In the final episode of Raw before Payback, Daniel Bryan has been ordered by Stephanie McMahon to appear tonight and surrender his championship. Besides that, expect to see the final wrap up of various feuds heading into Payback including John Cena and the Wyatt Family, and Evolution and The Shield.
Tonight's show starts off with a video honoring the U.S. Armed Forces. Tonight's Raw is dedicated to all the men and women who served and died for this country in combat.
Stephanie McMahon and Triple H make their way to the ring to open the show. Stephanie gets on the mic and welcomes the WWE Universe to Raw. She says that tonight is all about choices, especially where Daniel Bryan is concerned. She says that Daniel Bryan is the people's champion, but he is unable to compete because his body is a B+. She then says that Daniel Bryan will do the right thing and surrender the belts. Triple H gets on the mic and reiterates Stephanie's point about Bryan being unable to compete. He says that every generation has superstars who become legends, but unfortunately Daniel Bryan is not one of them. He then plugs the match between Evolution and The Shield. He announces that their will be a contract signing with Evolution and The Shield. Stephanie gets back on the mic and calls Brad Maddox down to the ring.
Maddox comes to the ring and Triple H reprimands him for allowing Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to be guest commentators for the match between Reigns and Batista. Stephanie McMahon says that she understands that Maddox felt that he didnt have a choice, but they now don't have a choice either. Kane's music hits. Maddox turns to Triple H and gets laid out with a right hand. Kane gets to the ring and Stephanie tells him to teach Maddox a lesson. Kane chokeslams Maddox and follows up with a tombstone. Stephanie then tells Maddox that he's fired.
A vignette for Bo Dallas plays.
MATCH: Cesaro vs. RVD
The match is anout to start and Bad News Barrett's music hits.
The bell rins and Cesaro attacks Rvd. Cesaro hits a European uppercut. RVD is sent off the ropes and hits a kick to the head of Cesaro for a 2 count. Cesaro fights back and hits RVD with the no leverage slam. RVD is sent to the corner and Cesaro hits a European uppercut. RVD is sent to the opposite corner and fights out with an Elbow. RVD sends Cesaro over the top rope with a clothesline. RVD goes for a moonsault off the apron, but Cesaro catches him and slams him against the barricade.
The show returns with Cesaro with RVD in a cover. RVD kicks out at 2 and Cesaro tries to cover him 2 more times. Cesaro gets RVD in a gorilla press and slams him to the mat. Cesaro applies the sleeper hold. RVD fights out and hits a dropkick on Cesaro. Van Dam goes for a cover but Cesaro kicks out. RVD hits the rolling thunder for the 2 count. RVD goes to the top rope and hits a flying kick for a 2 count. Cesaro is sent out of the ring and RVD dives on him over the top rope. Barrett tries to interfer but eats a kick from RVD. BAck in the ring RVD hits a split leg moonsault for the 2 count. Cesaro hits an uppercut but RVD fights back with a spinning heel kick. RVD gets distracted by Bad News Barrett. Cesaro capitalizes and hits a German suplex for the 3 count.
WINNER: Cesaro via Pinfall
Sheamus comes to the ring after the match and Brogue Kicks Cesaro.
The show returns with Eva Marie and the Bella Twins in the ring.
MATCH: Eva Marie vs. Summer Rae
Eva slaps Summer Rae across the face. She delivers a forearm and sends Summer down to the mat. Summer RAe reverses and sends Eva Marie into the corner. She tosses Eva Marie to the mat for a 2 count. Summer RAe continues the assault by slamming her face repeatedly into the mat. Fandango's music hits and Layla and Fandango make their way to the top of the ramp. They make out much to the dismay of Summer Rae. Eva Marie capitalizes on the distraction and rolls up Summer Rae for the 3 count.
WINNER: Eva Marie via Pinfall
Randy Orton and Batista are shown talking backstage in Triple H's office. Cody Rhodes and Goldust show up and say they want to talk to Triple H because they aren't on the card tonight. The Rhodes brothers exchange insult with Orton and Batista. Triple H shows up and sets up a match between The Rhodes Brothers against Orton and Batista.
MATCH: Drew Mcintyre vs. El Torito
Torito goes for a crossbody but is caught by McIntyre. He throws Torito into the air but Torito reverses into an armdrag. McIntyre catches Torito again and slams him to the mat. McIntyre goes for a superplex off the top rope but is distracted by Los Matadores. Torito fights out and rolls up McIntyre for the 3 count.
WINNER: El Torito via Pinfall
Hornswoggle attacks Torito after the match and rips his tail off.
Los Matadores and El Torito are shown backstage with a WWE doctor trying to reattach El Torito's tail.
The Wyatt's come to the ring to cut a promo. Bray gets on the mic and starts singing. He says that he truly has the whole world in his hands. He says that deep down he only wants what's best for the WWE Universe. Unfortunately, he says, what's best for us isn't always the easiest. He asks if he is the poison or the cure. He then says that he is the necessary evil that the world needs and his true brothers and sisters will stand by his side, but is enemies will bow to his feet. He says that John Cena is everybody's enemy.
Wyatt then calls out Jerry Lawler and asks to have a word with him. Lawler refuses and Harper and Rowan go to confront him. JBL gets up to defend Lawler and gets annihilated by Harper and Rowan. Lawler eventually gets in the ring and is seated in a folding chair next to Wyatt. Wyatt asks him if its true that him and Cena are friends. He then accuses Lawler of supporting Cena without ever questioning his morality. Wyatt insists that he has helped ruin thousands of lives with his support of Cena. Harper and Rowan then grab Lawler. Wyatt is about to attack him when Cena's music plays. Cena comes to the ring but is quickly taken down by Harper and Rowan. Wyatt then says that what he is about to do is Cena's fault. Wyatt sets up Lawler for the Sister Abigail but the Usos come to the ring and save Lawler. Cena and the Usos clear the ring of the Wyatt's.
Cena gets on the mic and says that Wyatt has crossed a serious line. He says that Wyatt has tasted power and let it corrupt him. Cena continues, saying that Wyatt isn't a necessary evil, he is simply evil. Cena then says no matter what, Wyatt must be stopped and at Payback he will bring Wyatt to justice.
MATCH: Zack Ryder vs. Rusev
Zack Ryder is about to say something about Memorial Day but gets interrupted by Lana. Lana talks smack on the U.S. and says that all who resist Reusev will be dealt with harshly. Rusev then comes out and says something is Russian.
WINNER: Rusev via Submission
The match begins with Rusev throwing Ryder to the mat. Ryder fights back but is quickly taken down by Rusev. Rusev stomps on his back and applies The Accolade for the submission victory.
Big E comes to the ring when Rusev refuses to break the Accolade. Rusev dominates Big E at first, but Big E fights back and knocks Rusev out of the ring. Rusev retreats and Big E waves the American flag in the ring.
Stephanie McMahon is shown backstage talking to Alberto Del Rio.
MATCH: Randy Orton and Batista vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust
The match begins with Batista and Cody RHodes. Rhodes is sent to the corner. He fights back with a kick to the face. Batista fights back but Rhodes reverses into the falling uppercut. Goldust is tagged in. Batista fights back and tags in Orton. Goldust hits a powerslam for a 2 count and tags in Cody. Rhodes delivers several blows but Orton reverses. Rhodes fights back and gets Orton in the corner. Rhodes goes off the ropes but gets hit with a knee to the midsection. Batista is tagged in and hammers on Rhodes. He htis a clothesline for the 2 count. Rhodes tries to fight back but eats an elbow to the face, Batista goes for a slan but fights out and tags in Goldust. Goldust hits several clotheslines but gets hit from behind by Orton and Batista hits a big spinebuster. Goldust roles out of the ring and Orton is tagged in.
The show returns with Batista in control of Goldust. Batista drives his knee into Goldust's back. Goldust fights back but meets a clothesline for a 2 count. Goldust is sent to the corner and hits a back elbow. Both en make the tag and COdy Rhodes hits a clothesline on Orton. He is sent over the top rope but lands on the apron. He hits a missile dropkick off the top rope for a 2 count. Rhodes hits a disaster kick n Batista. He goes for one on Orton but Orton hits an RKO from out of nowhere. Orton picks up Rhodes and gives him another RKO.
After Rhodes is pinned it is announced that this is actually an elimination match. Goldust must now face Batista and Orton in a no holds barred handicap match.
Batista and Orton attack Goldust and drive him into the barricade. Orton throws Goldust back into the ring and goes for a Vintage Orton. Goldust fights out but meets a spear from Batista. Orton hits an RKO and Batista hits a Batista Bomb for the 3 count.
WINNER: Randy Orton and Batista via Pinfall.
The show returns with Sin Cara in the ring.
MATCH: Bo Dallas vs. Sin Cara
The two lock up and Bo Dallas hits a fireman's carry. Dallas rolls out of the ring and celebrates. Sin Cara hits a baseball slide follwoed by a crossbody to the outside. Back in the ring Dallas reverses an Irish Whip into the turnbuckle for the 2 count. He hits a suplex followed by a series of rolling knees. Dallas hits an elbow but Sin Cara reverses with a kick to the back if the head. Sin Cara ducks the clothesline and hits a moonsault off the the middle rope. Dallas throws him off the ropes and hits a springboard elbow. Bo Dallas fights back and hits the "Bo-Dog" for the 3 count. Dallas does a victory lap around the ring.
WINNER: Bo Dallas via Pinfall
The show returns with Stephanie McMahon making her way to the ring. She gets in on the mic and calls Daniel Bryan down to the ring. Bryan's music hits and he makes his way to the ring wearing a neck brace. Stephanie says that she could simply strip him of the title, but she doesn't want him to become a martyr. She says that they need to hear him say that he is not able to give the people what they want and surrender the belts. Bryan gets on the mic and says that winning the championship is the result of years of hard work. He says that his neck injury is worse than originally thought. He points out that Stephanie McMahon said she has no control over Kane, but what happened earlier with Maddox proved she is a liar. Bryan says there is no shame in handing over the title, except that Stephanie made it seem like it was about him, when it was really about the Authority wanting to strip him of the title ever since he won it. He then tells her NO! he will not hand over the championship.
Stephanie McMahon then says that she can't believe he is buying into what the audience is telling him. Stephanie then reminds Daniel Bryan that two weeks ago, Brie Bella put her hands on her when Bryan was being loaded into the ambulance. She then gives Bryan an alternative. He can either hand over the belts at Payback, or Brie Bella will be fired.
MATCH: Alicia Fox vs. Emma
The match begins with the two women locking up. Emma catches a kick and clotheslines Alica Fox to the mat. Emma hits the "DilEmma". She then hits the Emmalite sandwich to Fox in the corner. FOx then pretends to make her way backstage but turns around and kicks Emma in the face when Emma pursues her. Fox roles Emma back in the ring for a 2 count. She sends Emma to the corner. Emma ducks a kick from Fox and rolls her up for the 3 count.
WINNER: Emma via Pinfall.
Fox attacks emma after the match and drives her into the barricade. She sends Emma back in the ring and hits a backbreaker. She then picks Emma up and throws her threw the middle rope. Alicia then throws another tantrum outside the ring ans beats up a WWE crew member. She then throws soda all over herself and the first row of the audience.
Damien Sandow comes out dressed up as Davy Crockett.
MATCH; Damien Sandow vs. Adam Rose
The match begins with Sandow getting Rose in a wristlock. Rose gets out and rolls around the ring. Rose hits an elbow and does the Rose Pedal between the 2 ropes. Sandow is sent to the mat but Jack Swagger's music hits. Swagger and Zeb Colter come to the top of the ramp with one of the members of the Exotic Express in their clutches. Sandow tries to roll up Rose but he fights out and hits his finisher for the 3 count.
WINNER: Adam Rose via Pinfall
Swagger attacks Rose after the match. Rose reverses with a big spinebuster and beats up Swagger.
MATCH: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
The match begins with Del Rio driving Sheamus to the corner. Del Rio comes out on top and delivers several kicks to Sheamus. Sheamus reverses with several blows. He hits a rolling senton for a 2 count. Sheamus goes to the middle rope and hits a knee drop. Del Rio crawls to the apron and Sheamus delivers Ten Beats to the Bodhran. Sheamus drives Del Rio's head into the announce table and rolls Del Rio into the ring. Del Rio kicks Sheamus in the face as Sheamus enters the ring.
The show returns with Del Rio in control. He chokes Sheamus on the middle rope. Sheamus fights back and hits Del Rio with several axe handle strikes. Del Rio sidesteps Sheamus and sends his shoulder into the ring post. Del Rio then kicks Sheamus in the head. Sheamus fights back with a backbreaker for a 2 count. Del Rio hits another kick and follows up with a big forearm. Sheamus fights back with the White Noise follwoed by a big slam. Sheamus loads up the Brogue Kick but is holds his head as if he had a concussion. Del Rio hits an enzguri for a 2 count. Del Rio goes for the cross armbreaker but Sheamus fights out and hits the Brogue Kick for the 3 count.
WINNER: Sheamus via Pinfall
Paul Heyman gets on the mic after the match and trash talks Sheamus. Cesaro attacks Sheamus from behind and assaults Sheamus' already injured head. He hits the neutralizer and leaves the ring with Heyman. Heyman can be heard saying "Now you got the advantage".
The show returns with Micheal Cole in the ring for the contract signing. The Shield comes out first. Ambrose gets on the mic and says that this is the last time the WWE Universe will see Evolution and The Shield on Raw ever again because The Shield is going to end Evolution's career. Roman Reigns begins throwing the chairs and tables out of the ring as Rollins talks trash on Evolution.
Evolution comes out and Triple H says that everyone is witnessing the last time anyone will see The Shield on Monday Night Raw. Triple H says that he remembers when they first started with WWE, and knew they were the future of the company. Now, however, they are about to throw it all away. He gives them one more chance to back out of the match. Rollins signs the contract, followed by Ambrose, followed by Reigns. Reigns drops the contract outside the ring and Triple H's feet and all three members of Evolution sign it as well. Triple H tries to talk trash but Roman Reigns tells him to get in the ring and fight. Evolution gets up on the apron. Triple H teases walking away, but then Evolution gets in the ring and starts fighting. The Shield clears out Orton and Triple H. Reigns hits the superman punch on Batista. Triple H gets out the sledgehammer and hits Reigns. He is stopped by Ambrose and Rollins, but Evolution quickly gains the upper hand. They drag Reigns outside and triple powerbomb him through the announce table.
This episode had some great segments and matches, and some not so great. Over half the show was made up of filler matches which is understandable since its less than a week before a PPV. The highlight of the show was definitely Bray Wyatt's promo with Jerry Lawler. The Wyatt Family definitely delivered and were made to seem absolutely bats**t insane. John Cena showed off his exceptional skill on the mic and seemed legitimately disturbed by the actions of Bray Wyatt. I hope that WWE delivers a shocking moment with Wyatt beating Cena on Sunday, but I'm not holding my breath.
The situation with Daniel Bryan is interesting, and I love the drama involving Brie Bella, but I feel that WWE creative is really dropping the ball on what could be a very momentous and memorable moment. In my opinion, Daniel Bryan's appearance should have been the main event tonight, not a midcard segment. When your world champion is faced with being stripped of his title because of a devastating injury, it deserves to be the focus of the show. Shield vs. Evolution is an important match, but not as important as what is happening with Daniel Bryan. This is a chance for creative to really kick off the "Reality Era" with a storyline that truly blurs the line between kayfabe and reality. Instead, we got a half-assed in-ring segment in the middle of the show. Again, I like the concept and the dilemma that Bryan faces in choosing between the title and his wife's job, I just think it was poorly executed and misplaced. I'm not one for wrestling conspiracy theories, but it seems like someone backstage is still hesitant to push Bryan as the new face of the company. If this injury was played off right, it could have made Daniel Bryan bigger than he ever was. Instead, it seems like we are going to get another mediocre storyline in which Daniel Bryan gets screwed by the Authority.
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