded by superstars that exemplify power, style, and grace.” He turns around, facing The Shield. He is speaking about the trio, then shakes their hands and walks off!
The contest begins as Orton and Reigns pound away. Outside the ring, Orton tries to suplex Reigns, but Roman counters and suplexes Randy himself on the floor. Orton reverses a whip into the steel steps.
Reigns begins a comeback with a leaping forearm, and then clotheslines Orton in the corner. He jumps from the floor and nails a big boot to Orton’s head against the apron. As he gears up for the Superman Punch, both Batista and Triple H distract him. Orton capitalizes with a backbreaker. On the outside, both Rollins and Ambrose brawl with HHH and Batista.
In the ring, Roman shoves off Orton and hits the Superman punch, but decides to engage with Batista and Triple H.
Winner via Disqualification: Roman Reigns (with Shield partners United States Champion Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins)
Post-match, the brawl continues and Evolution get the best of The Shield. “The Hounds Of Justice” battle back, with Rollins springboard-kicking Triple H! Reigns manages to spear “The Game” after Batista and Orton are taken out. Reigns is fired up and calls for the Triple Powerbomb! Batista and Orton slide in the ring with steel chairs, allowing Triple H to escape. Evolution retreats to the ramp, while The Shield wield chairs in the ring to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – by Moe Tapp
This was a pretty good show leading up to the pay-per-view. It definitely had the hot start and finish, as well as a few keys in between. Onto the particulars:
Excellence: Opener – I don’t how, but the way they write The Wyatt Family segments, they outdo everyone week after week. Tonight’s was no exception; it was just eerie! This sight of the children slowly walking down the ramp behind Bray, Luke, and Erik, then having sheep masks on with their black robes; I could only compare to it being like an episode of the television show “The Following” or a horror movie. Very, very cult-ish. My only small gripe was that you could definitely tell when it was just the children singing at first, it was lip-synched, as some could not follow along and/or you couldn’t here them. Otherwise, one of the best segments in the 23+ year history of Raw, because it just seemed too weird/real.
Much better match than I excepted for the Tag-Team Championship. Big kudos to Jey if he really is injured and sticking it out to go on in the bout! Can’t wait for Adam Rose’s debut next week! I’ve seen this dude on NXT and he has the potential to be a big star, particular because he has some great charisma and can get the crowd going!
I always give props to Cena for his work with Make-A-Wish foundation. No matter what you think of him inside the ring (and I myself have a love/hate relationship with his promos at least), with the community, he really does give it is all and is genuinely caring and sincere about it. Way to go and keep it going!
Loved Daniel Bryan’s brutal honesty, Brie’s calling-out of Stephanie (way to get a bit more personality!), and Kane’s demonic deeds against Bryan and Brie.
The Shield all-around are awesome – enough said!
While I definitely saw Barrett being the winner, I really did enjoy his match with R.V.D. and even his Bad News promo. This is Wade Barrett type we should be seeing every week.
Bogus: Did not care for – Sheamus/Titus (came out of nowhere, especially since I don’t watch Main Event), Los Matadores (again, just go away), Rhodes/Del Rio, and Rusev/Woods/Truth (boring).
What the heck happened to Ziggler and Sandow? They were involved in one of the WORST segments in Raw’s 23+-year history! Two talented guys (especially Ziggler) should NOT be wasted like this; shame, shame, shame!
Disappointed me – Cesaro/Swagger; thought it was rushed and should’ve saved for Extreme Rules. Cena – should not have gone back to making fun of Bray Wyatt; in fact, shouldn’t have spoken again for the entire night. His first promo was brilliant, as was his reactions to the choir and Wyatt family. They should’ve left it there, making us wonder if Bray has really crumbled Cena’s mind, and that would’ve been a great selling point for the PPV. Instead, they squashed it with his backstage segment involving Rene Young.
Extreme Rules Picks: Bryan to retain, Paige better retain, Bray should win this time, Shield/Evolution will have either controversial or no finish, Barrett to pick up the I.C. Title.
Until next week, after Extreme Rules where the WWE land could change again, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!