This week's Raw should prove to be momentous as The Shield continues their war with the newly reformed Evolution. Also on this episode, Daniel Bryan returns from his honeymoon to face his former tag team partner Kane. Kane has seemingly embraced his "Big Red Monster" persona and is expected to don the red mask once again. Also expect to see Bray Wyatt continue his feud with John Cena, along with an appearance by the breakout Diva's champion, Paige.
This week's show starts out with a replay of last week's events involving The Shield and Evolution including the 11 on 3 match that the Shield were forced to wrestle in and the beat down that followed.
The live action starts with Daniel Bryan making his way to the ring. Brie Bella waits for him in the ring. As soon as Daniel Bryan gets in the ring, Stephanie McMahon's music hits and she makes her way down the ramp. She gets on the mic and pretends to congratulate the newly weds on their recent matrimony. She says that WWE is a family and they got them a wedding present. The present turns out to be a match against Kane at Extreme Rules for the WWE Championship. She insinuates that he might harm Brie Bella.
Kane's music hits. Stephanie tells Kane that now is not the time. Bryan and Bella exit the ring. Kane comes out of nowhere and grabs Bryan by the neck. The two start to brawl as Brie Bella runs away. Kane beats up Bryan and delivers a tomnbstone on the concrete follwoed by one on the steal steps. Bryan is placed on a stretcher by medical staff but Kane pulls him off. He tombstones Bryan on the announce table but it doesn't break.
The show returns with Daniel Bryan being carted off on the stretcher. Stephanie McMahon makes insensitive comments on the mic.
A graphic plays for the Intercontinental Championship Tournament. The tournament enters its second round tonight with a match between Sheamus and Bad News B
Bad News Barrett comes out and says he has some bad news. He says the luck of the Irish is running out for Sheamus because he is going to lose tonight.
MATCH: Bad News Barrett vs. Sheamus
The match starts with Barret driving Sheamus into the corner. Sheamus fights back and whips Barret into the cornerand follows with a rolling senton. Sheamus goes to the top rope but is stopped by Barrett. Sheamus throws Barret if the top and hits him with a boot sending Barret off the apron. Sheamus leaps to the outside and takes out Barrett. Sheamus goes for the ten beats of the Bodhran but Barrett fights out. Barrett sends Sheamus into the turnbuckle and he falls to the outside.
The show returns with Sheamus in control. He sends Barrett into the ropes and follows with a huge slam. The 2 get to their feet and Sheamus delivers a series of axe handle strikes followed by a running knee. He gets Barrett tied up in the ropes and delivers the 10 beat to the Bodhran. Sheamus hits a battering ram from the top rope and gets a 2 count. He follows with an Irish Curse backbreaker for another 2 count. Sheamus goes for the White Noise but Barrett reverses. Barrett ducks the Brogue Kick and hits the Winds of Change for a 2 count. Barrett loads up the Bull Hammer but Sheamus ducks it. Sheamus hits the White Noise for the 2 count. Both men exchange blows in the middle of the ring. Sheamus hits a cross body on Barrett and both men plummet to the outside. Sheamus gets back in the ring and reaches for Barrett but is hit with the Bull Hammer Elbow from out of nowhere. Barrett climbs back in the ring and covers Sheamus for the 3 count.
WINNER: Bad News Barrett via Pinfall
A vignette plays for Bo Dallas.
A replay plays of Hugh Jackman's appearance on Raw from September 2011. Apparently, Dolph Ziggler is ready to bury the hatchet and end their feud once and for all.
A WWE App vote is announced to pick John Cena's opponents for tonight. The choices include Luke Harper, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, or all 3 members of the Wyatt Family.
Bray Wyatt comes out and cuts a promo. He says that he remembers the bitterness he felt the first time he experienced truth. He says that free will is humanity's biggest illusion. Humans are sheep that are led by wolves and owned by pigs. He goes on to say that tonight is a great night for change because the audience for once has free will in their lives. He goes on to proclaim that he and his family stand against John Cena. He says that no matter who wins at Extreme Rules, one thing is going to stay the same. That is, the WWE Universe no longer loves John Cena. He sings "He's got the whole world in his hands" and the audience joins in.
The show returns with Los Matadores and El Torito in the ring. 3MB and Hornswoggle make their entrance,
MATCH: 3MB with Hornswoggle vs. Los Matadores and El Torito
The match starts out with Hornswoggle and El Torito. The 2 exchange slaps and El Torito hits a head scissors take down. Torito follows with a crossbody from the top followed by a moonsault. Torito covers Hornswoggle but is pulled off by Mahal. McIntyre gets in the ring and gets gored by Torito. McIntyre tries to fight back but meets a low blow from Torito. Los Matadores get in the ring and pull of their triple team finisher for the 3 count.
WINNERS: Los Matadores and El Torito via Pinfall
A replay airs of Evolution taking out the Shield last week.
The camera cuts to a limo pulling into the arena. Batista, HHH and Randy Orton get out.
The show returns with Evolution making their way to the ring. Triple H gets on the mic and says he laughs every time he thinks about how they beat up the Shield. Orton gets on and says sometimes all it takes is one spark to set the world on fire. He says that Evolution reformed because of the Shield and hypes up the destructiveness of the stable. A video package plays highlighting Evolution through the years.
Batista gets on the mic and boasts of the 31 titles earned between the 3 members of Evolution. He says that the Shield has no idea what they got themselves into. The Shield's music hits and they come through the crowd to the ring. Evolution gets out of the ring and make their way back up the ramp. Ambrose gets on the mic and says last week wasn't the first time they were beat up and it won't be the last. He says there is a reason that they were once hired to protect Triple H and Randy Orton. Rollins gets on the mic and reminds Evolution that it was a 14 man beat down that brought down The Shield last week. He says that every member of Evolution is going to be looking out for themselves and not for their teammates. He then says the Shield will be the hammer that drives the nail into Evolution's coffin. Roman Reigns gets on the mic and says he is going to give them an ultimatum. They can either be men and fight them when they come up the ramp to face them, or be cream puffs and run away.
The Shield makes their way up the ramp. Evolution's henchman from last week come out and surround Evolution. They succeed in warding of the Shield. Triple H says there is always a third option and Evolution's music hits.
A replay airs of Daniel Bryan getting beat up by Kane from earlier in the night.
A vignette for Adam Rose plays.
Ryback and Curtis Axel join the commentary team as the show returns. The Usos make their way to the ring.
MATCH: The Usos vs. The Rhodes Brothers
The match starts out with Goldust and Jay Uso squaring up. Golddust hits an inverted atomic drop on Jay Uso. Jay reverses but meets a big blow from Golddust. Cody Rhodes gets tagged and hits a missile dropkick off the top rope for the 2 count. Uso fights back and sends Rhodes into the tope rope for the 2 count. Jay gets Rhodes in a headlock on the mat. Rhodes fights out and hit the uppercut. He tags in Golddust. Jimmy is tagged in and goes to work on Golddust's arm. Golddust reverses and sends Jimmy to the mat. Jimmy semds him into the ropes and Goldddust hits the uppercut. Golddust is met with s back body drop. Cody is tagged in and goes for the Cross-Roads. HE is met with a superkick for the 3 count. Cody Rhodes storms out of the ring and Golddust follows. Rybaxel attacks the Usos. Ryback hits the Shellshock and they leave the ring.
WINNERS: Usos via Pinfall
A preview plays for the WWE Cartoon Slam City.
A graphic plays showing the bracket for the IC Championship tournament.
The show returns with Fandango and Layla in the ring. Emma and Santino Marella makes their way out to the ring.
MATCH: Emma vs. Layla
The match starts out with Layla capitalizing on the distraction from Fandango as he attacks Santino for the 2 count. She gets Emma in a submission hold. Emma fights out but is driven to the mat by Layla. Emma is sent into the ropes and hits a big clothesline. Santino attacks Fandango on the outside with the Cobra. Emma pulls out a cobra of her own and hits Layla in the head for the 3 count.
WINNER: Emma via Pinfall
The show returns with a plug for Legends House.
John Cena is interviewed backstage. He says that he respects the WWE Universe for always choosing what they want to do and that if they him to fight all three Wyatts then he will do it. He says he is sick of Wyatt and is ready to take him on.
Cesaro comes to the ring with Paul Heyman. Heyman hypes up both Cesaro and Brock Lesnar.
The show returns with Heyman still hyping up Lesnar. RVD's music hits and he comes to the ring.
MATCH: Cesaro vs. RVD
Cesaro sends RVD into the ropes. Rvd fights out of a suplex and hits a kick on Cesaro. Cesaro fights back with a big backbreaker followed by an elbow. RVD is sent to the corner but fights out with a kick off the middle rope. RVD hits the monkey flip. Cesaro hits a suplex for a 2 count. RVD drives his shoulders into a cornered Cesaro. Cesaro fights out and sends RVD to the mat.
The show returns with Cesaro in control. RVD fights back. He goes for the sunset flip but Cesaro reverses for the 2 count. Cesaro picks up RVD and slams him for a 2 count. He delivers a punch to the back of RVD's head followed by a choke with his boot. He drives RVD to the corner and hits the European uppercut. Cesaro hits an elbow for the 2 count. Cesaro applies the chinlock. RVD fights out but is met with a knee to the midsection. Cesaro drives him to the corner but RVD fights back with a kick to the head. RVD delivers a series of blows followed by a kick to the face. RVD hits the rolling thunder for a 2 count. RVD is whipped to the corner but fights out with an elbow. RVD hits a kick form the top rope. He goes for the frogsplash but Cesaro hits the European uppercut. RVD sends Cesaro to the mat and hits the split leg moonsault for the 2 count.
RVD goes for the kick in the corner but Cesaro moves. Cesaro hits another European upeprcut for the 2 count. The two men exchange blows in the middle of the ring. RVD takes Cesaro to the mat with a body scissors. Cesaro fights back with the underhook powerbomb. Cesaro takes RVD out by the legs and goes for the Cesaro Swing. Jack Swagger's music plays and he distracts Cesaro from the top of the ramp. RVD takes advantage and kicks Cesaro to the outside. Swagger makes his way to the ring. RVD goes for the crossbody to the outside but is caught with the European uppercut. Swagger shoves Cesaro into the ringpost and he gets counted out. Swagger attacks Cesaro after the match but Cesaro sends him to the outside. Cesaro find himself alone with Zeb Colter. He grabs him by the beard and tries to give him the Cesaro swing but Swagger makes the save. Cesaro takes out Swagger and gives him the Cesaro Swing.
WINNER: RVD via Count Out
A replay of Daniel Bryan's beat down at the hands of Kane airs. Michael Cole says that he has sustained a bad "stinger" but is in stable condition.
Rob Van Dam is interviewed backstage. He is interrupted by Heyman and Cesaro. Cesaro says that RVD wouldn't have been able to beat him without the help of Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. RVD tells Cesaro that if he wants to make in this business, he should stay away from Heyman.
MATCH: Paige vs. Aksana
The match starts out with Paige ducking a clothesline. Paige drives her to the mat with a snapmare. She rolls up Aksana for the 2 count. Paige drives a series of knees to Aksana's head. Aksana fights back and drives PAige to the corner. Paige tries to fight back but is tossed from the middle rope. Aksana hits a suplex and follows up with a few kicks to the midsection. Aksana chokes her on the middle rope. Aksana gets a 1 count. She follows up with a chinlock on the mat and drives her elbow to the head of Paige. Paige fights back but is sent to the mat with an elbow from Aksana. Aksana hits the sideslam. She goes for a kick but Paige ducks it and fights back. Paige is driven to the corner and meets a spinebuster from Aksana. Aksana delivers the elbow. Paige counter with a submission hold followed by a knee to the face of Aksana. Paige locks in the Modified Scorpion Crosslock and Aksana submits.
WINNER: Paige via Submission.
Lana comes to the top of the ramp and speaks in Russian. She introduces Alexander Rusev and they make their way to the ring.
MATCH: Alexander Rusev vs. Sin Cara
Sin Cara ducks the attack from Rusev. He goes for the crossbody from the middle rope but is caught by Rusev. Rusev delivers a series of knees against the ropes and slams Sin Cara to the mat. He drives Sin Cara ti the corner and hits him with a big right hand. He applies a submission followed by a headbutt to the corner. Sin Cara goes for the headscissors but is caught by Rusev. Sin Cara reverses into a sunset flip and nearly pins Rusev but Rusev quickly gets up . Sin Cara hits a kick form the apron followed by a drop kick from the top rope. Rusev is sent to the mat. He gets up and slams Sin Cara. Lana tells Rusev to crush. He slams Sin Cara again and applies the Accolade. Sin Cara submits.
WINNER: Alexander Rusev via Submission
A vignette plays for Bo Dallas.
The show returns with John Cena making his way to the ring. Jerry Lawler announces that the WWE Universe voted for Cena to face the entire Wyatt family.
MATCH: John Cena vs. The Wyatt Family
The match starts out with all 3 members of the Wyatt Family attacking John Cena. Harper drives Cena into the corner as the bell rings. He chokes Cena with the forearm and tags in Rowan. Rowan delivers a huge slam to Cena and drives him to the corner. Cena goes for a cross body but is caught with a fall away slam. Bray Wyatt is tagged in and he dances with a dazed Cena. Harper is tagged in. He shoves Cena to the corner, Cena reverses the Irish whip and splashes harper in the corner. Harper fights back with a big forearm to the head of Cena. Cena hits a German suplex. HArper crawls to the corner and tags in Rowan. Rowan hits a backbreaker for a 2 count. Wyatt is tagged in and toys with Cena. He tags in Harper. Cena fights back with a drop toehold and locks in the STF. Harper hits an uppercut and sends Cena to the mat. He throws Cena to the outside and tags in Rowen. Cena fights back but is driven into the steel steps by Harper.
The show returns with Cena making a comeback which is quickly stopped as he is sent to the outside by Harper. Harper goes for the superplex but Cena fights out. Cena hits a tornado DDT from the top rope. Wyatt is tagged in and plants Cena for a 2 count. Cena is sent to the corner. Wyatt attacks his head as it hangs outside the ring. Rowen is tagged in and squeezes Cena's head. Cena fights out and is whipped to the corner. He sidesteps Rowan and he drives hismelf into the ringpost. Wyatt is tagged in and does the crabwalk. Cena hits a big clothesline as Wyatt gets to an upright position. Cena hits Rowan and Harper off the apron and hits the 5 moves of doom. He hits the AA and covers Wyatt. Harper breaks up the count and the ref calls for the bell. Harper and Rowan dismantle Cena and get Wyatt to his feet. Wyatt hits the Sister Abigail and calls for the mic. He says that all things eventually come to light and starts singing.
This was a pretty exciting episode of Raw as attention was shifted away from Daniel Bryan due to the real life death of his father earlier in the day. Kane's attack on Bryan seemed to be a way to both intensify the feud between the two, and also as a way to write him off of TV appearances as the WWE Champion grieves his loss.
The highlights of the show were the matches in the Intercontinental Championship tournament. Bad News Barrett and Sheamus had the best match of the show as the two brawlers had a very physical and fast paced slobberknocker. Both Sheamus and Barrett are looking better than they have over the past year and are helping to make the IC Championship relevant again. My prediction, however, is that the belt is going to be put on RVD. He is apparently signed to a short term contract that will probably expire some time in the summer, so WWE is going to want to do something with him while he is with the company. This is just speculation, but it would be awesome if a legend like RVD was the guy who made the IC Championship important again.
The feud between Evolution and the Shield is heating up and is building towards an epic showdown at Extreme Rules. This has the potential to be a classic passing of the torch moment. Cena's feud with Wyatt will most likely be settled once and for all at Extreme Rules as they are scheduled to face off in a steel cage match. There hasn't been a memorable cage match in quite some time and these two competitors have the potential to deliver a true instant classic. Their match tonight was decent but of course Cena was made to look invincible as he nearly pulled off the win against all 3 members of the Wyatt Family. I really hope Bray Wyatt comes out on top of this rivalry, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen.
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