Payback is this Sunday and the final pieces of the puzzle were put into place.
The show opened with a touching tribute to the men and women that we have lost in support of their country. I dedicate my column, tonight, to my grandfather, Cots, who fought in Europe during World War II and who was (and still is) my inspiration. Gone but never forgotten.
Stephanie McMahon and Triple H then arrived on the scene to discuss the WWE World Title situation and other assorted topics. Stephanie welcomed the fans to a legendary edition of Raw. She explained tonight was all about choices. Stephanie said Daniel should come out and surrender the WWE World Title. Stephanie described how the WWE World Champion should compete, night after night, but Daniel couldn’t. Stephanie felt that Daniel’s body was a B+ and that just wasn’t good enough. Stephanie was certain that Daniel would do the right thing and surrender the title, tonight. The fans were screaming “No!”.
HHH stepped in and said Daniel might not want to give up the title but he simply didn’t have any choice. HHH then talked about performers that become Flashes in the Pan (like Daniel Bryan) and those that became Legends (like…hmm…HHH?). HHH said the wrestling world was about Evolution. HHH talked about the upcoming fight between Evolution and The Shield. HHH discussed the Contract Signing, later on. HHH gave The Shield an “out” if they didn’t sign the contract. HHH warned if The Shield did sign, they would Perish.
Stephanie then invited Brad Maddox (Raw’s GM) to come and join them. The Authority urged him to hurry down to the ring. HHH talked about the situation they were dealing with, from last week. The Shield were supposed to be banned but Brad made a choice to allow Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns to come down and be the Special Guest Commentators. HHH wanted answers. Brad said he was forced to allow them to come to ringside. He just didn’t have any choice. Stephanie said The Authority didn’t have a choice, either…
Kane strolled down to the ring after the music and pyro exploded. HHH popped Brad in the face and left him for the Big Red Monster. Kane toyed with Brad, a bit, before “teaching him a lesson”. Kane lifted Brad and hit the Chokeslam. He then took things to the next level by nailing the Tombstone Piledriver! The corner posts exploded and then Stephanie informed Brad that “You’re Fired!”. She is so her Daddy’s little girl. The Authority then left as medics checked on the now ex-General Manager, Brad Maddox.
It was time for another Bo-Lieve vignette. I like this kid. He’ll be in action, later on.
Cesaro (w/Paul Heyman) vs Rob Van Dam
Bad News Barrett came out to taunt RBD and watch the match. Cesaro jumped RVD, before the bell. Barrett joined the announce team and ripped off another great wrestler when he did a variation of the “It’s Me…It’s Me…It’s DDP” catchphrase, substituting BNB where “Diamond” Dallas Page had put in his initials. (In are wondering who I think the other person he ripped off was…it was a fantastic, yet-underrated performer by the name of “BAD NEWS” Brown aka the Original Ultimate Warrior — Stampede, late 70s/early 80s).
RVD hit the Split Legged Moonsault but Cesaro kicked out. Heyman was seriously nervous, by this point. European Uppercut by Cesaro but RVD with the Windmill Kick. RVD was going for another Split Legged or for the Five Star but Wade Barrett distracted him. Cesaro took advantage and used a German Suplex to pin RVD.
Your Winner: Cesaro
Raw Ranking: 3.0
After the match, Sheamus rushed down and clocked Cesaro with the Brogue Kick! Sheamus then shook Cesaro’s hand, which was a throwback to last week.
The WWE Rewind showed how Summer Rae screwed over Nikki Bella and Eva Marie during last week’s tag team match. A fast count gave the Funkadactyls an unfair win.
Eva Marie vs Summer Rae
The Summer Rae/Layla/Fandango Love Triangle was examined. Summer Rae went after Layla, who stole her man, Fanny. Nikki was in Eva Marie’s corner, for tonight’s match.
Eva Marie went off on Summer, a lot, but Summer gave as good as she got. Fandango and Layla (in the ugliest dress I think I have ever seen) came out to distract Summer Rae. Eva Marie rolled up Summer to get the 3.
Your Winner: Eva Marie
Raw Ranking: .50
Backstage, Batista and Randy Orton were chatting. Goldust and Cody Rhodes came in to ask The Authority for an Open Challenge Match. Cody mocked Randy and Batista for losing to The Shield, the team they beat to get Cody his job back. HHH came in and saw the brewing confrontation. HHH set up Orton and Batista vs the Rhodes Brothers, for a little later tonight. HHH had a special match in mind for this one. HHH then dismissed The Brotherhood.
The members of 3 1/2 MB were in the ring. Drew McIntrye was ready to battle…El Torito. Los Matadores were with their mascot/teammate.
Drew McIntyre vs El Torito
Sigh. Drew goes from being “The Chosen One” to this?
Torito did some good moves until Drew hit a Bundy Slam on the midget. Drew stalked the “Little Bull”. Drew was having fun tossing a little bull. JBL felt this was ridiculous and it was. Stall Suplex into a Fireman’s Carry. Drew went up the ropes for a Superplex. Diego and Fernando distracted Drew. Torito tripped Drew adn pinned Drew McIntyre!
Su Ganador (Your Winner): El Torito
Raw Ranking: 1.0
They tried to rip El Torito’s mask off but had to settle for the tail. JBL screamed that El Torito was “Nekkid”. That was one of the silliest things that I’ve seen since the days of Eugene.
The medic was looking at El Torito. He had to explain that he wasn’t a vet. They put an icepack on his…err…tail-lessness.
Bray Wyatt then took it from comedy to drama with his Hour Turner Entrance. Bray and John Cena will battle in a Last Man Standing Match on Sunday. Bray started singing, again. The fans were actually booing him, this time around. Bray said he did have the Whold World in his Hands. Bray felt everyone was leaning on him. Bray said we all have to make sacrifices, many of us not even realizing that we were giving up our individuality. He threw in several Poison song lyrics as he talked about being either the curse or the cure. Bray said he was the Necessary Evil that the world so needs. Bray wanted his “brothers and sisters” to stand next to him and his enemies to fall at his feet. Bray knew John Cena was an enemy to them all. Bray was certain he would be the Last Man Standing. Bray decided to take his wrath out on Jerry Lawler. He asked for a word from “The King”. Jerry declined to get in the ring with the Wyatts. Bray sent Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to ge Lawler. JBL got in the middle of things. Bray threatened JBL, which is never a good thing. He IS a bad *ss Texan, after all. John got up but got blasted by Luke. Erick sent JBL into a Harper Discus Clothesline. We Want the APA! Lawler was forced to his feet and ushered near the ring. Bray told his boys to set Lawler up. Michae; Cole called for medical help for JBL. Erick sat a chair for Lawler to sit in. Lawler walked to the chair and took his place. Bray knew Lawler and Cena were good friends.Bray knew Jerry helped John become a success. Bray knew Jerry fed the fans the lies about Cena. He asked Jerry if Lawler felt guilty. He called Lawler a liar. Bray wasn’t going to let Lawler get away with this. Bray was sorry for what was about to happen, next. Erick and Luke lifted and helf Jerry. Bray got ready to plant Lawler but John Cena rushed down and cleaned house. luke and Erick came back and over-powered John. Bray held Lawler in place by a boot to the face. Bray told John he was going to watch Lawler fall. He said it was all John’s fault. Bray went for Sister Abigail but The Usos rushed out to stop this devastation. The Wyatts bailed out and backed up the ramp. John said this was enough. Cena told Bray that Wyatt had just crossed some serious lines.Bray screamed that he was a God. Cena knew people listened to Bray but he wasn’t sure if Bray listened to his own words. Cena said Power had made Bray sick. Cena explained there was a difference between Necessary Evil and Just Plain Evil.Cena believed in himself and what he does. Cena felt Bray needed to be stopped and that would happen at Payback. Cena would bring Bray Wyatt to Justice at Payback. He said “Justice may be blind but Payback will be a B*tch!”
Lawler was so shaken up.
Zack Ryder came out with an American Flag. Nice to see Long Island Iced Z back. I miss his show on the old WWE Classics-on-Demand service. Zack started to talk about Memorial Day but was cut off by Lana. Dang, she makes blue look good. I’m so sick of hearing about Putin. She said it was time for “poo-neesh the Patriotic one”. She brought out Rusev.
Zack Ryder vs Rusev
Ah, we are back to the days of the Squash Match. Go Behind into a Throw by Rusev. Zack opened up on Rusv but he got closed faster than he opened. Rusev beat on Zack’s neck until Lana said to Crush. Accolade.
Your Winner (by Submission): Rusev
Raw Ranking: .5
Big E rushed down to battle Rusev. Rusev tore into the former Intercentinental Champ. Big E with the Stone Wall and La Bandera Clothesline. Rusev was sent to the floor as Big E waved Old Glory.
Stephanie McMahon talked with Alberto Del Rio, backstage. What was up with that?
Randy Orton and Batista (Evolution) vs Cody Rhodes and Goldust (The Brotherhood)
Cody and Batista to open. Batista kicked Cody and then threw hard Shoulders. Whip by Batista but Cody got the foot up. Kneelift by Batista into clubbing moves. Cody with the Goldustin Uppercut and tag to Goldy. Randy also got a tag. Randy threw hard bombs. La Magistral Cradle by Goldust into a Snap Powerslam. Tag to Cody. Elbow Drop off the ropes. Randy popped Cody and then went for the Corner Mount Punches. Cody came back with wild punches and kicks. The ref pulled him back. Randy went on the attack but Cody came back. Kitchen Sink by Randy. Stomp and tag to Batista. Batista ran Cody’s throat over the bottom rope. Brutal Short-Arm Clothesline by Batista. Batista Scooped up Cody but Rhodes escaped. Goldust took the tag and went wild on Batista, including hitting a Goldustin Uppercut. Randy kneed Goldy’s back and Batista hit the Spinebuster. It was time for a quick break.
Batista lifted Goldust and worked over the back of the Bizarre One. Batista dropped his weight onto Goldy’s back. Goldust came back and blasted both opponents. Goldy dove for a tag but Batista stopped him. He put down Goldust and almost pinned him. Springboard Back Elbow by Goldy. Tags on both sides. Cody with a Flying Clothesline. Kicks by Rhodes into a sharp punch. Springboard Missile Dropkick by Cody. 2 count. Cody flipped out of a Back Suplex and clocked Batista with the Disaster Kick. Cody went for the same move to Randy but Orton planted Cody with the RKO, on the fly. Randy came back and hit a second RKO to take out Cody Rhodes.
Your Winners: Wait a minute
Cody Rhodes was only Eliminated…so it turned into…
Goldust vs Randy Orton and Batista
No Holds Barred, 2-on-1 Handicap Match
Cody had to leave ringside. Goldy was stalked, on the floor. They brutalized Goldy. Back Drop Suplex, over the barricade, by Evolution. Randy sent Goldy into the retaining wall and dragged him towards the ring. Goldy was rolled into the ring. Randy with the Rope Assisted DDT attempt. Goldy escaped it but took a Spear from Batista. RKO by Orton. Batista Bomb by Big Dave. Batista took the cover to end this massacre.
Your Winners: Batista and Randy Orton
Raw Ranking (for the combined matches): 2.0
Bo Dallas was up next. It was Time to Bo-Lieve!
JBL was back at ringside. Jerry Lawler shook JBL’s hand to thank him.
Sin Cara vs Bo Dallas
This was a rematch of Bo’s re-debut match. Everyone acts like Bo has never been in the WWE before. Bo got on the stick and introduced himself to everyone. He so obviously resembles his brother, Bray Wyatt. Look at the eyes, mouthes and jaws.
Take down by Bo. He then ran around the ringside area. Slider Dropkick and Top Rope Dive by Sin Cara. Cara threw Bo back in the ring. Knife Edge Chops by Cara. Bo reversed a Whip into a Hammer Throw. 2 count. Suplex by Bo into the Rolling Knee Drops. Bo was his own biggest cheerleader. Sin Cara kicked away and rocked Bo with an Enziguri. Knife Edge Chops by Cara. Springboard Moonsault by Cara. 2 count. Backspring Elbow by Cara. Modified Samoan Drop by Sin Cara. Cara took too long going to the top. Bo dropped Cara across the top rope. Sliced Bread #2 aka The Bo-Dog.
Your Winner: Bo Dallas
Raw Ranking: 1.75
Bo with a Motivational Speech. Yawn.
After reviewing the assault and firing of Brad Maddox, Stephanie McMahon returned to confront Daniel Bryan. Stephanie brought up needing an active champion. She asked Daniel Bryan to come out and “Do the Right Thing”. Daniel came out with his neck in a surgical collar. The fans showed their love for the Underdog Champ. Daniel took the microphone. Stephanie said Daniel was doing so well. Stephanie felt Daniel still had a long recovery. Stephanie didn’t want to make Daniel a Martyr, so she didn’t want to strip him of the WWE World title. She wanted him to take the high road and surrender the title…to show his respect to the fans.
Daniel said his Wrestlemania win was the big pay-off. Daniel said the injury to his neck was worse than originally thought. Daniel called Stephanie a liar by saying she couldn’t control Kane. Daniel was about ready to hand over the titles and taking time off to recover. Stephanie said Daniel would get another title shot, when he was well. Daniel said there was no shame in handing over the titles. Daniel said this was all about Stephanie trying to take the titles away form him, This all started when Daniel beat HHH and then won the titles. Daniel said it wouldn’t mean anything if he just handed the belts over. Daniel said he would not insult the fans, that way. Daniel said he was about to tell Stephanie a word that she probably never heard before…”No!”.
Stephanie said Daniel was letting his ego get in the way of common sense. Stephanie brought up that Daniel’s wife, Brie, put her hands on Stephanie, two weeks ago. Stephanie had gotten in Brie’s face and Brie shoved The Princess. Stephanie manipulated the situation by giving Daniel a simple choice: Surrender the Belts or watch his wife get FIRED!
Raw looked at Alicia Fox’s win, last week, over Paige.
Alicia Fox vs Emma
Fox will challenge Paige, at Payback, for the Divas Title. NXT, this week, will have a Generations Divas title match as Charlotte (Flair) will have her dad, Ric Flair, in her corner as she battles Natalya (Neidhart). Nattie isn’t coming alone. She’s bringing Uncle Bret (Hart)! I will so watch the replay. I’ll be at Graduation when it airs live.
Emma with a less-than-graceful entrance. By the way, Michael Cole, Lost in Space was in the 1960s, not 1950s.
Fox pushed Emma and went for a kick. Emma caught the leg and hit a Clothesline. Whip by Fox. The Dil-Emma (Tarantula) by Emma. Emma-Mite Sandwich, by Emma, in the corner. Fox bailed out of the ring and started to leave. It was a ploy to bring Emma outside. Fox with a Running Boot. Paige watched on the monitor. Fox put Emma back in the ring and got a two count. Fox messed with Emma and yelled at hte crowd. Slaps by Fox but Emma nailed Fox with one. Roll Up by Emma!
Your Winner: Emma
Raw Ranking: .5
Fox jumped Emma, after the match. She just destroyed the cute little Aussie girl. Fox brought her back in the ring and dropped knees to the back. Gut Wrench Backbreaker by Fox. Fox then dumped Emma through the ropes as the boos rose from the crowd.Fox then came to the announce table. She messed with several guys and took the ring bell. She kept ringing the annoying darn thing. She screamed that she was not a loser. Tonight, she was.She gave some poor grip a Mongo-Wedgie. Fox went under the ring and got some sodas. She shook them up and sprayed some guy in the audience. I can’t stand this character. Fox did her Stone Cold impression iwth the soda cans. The annoucners asked for them to got o break. She apologized to the guy she assaulted.
It was announced that El Torito and Hornswoggle would battle in a Mask vs Hair Match as part of the Payback Kick Off Show. I am SO going to work on the laptop and keep the Desktop available for this battle.
Damien Sandow came out dressed as Davy Crockett. Seriously? First, Magneto…then Crockett. No, not the son of Jim Crockett, the dude that gave his all at the Alamo.
Davy Crockett (King of the Wild Frontier) vs Adam Rose
Rose had all his RoseBuds in tow. Rose did the typical goofy entrance. JBL really doesn’t like Rose and his crew. The bell rang and Damien//Davy worked over the arm. Rose with wild rolls nad the Rose Pedals. Davy/Damien worked over the neck. Rose with a hard kick and Shoulder Block. The match was interrupted by the arrival of Jack Swagger. He and Zeb Colter had Rose’s Lemon buddy. Damien went for a cheap win. Rose with the Party Fowl (1%er).
Your Winner: Adam Rose
Raw Ranking: -1.5
Jack Swagger got in and jumped Rose. Rose with a Spinebuster to Swagger. Rose rolled over Jack and hammered away. Jack tried to escape but Rose wasn’t letting him go. Rose said “No One touches my Lemon”. Rose then switched in to Party Mode as the RoseBuds returned.
Sheamus vs Alberto Del Rio
Sheamus will defend the US title against Cesaro, on Sunday.
The action had gone in and out of the ring. Sheamus with wild punches and the Double Sledges. Sheamus charged and hit hte post. Del Rio kicked Sheamus’ head into the post. 1-2-no.Del Rio kept going after the head. He slapped Sheamus which ended up getting Del Rio nailed with the Irish Curse Backbrekaer. 2 count. Enziguri by Del Rio as Sheamus went for the Cloverleaf. Sheamus came back with White Noise. Bulldog Bounce Powerslam by the US Champ. Sheamus was ready to end this with the Brogue Kick but he was too stunned to pull it off. Step-Up Enziguri by Del Rio. Shotgun-sounding Superkick by Del Rio. 2 count. The ref checked on Sheamus.Sheamus refused to quit the match. Del Rio wanted the Cross Armbreaker but Shemaus pushe dout and nailed the Brogue Kick.
Your Winner: Sheamus
Raw Ranking: 2.0
Paul Heyman mocked Sheamus and then talked about the Undertaker loss, again. Paul wondered if Sheamus had an issue with him. Cesaro came out of nowhere to assault Sheamus. Cesaro “Iced the Cake” by putting down Sheamus with the Neutralizer.
The Contract Signing:
Michael Cole was in the ring to supervise this Powder Keg. The Shield cut off Cole to make their entrances. Seth, Dean and Roman all got in the ring and excused Mr. Cole. Dean said this would be the last time you would see Evolution and The Shield in the same arena at he same time. Dean was ready to get rid of Evolution, for good. Roman threw chairs around. Seth said there wasn’t going to be any sitting at the table together, signing papers. Roman finished clearing the ring of the furniture.All 3 members of the Shield were ready to sign but they were stopped by Evolution’s arrival.
HHH wanted everyone to realize what was about to happen. HHH said The Shield was signing their exit papers from Monday Night Raw. HHH said he was a good judge of talent. HHH knew The Shield would have been the future of the WWE, if they hadn’t thrown it all away. HHH gave them one last chance to get out of the match. HHH was sure that Sunday would be the last that anyone would see of The Shield. The three Shielders didn’t hesitate to sign. Seth first, then Dean (who fumbled with the pen) and finally Roman. Then, in a move of pure defiance, Roman pitched the clipboard and pen at Evolution. Randy Orton, HHH and Dave Batisa signed off on the contract. Roman cut off HHH and said why didn’t they just fight. Evolution didn’t have to be asked twice, or so it seemed. HHH looked to be taking his boys otthe back but suddenly all Hell broke loose. This one is going to be Bowling Shoe Ugly, on Sunday. Seth with a wicked Flip Dive. Dave then took out Dean. Superman Punch, by Roman, to Batista. HHH cracked Roman, in the ribs, with a sledge hammer. Randy with an RKO to Seth. Dean also got planted. HHH busted Roman in the head with the sledge hammer. Roman tumbled out to the floor. HHH then cracked both Dean and Seth with the sledge hammer. To prove a point, Evolution used the Sword of Justice Triple Powerbomb to put Roman Reigns through the table!