Tonight, the future of the WWE is at stake, with the shocking news that WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan will be out of action for a while following neck surgery last week. Of course, what does this mean for the title? We will find out tonight, as the “state of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship” is to be addressed.
Also, with Raw being from England, will we see hometown heroes Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett and Divas Champion Paige compete? (Hopefully!)
John Cena has managed to defeat The Wyatt Family in two matches last week, physically; but as always, Bray has the upper-hand psychologically. Who gains another advantage this evening, as the two move on to their Last Man Standing match at Payback?
The Shield and Evolution’s war just keeps escalation every week. They are also set to square off again at Payback, so who may face who leading up to the Pay-Per-View?
Plus, I’m sure we’ll see more of Adam Rose, and I’m really wishing he actually wrestles!
All this and much more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for May 19th, 2014 – “London Believes”
Introduction Segment: Arena Promo
The Wyatt Family are in the ring immediately and Bray begins to serenade the English folks with “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.” He then cuts into his usual promo; “every night, we lay our heads down to dream. And that’s when our minds really start to ‘tick.’” He talks about how we escape from our horrible realities in the world via our dreams at night, wanting to be a hero. However, Wyatt prophesizes that we really can’t correct our wrongdoings. Bray recalls an experience he had with a former teacher of his. Bray questioned the teacher on her “responsibilities” to the children and why she was “better” than him; but that the teacher responded and called him “evil.”
Bray calls himself a “conquerer” and “revolutionary,” while the teacher is “rotting in some retirement home.” Bray claims he has the whole world in HIS hands, and is “the necessary evil to balance everything out.” Bray declares he offers everyone “hope,” compared to John Cena who “wants to see everything die.” The crowd erupts in a “Cena sucks” chant, while Bray promises he will be the Last Man Standing at Payback, and that Luke Harper will “put John Cena down tonight.”
Cena’s music blares and Harper and Rowan go to the aisle. Bray laughs, but turns around into an Attitude Adjustment, since John had snuck in the ring from behind. John slides between Erik and Luke and escapes to the back, while the boys look on and Bray collects himself.
Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and John “Bradshaw” Layfield welcome us to London, England for Raw.They recap WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan’s unfortunate situation, as well as Stephanie McMahon’s reaction from last week.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Paul Heyman is with Cesaro. Before he can go past announcing who he is, he suddenly stops, then rips the fans. Heyman continues to boast about Brock Lesnar defeating The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX, then predicts that United States Champion Sheamus will be “emasculated” by “The King Of Swing.”
Match #1: Single – “The King Of Swing” Cesaro (with Paul Heyman) VS. United States Champion “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus (Non-Title)
The European brutes square off, then engage in an elbow/collar tie-up. Sheamus flings him over the ropes, but Cesaro wiggles out of a “Ten Beats Of The Bowron” attempt. They chase each other around the ring, then slide back in where Sheamus catches Cesaro in the “Ten Beats.” Cesaro wiggles out of a fireman’s carry and gets advice from his manager.
Sheamus runs after, and punches him in the gut. Cesaro counters and jawbreaks Sheamus with the ropes, then gives him a couple of uppercuts. Sheamus reverses an Irish Whip and hits Cesaro with a running knee, then slingshots with the Battering Ram shoulder tackle. Cesaro counters and Sheamus tumbles to the floor.
Cesaro is still in control with a grounding rear chinlock, but Sheamus battles out. He comes off the ropes with a couple of axe handle smashes, but runs into the ring post after Cesaro moves. Cesaro brings the U.S. Champ in the ring with a superplex for a near fall! Cesaro runs at Sheamus, but is caught in the Irish Curse backbreaker for two! Sheamus nails a harsh knee again, then a rolling fireman’s carry. 1 – 2 – Cesaro kicks out!
Cesaro reverses a whip, sending Sheamus hard into the turnbuckle. Sheamus kicks him off out of the corner, then swings himself up to the top. Sheamus dives off, but Cesaro counters and nails him with an uppercut. 1 – 2 – Sheamus kicks out! Both now slug it on their knees, then ascend to their feet. Sheamus turns Cesaro around with a tilt-a-whirl powerslam for two, then Heyman hops the apron and takes his jacket off. Sheamus notices this, allowing Cesaro to run up behind and bring him backward with a German suplex for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Cesaro (with Paul Heyman)
Post-match, Sheamus goes to shake Cesaro’s hand for sportsmanship, but Cesaro fakes him out and walks off with Heyman.
The commentator’s announce that the six-man tag between The Shield and Evolution at Payback is now a No-Holds Barred, Elimination match. Replay of their encounter from last week’s Raw airs.
Later tonight, Seth Rollins will take on Batista, with both factions banned from ringside.
Match #2: Beat The Clock Challenge for the #1 contendership to the Intercontinental Championship – Big E. VS. Ryback (with Curtis Axel)
Both lockup, with Ryback coming off the ropes with a shoulder block. Big E. does the same, then Ryback hammers away in the corner. Big E runs into Ryback in the opposite corner with a shoulder-ram, but Ryback blasts back again. Big E. counters with a t-bone suplex. Ryback stomps away, then suplexes Big E.
Ryback continues to look at the clock, which is at over 3 minutes now, while dominating Big E. Ryback is taken down with a belly-to-belly suplex, but catches Big E. off the ropes with a spinebuster for two! He gears up and nails the Meathook Clothesline, but Big E. keeps kicking out!
Big E. awkwardly flips out of an attempted powerbomb-like move, then finishes Ryback with the Big Ending at 5:02!
Winner via Pinfall: Big E.
Segment #3: Video Promo
Xavier Woods, Eva Marie’s, Emma’s, and other NXT Superstar’s work with the Special Olympics Athletes is recapped.
Match #3: Mix Tag-Team – R-Truth and The Funkadactyls (Naomi and Cameron) VS. Fandango and Layla
Before this bout can get going, Summer Rae marches out and brawls with Layla. Fandango breaks them up and scurries away with Layla.
Winner: No Contest due to No Official Start
Up next, the State of The WWE World Heavyweight Championship will be announced.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan’s music plays, but it is not him. Stephanie McMahon enters the arena instead, mocking Bryan’s “yes” chant/taunt.
Stephanie insists that we should really be chanting “yes,” because his neck surgery was a success. She calls Bryan an inspirational story, but gets to the “bad news.” For this, a quick montage of Wade Barrett’s signature line is aired, then she delivers her thoughts. McMahon wants to strip him of the title, but instead will allow Bryan to graciously surrender the championship next week on Raw.
Match #4: Single – Heath Slater (with Union Jacks partners Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) VS. “The Super Athlete” Alexander Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana)
Prior to the bout, Slater panders to the fans, but is cut off quickly by “The Ravishing Russian.” She proclaims that no one is better than both Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin, and “The Bulgarian Brute,” Rusev. He walks out and also says something in his native language, then marches down to the squared circle.
Slater tries to gain an advantage with a dive, but is caught and slammed own. Rusev dismantles all the Union Jacks, forcing Heath to tap to The Accolade.
Winner via Submission: “The Bulgarian Brute” Alexander Rusev (with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana)
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
The Shield are in a dark area of the building. Dean Ambrose recaps Evolution’s “brand of justice,” where they sent almost the entire roster to take them out. Roman Reigns shows off his severe eye injury, then warns that “you keep trying to knock us down, and we keep standing tall. And we’re never going to stop coming for you.”
Seth Rollins verbalizes his own resistance, after they tried to beat him down last week too. Rollins proclaims he will rise again tonight against Batista, and “won’t make any mistakes. Believe that, Batista, and believe in The Shield.”
Up next, another Intercontinental Championship Beat The Clock Challenge.
Match #5: Beat The Clock Challenge for the #1 contendership for the Intercontinental Championship – Alberto Del Rio VS. Rob Van Dam
R.V.D tries to finish this quickly with a leg scissors roll-up, but Del Rio starts to hammer away. Van Dam comes back but is kicked off the apron. Alberto clamps on a grounding rear chinlock, but Rob gets out of it and nails a couple of kicks and a leg drop. Del Rio goes for the Cross Armbreaker, but R.V.D. spins out of it and hit sthe Rolling Thunder Senton Splash. He soars off the top rope with the Five-Star Frogsplash, but misses! Del Rio rolls him up for two!
Alberto runs at Van Dam with a running Enziguri for another near-fall! Del Rio tries another kick, but Rob ducks and rolls him up for 1 – 2 – 3 at 4:15!
Winner via Pinfall: Rob Van Dam
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with John Cena. She inquires about his “game plan” for taking on Luke Harper. Cena states that it is the same, where he will also have Tag-Team Champions The Usos at his side. Cena is reminded that he is also in an arena full of Bray Wyatt’s followers, which gives him desperation. However, he likes that, because that will help him rise above. The Usos and John start a pump-up chant and walk out.
Segment #7: Office Promo
Evolution are discussing The Shield, where Triple H orders Batista to finish Rollins to he is not available at Payback.
Match #6: Single – Seth Rollins VS. “The Animal” Batista
Rollins is expecting Batista, but Triple H comes out instead. Justin Roberts announces The C.O.O. as the Special Guest Ring Announcer. “The Game” follows with an announcement that “The Viper” will be the Special Guest Timekeeper.
Batista comes out but Rollins takes the microphone now. He brings out the Special Guest Commentators, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns!
The bout finally gets underway, with Batista pounding away on Seth. He clotheslines Rollins down, then shoulders him in the corner. Rollins chops back, and punches and kicks in the corner. Batista yanks him out of the ring and slams him against the barricade. Rollins slides out of a power move and nails a jumping kick!
On the outside, Batista hurls Rollins into the steel steps, then gives him a running front-dropkick in the ring to the floor. Batista continues to wear down Seth, tying him up in a grounding scissors and chinlock. Seth gets out of it with a sit-down jawbreaker, but is flipped upside down after a harsh elbow clothesline.
Batista whips Rollins into the corner hard, as Triple H eggs Rollins on. Seth fires back with a second-rope neckbreaker, but is nailed with a big boot quickly. Rollins hits one of his own, then flips around “The Animal” with a neckbreaker drop! Rollins follows up with two consecutive clotheslines in the corner, and a leaping calf-kick. Seth dives through the ropes onto Batista!
Rollins is almost pulled by Orton, which prompts Ambrose and Reigns to even the odds. Batista capitalizes on the distraction with a spinebuster and runs, but is kicked in the head and nailed with a springboard knee! 1 – 2 – Batista kicks out! Triple H knocks Rollins off the top rope, and the mayhem ensues between The Shield and Evolution! Orton nails Reigns with a chair, but Dean runs across the commentator’s table and leaps on to Randy. Triple H hits Rollins with a fist, causing the dq.
Winner via Disqualification: Seth Rollins
Post-match, Triple H is back-dropped onto the announce table, and Batista is speared by Reigns! They attempt to triple-powerbomb Batista, but Orton and Triple H collect him and hurry to the aisle. The rivals stare each other down again.
Match #7: Single – Alicia Fox VS. Divas Champion Paige (Non-Title)
Alicia kicks Paige right off the bat with a big boot, but Paige fires back wit one of her own and repeated headbutts. She flings Fox across the ring, but Alicia escapes before anymore damage. She picks Paige up and slams her against the barricade and pushes her off.
In the ring, Alicia rams Paige’s face against the canvas a few times, then flips her over with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Paige comes back and drives her down to the mat with the Paige Turner, but Alicia surprisingly kicks out! Alicia gives the Divas Champion another backbreaker, then chucks her into the ring post. Alicia covers and takes this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Alicia Fox
Post-match, Alicia celebrates bizarrely, putting on Lawler’s crown and dumping a child’s soda all over her.
Segment #8: Video Promo
“You’re playing a very dangerous game, little mouse. And the snake, the snake is getting very tried. So come out, come out, wherever you are,” Luke Harper quips. Wyatt appears on screen and predicts that all the dominos of Cena and The Usos will fall down.
Match #8: Final Beat The Clock Challenge for the #1 contendership to the Intercontinental Championship – “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry VS. “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler tries to get going with quick punches, but Henry just knees him down. Mark clothesline Dolph, then gives him a running powerslam. 1 – 2 – Ziggler kicks out. Henry flings Dolph over the ropes, as Rob Van Dam watches on from backstage.
Dolph elbows Henry out of the corner and leaps over him, and awkwardly hits the Fameasser for two! Ziggler nails a couple of high dropkicks, but only gets two! Dolph climbs the turnbuckle and soars off, but is caught in a slam position. Ziggler still kicks out! Under 15 seconds are left, as Dolph brings Henry down with the Zig-Zag. Ziggler goes for the pin, but the time is up!
Winner: No Contest due to Time Expiration
Post-match, Rob Van Dam is the new #1 Contender to Bad News Barrett’s Intercontinental Championship. As Van Dam poses on the ramp, the I.C. Champ himself assaults R.V.D. with the Bullhammer Elbow.
Wade delivers some “bad news,” saying that “there’s no way, at Payback, that this Englishman is going to lose to a bloody ‘yank.’”
Segment #9: Arena Promo
Rene Young is in the ring and welcomes her guest, Adam Rose. It’s party time! He takes over her microphone, with his usual schtick. At least the crowd is trying to get this gig over. Rene inquires about his ongoing rivalry with Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. Adam just wants them to have a little fun, then his entire group begins to hop up and down. (Yes, pun intended considering there is a bunny in the ring.)
Swagger and Colter answer him, ripping Rose for not conforming to American standards, and embarrassing Zeb two weeks in a row. Colter challenges Adam to “settle it right here, right now, tonight!” As Rose thinks about it, Swagger hits him from behind, then gets in the faces of his party posse. Adam leaps back with punches and knocks Jack off the apron. Rose gets back to partying.
Up next, Luke Harper will take on John Cena!
It is announced that Bo Dallas will return to the main roster this week on Smackdown, along with Hulk Hogan!
Match #9: Single – John Cena (with Tag-Team Champions, The Usos [Jimmy and Jey]) VS. Luke Harper (with Wyatt Family members Bray Wyatt and Erik Rowan)
(Note: Much like The Undertaker’s old-school entrances, the fans hold up their cell phones and light up the darkened arena during The Wyatt’s entrance.)
Harper takes it to Cena right away with punches and kicks. Luke whips him hard into the corner, but Cena reverses another one and brings him down with a bulldog. Cena misses a corner splash, so Luke slams him down.
Luke is still in control, giving Cena an uppercut and big boot. Harper alligator-rolls John and gets a near-fall after a suplex. Cena comes back with a spin-out backdrop and signals for the 5-Knuckle Shuffle. Harper hops up and German suplexes him back for two! Luke measures and runs at Cena with a big boot, but Cena moves and Harper spills to the floor.
Cena capitalizes with the 5-Knuckle Shuffle. He goes for the A.A. but Harper counters with a Wheelbarrow slam. Impressively, Harper turns Cena around with a Hurricanrana and dropkick, then a suicide dive to the outside! Harper runs in the ring, but Cena counters with an elbow and DDT. 1 – 2 – Luke kicks out!
Cena flips Harper over with a (bad) hurricanrana of his own, but immediately gets kicked in the head for another close-call! Harper brings Cena out of the corner backwards, in a Torture Rack position, and drops him with a neckbreaker! 1 – 2 – Cena still kicks out! John nails a sudden clothesline, then clamps on the S.T.F. but Harper clutches the ropes for a break.
Rowan tries to get involved, but an Uso cuts him off. Another one flies from the apron onto both Bray and Rowan, but Bray comes in and gives both Usos the Sister Abigail. Cena sends Wyatt over the ropes, but turns around into the Falcon Arrow suplex from Harper. 1 – 2 – Cena gets the shoulder up! Rowan comes in and body-splashes Cena, causing the dq.
Winner via Disqualification: John Cena
Post-match, Bray drives Cena down with the Sister Abigail Flatliner, as Harper and Rowan drag Cena to the outside, continuing the assault. Luke runs Cena into Rowan, who flips him over with a fall-away slam on the ramp. Bray laughs and plants Cena with another Sister Abigail Flatliner on the stage.
Bray sings “He’s Got The Whole World In Hands” as Luke counts to 10, predicting the Last Man Standing Match result to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Back to average, sadly. Usually the International Raws are pretty top-notch, but I felt that this one was just “going through the motions.” It kicked off and ended well, but most of the middle felt somewhat flat. Onto the critiques for more:
Excellence: As always, The Wyatt Family can still do no wrong and come up with new ways to captivate with their promos. Tonight’s was another unique story. Great match with Harper and Cena; and I would say that Luke actually carried the veteran through the contest, especially with his unique move-set.
Liked them using another method to determine a #1 Contender to Bad News Barrett’s I.C. Title. This is much better than just planting a wrestler in the slot, with no back story of why they deserve the championship opportunity. The matches themselves were pretty good too. Wish Barrett did wrestle, but he did cut a great promo.
The combat between The Shield and Evolution can also do no wrong. I love how they have The Shield either match or one-up Evolution’s predictable power-plays, thereby evening the odds and keeping us wondering who will come out on top.
Bogus: The rest! Seriously, in particular, a lot of this show. Starting with Cesaro/Heyman – at first was quite intrigued by the paring, but it just seems they are doing the same gig every week now and Cesaro hasn’t really moved up the ladder since winning the Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX. He’s also already been U.S. Champ, so I really don’t see the point of him re-feuding for the title.
While Stephanie was good at her heel-persona and making fun of Bryan, I was expecting more on the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, like a conclusion. It does a provide a little suspense for next week when Bryan’s on the show, but I think they’re just delaying the inevitable with Daniel having to be stripped of the title due to his injury.
Paige – I loved this girl and she was so awesome on NXT, but I think she has fallen flat in the last few weeks. It made no sense for her to lose in her home-country to the same opponent she defeated last week. Right now, Paige should be running rough-shod over the division until A.J. Lee returns and provides a formidable challenge. I really hope they build Paige back up, because she really can be a fresh face of the Divas and last a long while.
Adam Rose – read Paige, except for the wrestling part, since he hasn’t yet! While the crowds have liked him, and I did/do on NXT, he just hasn’t done anything on Raw and unfortunately, is starting to show a limited verbal set on the microphone. I like his facial expressions and charisma, but he definitely needs to both wrestle on Raw (which he does well on NXT) and talk much better. Instead of the feud with Swagger/Colter, Rose should’ve just been wrestling lower-card guys and winning for a few weeks; this would display his skills in the ring, and his entrance/exit are popular enough to get him over fan-wise, so a rivalry so quick seems unnecessary.
Lastly, there’s only three matches announced for Payback, so let’s hope more are made known next week to build interest for the Pay-Per-View, which is only 13 days away!
Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!