The PG Era Raw Rant: 4.28.14

When last we left our heroes, the times
were changing. A man who seemed retired and off to the front office
found his inner demons and unleashed them. The hero began to wonder
if he’d been alive long enough to see himself become a villain. And
two men found themselves a step away from gold, but the one who got
away was the biggest story of them all. As we enter the home of the
Viper, the previous champion, what will the current champion do? And
what will everyone else get ready as we prepare to go extreme?
The PG Era Rant for Raw, April 28,
2014.
Live from St. Louis, MO.
Your hosts haven’t changed since I
started this gig.

Pre-Show News and Notes, for those just
reading this and not watching:
  1. Your guest panelist is Santino
    Marella.
  2. Hugh Jackman is in the house. If
    he interacts with Zack Ryder, I’ll mark.
  3. The Usos will defend the titles
    against Ryback and Curtis Axel.
  4. Roman Reigns faces Randy Orton,
    with everyone teased at ringside.
  5. Damien Sandow appears to be on
    Superstars. It looks like Sin Cara’s the opponent, but the lighting
    is normal.
  6. As a reminder: Wade Barrett faces
    Rob Van Dam tonight. Winner goes against Big E Langston for the
    title.
  7. Superstars spoiler: Natalya vs.
    Tamina.
  8. Alex Riley compares Evolution to a
    team of Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron. Which one’s which?
  9. Emma and her pink Cobra show up on
    the Pre-Show. Santino almost calls her his girlfriend. She knocks
    out Alex Riley.
We open with a look back at the 3-on-1
main event, as chosen by the fans.
As we go live, the cage surrounds the
ring, complete with Ominous Music™. This brings out John Cena,
showing much less of his carefree spirit than usual. We get a
rundown of tonight’s highlights (Reigns/Orton! Usos/Rybaxel!
Stephanie apologizes!) as Cena stares off into the distance. Cena:
“Why?” It brings more boos. He keeps asking. The point is: why
did the WWE fans want a handicap match? What did he do to deserve
that? This brings a “You Suck” chant. Cena says that he was
given a chance at a fair fight or no chance at all, but… why that?
Because Bray Wyatt wanted to show how you felt? The fans
overwhelmingly chose to give no chance, and last week Cena had to go
1-on-3. He quotes the line of “die a hero / live to be a villain”,
and now he believes it. See, it was years ago in St. Louis (that
gets a cheer) when Cena was drafted from SmackDown to Raw. And they
were so loud that night – the loudest ovation he ever had. But
times have changed. It’s not the fans’ fault – change happens.
Cena remembers he’s had good times and tough times. But no matter
what, he never abandoned the WWE and he put the fans first. So,
seriously, why Bray Wyatt? Cena knows the score: he can’t do this
forever. And he agrees with those who want to see it happen, because
he knows the next generation is ready to carry it. Daniel Bryan, the
Shield, Cesaro… he sees greatness in them. (Crowd: YES!) He even
mentions Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn. He knows they have passion
for the WWE and for the fans. But Bray Wyatt? He’s a dangerous man.
He’s not like them. Bray is a mystery, and his speech may be
captivating, but he has no heart. His passion is himself, not the
fans. So… why is Cena in the cage? Because on Sunday, he will
have Bray to himself – and Wyatt’s message will be contained. He
hears the singing, and he believes that if Wyatt wins, his message
grows. And with a guy like Bray Wyatt, if he takes on the world, the
world’s in trouble.
And this brings out Bray Wyatt for a
rebuttal. But first, a child is singing. The crowd is half-singing
and half-booing. The single voice gets a chorus. And as the lights
come back up, it’s a gospel choir on the stage. The crowd is
chanting NO. And as they finish, the transmission break leads to
Bray singing as he heads to the ring, lantern and Family with him.
They walk to the ring – choir, too. “He’s got the whole CeNation
in his hands”. “He’s got the Big Bad Monster in his hands”.
The crowd boos this as the lights go down again and Wyatt is seated.
And when the lights come back up, the whole choir has sheep masks on.
All of them just staring at Cena, who seems ready to throw up. Even
Sign Guy looks disgusted. One of the kids sits on Wyatt’s lap. Bray
just starts laughing maniacally. “Can’t you hear them, John?”
Bray’s laughter is the only noise – even the crowd is eerily quiet
– as the camera focuses on the little kid on his lap. Kids in the
crowd try a Cena chant as we cut out.
Great visual, and one of the
creepiest things Raw has had in some time, but… where are they
going with this? What’s the point? A double turn? Fine. But we
all know Vince won’t allow Cena to turn heel. Let me give you a
quote I got from my minion: “I told you. Endgame- make John Cena
LITERALLY Jesus Christ. Only better, because EVEN JESUS was
brainwashed by Wyatt.” I have a different idea. I’ll get to it in
a future How I’d Book It.
Let’s
give that a replay.
WWE Tag Team Championships: Ryback
and Curtis Axel (challengers) v. Jimmy and Jey Uso (champions).

This match gets its own hashtag. Interesting. Jimmy has paint on
his right side. Axel and Jey start. A corner tangle allows a chop
by Axel, but Jey fires back. Jey with a flying forearm for two.
Ryback tags in, and he shoves Jey’s face and trash talks. Jey fires
back with right hands. Ryback gets the advantage with a slam, but
the splash misses. Jimmy in, and a double superkick sends Ryback
out. Axel is caught coming in and bails, and the Usos do a double
plancha. Jey appears to hurt his ankle on the landing. We go to
break on that. (Author’s note: Jey appeared to have
trouble clearing the top rope on his dive.)
Tag Team Championship, part two.
We return with Ryback on the second rope as Jimmy is face in peril.
Doctors are attending to Jey as Axel comes off with a second-rope
elbow for two. Axel to the armbar as JBL says they should’ve taken a
countout. Axel works the arm of Jimmy. A whip is reversed as Jey
goes back to the apron. Axel with a kneelift for two. Ryback in,
and he gets a press into a powerslam for two, two, and one. Axel
gets in as Jimmy’s on the corner, and both men climb. A double
superplex try, but Jimmy fights out of it ad headbutts away. Jimmy
dumps Ryback, tosses Axel onto Ryback, and slinks down to try to make
the tag. Hot tag Jey, who says why not and dives onto Axel for two.
Uppercuts to Axel, and he pounds away in the corner. Ryback is
caught with a superkick and Axel with a Samoan Drop. Jey drags
himself to the corner and delivers the Rikishi hip check for two.
Ryback tags himself in, and Axel with a Saito suplex. Ryback gets a
standing spinebuster for two. Ryback wants the Meathook, but he
charges into a superkick for two. Jey chops away on Ryback, but
Ryback catches him on a whip with a lariat. Shell Shock is set up,
but Jey with a sunset flip for two. Ryback clubs away and brings
Axel in. Jimmy tags himself in as Ryback is disposed. Perfectplex
to Jey, but Jimmy’s legal, and the Superfly Splash keeps the gold at
11:21. **1/2
Commentary puts over the Usos’ guts and heart.
So
the show isn’t on DirecTV or DISH Network, but it’s on the WWE
Network and cable PPV. DO EET.
Hugh
Jackman in the house tonight! Plus, Roman Reigns faces Randy Orton!
Adam
Rose wants to bring you onto the Exotic Express where it’s party time
ALL the time! His first match is next week!
Backstage,
Cesaro talks to Paul Heyman about something. Heyman says he’s
disappointed in RVD speaking out against the hand that fed him.
Heyman risked his reputation on RVD, and RVD is under Heyman’s skin.
The Undertaker got under Heyman’s skin, and we know what happened
next. Heyman’s not offended – RVD is right. Heyman can’t be
trusted. He’s unethical. But Heyman is also successful. Cesaro’s
convinced he made the right choice, and they shake hands.
Another
look back, this one to Kane’s attack on Daniel Bryan. “Kane! You
bastard!” Still a great line. So tonight, Stephanie McMahon will
apologize to Daniel Bryan.
Raw
is in my neck of the woods again on June 23.
We’re
backstage with a slow pan to Kane’s mask in its glass case. And
that’s it. Lawler believes this means Kane is not in the building
tonight.
Sheamus
v….
Wait,
never mind, Titus O’Neil attacks him from behind and throws him into
the barricade over and over again before introductions. The referee
demands they bring it in the ring. He continues the ground and pound
until the ref breaks it up and checks on Sheamus.
Sheamus
v. Titus O’Neil.

O’Neil stays on Sheamus and backs him into the opposite corner with
kneelifts. O’Neil jumps back in, with the ref constantly separating
him, until Sheamus lands a Brogue Kick out of nowhere to win in 37
seconds. Ouch. There goes your cred, Titus.
We
look back at how Hugh Jackman tried to make up with Dolph Ziggler.
Damien Sandow got involved, one tweet led to another, and… well,
Jackman is coming up next, so let’s see what happens.
Kofi
Kingston does a WWE Network tutorial, playing up how it’s essentially
WWE Netflix.
If
you can’t see yourself as a winner, you’ll never be one. So Bo-Lieve
in yourself!
Dolph
Ziggler is in the ring. Dolph calls spring his favorite time of year
– the warm weather, the bikini babes, the superhero movies. He’s
excited about X-Men: Days of Future Past, and we get a mini-trailer.
This leads to Dolph introducing Hugh Jackman! Jackman signs an
autograph on his way to the ring. Jackman warms the crowd up before
declaring it’s glad to be back. (He doesn’t try to hide his Aussie
accent.) He says he’s done big things in his career, but Raw is the
excitement. It’s because of the live crowd, the intensity, and the
anything-can-happen atmosphere. Dolph: “Funny you should say
that.” Dolph reminds us that last time Jackman was here, he got
decked. (He throws in a quick Ryder reference.) Jackman didn’t want
to talk about it, but hey, Dolph says if you’re gonna get punched
out, why not by Wolverine? And it was a heck of a moment, too. The
two men bury the hatchet and shake on it.
But
wait… this brings out Damien Sandow dressed as Magneto. Dolph:
“You serious, bro?” Magneto announces that the greatest
mastermind in cinema is being portrayed by someone actually
intelligent! Sandow is here so that the “inferior insects” can
see him in his glory. Sandow/Magneto sees the fans trembling at the
sight of him. In the ring is a blond half-wit trembling because he
is starstruck. Sandow says Dolph looks ridiculous. (Dolph: “You
tripped on your cape when you said that.”) Sandow addresses “Hugh
– excuse me, Wolverine.” He says if Jackman is a mutant. The
point is, tonight, Jackman and Dolph will meet the same fate.
“What?” “I don’t know, I don’t speak jive.” The crowd
starts a chant of some sort. Jackman mocks Sandow’s costume as
Magneto… er, Sandow… anyway, they strike poses. Jackman messes
with Sandow’s costume. Sandow makes sure Jackman is done before
continuing. “BEHOLD! The power of Magnetism!” He tells Jackman
to be silent. Dolph tries to jump in, but Jackman says that’s not
the real Magneto. You think? Sandow’s ready to perform… and he
tries to draw something to him with his hands. Via pantomime, we’re
supposed to believe he’s yanking the mic right out of Jackman’s
hands. And then Jackman stops playing along and attacks with the
mic. Zig Zag and Sandow bails. Cole and JBL are shooting superhero
poses on commentary. This happened. I recapped it.
We
go back to last week’s Raw for a look at Evolution’s confrontation
and walkaway against the Shield, then to the Shield owning SmackDown.
This leads to tonight’s main event – Randy Orton against Roman
Reigns.
Paging
WrestleCrap… paging WrestleCrap…
Jack
Swagger v. Antonio Cesaro.

We look back at Zeb Colter getting mad at Paul Heyman and a fight
nearly breaking out. Paul Heyman does the intro before the match.
On being booed: “You’re buying into this advocate thing too much.”
He insists he’s just a guy with two kids. He asks for the crowd to
start over… and they boo louder. Heyman says he’ll prove he’s a
great guy with a joke. It’s all a setup for the Conquer the Streak
line. Sadly, no tomatoes are present. Heyman promises not to
mention the Streak anymore. TO THE MATCH, as Swagger gets a
go-behind and takedown. Cesaro reverses, Swagger reverses, and
eventually Cesaro gets it into a Karelin suplex. Two, in fact.
Heyman applauds as Cesaro kicks Swagger out of the ring. Cesaro
follows with a double axhandle. Whip attempt, but Swagger reverses
and follows into the barricade with a knee smash. Back in, it gets
one. Swagger sends Cesaro into the post, then gets a short
clothesline for one (which Heyman emphasizes). Swagger with a
butterfly lock as he screams WE THE PEOPLE into Cesaro’s ear.
Swagger with a kneelift and a whip, but Cesaro with a kneeling
uppercut. He runs into a big boot for two. Swagger lunges for a
lariat, but he misses and Cesaro gets a suplex. Colter trips Cesaro,
so Heyman attacks Colter. Swagger follows, and Cesaro catches him
with a German suplex and bridge for the pin at 3:11. *1/4
Colter’s not acting like it’s over.
Another
look back at the Children of the Corn opening.
Renee
Young wants to ask John Cena for his reaction. Cena walks away
without saying anything.
Meanwhile,
Kane’s mask.
Alberto
Del Rio v. Cody Rhodes.

No entrances. Del Rio attacks before the bell and works him over in
the corner. Cody reverses and kicks away, but Del Rio gets feet up
on a charge and lands a suplex for one. Cody with a short lariat and
slam for one. Cody works the arm with a twist and armdrag as Goldust
tries to coach. Del Rio fights out of the corner with a straight
right and running… something. Back suplex gets two. Del Rio to
the chinlock. Cody steps on his foot to break, but Del Rio tries a
back supex. Cody flips out into a dropkick, but is caught in a
tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Kick gets two. Back to the
chinlock. Cody with a snapmare and sliding uppercut, then the Holly
Kick. Springboard dropkick is caught with a shot to the gut. Low
superkick and armbreaker end it at 3:40. Yawn. 1/2*
Cody tells Dustin to keep his distance as they leave.
Coming
up later, Stephanie wants to apologize to Daniel Bryan.
The
Extreme Rules theme song is “Come With Me Now” by the Kongos.
Backstage,
Cesaro and Heyman are having a conversation, but the cameras can’t
pick it up.
Alexander
Rusev v. Xavier Woods.

It’s a preview for Sunday. Woods attacks quickly with a dropkick
and shots to the gut. He races in, but Rusev catches a wheelbarrow
rollup try into a Sambo Slam. It’s Crush time, and the Camel Clutch
ends it… no, R-Truth races in for the DQ at 41 seconds. He
low-bridges a charging Rusev, and when Rusev gets back on the apron,
a double-team leg lariat knocks him down. Lana actually restrains
Rusev and tells him to save it for later.
Tomorrow
is World Wish Day, the anniversary of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
John Cena is up to 404 wishes granted. And yet, the children hate
him and are siding with Bray Wyatt. Or something. The Kids are at
ringside, too. Text WISH to 80088 to donate $10 to Make-A-Wish. US
Carriers only. Yes, I’m asking you to do it.
Renee
Young is interviewing Rob Van Dam. He’s asked about his mindset
entering the match with Bad News Barrett. He’s been a six-time
champ, and seven is RVD’s lucky number. Tonight, Barrett gets the
Bad News. But first, Zeb Colter says that he and RVD have something
in common: Paul Heyman. Common enemies can make for good alliances.
Since they both don’t like him, how about they work together to get
rid of him? RVD says thanks but no thanks. He has a mind of his
own. He doesn’t need to join any group. He’ll be his own man.
Meanwhile,
Colter is having a conference with Jack Swagger.
Los
Matadores v. Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater.

Your minis are going to be the pre-show. They’re calling it a WeeLC
Match. A what? Primo and McIntyre start. McIntyre wish a back
elbow and uppercut. Primo with a headscissors to reverse. McIntyre
knocks Primo down, and Slater in with punches. Primo gets a
springboard back elbow for two. Epico in, and he gets Tope Atomico
and throws Slater into the buckle. Slater tries a backdrop, but
Epico balances into a headscissors. He works the arm as Jinder Mahal
has to separate the minis. Torito gores Jinder, who knocks Swoggle
over. Torito gets the best of Mahal, and now Primo has to separate
them. Slater, meanwhile, gets the Impaler on Epico for the pin at
2:17. DREW MCINTYRE WINS! Sort of! JBL: “Barry Horowitz just
spun in his grave and he’s not even dead yet!” Hornswoggle dives
onto Los Matadores… and they move out of the way to let him
airball. Now Torito dives onto 3MB (after slipping on first try).
DUD
Crowd is dead.
Coming
up next, Stephanie will apologize.
Is
this SmackDown and no one told me? Short matches, the announcers
no-selling the action, the fans not mic’d up…
Your
Main Event main event is Sheamus facing Bray Wyatt. That oughta be
good.
And
here comes Stephanie McMahon. We take YET ANOTHER look back at last
week’s attack. Stephanie, sounding emotionally choked up, calls last
week a tragedy. He says Kane is unstoppable, and she wants to make
it up to Daniel Bryan. She asks Bryan to emerge. No Daniel, smartly
enough. So Stephanie invokes the fans’ chanting for him to get him
out, and that works.
Bryan
has Brie and a neckbrace. Either the crowd mic is really dampened
for this segment or they’re not all that lively. Bryan stays on the
stage, wisely not going to the ring. Stephanie applauds Bryan as the
crowd chants his name. Even Brock Lesnar Guy is chanting. Daniel
says he almost
believes Stephanie. Did she truly want him to stop? Bryan would’ve
thought so, except Stephanie’s never sincere. Stephanie admits she
had it coming. But she needs Bryan to understand. They never wanted
Daniel Bryan to be champ – everyone knows that. They went to great
lengths to stop him, and Stephanie admits her emotions got in the
way. Daniel: “How do you think my wife felt?” At every
opportunity, Bryan was slapped in the face. They even bring up the
waterboarding. Brie was told not to do anything, and Brie respected
Bryan’s request. Stephanie: “You did it on your own.” Daniel
Bryan proved Stephanie wrong. Stephanie says she just wanted to give
the Director of Operations a backbone and be credible. But Kane went
into being a Demon, and it went too far. Stephanie has been with HHH
in ambulances and hospital beds, and it’s an awful way for a wife to
be. And for all of that, she is sorry.
It’s
a complete apology: for what Kane did, for all the heartache,
everything. The crowd doesn’t buy it, though. Neither does Daniel.
They think Stephanie’s still full of it. Stephanie doesn’t know how
else ot prove it – she asks Daniel to come to the ring and look her
in the eyes to see her sincerity. The crowd smells a trap a mile
away.
Daniel
knows he’ll see a liar in those eyes, and that at the snap of the
fingers, Kane can attack him OR Brie. Yes, Daniel’s head hurts, and
as of now he can’t move his neck, but he has never given up. He’s
cleared for this Sunday, and he will not give up then, either. He
knows what Stephanie thinks (that Kane will take him out), but he
promises that if Kane takes Bryan down, Bryan will take Kane with him
to Hell.
Stephanie
says she hasn’t seen Kane all day, but she locked away the mask for
protection. And yeah, Daniel can’t compete until Sunday, but Brie
can. So Stephanie will make it up to them: a chance to make them
both champions. It’s Tamina on Sunday, but tonight, Brie Bella gets
the first shot at Paige. And that is tonight, In This Very Ring.
Heck, Stephanie will even let Bryan be at ringside. And that match
is RIGHT NOW! Er, I mean, after the break.
Uh-oh.
The mask is gone.
Divas’
Title: Brie Bella (challenger) v. Paige (champion).

Lockup, into the ropes, and Paige grabs a headlock takeover. It
gets one. Brie reverses to a headscissors and leaping snapmare, then
a dropkick for one. Paige controls the hair and screams, getting a
hairpull slam. Paige stomps away in the corner and gets a
Perfectplex for one. Brie with a back elbow, but Paige knocks her
into the ropes and works the knees to the head before shrieking.
Brie with a kick to the head from her back, then a running knee, as
Lawler screams trap. Brie goes up, but Paige cuts her off and
follows. Cole brings up that Brie’s not exactly #1 Contender as
Paige gets a superplex. And here’s Kane. Bryan races to the ramp
and stands his guard as everyone looks around for him… and he comes
out from THROUGH the ring and drags Brie! Bryan attacks Kane, who
shoves him aside and keeps trying to drag Brie to hell. Bryan
attacks again to no avail as Kane stalks Brie. Brie cowers in the
corner as Kane grabs her ankle and drags her to the ring. But Bryan
has a wrench and smokes Kane with it upside the head. He checks on
Brie, which allows Kane to sit up. Brie escapes as Bryan throws
himself to Kane for a chokeslam. Call the match 2:41 as that’s when
Kane grabbed Brie. But Brie didn’t run – why??? – and Kane has
her cornered. He drags Brie through the mat, but Brie kicks away and
runs for it. Brie hides behind WWE officials as they all check on
Bryan and help him to the back. Kane laughs as he sets his pyro off.
Oh,
the match? Call it 3/4*.
I will say I’d like to see a complete match between the two.
Really. Stop laughing.
Quote
from my minion: “Yeah, but can Daniel Bryan change a tire?”
Cole
uses his sober voice to recap what we just saw.
Brie
is shaken in the back as Bryan is being checked out by doctors.
Stephanie tries to apologize again, saying she had no idea and she
knows Daniel doesn’t believe her. Bryan promises to be at Extreme
Rules, and says Stephanie will regret bringing Brie into this.
Stephanie’s apologies understandably fall on deaf ears. Brie: “GET
OUT, YOU BITCH!”
It’s
been a night of eerie overtones, says Cole, as we see the opening
segment one more time to prove it.
Meanwhile,
Renee Young says Cena’s now ready to talk. Cena slams the door on
his locker room and apologizes for brushing Young off earlier. He
says he’s been proven right: Wyatt’s goes to great lengths to
manipulate. But he was also wrong about something. He thought the
WWE Universe turned its back on Cena. They haven’t. Yeah, everyone
was having fun, and there was still passion, and passion is hope,
which is fight. Tell Bray Wyatt that the mind games stop on Sunday.
He has special plans. He’s gonna buy Bray a mule, and he’ll teach it
to sing. That way, Bray can sing alongside the mule. (Insult
implied but not stated.) It will be the last time. Because on
Sunday, he’ll have the whole fist in his face and the whole foot in
his ass. Oh, it’s ON!
Bad
News Barrett is on his podium and has a gavel! He’s dressed for
action, though. He has some Bad News for Rob Van Dam: Then, Now,
Forever? No, for RVD it’s just Then. Then is the last time RVD was
relevant. Heck, Barrett was in diapers the last time RVD won the I-C
gold. And after tonight, RVD will be in diapers, drinking meals
through a straw, thanks to BNB. Cole: “Wade was in diapers as a
teenager?” That match is NEXT!
Children
of the Corn, Nightmare on Elm Street, Aliens… we got all the horror
films covered?
#1
Contenders Finals: Bad News Barrett v. Rob Van Dam.

Barrett forces RVD into the corner, but it’s a clean break. RVD
with an armbar, but Barrett punches out only to get armdragged.
Armdrug? Crowd is split as RVD gets a waistlock and drop toe hold.
Headlock takedown as Langston looks one. Barrett gets a one-count on
a rollover, then the two get vertical. Barrett shoves off, but RVD
slams on the breaks and low bridges Barrett. RVD with a baseball
slide and apron moonsault (which almost missed!). Back in, it gets
two. Back to the headlock, and again Barrett with a one-count on the
rollover. Barrett shoves off and gets an elbowsmash, knocking RVD
out of the ring. Outside, Barrett sends RVD into the barricade
before mocking RVD’s chant (“B!N!B!”). RVD visits the announce
table, and back in, it gets two. Barrett with a punch and whip, but
RVD gets a kick and leg cradle for two. Shoulders to the gut in the
corner, but Barrett reverses a whip and stops RVD’s back leapfrog
with a kick to the gut. RVD falls outside as Barrett celebrates and
we go to break.
RVD/BNB,
part two.

Barrett, of course, has the chinlock as we come out of break. A
nice “RVD” chant starts up as he elbows out, then unloads with
rights. Barrett reverses the whip, but RVD backflips over Barrett
only to be caught in the Bossman Slam for two. Second-rope elbow for
Barrett gets two, but not right away. Barrett works RVD’s back and
sends him into the buckle, adding a boot choke. Split chants again
as Barrett gets a swinging neckbreaker for two. Back to the
chinlock. Barrett switches to a surfboard instead, then back to the
chinlock. RVD elbows out again, getting a cradle for two and a
superkick. RVD calls for Rolling Thunder, but Barrett is ready. RVD
switches to clotheslines and the stepover enzuigiri. But before we
can continue, Cesaro approaches the ring, but Swagger attacks him
from behind. Cesaro gets the better of that, but back in, RVD ducks
the Bull Hammer and gets the spinkick. Rolling Thunder follows. RVD
goes up top for the Frog Splash, but he has to cut off Cesaro and the
splash hits knees. Bull Hammer ends it at 11:18. I could’ve done
without the cluster on the outside, but unlike with Russo at least
all of it made sense. **1/4
Langston is ready.
Meanwhile,
RVD is trying to get back up, but Cesaro attacks from behind at
Heyman’s orders. Cesaro stomps away, but Swagger cuts it off and
attacks Cesaro. Swagger with the old Red White and Blue Thunder Bomb
on Cesaro. WE THE PEOPLE! And now he turns to RVD just to make a
point. Colter’s calling shots now, and Swagger tries to nail RVD,
who reverses and gets a springboard thrust kick. Swagger bails while
he’s ahead, and RVD does a long-distance Five-Star. There’s your
triple threat for Sunday. Heyman is not amused.
Another
look at how the Shield took over SmackDown on Friday. Which means up
next is our main event: Roman Reigns against Randy Orton!
Ambrose
says the clock is ticking on Evolution. They will prove evolution
has passed Evolution by, and they will chew them up and spit them
out. Rollins says Evolution is all about flaunting their power.
They show their opulence because they think those are symbols of
power, but those are just small things done to make people feel
bigger. The Shield’s fists are the true power. When Evolution steps
in the ring, they’ll find out what true power is. For years, Orton
said he was the future. But Reigns believes him to be the past. He
is today, tomorrow, the future. Believe it.
Hey,
who said Barrett was going to win the I-C title tournament? This
guy.
Meanwhile,
on SmackDown, Dean Ambrose will defend against Alberto Del Rio,
Ryback, and Curtis Axel, but in a handicap match.
Because
it’s St. Louis, Orton gets a few cheers as he heads to the ring.
Wisely, instead of saying where he’s from, they say “representing
Evolution”. But first, HHH talks. He says that on Friday, the
Shield took out 11 guys, and HHH ain’t even mad. He’s impressed.
The Shield are reminding him… of them. Orton says the Shield
thinks they’re the new Evolution. But Batista says there’s a problem
with that: Evolution is still around. HHH brought Shield into the
the WWE, and he’ll take them out with Evolution. On Sunday, they
will adapt or they will perish.
Main
event: Randy Orton v. Roman Reigns.

They’ve already ditched the half-masks. But before we begin, RIC
FLAIR IN THE HOUSE! The Shield don’t react as Flair enters the ring,
but Evolution applauds and welcomes him back with warm embraces. And
now Flair has a mic as I assume no match.
“Is
this St. Louis, Missouri?” Yes, Ric, it is. “Have I ever been
here before?” Yes. “Well I have, and I’ve had a lot of fun,
thank you. But what I’m here tonight is to tell the whole world that
it’s great being in the ring with men that exude what this business
is all about: DOMINANCE. Now I ran for years with the Four Horsemen.
Ran up and down the road; we ran wild. But we controlled the
marketplace. We styled – WHOO – and we profiled. The same could
be said for Evolution. Good Lord, Dave: I miss seeing you all on
Saturday night. You too, buddy [HHH]. You were always home eating a
ribeye.
You
know, in my years on the road, I have seen everything come full
circle. And I mean, the word ‘greatness’ come full circle. And then
tonight, I’m surrounded with superstars that exemplify power, style,
and grace. But what I’m talking about now…
…is
the Shield!” Batista does a double-take as Flair shakes the hands
of each Shield member. Orton is absolutely annoyed. Flair goes to
leave as Orton asks what the heck just happened. Flair walks off.
The
match: Reigns blocks Orton and pounds away on the ropes. Orton comes
back with headbutts and right hands, but cuts off a rally with a shot
to the eye. Orton dumps Reigns and follows, and the war continues on
the outside with Reigns getting a headbutt. Orton with a suplex try
on the floor, but Reigns blocks three times before reversing. Reigns
rolls in and back out, and he throws Orton in as Orton falls back
out. Reigns follows with another headbutt. Orton reverses a whip
into the steps as the crowd starts a Hounds of Justice chant. Orton
glares at Ambrose and Rollins, begging them to hit him in the back,
but HHH comes over to stop that. Orton slams Reigns’s head into the
steps and throws him in, then follows, getting one. Orton with a
hairpull and chinlock. Reigns punches out of it, but Orton reverses a
whip and sends Reigns out with a clothesline. He pulls Reigns back
in and gets the Draping DDT try, but Reigns avoids it so Orton pounds
some more. Hammer Throw, but Reigns pops out with a clothesline.
Whip is reversed, but Reigns with a leaping lariat and running
clothesline. Big right hand drapes Orton on the bottom rope, so it’s
Drive-By Dropkick time. He taunts HHH before signalling, and the
Superpunch… no, HHH yanks Reigns’ leg, and Orton gets the
backbreaker. Everyone fights on the outside, with Ambrose on HHH and
Rollins on Batista. Ambrose is sent over the table, and HHH helps
Batista and throws him into the apron. Meanwhile, in the ring,
Reigns shoves out of the RKO and gets the Superpunch. He heads
outside and attacks Batista, and HHH steps in as it’s all thrown out
at 4:43. It’s 3 on Reigns as the other two are down, and HHH and
Orton work on Reigns. Batista throws Ambrose back into the announce
table, and Rollins goes flipping into the barricade. Reigns eats
steps from a double-team as they go back to Rollins. Orton picks
Ambrose up and throws him to HHH, who gives him a spinebuster on the
floor. HHH with knees to Rollins as Reigns gets double-teamed. The
whole Shield is down as Orton poses. Batista and Sign Guy get in a
verbal argument. HHH and Batista remove their dress shirts to keep
up the fight. Ambrose and Reigns are thrown in the ring as Orton
stomps away on Reigns. Big punt to Ambrose’s chest. Orton chokes
away on Ambrose. HHH begs Ambrose to come on, and when he does, it’s
a clothesline. Pedigree try to Ambrose, but Rollins with the flying
knee to take out HHH. The Shield now have numbers on Orton and
Batista, and they clear the ring of everyone… but HHH. Reigns
spears the life out of HHH. They’re ready to give him the
Triplebomb, but Orton and Batista have chairs. The Shield cut them
off and steal the chairs, and Evolution bails. Give the match *
and the post-match insanity another **.
FINAL
THOUGHTS:
Man,
that middle hour was bad, but the final hour was good. It’s
somewhere in between for the show itself. I had to quote Ric Flair
in full because he’s Ric Flair, and it was a big deal. (As a side
note: how did CRZ do it?) We opened with an epic moment of creepy,
had more horror movie moments, but the faces wouldn’t back down.
This is what you need on a go home show.
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 41:29 over nine matches
BEST
MATCH: Usos/Rybaxel
WORST
MATCH: Sheamus/O’Neil
NIGHT
MVP: Not Zack Ryder, I’ll say that. Let’s go with Bad News Barrett.
FINAL
SCORE: Let’s see, one good hour, one bad hour, a little mediocrity,
low wrestling, a hot finish, Ric Flair… I punt. Call it 4.5 and
feel free to disagree. It was middling, to say the least.
Later
this week, if I remember, I’ll do a How I’d Book It for Extreme
Rules! See you then, and get ready for Sunday! Now, let’s vent.