It's been a little over a week since the history making WrestleMania 30, and it appears that a new era of WWE is upon us. The last episode of Raw saw The Shield complete their face turn as they came to the aid of Daniel Bryan against HHH and The Authority, a new Diva's champion was crowned when Paige pulled one of the biggest upsets in the women's division history, and Cesaro left The Real Americans to become the newest Paul Heyman Guy. In addition to these momentous events, we also saw the return of Mr. Monday night himself, Rob Van Dam. This week's show will be dedicated to the memory of Ultimate Warrior, who met an untimely death last week reportedly from a massive heart attack. Also expect to see an escalation in the feud between the Shield and former the members of Evolution, HHH, Randy Orton, and Batista.
The show starts with the entire locker room at the top of the ramp for a tribute to the Ultimate Warrior. A video plays highlighting Warrior's career including his induction in the Hall of Fame and his prophetic last appearance on Raw. Once the video is complete, a moment of silence is observed and the bell is tolled 10 times.
A match is announced between the Usos vs. Orton and Batista.
An 8 man tournament for the #1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship is announced.
The first match in the tournament is Alberto Del Rio vs. RVD
MATCH: Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio
The matcch starts out with Del Rio taking the offensive against Van Damn. RVD reverses with a monkey flip followed by a crossbody for a 2 count. He clotheslines Del Rio over the top rope. Del Rio gets back in the ring and sends RVD to the corner. RVD fights out with a few ight hands. Del Rio Whips him to the corner and hits a kick to the head for a 2 count. Del RIo hits a suplex for a 2 count. Del Rio hangs RVD's head off the apron and kicks it fro mthe outside. Del Rio gets back in the ring and is sent over the top rope as RVD ducks the attack off the ropes. RVD delivers a baseball slide followed by a moonsault. Del RIo avoids the moonsault and hits another vicious kick. He drives RVD in the barricade.
The show returns with RVD in control. He covers Del Rio for a 2 count. Del Rio fights back with a kick to the midsection. He hits a ddt for the 2 count. Del Rio tries to catapult RVD to the corner but RVD catches himself and hits a kick from the middle rope. RVD goes for the split leg moonsault but Del Rio gets his knees up. Del Rio goes to the top rope but is caught with a boot from RVD. RVD goes to the top rope but Del Rio takes out his legs. Del Rio hits the enziguri and RVD plummets to the mat. Del Rio gets a 2 count. Del Rio loads up for the cross arm breaker but RVD reverses with a scissors take down for the 2 count. He sends Del Rio to the mat and hits the 5 Star Frog splash for the 3 count.
WINNER: RVD Via Pinfall
A video replay airs recapping Daniel Bryan's confrontation with HHH and the Authority from last week. It also shows The Shield coming to Bryan's aid.
A video from backstage plays of Orton and Batista shaking hands with HHH and Stephanie.
A video plays of The Ultimate Warrior from SummerSlam 1988 in which he faced The Honky Tonk Man and won the Intercontinental Championship.
The show returns with HHH talking to Orton and Batista. He says the Shield aren't going to let anyone get near the WWE Heavyweight CHampionship and they might be unstoppable. That is, Stephanie reminds them, that if the 3 of them were united, then they could defeat The Shield. Orton and Batista tell HHH that they only care about being champion and that he is on his own.
MATCH: Rhodes Brothers vs. Rybaxel
The Match starts out with Goldust and Curtis Axel. Axel come sout of the corner with several hard right hands. Goldust fights back with an inverted atomic drop followed by an arm drag. He tags in Cody. Rhodes slams Axel to the mat and gets a 2 count. Axel goes for the tag but is stopped by Rhodes. Goldust is tagged in and hits a knee to the face of Axel for a 2 count. Axel fights back with a knee to the midsection followed by a head butt. Goldust fights back but is distracted by Ryback. Axel takes advantage. He drives Goldust into the corner and makes the tag. Axel and Ryback delivers a pair of running elbows. Ryback gets the 2 count. He hits a scoop slam and goes to the middle rope. He tags in Axel and hits the falling splash. Axel follows up with a forearm for the 2 count. He tags Ryback back in. Ryback hits a back kick on Goldust for the 2 count. Ryback gets Goldust in a chinlock. Goldust tries to fight out but is dragged back to the mat by Ryback. Goldust is whipped to the corner but fights out with an elbow. Cody is tagged in and hits a big right hand. Ryback goes for a slam but Rhodes reverses. He hits the moonsault and Ryback rolls outside. Rhodes dives off the top to the outside. Back in the ring he hits a missile dropkick from the top rope for the 2 count. Rhodes goes for the disaster kick on Ryback and is caught with the meat hook clothesline.
WINNER: Rybaxel via Pinfall
King botches a plug for Legends House.
The show returns with a Bo Dallas Vignette.
Paige makes her way to the ring. A video plays recapping her upset over AJ Lee last week on Raw.
MATCH: Paige vs. Alicia Fox
The match starts out with the locking up. Paige drives Alicia Fox to the ropes and the hold is broken See headbutts Alicia Fox to the mat. Alicia FOx fights back and hits a series of backbreakers. Alicia Fox hits a fisherman's suplex for a 2 count. She gets Paige in a sleeper hold. Paige fights out but is stopped by Fox. Fox drives paige to the corner nad hits a forearm. Paige fights back with a vicious kick to the midsection. She hits several clotheslines and a dropkick. Paige locks in the modified the Scorpion Crosslock and Alicia Fox submits.
WINNER: Paige via Pinfall
A video plays recapping Orton and Batista's match against the Usos.
MATCH: Usos vs. Randy Orton and Batista
The match starts with both Usos attacking Batista and Orton and throwing them out of the ring. They then both dive over the top rope onto their opponents. Orton gets back in the ring and attacks Jimmy. Jimmy fights back and drives Orton into the corner. He tags in Jimmy and they double team Orton for the 2 count. Orton fights back and and tags in Batista. Batista whips Uso into the corner and he goes to the mat. Batista hits a suplex for a 2 count. Orton is tagged in and goes to work on Uso's leg. Uso fights back but is thrown to the mat by Orton. Batista is tagged in. He goes for the back body drop but Uso kicks him in the face. Batista fights back with a spine buster for a 2 count. Uso fights out with a samoan drop for the 2 count. Orton attacks Jimmy outside and slams him off the announce table. The Shield comes out of nowhere and takes out Orton. The ref calls for the bell. The Shield Surround the ring and attacks Batista. Reigns hits the superman punch and sends the Orton and Batista running.
WINNERS: Orton and Batista via Disqualification
A video plays of Ultimate Warrior's match against Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 6 where he defeated Hogan for the WWF Championship.
The show returns with Randy Orton and Batista running into HHH backstage. The COO simply says "Told You".
Paul Heyman comes to the top of the ramp. He gloats some more about Lesnar breaking the Undertaker's streak. A slideshow of Undertaker's defeat at WrestleMania plays as Heyman works the crowd about The Streak. He then announces Cesaro. Cesaro comes out and they make their way to the ring.
MATCH: Mark Henry vs. Cesaro
The match starts with the 2 locking up. Henry drives Cesaro to the corner. Cesaro gets leverage off the ropes and pushes back. Henry hits a clothesline and sends Cesaro to the outside. They go to lock up again but Cesaro hits a forearm followed by a flurry of uppercuts into the corner. Henry pushes Cesaro to the mat but Cesaro keeps up the offense. He pushes Cesaro again and hits the clothesline for the 2 count. Cesaro drives Henry's neck on the top rope. Henry goes for the World's Strongest Slam but Cesaro reverses. He hits a European uppercut from the top rope. Cesaro hits the Neutralizer on the 400 lb. Mark Henry and gets the 3 count.
WINNER: Cesaro via Pinfall
The show returns with HHH telling Brad Maddox to find The Shield and tell them they have a match in the Main Event tonight.
Lana comes to the ramp and announces Alexander Rusev.
MATCH: Alexander Rusev vs. Xavier Woods
The match starts out with woods going for a kick but Rusev catches him and drives him to the corner. He hits a big kick to Woods' chest and follows with a huge slam. He locks in the Accolade and Woods' submits. Rusev keeps the hold locked on after the bell. R-Truth gets in the ring to break the hold and is shoved to the mat by Rusev. Rusev goes to the corner and they star each other down. Lana gives Rusev the orders to attack R-Truth and he takes him out with a front kick.
WINNER: Alexander Rusev via Pinfall
The show returns with a video showing Ultimate Warrior beating Rick Rude in a steal cage match at SummerSlam 1990.
A preview plays for Daniel Bryan: Journey to Wrestlemania on the WWE Network.
MATCH: Jack Swagger vs. Sheamus
The match starts with Swagger getting behind Sheamus and driving him to the corner with a series of knees. Sheamus ducks a clothesline and drives Swagger to the corner. Swagger reverses the whipe and meets a kick to the chest. Swagger is sent over the top rope with a clothesline. Sheamus goes for the ten beats of the Bodhran but is distracted by Zeb Colter. Swagger goes to the outside and Sheamus goes for the clothesline off the apron but is caught midair. He is slammed to the floor. Swagger sends him back in the ring for the 2 count. He gets Sheamus in a submission hold and follows up with a belly to belly for a 2 count. Swagger hits a clothesline for another 2 count. Sheamus is sent to the corner and Swagger drives his knee into Sheamus' face. Swagger locks in the submission hold again. Sheamus fights out and hits a big clothesline. Swagger charges him in the corner but Sheamus moves. He builds momentum with several axehandle blows followed by a running knee. Swagger goes to the mat for a 2 count. Sheamus hits the 10 beats of the bodhran. He hits an attack from the top rope for the 2 count. Sheamus is sent over the top and catches himself on the apron. Sheamus slingshots himself but is caught in the Patriot Lock. Sheamus fights out but is sent outside with a shoulder block. Swagger charges at Sheamus' knee against the barricade and slams him into the steps. Back in the ring Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick out of nowhere for the 3 count.
WINNER: Sheamus via Pinfall
Sheamus' ankle is visibly injured as he exits the ring.
A vignette for Adam Rose plays.
The show returns with Damien Sandow on the mic. He begins talking but is interrupted by Big Show. He continues saying he will not be silenced as Big Show makes his way to the ring. Sandow rips on Big Show and then says the audience should be bending over the barricade just to touch him. He asks what Big Show has to say and Show says nothing. He points to the Big Show and says "when you look at me you see the future of WWE", "you see greatness", etc. Big Show blasts Sandow in the face and knocks him out.
A video of the Wyatt Family plays with Bray Wyatt popping up in front of the camera saying "We're next!"
The show returns with a graphic announcing a match between Jack Swagger and Big Show.
The Wyatt Family makes their way to the ring. Bray Wyatt gets on the mic and says society has become corrupt by the man. However, he insists, he is different because he has many faces and many names, but he has never lied to the WWE Universe. John Cena, on the other hand, has lied to them for years. He says that he will not let John Cena do this anymore and that he has him right against the ropes and all Cena needs is a little push. He then calls John Cena out to the ring "to come play".
Cena's music hits and he comes out with a mic. John Cena gets on the mic and says that he would love to play with Wyatt, but the last thing anyone want to see is for Cena to get another push. He proceeds to poke fun of the Wyatt's, saying that underneath their serious personas, they are actually party animals. John Cena says that he looked "Sister Abigail Wyatt" up on MySpace. A picture of Wyatt dressed as a girl comes on the Megatron. Then he says he looked up his mom. A picture of Harper's head superimposed on an old woman's body comes up on the big screen. Then he says he found the newest member of the Wyatt's and a picture of Rowin's face on a baby comes up.
Wyatt responds and says that all you know how to do is joke around. Cena rebuts saying that when he gets serious, Bray Wyatt gets beat. Cena says that without his family, Wyatt cannot back up his words. He then challenges Wyatt to a steal cage match at Extreme Rules. Wyatt accepts and responds by saying that they have been playing with knives and one of them is going to get stuck. He says that he isn't going to let Cena call the shots in his backyard because "this is his world". Wyatt then begins singing "He's got the whole world in his hands".
The show returns with Santino Marella and Emma in the ring. Fandango comes to the ring with Layla. A graphic plays showing how Fandango broke up with Summer Rae over Twitter.
MATCH: Fandango and Layla vs. Santino Marella and Emma
The match starts out with Fandango getting Santino in a headlock. Santino hits a hiptoss and gets the Cobra out. Fandango tags in Layla and Emma enters the match. Emma locks in the DilEmma. Emma goes to the top rope. Fandango tries to interfere but is knocked off the apron by Santino. Layla takes advantage and slams Emma from the top rope for the 3 count.
WINNERS: Layla and Fandango via Pinfall
Kane is shown backstage getting verbally abused by Stephanie McMahon. She calls him pathetic and a shell of his former self for failing to deal with Daniel Bryan. This was all done to get Kane fired up. Kane is shown staring at his mask behind a glass case. He gets his mask out and says he is going to send Daniel Bryan to the depths of Hell.
Another vignette plays for Bo Dallas.
The schedule for "Warrior Week" on the WWE Network plays.
A replay of Warrior's final appearance on Raw plays.
The next match in the Intercontinental Title tournament is Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett.
Another vignette plays for Adam Rose.
MATCH: Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett
The match starts out with the 2 locking up. Barrett takes Ziggler to the mat. They get to the vertical base and Ziggler ducks the clothesline and rolls out of the ring. Barrett hits a big right hand and drives Ziggler into the corner. He take sZiggler to the mat fir a 2 count. Ziggler fights back and gets Barrett in a headlock. Barrett drives Ziggler to the corner and whips him into the turnbuckle for a 2 count. Barrett chokes Ziggler on the middle rope and follows up with a choke on the top rope. Ziggler ducks the clothesline and hits a dropkick. Ziggler sends Barrett over the top rope and goes over himself. The 2 brawl outside and Barrett sends Ziggler over his head and into the ring post.
The show returns with Barrett in control with a headlock. Ziggler fights out but is whipped into the corner. Barrett charges but Ziggler moves and sends sends Barrett into the ring post. Ziggler hits a crossbody. He follows up with a splash in the corner and 10 right hands to Barrett's head. He hits a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Barrett fights back and catches Ziggler with a huge slam for a near fall. Barret goes for the pumphandle slam but Ziggler reverses into a famouser for a 2 count. Ziggler goes for the splash in the corner but Barrett moves. He goes to the middle rope but is caught with a right hand from Ziggler. Ziggler goes for the superplex off the top rope but Barrett fights out. Ziggler runs back to the top rope and hits a face buster. He gets a 2 count. Ziggler jumps on Barrett's back but Barrett hangs onto the rope, sending Ziggler to the mat. Barrett hits the "WInds of Change, but Ziggler kicks out at 2. Barrett loads up the Bad News Bull Hammer but Ziggler ducks it and roles up Barrett for a 2 count. Barrettt hits the bull hammer and nearly decapitates Ziggler for the 3 count.
WINNER: Bad News Barrett via Pinfall
Barrett gets on the mic and says he is going to be the next Intercontinental Champion.
A video package plays that highlights the ferocity of Kane's career.
The show returns with The Shield making their way to the ring to face their mystery opponents.
MATCH: The Shield vs. Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, Fandango, 3MB, Titus O'Neil, Rybaxel, Alexander Rusev, Bad News Barrett
Heath Slater is the first to get in the ring and meets a big slam. Slater is driven into the corner by Rollins and Reigns is tagged in. Reigns tosses Slater around and tags in Rollins. Rollins slams Slater for a 2 count. Mcintyre is tagged in followed by O'Neil. O'Neil tags in Rusev and he beats on Rollins. Swagger is tagged in and hits several knees to Rollins in the corner. Ryback is tagged in and hits a gorilla press into a big slam. Rollins is thrown outside and Ryback follows. Ryback is speared by Reigns. Chaos ensues as all 11 men attack Reigns. The Shield clears house with over the top rope dives from Rollins and Ambrose and gets back in the ring. All 11 men go after The Shield and delivers the beat down to The Shield.
Evolution's music hits and HHH, Batista, and Orton come to the ring to finish off The Shield. Reigns tries to fight back but is RKOed by Orton. Batista hits a Batista Bomb on Reigns. Orton holds Reigns as HHH beats him with right hands. Rollins is hit with an RKO. Ambrose attacks Batista but is brushed off. Rollins is hit with the Batista bomb. Ambrose then gets a Batista Bomb of his own. HHH gets on the mic and says in Reigns' face, "Believe in Evolution", then hits him with a pedigree.
Overall, this episode of Raw did a good job of keeping up the momentum coming off of the last few weeks. The Intercontinental Championship #1 Contenders tournament is an awesome idea and I'm glad they are stretching it over a couple of weeks. Bad News Barrett and Dolph Ziggler stole the show with their first round match in the tournament. It's great to see Barrett wrestling again. He showed no signs of ring rust after his hiatus from action and proved that he is just as good in the ring as he is on the mic.
The rivalry between Wyatt and Cena is getting more interesting and intense every week. I was hoping for a Hell in the Cell match at Extreme Rules, but I am definitely not disappointed with a "traditional" steel cage match. If there was ever a time to bring the crimson mask back to WWE, it would be during this match.
The return of Evolution is a great way to continue the Authority's storyline. When they eventually face The Shield in a match, they will probably lose and the transition into the new era of WWE will be rendered complete. In addition to this, Kane seemingly returned to his "Big Red Monster" persona and is on the hunt for Daniel Bryan at the behest of the Authority. When Daniel Bryan returns from his honeymoon, this storyline is going to erupt into an all out war with the potential to change the landscape of the WWE for years to come.
Personally, I think WWE is hitting out of the park since WrestleMania. I haven't been this excited to watch Raw since I was a kid during the Attitude Era. Of course there are going to be some weeks that are better than others going forward, but I am optimistic that creative is going to keep the ball rolling and will be able to run with the momentum of the past few weeks.
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