Last week's episode of Raw was quite momentous with Sheamus winning the U.S. Championship from Dean Ambrose in a 20 man battle royal. It also saw Bray Wyatt cut another chilling promo, Evolution exact revenge on the Shield, and Kane terrorize Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella throughout the night. On this episode, expect an escalation of those feuds as Payback slowly approaches at the beginning of next month. Also expect to see Adam Rose continue to feud with Jack Swagger, and Cesaro and RVD continue to battle it out.
The show tonight starts out with a recap of last week's action. It shows the results of the 20 man battle royal, along with The Shield's battle against The Wyatt Family that resulted in The Shield being decimated by Evolution.
The replay fades and the Shield are in the ring. Ambrose gets on the ring and says while The Shield may have gotten beat up last week, they are still up to anyone who is keeping count. Rollins gets on the mic and says that they are not running from, but rather to Evolution and he challenges them to a rematch. He says that they used to be good, but they have failed to evolve in order to beat the Shield. Reigns gets on the mic. He recalls how he and The Shield got beat up last week and asks if that's all Evolution has got for them. He says they are going to teach Evolution about revenge, and that they are going to believe in Roman Reigns.
Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista are shown on the Titantron pulling into the arena in their limo. The Shield runs out of the ring and attacks them backstage. The brawl is broken up by security and officials with The Shield coming out on top.
The show returns with Zeb Colter on the Mic. He tells the audience to sit down and shut up. He says that his deportation list is the most important document since the Declaration of Independence and says that Adam Rose has earned a spot on it. He then tells him to stay away from him and Swagger. The Exotic Express' music hits and they come to the top of the ramp. Adam Rose's music hits and he makes his way to the ring. JBL says all that is needed now is Kurgon and the Oddities.
MATCH: RVD vs. Jack Swagger
RVD takes advantage of the distraction and kicks Swagger in the chin. He goes to the top rope and hits the Five Star Frogsplash for the 3 count.
WINNER: RVD via Pinfall
A video package plays highlighting Paige's meteoric rise to the top of the Diva's division.
A vignette for Bo Dallas plays.
Alicia Fox gets on the mic and says that PAige has already alienated herself in the Diva's locker room. She then tells her she doesn't fit in and should get out. Fox then blindsides Paige.
MATCH: Paige vs. Alicia Fox
The match starts with Fox driving Paige to the corner. She delivers a back breaker and dumps Paige outside the ring. Fox then drives Paige into the apron and throws her back in the ring for a 2 count. Fox continues the aggressive offense with a northern lights suplex. Fox applies a sleeper hold. Paige tries to fight out but is thrown down to the mat. Fox throws Paige off the ropes and delivers another back breaker for a 2 count.Fox applies a submission hold and slams Paige to the mat. She again applies the sleeper hold on the Diva's Champion. Paige fights out and htis the Page Turner for the 3 count.
WINNER: Paige via Pinfall
Alicia Fox throws a fit after the match and steals JBL's hat.
A replay airs of Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella being terrorized by Kane last week.
The show returns with Daniel Bryan making his way to the ring. He gets on the mic and thanks the audience. He said that ever since he won the Championship at SummerSlam last year and lost it to Randy Orton 30 seconds later, it has been an uphill battle. Thanks to the support of the WWE Universe, however, he was able to prevail and walk out of WrestleMania 30 as WWE Heavyweight Champion. He says that being a champion puts a target on his back and he had to fight people like Kane because of that. He then talks about how he has payed the price to be champion with his body, and drops a bombshell announcement that he will have to undergo neck surgery next week. He then says that there are people in WWE, like Triple H, Kane, and Stephanie McMahon, who are happy about this. This however, is not going to deter him. He promises that he is going to come back.
A video package plays highlighting Bray Wyatt and John Cena's rivalry.
Match: John Cena and The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family
The match starts out with Haroer and Jey Uso is the ring. Harper has the early momentum but Jey quickly gains the upper hand. Harper fights back with a dropkick and tags in Rowan. Rowan drives Uso to the corner and tags in Bray Wyatt. Bray Wyatt stomps Uso and tags in Harper. Harper shoves Uso to the corner and stomps him on the mat. Harper whips him into the opposite corner and delivers a hge chop/ He whips Uso again and goes for the splash. Uso moves and tags in Jimmy. Jimmy gains the momentum and delivers a Samoan Drop. Jimmy hits a corkscrew senton on Harper. He gets distracted by Rowan and Wyatt and Harper capitalize for a 2 count. Wyatt is tagged in and continues the beat down of Jimmy Uso. Harper is tagged back in. They double team Uso for a 2 count. Harper applies a headlock to Uso on the mat. Uso fights out but eats an elbow from Harper. Rowan is tagged in and hits a knee drop. He follows up by choking Uso with his boot on the mat. Bray is tagged and Jimmy Uso fights back. He is quickly stopped and thrown to the corner by Wyatt. Wyatt hits the big splash in the corner and sends Uso to the mat. Uso is sent off the ropes and fights back with a kick to the face of Wyatt. Cena is tagged in along with Rowan. Cena begins the 5 moves of doom but is interrupted by Harper. Harper meets a crossbody from Jimmy Uso. Wyatt gets in and eats a kick from Uso. Rowan gets back in and clears house. Cena takes down Rowan and goes for the STF but it is broken up by Wyatt. Wyatt sets Cena up for the Sister Abigail but eats a double kick to the face from both Usos. Wyatt rolls out of the ring. Harper tries to get involved but is also sent outside the ring. The Usos dive over the top rope onto Harper and Wyatt. Back in the ring Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment on Rowan for the 3 count.
WINNERS: John Cena and The Usos via Pinfall
After the match Wyatt gets on the mic and thanks John Cena for "showing him what he must do".
The show returns with Evolution making their way to the ring. Orton gets on the mic and says he's had enough and it's time to take the gloves off and put The Hounds of Justice to sleep. Triple H says that maybe Orton is right. He says that The Shield proved how good they were at Extreme Rules, but he already knew how good they were. He then says that The Shield has gotten too big for their own good and out of control, like a little kid swinging a stick at everyone they encounter. He then grants a rematch at Payback saying that Evolution will pick apart the Shield one by one, making an example especially out of Roman Reigns. As he talks trash, Triple H is blind sided by Seth Rollins. Reigns and Ambrose enter the ring and the three members of the Shield take out Evolution. Batista gets on the mic outside the ring and challenges Roman Reigns to a match later in the night.
The show returns with Naomi, Brie Bella, Eva Marie and Cameron
MATCH: Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
The match starts out with Natalya taking Nikki to the mat for a 1 count. Nikki fights back and gets Natalya in a headlock. She delivers several elbows to the face before being driven into the corner by Natalya. Nikki fights out with an elbow for a 2 count. The two exchange slaps in the middle of the ring and Natalya applies an abdominal stretch. Nikki reverses and applies an abdominal stretch of her own. Natalya fights out and pounds Nikki on the mat. Nikki gets on top of Natalya and slams her head off the mat. The two women shove each other and Nikki rolls up Natalya for a 1 count. Natalya fights back but Nikki rolls her up for the 3 count.
WINNER: Nikki Bella via Pinfall
MATCH: Curtis Axel vs. Sheamus
The match starts up with both men locking up. Sheamus takes Axel to the mat with a headlock. Axel fights back but is quickly stopped by Sheamus. Sheamus delivers a knee to the face of Axel for a 2 count. Sheamus delivers a European uppercut. Axel fights back off the ropes for a 2 count. He continues the offensive with stomps against the rope to Sheamus. Axel hits a dropkick. Sheamus fights back with a rolling senton. He goes to the top rope but is knocked off by Axel. Axek hits a neckbreaker from the top rope for a 2 count. Axel goes for the fisherman's suplex but Sheamus fights out. He sends Axel off the ropes and takes him out by the legs. Sheamus applies the Texas Cloverleaf and Axel taps.
WINNER: Sheamus via Submission
Ryback attacks Sheamus after the match.
The show returns with an impromptu match between Ryback and Sheamus. Ryback has Sheamus in a headlock. Sheamus fights outbut gets slammed by Ryback for a 2 count. Sheamus gets to his feet but gets caught with a scoop slam. Ryback goes for the splash but Sheamus gets his knees up. Sheamus sends Ryback to the corner. Ryback tries to powerbomb Sheamus but he fights out and delivers a high running knee to Sheamus. Ryback fights back and sends Sheamus to the apron. Sheamus lands on his feet and delivers Ten Beats to the Bodhran. Ryback fights back and slams Sheamus for a 2 count. Ryback loads up the meat hook, but Sheamus counters and hits the White Noise. Ryback ducks a Brogue kick and hits a spine buster on Sheamus for a 2 count. Sheamus is sent to the corner but fights out with an elbow. He hits a power slam for the 2 count. Sheamus gets to his feet and loads up the Brogue Kick by pounding his chest. Sheamus is distracted by Axel and Ryback hits the Meathook. Ryback goes for the Shellshock but Sheamus fights out and hits the Brogue Kick for the 3 count.
WINNER: Sheamus via Pinfall
The show returns with Stephanie McMahon making her way to the ring. She gets on the mic and addresses Daniel Bryan's announcement. She says that it is further proof that he is not an A+ player. His body just couldn't keep up with his heart. She then calls Bryan to the ring because she says she has something to tell him face to face.
Kane's music hits instead and Kane comes out dragging Daniel Bryan on the ground behind him. Kane drops him at the top of the ramp and the EMTs show up, put him on a stretcher and wheel him away.
The show returns with Daniel Bryan being loaded into an ambulance. Staphanie McMahon apologizes and said she had no idea that was going to happen. Brie Bella flips out and tells Stephanie to stay away.
MATCH: Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango w/Layla
The match starts out with the two locking up. Fansango applies a waistlock. Ziggler reverses into a headlock and hits a shoulder block off the ropes. Fandango fights back with a series of arm drags. Ziggler comes back with a dropkick but gets dumped outside the ring. Ziggler gets rolled back in the ring for a 2 count. Fandango delivers several blows to the back of Ziggler's head. He chokes Ziggler o nthe middle rope and hits a knee to the midsection off the ropes. Fandango follows with a suplex for a 2 count. Fandango applies a headlock. Ziggler fights out with a jawbreaker followed by an elbow. He splashes Fandango in the corner and delivers ten blows. Ziggler hits a neck breaker and goes for the famouser but Fandango reverses and slams Ziggler for the 2 count. Fandango goes to the top rope but gets knocked off by Ziggler. Ziggler hits the famouser for a 2 count. Layla distracts Ziggler and Fandango hits a heel kick and Ziggler turns around. Fandango gets distracted by Layla. Ziggler capitalizes and hits the Zig Zag for the 3 count.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via Pinfall
Fandango gets on the mic after the match and says he isn't mad about losing because Layla makes him feel like no other woman has ever made him feel. He says that while Ziggler may have won the match, Layla has won something much more important, his heart. He then tells her that he loves her and the proceed to make out.
The show returns with Hacksaw Jim Duggan making his way to the ring. He gets on the make and yells HOOOOO! He gets a "USA!" chant started. He says its good to back back on the show, especially after being stuck in the Legends House. Duggan is cut off by Alexander Rusev's music. Lana comes out and says that Duggan represents America, and like Britain, America's empire is crumbling. China has now surpassed the USA, as it now has the largest economy in the world. She says that Alexander Rusev is proud to represent Mother Russia and Vladimir Putin. Hacksaw then gets another "USA" chant going and Rusev makes his way to the ring.
Duggan winds up his iconic 2x4 and gets ready for action. Lana tells him he has one chance to beg for mercy. Rusev grabs the 2x4 and breaks it over his knee. LAna tells Rusev to crush. Rusev is about to crush Duggan and Big E's music hits. Big E comes to the ring and brawls with Rusev. Rusev hits a huge kick on Big E and sends him out of the ring.
A replay of The Shield's ambushes on Evolution from earlier in the night airs.
The show returns with Sandow making his way to the ring. He tells the audience to watch him on the Raw preshow. He says now he has the chance to air his grievances on live television. He is interrupted by Cody Rhodes music.
MATCH: Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes
The match begins with Sandow getting Rhodes in a waistlock. The two lock up and Sandow delivers an elbow to Rhodes. Rhodes is sent to the corner but reverses and rolls up Sandow for a 2 count. Sandow trips Rhodes and pounds him on the mat. Sandow hits a suplex for a 1 count. He applies thesleeper hold. Rhodes fights out and rolls up Sandow for the 2 count. Sandow trips Rhodes onto the middle rope and chokes him with it. Sandow hits the side Russian leg sweep. Rhodes moves out of the way of the elbow but Sandow keeps up the aggresive offensive. Rhodes hangs off the apron and Sandow delivers the Elbow of Disdain outside the ring. Sandow applies a headlock back in the ring. Rhodes fights back and hits a dropkick off the top rope. Rhodes goes for the Cross Rhodes but Sandow fights out and drives him to the corner. Rhodes rakes Sandow across the eyes and hits the disaster kick off the top rope for the 3 count.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes via Pinfall
A vignette plays for Bo Dallas.
The show returns with a replay of Daniel Bryan's announcing his upcoming neck surgery followed by the attack at the hands of Kane.
Bray Wyatt cuts a promo and says Cena's actions don't surprise him anymore. He says that humans are flawed and their greed causes them to not realize the paradise they live in. He asks when their fairytale would end. He recalls how John Cena said he would defeat Wyatt even if he was the last man standing. Wyatt says he likes the sound of that, seemingly challenging Cena to a last man standing match at Payback.
MATCH: Roman Reigns w/Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. Batista w/ Triple H and Randy Orton
The match starts out with Reigns getting Batista in the corner. They are separated and lock up. Batista delivers several shoulders but Reigns fights out and sends Batista into the opposite corner. Batista rolls out of the ring and pulls Reigns out of the ring. Batista slams Reigns into the barricade. Reigns reverses and slams Batista into the steps. Back in the ring Btista is sent to the corner. Reigns goes for the superman punch but Batista moves and takes control. He slams Reigns into 3 corners for a 2 count. Reigns is sent off the ropes and fights back with a clothesline. Triple H and Orton get on the apron and distract Reigns. Batista gains the advantage but eats a boot from Reigns in the corner. Reigns roles out of the ring and stares down Triple H and Orton. Rollins and Ambrose hit the suicide dive from out of nowhere. Reigns hits the dropkick to Batista as he hangs off the apron. Triple H gets Reigns in position for the Pedigree but Rollins jumps off the announce table to make the save.
The ref calls for the bell as turmoil ensues. The Shield take control and surround Evolution in the ring. Stephanie McMahon appears at the top of the ramp. The Authority's heel brigade empties from the locker room and gang up on The Shield. They subdue Roman Reigns and hold him position for a chair shot from Triple H. Roman Reigns breaks free and spears Triple H. The Shield regroups and clears the ring. Ryback is eventually the only one lef tin the ring and Reigns delivers the spear followed by the triple powerbomb from all 3 members of the Shield.
This was certainly a very emotional Raw as Daniel Bryan announced that he would be absent from the ring due to an upcoming neck surgery. There is no telling how long Daniel Bryan will be out, but rumor has it that he will be undergoing a minor surgery and his time away from the ring will be minimal. I hope that is true, as an extended time away from the ring will put his status as champion in serious danger. If anything, this injury will probably make Daniel Bryan rethink his in ring style. I'm predicting we're going to see Daniel Bryan return to the mat based technical style that he utilized in his indy days and earlier career with WWE. All we ever see anymore are his flashy, high flying moves, and rarely get to see him work as the true technician he is. A return to a more technical, submission based style would add a tremendous amount of credibility to his character and give the audience a reason to believe a man so small could defeat men twice his size.
Other than Bryan's bombshell announcement, The Shield delivered an awesome performance once again as their feud with Evolution really starts to heat up. The way they jumped Evolution at the shows opening highlighted the sheer brutality of the Shield while making them look tough as hell. The ending of Raw was perfect and was a classic babyface moment. Outnumbered and overpowered, The Shield managed to fight off all of the Authority's lackeys and come out on top. Tonight made The Shield look incredible and it will be interesting to see how WWE plans on keeping their momentum going in the weeks leading up to Payback.
Tonight also proved that WWE is starting to put more effort into making their midcard more than just filler matches. Sheamus' battle with Curtis Axel followed by Ryback were two exciting and very well executed matches. It isn't all the time we see Ryback have a decent match, but tonight he really took it to Sheamus and looked like he was actually a formidable opponent.
I can honestly say that, with the exception of Nikki Bella vs. Natalya, this episode was great TV and proves that the overall product of the WWE has improved significantly over the past year. Instead of 3 hours filled with boring promos and second rate matches, Raw has been consistent over the past few months with quality wrestling and interesting storylines. Not that it is anywhere near perfect, but at least Raw has once again become watchable, if not down right entertaining.
KEEP REFRESHING FOR UPDATES & LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!
Don't forget to call in to the live Raw Post Show on Mega Powers Radio immediately following tonight's episode and listen to the Smark Out Moment team's opinions on what transpired!