As we are just over 24-hours away from Payback, how has the world of the WWE changed yet again? Did World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan surrender his titles to save his wife, Brie Bella? Or was he just stubborn enough to let his wife go and hang on to his hard-earned championship?
Who won the war between Evolution and The Shield? Or does it still continue?
Was Bray Wyatt able to hold John Cena down, or did Cena go to that “monster” place that Wyatt wanted him to, and finally prevail over “The Eater Of Worlds?”
Will we have a new Intercontinental, Divas, and U.S. Champ tonight?
All this and much-more, so read on!
Monday Night Raw TV Report for June 2nd, 2014 – “Perish, Then Adapt”
Introduction Segment: Recap
Video and still-photo footage from Payback airs, first depicting the 6-Man Elimination first. The Shield prevailed, with Roman Reigns pinning Tripl H after a spear.
Segment #2: Welcoming and Arena Promo
Evolution kick off Raw, held in the Bakers Life Field House of Indianapolis, Indiana. (Thanks, Michael Cole for the name!) C.O.O. Triple H is sporting a shiner on his left eye, and speaks first. “They say it’s always darkest just before the dawn. The funny thing is, they think they’ve won. You all think they’ve won, you all think this is over. The Shield think this is over.”
HHH informs us that we “don’t get it.” He proclaims that he never loses and “this will not be over until The Shield exits no longer.” Triple H declares something will happen tonight, until Batista rips the microphone out of his hands and proclaims he doesn’t want to face “The Hounds Of Justice” again, but instead demands his one-on-one match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. “The Game” informs Batista he can’t give that, because Daniel Bryan is injured. (I guess that answers another Payback question!) Triple H does promise that Batista will get it, but only after they get rid of The Shield.
“I understand, and I quit,” announces “The Animal.” Batista waves to the “yes-chanting” crowd and walks off, despite yells from Triple H. Randy Orton stands by “The Game,” as Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield contemplate what they just saw.
They also review Brie Bella quitting WWE at Payback, thereby saving her husband’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship!
Up next, Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and Cesaro will team up against United States Champion Sheamus and Rob Van Dam!
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
A new announcer gets a world with Batista, who gives his reasons of “empty promises” for walking out on WWE.
Match #1: Tag-Team – Rob Van Dam and United States Champion Sheamus VS. Cesaro and Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett (with Paul Heyman) (Non-Title)
(Note: Barrett had some opinions about his match with R.V.D. at Payback, declaring that he will Bullhammer his way to a win tonight!)
Cesaro slugs away on Sheamus immediately, but the U.S. Champ comes back with a double-boot and top-rope Battering Ram shoulder block dive! 1 – 2 – Cesaro kicks out! Cesaro turns Sheamus around with a gutwrench suplex, but Sheamus fires back with a clothesline out of the corner. Cesaro headbutts his way out of the 10 Beats Of The Bowron, then switches with Barrett.
Sheamus turns a hip-toss around with a short-arm clothesline, then tags in Rob Van Dam. He is all over Barrett with kicks until he is taken down with a stiff clothesline off a springboard kick!
Barrett still in control over Van Dam, then he tags in Cesaro. He runs at R.V.D. with an uppercut and covers for a near-fall! Van Dam kicks out of another move, but Cesaro flips him over with a gutwrench suplex. Barrett is back in and he dives off the second rope with an elbow drop!
R.V.D. battles out of a grounding rear-chinlock, but is sent to the floor. Cesaro stalks him and hurls Van Dam into the barricade, then back into the ring for another two-count. Cesaro kicks away at Van Dam in the corner, then whips him into the opposite. Rob catches Cesaro and rolls him up for two!
Cesaro continues to beat on Van Dam, then knocks Sheamus off the apron. Cesaro turns around into a wheelbarrow kick, then R.V.D. makes the hot-tag. Sheamus comes in, blasting Wade Barrett, and catching both Barrett and Cesaro in tilt-a-whirl powerslams! Sheamus gears up, but misses the Brogue Kick. He turns around and gets slammed with the Winds Of Change by Barrett. 1 – 2 – Sheamus kicks out! Cesaro and Heyman decide to leave, which doesn’t sit well with Bad News. He is taken down with the Brogue Kick and Five-Star Frogsplash, giving the hard-earned victory to Van Dam and Sheamus!
Winners via Pinfall: Rob Van Dam and United States Champion Sheamus
Later tonight, it will be Tag-Team Champions The Usos taking on The Wyatt Family’s Erik Rowan and Luke Harper.
Segment #4: Arena Promo
Damien Sandow comes out dressed as Lance Stephenson of Indiana’s Basketball Team, the Indiana Pacers. He rips the fans and the team, then does some tricks until The Big Show comes out. He punches Sandow with the basketball and his fist, then slam-dunks the ball through the hoop set-up in the ring. (This was pointless!)
Match #2: Single – Kofi Kingston VS. “The Inspirational” Bo Dallas
They circle each other, then Bo catches Kofi in a standing side headlock. He pumps himself up on the outside, then trades more locks with Kingston back in the ring. Kofi leaps Dallas a couple times and hits a leaping elbow and dropkick! Kofi and Bo shake, then Dallas tries a quick kick. Kingston catches him and kicks him back, but is planted with a swinging neckbreaker soon after.
Bo gives him a few knees to Kofi’s head and locks on a front-facelock. Bo whips him into the corner, but Kofi comes back with a springboard dropkick, a few chops, and another dropkick. Kofi hits a really high kick, but Dallas counters and drives him against the top turnbuckle. He follows up with a springboard bulldog for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Inspirational” Bo Dallas
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Rene Young gets a word with Principle Owner Stephanie McMahon, who teases that she is going to make an announcement regarding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, next!
Segment #6: Arena Promo
WWE Principle Owner Stephanie McMahon is out and reveals who she thinks WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and his wife, “former” WWE Diva Brie Bella are really are. She rips them for only thinking of themselves, then books Bryan against Kane in a Stretcher Match at Money In The Bank in just under four weeks. If Daniel is still unable to compete, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will then be put on the line in a Money In The Bank Ladder Match at the Pay-Per-View.
Before she can continue, John Cena’s music plays and the man walks out. McMahon gives him props on his Last Man Standing Match with Bray Wyatt at Payback. Cena predicts that we have not seen the last of Wyatt. Cena puts over Daniel Bryan and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, saying that no-one, including her, is not bigger than the title. Cena reiterates that Bryan is good for business, because “he proves he is championship material.” Cena recounts the many times McMahon has screwed over Bryan from winning and/or keeping the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Cena speculates that Stephanie would just can Bryan from the WWE if he handed over the title. Stephanie uses Bryan’s injury as an excuse, but Cena reminds her that he, her husband Triple H, and even herself (after glancing at her chest) have had surgeries. Stephanie proclaims her surgeries have put her “back in action!” Based on her treatment of Daniel, Cena gives McMahon a job-evaluation, rating her a “0” out of “10!” Stephanie retorts that she’s always given opportunities, so she will give John one right now – to face Bryan’s potential Money In The Bank Opponent, Kane! “Payback’s a bitch John; then again, so am I!”
The Big Red Machine marches out for their match, next!
Match #3: Single – John Cena VS. Kane
Kane in firm control as we return from break. He pounds away on Cena, then planting him with a sidewalk slam. 1 – 2 – John kicks out! Cena begins to fight back with punches and hops out of a Chokeslam. He hits a couple of flying shoulder tackles, then drops Kane with a backdrop. Cena signals for and nails the 5-Knuckle Shuffle fistdrop. Kane drops out of an Attitude Adjustment, then repeatedly hammers away on Cena in the corner until the referee calls for the bell and disqualification.
Winner via Disqualification: John Cena
Post-match, Kane continues to punish Cena, throwing him into the steel steps. Kane sets up the steps, then picks up John in a Tombstone Piledriver postion. Cena drops out of it and pushes Kane into the ring post! Cena retaliates and hurls the steel steps at Kane, knocking him out!
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Rene Young walks by Randy Orton and wants his thoughts on Batista’s quitting. He reveals that he and Triple H are still aligned, and that he will be taking on Roman Reigns later tonight!
Match #4: Tag-Team – Los Matadores (Fernando and Diego) (with Los Matadores partner El Torito) VS. 3.M.B. (Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre) (with 3.M.B. partners Jinder Mahal and Hornswoggle)
This quick bout (thank God!) ends when El Torito steals Hornswoggle’s wig revealing his “skullet” (yes, I really did just type that because it really did happen), distracting Heath and letting him get rolled-up by a Matadores to take this one.
Winners via Pinfall: Los Matadores (Fernando and Diego) (with Los Matadores partner El Torito)
It is announced that Dolph Ziggler will face Alberto Del Rio later tonight in a Money In The Bank qualifying bout. (Please, please let “The Show-Off” win!)
Match #5: Two-On-One – Nikki Bella VS. Aksana and Alicia Fox
This is also a quick one, with Aksana and Alicia making short work of Nikki after a scissors kick by Alicia.
Winners via Pinfall: Aksana and Alicia Fox
Post-match, Alicia chucks Nikki outside and gives her a backbreaker, then throws her against the barricade.
Segment #8: Video Promo
“Now we take up his cause. We prowl the charred landscape like ravenous dragon, with no one left to torture, except the same pair of brothers, The Usos. The Usos work so hard to smite the cause; they will pay for their atrocities. Retribution cannot be achieved until they are put down like the craven beasts they are. We shall not spare the flock; they will suffer for their misdeeds. And they will burn.” This was all eerily spoken by Luke Harper, with Erik Rowan standing by. They were in front of an empty rocking chair, and Bray Wyatt was nowhere in sight.
Match #6: Single – Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) VS. Adam Rose (with Posse)
Rose dances around to begin, then slaps Swagger on the butt twice. He avoids Swagger a couple of times, then puts him down with a shoulder block. Jack comes back and clamps on a surfboard. Adam fights out of it, running at Jack with a Bronco Buster in the corner. He follows up with a leaping-face-first-driving DDT, called the Party Fowler, to finish Swagger!
Winner via Pinfall: Adam Rose (with Posse)
Segment #9: Locker Room Promo
Byron Saxton interviews Tag-Team Champions The Usos. Both Jimmy and Jey declare dominance over The Wyatt Family, and Jimmy goes back to his Samoan roots, talking crazy and hyping himself up.
Match #7 – Tag-Team – The Wyatt Family (Erik Rowan Luke Harper) VS. Tag-Team Champions The Usos (Non-Title)
Jimmy and Erik start out, with Rowan pounding away at Jimmy’s taped stomach. Jimmy fires back with hard shops, but Rowan comes back with a shoulder block. Luke in and slugs it out with Jimmy, who ducks a couple clotheslines and gives Luke a crossbody. Jey gets the tag and gives Harper punches in the corner. Luke reverses an Irish Whip and jumps up with a dropkick!
Rowan in and works over Jey, giving him hard shots with his arm. Erik bends Jey’s head awkwardly, applying pressure to wear him down. Luke back and gives Jey a vicious chop, which the Uso takes happily. Both members of The Wyatt Family continue to work over and wear down Jey. Rowan tries a move, but Jey crawls through and gets the hot-tag to his brother. Jimmy is all over Rowan, nailing him in the head with a front-dropkick. He hits another dropkick that sends Rowan to the outside, then both Usos give Luke a double-kick!
The Wyatt Family are back to controlling the bout, as Luke decimates Jimmy on the outside. In the ring, he drops repeated elbows on Jimmy, then slaps him down in the corner. Rowan is tagged back in and stomps away on Jimmy. He props him in the corner, but misses a running shoulder tackle. Jimmy climbs the turnbuckle and flips over with a splash! He manages to jump to Jey for the tag! Jey leaps all over Harper, putting him to the mat with an Enziguri. He runs at hi twice in the corner with a rear-bump, but Rowan breaks up the count.
Luke hits back with a big boot and two-count, but misses another run in the corner. Jey dives off the top with a missile dropkick, then plants him with a Samoan Drop. He ascends the top again, but turns around and soars onto Rwoan on the outside! Harper follows up with a suicide dive, then Jimmy follows with a dive of his own!
In the ring, Jey climbs the ropes again, but Luke gets his knees up. Harper attempts the clothesline, but Jey hits him square with the superkick! 1 – 2 – Luke kicks out! Both tumble over the ropes, then Rowan tosses Jimmy to the floor. Jey rolls up Erik but only gets two! Rowan shoves Jey off and drives him down with a one-arm slam for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: The Wyatt Family (Erik Rowan and Luke Harper)
Match #8: Qualifying For Money In The Bank Ladder Match, Single – Alberto Del Rio VS. “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler
Lockup and standing side headlock by Del Rio begins. He punches Ziggler in the corner, but Ziggler quickly rolls up Del Rio. He drives Alberto down with a neckbreaker and ten elbow drops! 1 – 2 – Alberto kicks out! Del Rio comes back, running at Ziggler in the corner with a kick, then wearing down Dolph’s arm with an armlock.
Del Rio backdrops Ziggler and gets a two-count, then goes back to the armlock. Dolph battles out and flips out of a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, landing on his feet! Ziggler nails a dropkick, then leaps onto Del Rio with punches, and a splash in the corner. Alberto punches Dolph a couple times, but “The Show-Off” counters and hits the Fameasser for a near-fall!
Del Rio pushes Ziggler off the ropes and spins him around with the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Alberto climbs the turnbuckle, but Dolph meets him up there and brings him down with a top-rope sit-down facebuster! Dolph ducks a kick and jumps onto Alberto in a DDT, but Del Rio fights him off and clutches on the Cross Armbreaker. Ziggler taps out!
Winner via Submission and Qualifying for the Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Alberto Del Rio
Segment #10 – Video Recap
The Rhodes Brothers’ split at Payback is recalled, with Cody declaring that Goldust needs a better partner.
Up next, Goldust and his new partner will face Rybaxel.
Match #9: Tag-Team – Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) VS. Goldust and ???
Goldust mystery partner is Sin Cara, but he does not much good, with them losing to Rybaxel after Axel drives him
down with a flipping neckbreaker/facebuster combo.
Winners via Pinfall: Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel)
Post-match, Cody Rhodes looked on and seems frustrated.
Up next, a Russian Federation Ceremony will honour Alexander Rusev.
Segment #11: Arena Promo
“The Ravishing Russian,” Lana, is out on stage. She talks about America’s self-proclamation of being the “heroes of the world.” The crowd goes louder with “U.S.A.” chants, which displeases Lana. She declares that Edward Snowden, who is an American that revealed secrets of the U.S. Government, is a real hero to Russia. Lana brings out a new Russian hero, “The Bulgarian Brute” himself, Alexander Rusev. Lana announces that Rusev is also now from Moscow, Russia.
Rusev walks out, donned in a suit and waving a Russian flag. He stands on the podium in the ring, as Lana and a Ministry Official give Rusev a golden medal. Alexander responds in his language, with the only word I made clear “America.” Lana asks the crowd to “rise and show respect to the Russian national anthem.” The theme plays as confetti drops down.
It is announced that Bray Wyatt will come back this week on Smackdown!
Match #10: Single – Roman Reigns (with Shield partners Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins) VS. “The Viper” Randy Orton
Prior to this contest, Ambrose cuts a promo boasting their success over Evolution at Payback. Rollins recounts the self-destruction of Evolution following Payback, claiming that is because “they are not one like The Shield.” Reigns finishes by saying The Shield are the real Evolution, and are brothers. He orders Orton to come on out.
Randy and Triple H, who is wielding a sledgehammer, walk out. “The Game” informs The Shield that he adapts better than anyone and has come up with a Plan B: repeated chair-shots from Rollins on both Reigns and Ambrose! Seth turns heel, driving Dean down with the stomp on the chair! He picks up the weapon, walks out of the ring, and sides with Evolution. He hands the chair over to Orton, who goes into the ring and whales away on an already-down Roman. “The Viper” rips open Reigns’ vest, exposing the bruises and scars on his back, then R.K.O.’s him on the chair. Triple H puts his arm around Rollins, as loud “you sold out” calls blare from the fans, and the show closes with Triple H’s theme playing as the new trio stand over an out-cold Ambrose and Reigns.
Winner: None Due To No Official Start
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
That was a pretty great Raw coming off the Pay-Per-View, with a superb/truly surprising ending! Onto the critique:
Excellence: Opening Promo – I like both Triple H’s passion for wanting to continue Evolution’s war with The Shield, as well as Batista’s reasons for quitting. Both stuck to their agendas/ground/beliefs, with “The Animal” insinuating that it is not always about “The Game,” but yet, Triple H continuing his gimmick of always having to come out on top.
A great physical match to start off Raw; I wonder if they are going to engage a Cesaro/Barrett feud now, since Cesaro and Heyman walked off. That would be an awesome, old-school, hard-hitting contest. All four of these guys (R.V.D/Sheamus/Bad News/Cesaro) have nice chemistry together and I would be totally happy watching them duke it out week after week!
Loving Bo Dallas’ gimmick and antics in the ring. Even though he is playing someone you really want to hate, I just don’t. Unlike Adam Rose, I can see Bo going a long way an really amping up the crowd/his opponents when he gets to I.C./U.S. Title level.
Fantastic back/forth promo between Stephanie and Cena; some of their best mike-work in a long while, and still making WWE World Heavyweight Champ Daniel Bryan seem like the center of attention even though he was not on the show.
Luke Harper picks up where Bray leaves off, and he can also dole out the verbal skills quite well, and just as creepy as his leader! While I thought it was a bit long, The Wyatt Family and Usos match was still pretty good and they too have great chemistry together.
Liking Lana enticing the hatred from the crowd, and really getting herself and Rusev over as major heels.
I’m waiting to see where it goes, but I think I like the Rhodes Brothers’ split; Cody makes a great heel, so it’s only a matter of time before he does the full-turn on Goldust.
Totally shocking ending, where I really didn’t see that coming. You also could’ve put any of the three Shield members in the betrayal role and it would’ve worked. That’s how great those guys are with their different personalities. Leaves me very, very interested in this continuing rivalry!
Bogus: Could’ve done without both the Damien Sandow/Big Show segment (just plain stupid), and the Los Matadores/3.M.B. match; this feud gone on too long and 3.M.B. are actually much-more talented, so they deserve better!
No Divas Champion Paige? Since Alicia lost at the Pay-Per-View, why feature her and not the Divas Champ on Raw?
Dolph losing another important “career-restarting” match. Why can’t WWE get behind him again and shoot him to the proverbial moon; the man is talented on all accounts and he too, much like Bryan, would be very, very good for business.
I liked Adam Rose a bit better tonight (decent match), but feel his feud with Swagger needs to end. Hopefully him defeating Jack on Raw was the finish and Rose can move on, and maybe gain some steam he greatly lost since all the hype videos.
All-in-all, a very well-done Raw, leaving us with a major cliff-hanger until at least Smackdown this week! Way to go, WWE and keep it up! Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling Online-Readers and Wrestling Fans!