It’s time to “get back to reality” with tonight’s episode of RAW. Wrestlemania Week is over. But first, the WWE will take some of this show to pay tribute to the Ultimate Warrior. There’s also a tournament to determine the new #1 Contender to the Intercontinental Title. And what happens next with The Authority? Follow along to find out.
The show started with a very well done video package and a ten bell salute to the Ultimate Warrior.
From World Title Match To Intercontinental Title Tournament First Round Match
It’s a first round match-up in the IC Title Tournament with Rob Van Dam taking on Alberto del Rio. Del Rio jumped RVD at the bell with some quick kicks to the gut. RVD reversed Del Rio and tossed him into the corner then hit a flying crossbody. RVD sent Del Rio to the outside. After getting back in the ring both men exchanged blows. Del Rio caught RVD with a kick to the face. Del Rio took control with some more kicks but RVD ended up sending Del Rio to the outside. RVD went for a standing moonsault off the apron but Del Rio moved and caught RVD with a clothesline. He then tossed RVD into the barricade going into commercial.
Back from break RVD hit Rolling Thunder for two. Del Rio recovered and hit a DDT for two. Del Rio springboarded RVD to the corner but RVD caught himseld but badly missed a kick off the second rope. RVD connected on a second attempt. But Del Rio got his knees up as RVD attempted a split legged moonsault and then hit a backstabber. Del Rio went to the top but RVD hit a spinning heel kick. RVD went to the top but Del Rio crotched him then hit an enziguri kick to the head for two. RVD went for the cross armbreaker but RVD countered into a pin fall attempt for two. Del Rio went to the top again but RVD sweeped his legs out from underneath him. RVD then hit the Five Star Frog Splash to pick up the win.
WINNER: Rob Van Dam
A recap of last week’s show closing events was shown.
Ultimate Moment: Ultimate Warrior beats Honky Tonk Man at SummerSlam 1988.
Triple H talked to Batista and Randy Orton about coming together to stop The Shield. They both told HHH that this was his problem and not theirs.
Does Every Tag Team Get Mash-Up Themes Now?
The Rhodes Brothers vs Rybaxel. Goldust landed some early offense on both men before tagging in Cody. Cody hit a face first suplex and Goldust came back in. Goldust hit a knee drop followed by his uppercut. Rybck distracted Goldust and Axel hit a knee to the gut. Axel landed some more strikes in the corner before tagging in Ryback. Ryback hit a splash in the corner then a splash off the second rope. Axel came in and hit the same splash. The heels continued to work over Goldust. Goldust countered and hit a springboard elbow off the second rope and tagged in Cody. Cody escaped a backdrop and hit a moonsault off the top followed by a dive to the outside. Back in the ring, Cody hit a missile dropkick. Axel dumped Goldust to the outside but Cody caught Axel with a Disaster Kick. Cody went for one on Ryback, but he caught him mid-air with a Meathook Clothesline for the win.
Paige vs Alicia Fox. Both women exchanged slaps before Alicia Fox hit a spinning backbreaker then another couple backbreakers. Fox hit a suplex followed by a headlock. Fox taunted Paige in the corner then Paige hit a kick to the gut followed by some clotheslines and a dropkick. Paige applied her submission finisher, the Scorpion Cross for the win.
All The Usos Want Is A Full Match!
It’s the Usos vs Randy Orton and Batista. The Usos attacked right at the bell then hit dueling dives to the outside. Back in the ring Orton took some early offense from the Usos. Orton caught one of the Usos with a backbreaker then tagged in Batista. Batista through one of the Usos hard into the corner then hit a suplex. Orton came back in and did the Garvin Stomp. Batista came back in and caught the Uso with a spinebuster. The Uso hit a Samoan Drop. Orton knocked the other Uso off the apron and slammed his head on the announce table. Suddenly, The Shield came through the crowd and attacked Orton. In the ring, The Shield surrounded Batista and Reigns caught him with a Superman Punch.
Ultimate Moment: Ultimate Warrior Wins The WWF Title At Wrestlemania 6
Paul Heyman Promos For Entrance Music? Yeah That Works
Paul Heyman came out and again bragged about Brock Lesnar ending The Streak. He showed photos from the night then brought out Cesaro, who is taking on Mark Henry in the IC Title Tournament. Both men locked up before Henry tossed Cesaro to the side then over the top rope. After he re-grouped, Cesaro came in and landed a barrage of uppercuts. Henry shoved Cesaro away but he came back with another uppercut. Henry finally came back with a clothesline but sold being dazed. Cesaro escaped the World’s Strongest Slam and hit an uppercut to the back of the head, followed by one off the second rope. He then hit the Neutralizer for the win.
Backstage, Triple H told Brad Maddox to find The Shield and tell them they are in a six man tag match later tonight.
Alexander Rusev vs Xaiver Woods. Rusev took it to Woods early and landed a hard kick to the gut. He followed it up with a spinning chokeslam and the Accolade. R-Truth tried to make the save, but eventually Rusev took him out with a kick to the face when his guard was down.
WINNER: Alexander Rusev
Ultimate Moment: Ultimate Warrior vs Rick Rude from SummerSlam 1990.
Jack Swagger: The Jannetty Of The Real Americans
Sheamus vs Jack Swagger in the IC Title Tournament. Sheamus landed some early punches on Swagger and then a double axe handle. Sheamus sent Swagger to the outside and was going to hit his rope punches but Zeb distracted him. Sheamus went for a shoulder tackle off the apron but Sheamus caught him and slammed him on the mat. Swagger hit a belly-to-belly in the ring. Sheamus fought out of a double arm submission and hit a clothesline. Sheamus started a comeback and landed some axe handles then a kick to the back. Sheamus landed his rope punches followed by a battering ram off the top for two. Sheamus went for a battering ram over the rope but Swagger side-stepped it and applied the Patriot Lock. Sheamus went to the outside and Swagger charged at him and kicked his knee into the barricade. Swagger worked it over some more, but then ran right into a Brogue Kick from Sheamus which gave him the win.
Damien Sandow said he wasn’t done talking when Big Show’s music started. He asked the crowd why they booed him and cheered for Big Show. Sandow said every time he walked down the ramp people should be begging to touch him because he has deserved and earned it. Sandow asked what Show thought and he said nothing. Sandow said Show knows he is right. Sandow says when people see him they see a Champion and the future of the WWE. Big Show then hit a KO Punch on Sandow.
Oh Boy, Wacky Cena Is Back!
The Wyatts came out. Bray said society has become putrid. Bray said he is different from society. Bray said he has never once lied to society but John Cena has made a career out of it. Bray said Cena is a beast and he won’t let Cena do what he does to the kids anymore. Bray said he has Cena on the ropes and he has Cena right where he wants him. But now, Bray said that he just wants to play.
Cena said the last thing people want to see is another push. Cena said the monster inside of him doesn’t exist and he wants to have some fun. Cena said if he got the Wyatts to happy hour they would have some fun. Cena said Rowan must be filled with jokes, Harper probably is a streaker and Bray is secretly a ladies man. Cena said he did some research and found Sister Abigail Wyatt on MySpace. He then showed a picture of Bray Wyatt’s mom he found on Tinder, with Harper’s head on a woman’s body. Cena then showed a photo of a new baby with Rowan’s head attached. Bray said Cena only knows how to make jokes when a new threat gets in his face. Cena said going into Mania he got serious with his back against the wall and Bray got beat. Cena said if he wins the tables are turned again. Cena said without his family Bray can’t back-up what he says. Cena challenged Bray to a Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules. Bray said he likes that. Bray said they have been playing catch with knives and sooner or late one of them is going to get stuck. Bray said this is his world and everything belongs to him. Bray sang “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” to end the promo.
Fandango and Layla beat Santino and Emma. And the circle of life continues.
Backstage Stephanie yelled at Kane for his job performance and said he used to be a machine and he’s now pathetic. Kane grabbed the mask from it’s box and said he was going to send Daniel Bryan to the depths of hell.
Maybe Bad News Barrett Will Get A Decent Push?
It’s Dolph Ziggler vs Wade Barrett in the final first round match of the IC Title Tournament. Barrett gained control early. He slammed Ziggler’s head into the turnbuckle. Ziggler went after Barrett’s knee and then went to a headlock. Barrett escaped and threw Ziggler hard into the corner. Barrett choked Ziggler’s neck on the rope. Ziggler countered a backdrop with a dropkick then clotheslined Barrett over the top. Both men exchanged blows on the outside then Barrett tossed Ziggler over his shoulders and into the ringpost.
Ziggler fought out of a headlock back from break. Ziggler side stepped a charging Barrett and Barrett went right into the post. Ziggler connected on a crossbody then landed some corner punches. Ziggler went for the Fameasser but Barrett moved and hit Wasteland for two. Ziggler countered a pump handle slam and hit the Fameasser for two. Barrett moved out of the way of a splash in the corner. Barrett went to the top but Ziggler crotched him. Barrett blocked a superplex and pushed Ziggler off the ropes, but Ziggler came right back with a facebuster for two. Barrett blocked the ZigZag and hit the Winds of Change for two. Barrett went for the Bullhammer Elbow but Ziggler ducked and went for a roll up but only got two. Barrett then face planted Ziggler and connected on the elbow this time for the win.
WINNER: Bad News Barrett
A Kane with mask video package aired.
Evolution Theme Is Back!
The Shield came out for their match. Their opponents? Every heel on the roster. Seth Rollins and Heath Slater started things. Reigns came in and landed some kicks. Rollins came back in and landed an enziguri kick to the head. Drew McIntyre tagged in and landed some punches. Titus O’Neil connected on a few backbreakers. Rusev hit some elbows followed by a headbutt. Ryback tossed Rollins to the outside. When he went to go get him, Reigns hit a Spear. The heels jumped Reigns. Ambrose hit a dive to the outside then Rollins hit a swanton onto everyone.
The Shield tried defending the ring but eventually the numbers game caught up to them. The heels continued the beatdown until Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton came out to the old Evolution theme music. They all laid the boots to Rollins. Reigns tried to make the save but he ate a RKO, followed by a Batista Bomb. Rollins then ate the RKO and Batista Bomb. And Ambrose ate a Batista Bomb/RKO combo. Reigns crawled toward Triple H, who told him to believe in Evolution and then nailed the Pedigree.
WHAT I LIKED
Closing Segment: That’s a good way to build up a feud. It’s nice to see the Evolution theme return. Triple H once again played into his heel authority figure role and stacked the odds against The Shield before finally taking advantage in the end. I’d still love a War Games match. But any match between these six is going to be great. Plus, the crowd will now be rabid for The Shield to gain revenge on Evolution.
Intercontinental Title Tournament: Anything that helps give more attention to a mid-card belt is good. And so far this tournament is doing a good job of making these guys seem like they want the IC Title. All four matches were decent to good tonight, especially the Barrett/Ziggler match. I’m assuming this is leading to Sheamus vs Cesaro, which should be a damn fine match to watch.
Paige: I liked what they did with Paige this week. They let her showcase some of her offense and allowed her to show more of an aggressive side during her match. I hope her submission move gets over and I’m guessing we get a Submissions Match agaisnt AJ at Extreme Rules.
Alexander Rusev: I think Rusev and Lana are a good pairing. And Rusev has shown some good offense in the ring. Sure it’s been limited time, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of his in NXT and I think he’s shown well so far.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
John Cena Promo: I get that he turned serious at the end. But you can’t start off as stupid and corny, then turn to serious and expect the fans to buy into it. It just doesn’t work that way. Bray calling Cena out on all of it was great. Hopefully Bray gets his win back at Extreme Rules. Bray’s promo continue to be spot on. But now we have to worry about Cena every week possibly cutting a stupid promo after being so good in the build to Wrestlemania.
Santino/Emma vs Fandango/Layla: How many times can they do these match pairings? Emma is a talented wrestler and she’s stuck with Santino in a stupid role.
Without Daniel Bryan the show moved its focus to The Shield/Evolution program. Bryan seems to be moving on to Kane, which isn’t bad to start because it is a giant monster that he can go over. I like the focus on the IC Title with the tournament. There weren’t any standout moments like last week, but it was a nicely put together show. It still doesn’t need to be three hours but the show had more good than bad. I’m giving it a 6.