WWE RAW opens with a look back at Cody Rhodes and Goldust capturing the WWE Tag Team Championships from The Shield last week, with help from the Big Show.
Inside the arena, Michael Cole welcomes us to RAW and Triple H’s music hits. Triple H and Stephanie walk out and hag the top of the ramp before walking to the ring holding hands. A clip is shown from SmackDown of Big Show knocking out Brad Maddox on SmackDown & suffering a concussion. Maddox won’t be at RAW tonight.
Later tonight, it will be Daniel Bryan vs. United States Champion Dean Ambrose.
Triple H and Stephanie kiss in the ring. Fans boo and she says they’re just jealous. Stephanie runs down the card for Sunday’s Hell in a Cell PPV. Triple H says he trusts Shawn Michaels and respects Shawn Shawn Michaels. Big Show is shown on the big screen via satellite screaming, “Respect? Respect?” He says Triple H doesn’t treat anybody with respect. Triple H says Big Show is a loser and blew all his money. Stephanie is arguing with somebody at ringside trying to find out why Big Show is on the screen. Big Show says he’s suing Triple H for millions of dollars for the money left on his contract. Stephanie tells him to shut up – and he tells her to shut up. Stephanie has his video feed cut off.
Triple H introduces Dean Ambrose, but Daniel Bryan’s music hits instead. Bryan comes out and the place goes nuts. Ambrose comes to the ring through the crowd.
Dean Ambrose vs. Daniel Bryan
They lock up and have a technical exchange, with Bryan getting the upper hand. Very solid match with ring psychology from both men and good selling. Daniel Bryan got Ambrose in a surfboard submission that was very impressive. They’re giving this match time and they’re making the most of it. Bryan hits a top rope huricanrana and gets a 2 count. Ambrose hits Bryan with a nasty spinebuster and gets a 2 count. Ambrose slaps Bryan in the face and runs off the ropes, but Bryan pulled the ropes down and Ambrose wound up on the outside. Back in the ring, Daniel Bryan is on fire and hitting all of his signature spots. He locks in the Yes! Lock. Ambrose taps and the crowd goes wild.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Up next, CM Punk talks about Hell in a Cell. Punk is introduced by Justin Roberts and gets a big reaction. Punk is out with a microphone. This Sunday, his plan is to incapacitate Ryback and put him to sleep. Then Heyman will be cornered like the dog he is, and will have his face smashed into every part of the Hell in a Cell structure. Paul doesn’t know extreme – but he will find out what it is this Sunday.
Backstage, Triple H is talking to Vickie Guerrero while Stephanie is on the phone. Triple H and Stephanie bump into Shawn Michaels backstage. Triple H & HBK hug. HBK says he knows Triple H has all of his power gear on and doesn’t have time for little people like him. He asked Triple H if he seriously doesn’t think Daniel Bryan can be WWE champion. Triple H says he can, but – have you seen Daniel Bryan? HBK admits Daniel Bryan might not look like a champion – but people said the same thing about both of them years ago. Stephanie says times have changed. HBK says he never had to go corporate and grow up, so he’s going to go have some fun.
Santino, Hornswoggle & Great Khali come out, all of them dressed like Elvis (or the Honky Tonk Man)
Santino, Hornswoggle & Great Kahli vs. 3MB
Santino starts with Heath Slater. Comedy stuff, Santino hits the cobra on Heath Slater for the win. After the match, Santino gets a microphone and says there’s only one real king from Memphis – Jerry Lawler. The crowd chants Jerry and the King stands with Santino on the announcer’s table and they play to the crowd.
Winners: Santino, Hornswoggle & Great Khali
WWE ran a poll asking fans which of 4 classic WrestleMania matches they want to see recreated in WWE 2K14 and they chose Undertaker vs. CM Punk from WrestleMania 29.
Backstage, Randy Orton is shown walking around.
Dolph Ziggler v. Randy Orton
They lock up and both struggle for the upper hand. The split crowd is chanting Let’s Go Ziggler / Let’s Go Orton back and forth. Orton goes outside for a minute to gameplan. Back in the ring, he kicks Ziggler in the gut, headbutts him and throws him out of the ring. He follows, grabs Ziggler by the hair and throws him into the ringside barricade. Ziggler doesn’t fall, but Orton drops him with a clothesline and throws him back in the ring. 2 count for Orton. He drags Ziggler out of the ring, but Dolph regains control and unloads on Orton with a flurry of offense. Orton throws Ziggler into the ring post. and then back into the ring. Ziggler getting in some strong offense. Orton regains control with his necklock backbreaker. Orton applies a headlock and Ziggler is hurting. Ziggler gets in a few minutes of offense, hitting his signature moves. Ziggler hits a fameasser and gets a 2 count. Ziggler goes for a stinger splash in the corner but Orton catches him and gives him a fallaway slam, with Ziggler landing on his shoulder. Orton sets up his middle rope DDT and nails it. Orton plays to the crowd as they boo him. Orton signals for the RKO, but Ziggler hits him in the face with a dropkick out of nowhere. Close 2 count. Ziggler goes for the Zig Zag but Orton throws him off. Ziggler turns around and gets drilled with an RKO (outta nowhere).
Winner: Randy Orton
Video package looking back at John Cena’s injury, surgery & recovery.
Divas Champion AJ Lee comes to the ring with Tamina Snuka. Out next are the Bella Twins.
AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka vs. The Bella Twins
Tamina and Brie start off. Tamina in control most of the time. Nikki is tagged in. She gets in some offense but Tamina manhandles her and throws her out of the ring. Tamina is totally dominating Nikki. AJ Lee is tagged in and gets a 2 count. She locks in a sleeper hold, some more offense and dances around the ring. They kick it up a level and the action gets really good, with Nikki Bella looking especially good. She hits the X-Factor on AJ Lee and pins the divas champion.
Winner: The Bella Twins
Later tonight, The Usos will face The Shield in a #1 Contender’s match.
Backstage, Paul Heyman is with Ryback and Curtis Axel and is interviewed by Renee Young. Heyman gives an absolutely epic promo that you should go out of your way to watch on WWE’s Youtube channel. Big E Langston interrupts them. Paul Heyman says Curtis Axel needs to teach this rookie some respect in a match later tonight.
A video package airs looking back at Shawn Michaels training Daniel Bryan and Bryan’s road from HBK’s wrestling school to WWE Champion.
The Wyatt Family makes their entrance.
Harper & Rowan vs The Miz & Kofi Kingston
Harper and Rowan dominating early, with both men tagging in and out while beating the life out of The Miz. Kofi Kingston finally gets a hot tag and unloads on both men, using his speed and agility to take out the big men. Kofi is on a roll until Harper hits him with a clothesline that turns him inside out.
Winners: The Wyatt Family
After the match, Harper & Rowan beat up the babyfaces. Kofi is thrown out of the ring. Bray Wyatt enters the ring as The Miz is tied up in the ropes by Harper & Rowan. Wyatt says he’s won wars without having to lift a finger. Wyatt tells Miz that he knows him. He asks, “Do you believe in the creator? Life after death?” He does. He’s here to lead Miz to the gates of hell. Follow the buzzards.
Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel
Before the match begins, Langston spears Curtis Axel. Ryback jumps on Langston and all 3 men brawl. Cole suggests that Paul Heyman has set up a trap – as all 3 men brawl on the outside of the ring. Langston is holding his own against Ryback & Axel until Paul Heyman hits him in the back with a kendo stick. Ryback takes out Langston. CM Punk runs out and runs off the heels. As Punk and Langston are standing in the ring together – Vickie Guerrero orders them to wrestle in a tag team match.
CM Punk & Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback
Punk and Langston are in control of Curtis Axel early. Axel drags Punk into his corner and tags in Ryback. Punk quickly gets the upper hand, but Ryback uses his power to get control. Solid match. Big E Langston gets the hot tag towards the end and hit his signature spots on Curtis Axel. Ryback tries to interfere but CM Punk takes him out with a top rope attack. Langston hits his Big Ending finisher on Axel and pins the Intercontinental champion.
Winners: Big E Langston & CM Punk
Langston & Punk celebrate in the ring after the match, until CM Punk chases after Paul Heyman is at ringside. Heyman escapes through the crowd and Punk chases him out.
Backstage, R-Truth does a pretty good sales pitch for WWEShop merchandise.
The Real Americans vs. Tons of Funk
Tensai starts out controlling Jack Swagger. Cesaro tags in, but Tensai throws him out of the ring onto the apron. He thrwos Swagger out. Cesaro gets back in the ring and beats up Tensai. Swagger tags in and is working on Swagger’s knee. Zeb Colter ranting on commentary about Los Matadores and their Mexican heritage. Albert’s head is busted open. Cesaro locks in a headbutt on Tensai. Tensai hits a back bodydrop and Brodus Clay comes in. Clay knocks Cesaro down 3 times. Swagger runs in but Clay knocks him down. Cesaro hits an uppercut and then does the Cesaro swing on Brodus Clay. Swagger tags in, Tensai off the aprox and locks in the Patriot Lock on Clay. Clay taps, but Swagger keeps the hold locked in.
Winners: The Real Americans
Zeb Colter introduces his new “friend” – a bullwhip. He puts his hand over his heart and the arena chants, “We The People.”
A great video package airs looking back at John Cena’s entire career.
Footage from SmackDown was shown of Alberto Del Rio putting Josh Matthews in the cross arm breaker.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust come out to new music that’s a pretty cool hybrid of their two themes. They’ll be on commentary for the #1 Contenders match.
The Shield vs. The Usos
Seth Rollins and Jay start off. Very fast action at the start of this match. Rollins gets over the top rope and Jay does a dive over the ropes onto Rollins outside of the ring. Reigns is in and quickly gets a 2 count on Uso. The Uso’s tag and Uso is in control of Reigns. Another tag and they hit a double team move on Reigns. Reigns gets Uso into the heel corner and Rollins tags in. Great action in the ring but the announcers are barely acknowledging it because they’re talking to Cody. Reigns in control. Uso gets knocked off the apron and onto the announcers table in a pretty nasty spot. Reigns in control but Uso fighting back. Reigns shuts down the comeback. Both teams are getting in a lot of really good offense in this very physical match. Uso goes for top rope splash but Reigns gets his knees up. Rollins starts fighting with Cody on the outside and Goldust gest involved. Everybody is brawling at ringside and the match is called off. They all continue to fight, with the babyfaces clearing out the Shield, who left through the crowd. The match had so winner, so it looks like we’ll see all 3 teams fighting for the gold this Sunday at Hell in a Cell.
It’s time for the official contract signing. Triple H and Stephanie are in the ring with a table and two chairs. Orton is out first, followed by Bryan. Triple H then introduces the special guest referee for their match, Shawn Michaels. HBK comes out to a big entrance with pyro. He gets in the ring, runs around and jokes with Triple H. All smiles from everybody but Orton so far. Orton is given the chance to sign first. Orton says he owes Daniel Bryan a lot of credit. He keeps getting back up. After this Sunday, he won’t be getting right back up. He’s survived against The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell. He’s beaten Sheamus & John Cena in that cell. Bryan has no idea what he’s getting into. Bryan’s first Hell in a Cell will be his last. Orton signs the contract, stares Bryan down and passes the contract to him.
Bryan says if it wasn’t for Triple H and the Shield, he’d be WWE Champion. He’s more than capable of smashing in the so called “Face of WWE.” He has 2 words for Randy Orton – Thank you. He thanks him for pushing him to be more than a B+ player, thank you for showing Triple H & Stephanie to be the narcissistic spoiled brats that they are. Triple H says he’s seen guys like Bryan a hundred times. Jericho, Edge, RVD. Popular guys, but never “The One.” Nobody wants to say it, but it needs to be said – if any of those guys had been the face of WWE, we’d all be working for Ted Turner right now. When he gets into Hell in a Cell, he’s going to show the world he’s a B+ player.
He tells Triple H he should trade in his suit for wrestling gear so he can show him in the ring. Triple H says if he wrestles again, it’s going to be to fight a star. Undertaker. The Rock. Brock Lesnar. It sure as hell won’t be Daniel Bryan. He fights A+ player. They want to fight stars and none of them would waste their time fighting him. Shawn Michaels should have never wasted his time training him. Michaels says he didn’t waste his time – Daniel Bryan’s very good. HBK asks Triple H what happened to him? What happened the guy who drove the tank into WCW? The guy who came out on live TV and played strip poker with him. What happened to that Triple H? He doesn’t care that Triple H is the COO. He doesn’t care that he trained Daniel Bryan. HBK cares about the fact that the people voted for him to be the guest referee. Orton says Michaels has an agenda against him. Triple H says no – at the end of the day, Shawn will do what’s right. Michaels agrees – he’s going to do what’s right for the business he loves. He questions what Triple H has against Daniel Bryan. Michaels says – after everything Triple H has thrown at Daniel Bryan – Triple H is mad because Daniel Bryan has proven him wrong. As Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton are going face to face, a truck is shown pulling into the arena. It’s driven by Big Show. Big Show drives all around the building into the arena. He gets out of the truck and signals for Randy Orton to turn around. Orton does and gets caught with a flying knee to the face by Daniel Bryan. Bryan celebrates with the Yes! chant and then walks over to the Big Show on the truck and the two of them do the Yes! chant with the crowd to end the show. The crowd was very into the final “go home” segment.
* PHOTOS: How EMPTY Was The Arena Last Night At BOUND FOR GLORY? You Won’t Believe This