Many questions arise for tonight’s Raw, as it is just under twenty-four hours removed from the end of Extreme Rules. Who walked out the Last Man Standing and WWE Champion – John Cena, the champion, or Ryback, the challenger? Was it Jack Swagger or Alberto Del Rio that made the other say “I Quit?” Is “The Shield” still dominate, adding the Tag-Team and United States Championships to their repertoire?
Who went to the “extreme” in the Steel Cage to put an end to their bitter rivalry, Triple H or Brock Lesnar? And, were there any surprises coming out of the Pay-Per-View? Only one way to find out, and that is to read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for May 20th, 2013 – “Changing Of The Guard(s)”
Introduction Segment: Arena Promo
An ambulance is shown, sirens and lights on, and it drives into the arena. Out pops Ryback, sans WWE Championship. He is atop the vehicle and tells us that it was a “no-decision” in his match with WWE Champion John Cena, so Cena retained the title.
Footage follows of Cena being stretchered out of the arena after Extreme Rules. Of course, this leads to Ryback asking for what he wants – a rematch at the next Pay-Per-View, “Payback.” He takes some shots at the fans, calling them stupid, fat, pathetic, and weak. He informs them they have no idea what it’s like to work hard for a living and then threatens to take John Cena and the fans to the morgue at Payback.
Later tonight, Paul Heyman will reveal his “newest client,” and up next, The Miz and Chris Jericho will face Fandango and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett.
Match #1: Tag-Team – Fandango (with Summer Rae) and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett VS. The Miz and Chris Jericho (Non-Title)
Jericho and Barrett start out, with the I.C. Champion knocking Jericho down with a shoulder block. “Y2J” comes back with a dropkick and chops against the ropes. Wade elbows back and tags in Fandango. He mount punches Jericho on the mat and punches again in the corner. Chris tries a comeback but Fandango delivers a double-boot out of the corner and switches with Barrett.
Back live, The Miz is now taking it to Wade, kneeing him in the gut and kicking him in the head. He goes for the Figure-4, but Fandango distracts them by announcing his name then dancing on the outside with Summer. Barrett yells at his partner, then turns around into a couple shoulderblocks by Jericho.
He follows that with an axe-handle, bulldog, Lionsault, and Codebreaker. He tags in The Miz who locks in the Figure-4 and forces Barrett to tap out for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: The Miz and Chris Jericho
Post-match, Jericho and Miz surround Fandango, but he hightails it through the crowd, leaving Rae behind. She offers Jericho to dance, and she does, getting face-to-face with her. Jericho then breaks it off quickly, insulting Summer.
Later, we will find out the results from the carnage of Brock Lesnar and Triple H’s Steel Cage match.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Supervising Manager Vickie Guerrero announces that fans can vote on the WWE App on who faces Jack Swagger: The Great Khali, R-Truth, or Randy Orton. (Gee, I wonder!?)
Segment #3: Locker Room Promo
A frustrated Daniel Bryan finally realizes that he and Kane are no longer the Tag-Team Champions. (“The Shield” did win all of their Championship matches last night.) Kane makes a slight joke, but that is because he says he is confident. They still argue, but Kofi Kingston interjects and settles them down to get ready for their 6-Man with “The Shield” later tonight.
Match #2: Single – Sheamus VS. “The Big Deal” Titus O’Neil (with “Primetime Players” partner Darren Young)
(Sheamus made his entrance prior to the break.) The two lockup and Sheamus gets the better with a shoulder block. O’Neil comes back with the same, but gets switched around and tossed out to the apron. Sheamus pounds away against the ropes with repeated clubs, then tosses Young into the barricade after kicking him. This allows Titus to get back in control, who chucks him overhead with a fall-away slam.
Titus clamps on a grounding arm and facelock, dominating with stomps and elbow drops. He goes back to the submission, which Sheamus headbutts his way out of and throws Titus with a headlock takedown. He tries White Noise, but O’Neil falls out of it.
Young helps out by tripping up Sheamus, but that only renders two. Sheamus soon gets his momentum back with the White Noise and Brogue Kick for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Sheamus
Up next, Paul Heyman will bring out his latest protege.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Paul Heyman is out now and he does not look happy! He orders the crowd to boo him, since he is always the one who gets the heat when his guys take out their heroes. He does announce that his client, “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar did defeat Triple H! (Wow, I’m surprised on that one!) Heyman calls “The Game” a “loser,” and says that he had to “tuck his sledgehammer between his legs and go back home to mommy.”
Heyman informs us that since Lesnar has fulfilled his WWE obligations, it is time for a new chapter. History will be made as he brings out his new “Paul Heyman Guy…”
Curt Axel. (Otherwise known previously as Michael McGillicutty and also known by his real name, Joe Hennig, the late-great Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig’s son, and Larry “The Axe” Hennig’s grandson.)
Paul E. compares the reaction (there wasn’t much of one, for real.) to when he brought in Lesnar in 2002, or introducing WWE to C.M. Punk in 2006. Heyman touts Axel’s heritage and cites what I did above about where he came from. He tries to get a response from the crowd about his new man, but instead they are more excited for Triple H, who interrupts!
The C.O.O. of the WWE walks to ring and immediately buries Axel, calling him “junior” and saying that the adults are having a conversation, referring to him and Heyman. Triple H says that he is not embarrassed about his loss, because he went to war and even though Lesnar won, he still limped away.
“The Cerebral Assassin” wants nothing more than to beat up Heyman, but first he has to go through Axel. He gets in HHH”s face then promptly is slapped. Triple H says he changed is mind, first he will have a match with Curtis, then get to Heyman.
Up next, new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship Alberto Del Rio will take on Big E. Langston.
Match #3: Single – Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) VS. Big E. Langston (with A.J. Lee)
They lockup and Alberto shoves Langston into the corner and kicks away. Soon, he quickly clamps on the Cross Armbreaker, but Big E. powers his way out and reaches the ropes. Del Rio grapples it again, but Langston just tosses him into the ring post.
Langston dominates with a huge backbreaker, but Del Rio comes back with a Tornado DDT, clotheslines and the backstabber. He tries the Cross Armbreaker again, but Langston chucks him outside again!
Alberto counters and smacks him with the enziguri, but A.J. distracts him by throwing Ricardo’s bucket across the ring. Langston pokes Del Rio in the eye, then drops Alberto with the Big Ending front slam to finish this one!
Winner via Pinfall: Big E. Langston (with A.J. Lee)
Match #4: Single – A.J. Lee VS. Layla
A.J. is all over Layla with clotheslines and a couple neckbreakers. She knocks Layla down again and skips around, but Layla does the same. A.J comes out of the corner and swings around Layla, locking on the Black Widow octopus-hold submission to force Layla to give up!
Winner via Pinfall: A.J. Lee
Match #5: Single – “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder VS Cody Rhodes
This bout just starts coming out of the break, and Rhodes is all over Ryder. He front-suplexes Zack and clamps on a grounding armlock. Ryder comes back with a faceplant off the ropes and a missile dropkick from the second turnbuckle! He hits the Broski Boot in the corner for a near fall, but quickly gets taken down with the Disaster Kick by Cody for his win!
Winner via Pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Post-match, Ryback hauls to the ring and Rhodes leaves Ryder alone. He runs over Zack with a Meathook Clothesline, then puts him down with a devastating powerbomb and the Shellshock Marching Samoan Drop. Ryback hurls him over the ropes and carries him to inside the ambulance.
Up next is the 6-Man Tag!
Match #6: 6-Man Tag-Team – “The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose, and Tag-Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) VS. “Team Hell No” (Kane and Daniel Bryan) and Kofi Kingston
Prior to the bout, Dean Ambrose cuts a promo on how they brought back power to the Championships. He lists the fans’ “heroes” who have gone down by the “swift arm of justice.” The Rock, The Undertaker, Ryback, and John Cena because they didn’t “believe.”
Rollins tells us we can see “what a cohesive unit looks like. You can see the meaning of unbreakable right before you. You can see the future.” Reigns says that they put all down who go in front of them. “The ‘hounds of justice’ run this yard, and we carry the collars to back it up,” declares Reigns. Ambrose says that the “fire of justice is burning bright and we are the flames. Believe in ‘The Shield!’”
Kane and Bryan are out next, then Kofi after the break.
Kofi and Ambrose begin, locking up and trading hammer locks. They also trade pin combinations for near falls and Kofi hits a monkey flip and armdrag. He tags Bryan in, who delivers some uppercuts to Dean in the corner then hits a running knee-to-the-gut. He drops another knee on Ambrose’s face, and drop toeholds Rollins who was tagged in by Dean.
Daniel clamps on a modified surfboard stretch and kicks away at Rollins’ stomach in the corner. He slaps hands with his partner Kane, who comes in and nails Seth with a low-running front dropkick for two! He stomps away in the corner, then elbows him down. Kane switches with Kofi, who delivers a forearm and pushes Rollins face-first to the mat with a hammerlock.
Kingston leapfrogs Rollins a couple of times then elbows him down, but Seth runs him into “The Shield’s” corner and tags in Roman. The big man dominates with a shoulder block and uses the ropes to jump on him with his foot.
He grips on a face submission to torture Kofi, then catches him out of a baseball slide into a waistlock slam! Ambrose is back in and pulls at Kingston’s nose and neck, while tying up his legs.
He runs at him against the ropes with a front dropkick, then tags Rollins back in. Seth stomps and chokes Kofi in the corner and runs his head into the second turnbuckle. Rollins sits on top of him in a Camel Clutch position, then scoop slams Kofi to the mat.
After seeking approval from his partners, Rollins turns around into a flying headscissors from Kofi, and this allows him to get the hot tag to Daniel Bryan.
Bryan is on fire, punching away on Rollins and hitting a fierce running clothesline. He does the same with a dropkick in the corner, then repeatedly and viciously kicks Seth. 1 – 2 – kickout by Rollins!
Bryan ascends the ropes and attempts a move, but is cut off by Rollins. Daniel manages to shove off Ambrose before he can do anything, then hits him with a diving front dropkick. He attempts the No Lock Crossface, but Dean makes it to the ropes, forcing the break. Kane and Kofi come in and help clean house of “The Shield!”
Back live, Kane tags in Kofi, who jumps off the top with an axe-handle, but is quickly taken down by Reigns and Ambrose. He reverses an Irish Whip and leaps on Ambrose in the corner, hammering away! Kofi switches again with Bryan, who hangs Ambrose upside down and kicks away, then runs at him with a harsh low-running baseball slide dropkick! 1 – 2 – Dean kicks out! Rollins hits Daniel in the back off a whip, then powerbombs him into the corner turnbuckle for two!
He pounds away on Bryan on the canvas, then tags in Reigns, who hits a vicious clothesline! Bryan fights his way out of a side headlock, but soon gets taken down again with elbows and a high knee. Ambrose is in again and sadistically stomps at Bryan’s stomach, then works over his hands and fingers.
“The Shield” completely dominate and wear down Bryan. Ambrose taunts him by yelling “weakling” in his face, but Daniel fights him off with a big kick, and a double-one to Reigns. He jumps in for the tag and Kane comes in, dominating over all of “The Shield.”
He hits a tilt-a-whirl slam, clotheslines, and sidewalk slam on Roman, while both Bryan and Kofi take out Rollins and Ambrose with simultaneous suicide dives!
In the ring, Kane plants Roman with a running DDT for a near fall! He measure him for Chokeslam, but Seth comes flying in with a jumping knee and Reigns runs at Kane with a spear for the victory!
Winners via Pinfall: “The Shield” (United States Champion Dean Ambrose, and Tag-Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns)
Segment #6: Locker Room Promo
Triple H is taping up for his match, when an agent comes in. He tells “The Game” that the doctor has not cleared HHH for competition, but “The Cerebral Assassin” ignores the advice and implies that he will be fired.
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Divas Champion Kaitlyn and Natalya are still debating on Kaitlyn’s secret admirer. Cody Rhodes walks by and Kaitlyn takes his phone to check, but it’s not him.
Match #7: Single – “The Real American” Jack Swagger VS. “The Viper” Randy Orton
Orton received about 72% of the vote by the supposed 150,000 that put their opinion in. This contest will happen next!
They start off with an elbow/collar tie-up and engage in a mutual wristlock. They both rise up from the mat and Orton hits a high dropkick. He backdrops Swagger on the barricade and clotheslines him. In the ring, he punches Jack in the corner and hits a snap suplex.
Swagger comes back and runs over Randy with a shoulder block then knees him in the corner. Orton fires back with a Lou Thesz press off the ropes and stomps on his hands. Swagger counters with a chop block to the knee, then works it over with a twisting submission hold.
Orton punches his way out and chucks Jack to the outside, but the “Real American” shoves back into the barricade. Swagger goes back to the step-over-toehold, but Orton fires back again until he gets knocked off the top rope!
Back live, Jack is back on that submission, but Orton again fights out of it. He slams Swagger’s head against the turnbuckle, then brings him down with a superplex off the top rope! 1 – 2 – Swagger kicks out! He goes for the Swaggerbomb out of the corner, but Orton gets up and kicks Jack in the gut!
He clotheslines him but cannot capitalize on a Slingshot DDT try. Jack locks on the “Patriot Lock” Ankelock, but Orton battles out of both tries. He eventually plants Swagger with the R-K-O for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Viper” Randy Orton
Up next, Triple H is back n action!
Match #8: Single “The Game” Triple H VS. Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman)
The bell rings and the two square off. Axel is geared up, but HHH takes to him right away with a harsh clothesline. He taunts Heyman and this awakens Curtis, who repeatedly kicks HHH in the corner. “The Cerebral Assassin” does he same, but Curtis takes control again with a dropkick and elbows-to-the-jaw.
He wears down Triple H with a side headlock, but HHH rams him with shoulders in the corner. He puts Axel down with a knee-facebuster and spinebuster, then clotheslines him out of the ring. He rams his head and puts him in the ring, but HHH does not follow, as he begins to look faint. He asks for water, which he splashes over his body.
This does not help, as goes to sit back down at the timekeeper’s booth. Doctors check on him, and he struggles to make it back in the ring to suddenly close the show.
Winner: No Contest due to Official Stoppage
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
This was another great follow up to another Pay-Per-View. The show flowed smoothly again, and potentially booked June’s PPV main-event already. As with most recent Raws, more positives than negatives, so the “trend” (pardon the overused pun these days!) is continuing. Onto the analysis.
Excellence: As is the theme in the last few weeks, the #1 is the WRESTLING! Fantastic bouts with the 6-Man and Orton/Swagger. Wonderful storytelling (domination by Ambrose/Rollins/Reigns, but the fast, hard-hitting action from Kane/Bryan/Kofi) and division of time to get everyone’s moves/spots in for “The Shield”/”Team Hell No” and Kofi Kingston. And of course, love all “The Shield” members having championships now. Their promo was beautiful too, and another category they do no wrong in. Also, even though they were shorter Rhodes/Ryder and Sheamus/O’Neil was good WRESTLING too.
I like the setup and match choice for the WWE Championship between John Cena and Ryback. Haven’t seen one of those in a while. Glad they had Jericho win at Extreme Rules and continue the feud with Fandango. It’s an entertaining one. Love A.J.’s new finisher – unique and something that hasn’t been seen often.
Paul Heyman’s promo and buildup of Curtis Axel. The man really can sell anybody, because I was truly surprised by this pick for his “new client.” I thought they would go with someone already established/returning, and just heel him/her up even more (like they did with C.M. Punk), but it is good they want to try and repackage/build a new star. Really happy they acknowledge Curtis’ lineage and background as well, paying tribute to his late, great father and his grandfather.
I actually did like the ending to Raw – it did leave suspense in the air, for at least a week. We need this every now and then.
Bogus: I’m on the fence with two wrestlers – Ryback and Curtis Axel. Ryback because I like his new “cocky” persona, but I’m starting to feel the complaining too much. I do agree with Jimmy Korderas, former WWE Referee and “Aftermath” analysist, that Ryback needs to not talk all the time, and just “silently destroy.” A little mystique is better. Curtis Axel – again, always love the new prospects and/or (in this case), remaking of a previous character, but I’m wondering how far he will go. He barely got a reaction. Hopefully Paul E. will help change this. I also think that Lesnar should’ve been on the show tonight, just to gloat that he got Triple H best out of three, and then “pass the torch” to Axel. Having it only be HHH that came out and wrestled, really made it look like he was the winner after all.
Still not digging and can do away with the “Kaitlyn admirer” storyline. Wade Barrett – the Intercontinental Champion should NOT be eating the pinfall/submission in a tag-team match, especially now that he has new music – usually that means a decent little push. They are just demolishing his reign again and the value of the championship overall!
To conclude, this date marks the second anniversary of the death of Randall Poffo, a.k.a “Macho Man” Randy Savage. He was a true pioneer in professional wrestling, with a standout colourful person, both literately with his choices of attire, and figuratively in his charisma/personality.
When he passed away, I wrote my recollections and opinions on him during that Monday’s Raw Report (05.23.11), so I urge those who read this report to search it on this fine website, as I feel I cannot repeat or put into more words who Randy Savage was than I did that night. All I can say is that he is greatly missed, and a had a deserving Hall Of Fame career and is a deserving Hall Of Fame man. Thank you.
May Randall Poffo, a.k.a “Macho Man” Randy Savage continue to Rest In Peace with God in Heaven and be remembered for years to come by his family, friends, and fans.
Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans.