Raw starts off with everyone on the stage. A video is shown on Ultimate Warrior, who in case you’ve been completely shut off from all media sources since after Raw last week, passed away Tuesday night. Tonight will be a memorial show in his honor. A video was shown highlighting his character, as well as shots of him at the Hall of Fame and on Raw with shots of him talking about his family and the eerie promo on Raw. They did a ten bell salute for him following the video, then his music played as Ultimate Warrior signs were shown throughout the arena.
Tonight we’ll see plenty of in ring action as a tournament will start to crown the number one contender for the Intercontinental championship. Yes, that’s actually a thing superstars want to accomplish, the #1 contendership for a title that dooms you into midcard obscurity.
Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto del Rio: I think when RVD left he was facing Alberto del Rio. Now that he’s back, he’s facing Alberto del Rio. I can’t think of two more irrelevant guys on the roster that actually still appear on Raw, so I guess that makes sense. I sure wish RVD can get a promo in here explaining his goals for retuning or what he hopes to accomplish, but boy are those lofty goals. Actually the announcers explain he said his reasons on Smackdown. You know, the show not everyone watches for storyline development. Mostly back and forth early on. Big E looks on as RVD misses a moonsault and del Rio gains control.
Back from commercial RVD is on control again as he hits the rolling thunder. del Rio counters with a backstabber. del Rio goes for something off the top but RVD counters with a spin kick. Big E still looks on as RVD goes to the top but del Rio counters with his kick. del Rio, on the outside, looks steamed as he rolls back in. del Rio goes for the armbar, but RVD actually scissors his legs and gets a nearfall. del Rio climbs the ropes but RVD trips him, causing him to hit his head on the turnbuckle. RVD follows with a frog splash and he advances. Solid with some fun spots.
The champ isn’t here tonight as he married Brie Bella and is on his honeymoon. Recap of what happened last week.
The Authority are seen talking to Randy Orton and Batista.
Recap of SummerSlam 1988 is shown, with The Ultimate Warrior beating The Honky Tonk Man in record fashion to become Intercontinental champion.
Back to the Authority, Orton and Batista. Triple H says with Bryan gone tonight we need to focus on the Shield. He’s said it before, and he’ll say it again- if we team up, we can put a stop to them. Batista says he just wants to win the WWE title back. Orton agrees, saying that Hunter is on his own. They leave, with the Authority looking distraught.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Rybaxel: Back and forth. Eventually Axel gets heat on Goldust . Ryback works on him too until Rhodes is tagged in and runs roughshod, including a crossbody to the outside. Ryback Axel comes in to interfere, but gets caught with a disaster kick. Cody goes to hit one on Ryback, but he counters with the meathook clothesline to score a victory. I guess they’re in line for a title shot, maybe. Probably not. Or maybe?
There’s still a free week trial available for the Network. They aired a commercial for Legends House. I’m debating as to whether or not this is more interesting than Impact. Oh, who am I kidding. Legends House is TOTALLY more interesting.
Paige vs. Alicia Fox: Alicia dominated most of the match, but Paige fights back, hits a dropkick, then locks in the scorpion cross lock for the submission. People popped for the finish and were generally into Paige.
Usos vs. Batista and Randy Orton: The rematch we’ve all been waiting for. The Usos immediately jump Orton and Batista and lay them out with crossbodies. They eventually make their way to the ring and gain control. Back and forth tags between Orton and Batista isolate the Uso. Since the announcers can’t even tell either Uso apart don’t expect me to, folks. Orton and the Uso make it to the outside, but suddenly the Shield arrive and jump Orton, laying him out. They circle Batista as he gets distracted enough to eat a Superman punch from Reigns as the heels bail.
Footage of the Ultimate Challenge from Wrestlemania VI is shown, as Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan to become WWE champion. Hogan’s theatrics after that match are hilarious. Maybe his best acting performance yet. Or maybe he wasn’t acting, I dunno.
Orton and Batista walk back from their match where Triple H and Stephanie meet them. Triple H simply says “told ya” and walks away. What dorks Orton and Batista are, and how dare they dismissed his pleas to reunite. Don’t they know he’s the smartest guy in the biz?
Paul Heyman came out. He made sure to let everyone know his client Brock Lesnar conquered the streak. They showed pictures of the match from Wrestlemania. Heyman then introduces Cesaro, who now has no music.
Cesaro vs. Mark Henry: Henry overpowers Cesaro early to end him out of the ring. Big E is still looking intently backstage on a monitor. I wonder if he’s been in the same position all this time. Henry works on him a bit, but Cesaro cuts him off, hits a European uppercut from the middle rope, and easily hits the neutralizer for the victory. Looks like we have a new world’s strongest man. Big E is shown again rubbing his belt. I think Big E staring at the TV screen backstage needs to be a meme of some sort.
Lana comes out to introduce Alexander Rusev.
Alexander Rusev vs. Xavier Woods: Poor Woods is already relegated to geek status. Ends quickly with the accolade. R-Truth runs in after the match, but Lana holds Rusev off. When R-Truth goes to check on Woods, Lana says “CRUSH!” and he crushed Truth.
Footage of SummerSlam 1990 is shown with Warrior retaining the championship against Rick Rude in a steel cage.
A preview of the Daniel Bryan documentary that you can see on the WWE Network is shown. That documentary, by the way, is highly recommended.
Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger: Swagger jumps him early but Sheamus quickly recovers, fighting back. He clotheslines him to the floor. Zeb distracts Sheamus, then goes to clobber Swagger but Swagger grabs him and shoves him into the barricade. Swagger controls for a while until he misses an attack in the corner and Sheamus lays into him with a big boot in the other corner. Swagger leaps off the apron for a shoulder block but Swagger lets him slide through and instead locks in the Patriot lock. Swagger plows Sheamus out of the ring, as Cole describes, only for him to drive Sheamus into the barricade outside the ring. Swagger throws Sheamus in, but as he walks in Sheamus hits the brogue kick and that’s that.
Adam Rose promo, the same one from last week.
Snippets of the Warrior docu series they’re planning to air this week on the WWE Network. The first part airs tomorrow.
Sandow comes to the ring and insists he’s going to talk. Big Show comes out, and he’s still talking. He asks why would they cheer Big Show. He says people should be begging to touch him. He deserves it. He’s earned it. Earned what? This went on and on forever until Big Show just punched him and left. POINT?
The Wyatts interrupt the announce team. They’re next.
Wyatts come out. Bray says that he’s different. When he sees a blank canvas, he sees a great painting. He’s never once lied to them, but John Cena has. He’s a monster, and don’t worry kids, he won’t let him do this to them anymore. He just needs one little push and he’ll become the monster that he is. He asks John Cena to come out and play.
John Cena comes out. He says he’s not ready for another push (lol get it) and he’s here to have some fun!!! This has Vince McMahon fingerprints all over it. Cracks a bunch of hideously lame jokes. Crowd is behind it only because he name drops them here and there. Smile on your face, more WWE verbiage. This went on forever and forever. Of course the announcers fake laughed.
Wyatt says he loves whenever there’s a serious threat John Cena’s here to make jokes. John Cena goes into serious mode and says that when John Cena gets serious Bray Wyatt gets beat. He says that he wants to take the family out of the equation and that at Extreme Rules he wants Wyatt inside a steel cage. Wyatt likes that. You want to see fun, you want to have a fun time? He sings the “Whole World in His Hands” song. They showed a shot of two people doing it. Ugh, this is the new Fandangoing where they shove it down everyone’s throats, isn’t it. First half of this was horrendous, second half was fine. Bray needs to win clean next month, that’s all I have to say.
Fandango and Layla vs. Santino and Emma. Layla is now with Fandango. You see, he and Summer Rae broke up over Twitter. Yes. Inset promo with Fandango saying to Summer Rae it’s not me, it’s you. Not that long of a match with Layla dumping Emma on her head off the middle rope and covering her for the pinfall.
Stephanie is with Kane, who has not been a fan of his recent job performance lately. Runs down everything that’s happened with the Shield and Bryan. Since we haven’t gotten a Stephanie dressing down in a while, she gave Kane one. Where is the Kane that made children cry and women tremble, she asks? Kane gets up, enraged. He looks at his mask encased in a glass box nearby. He opens the cage, takes out his mask and says he will eviscerate Daniel Bryan. What a riveting feud for Daniel Bryan to venture into following his hot Wrestlemania win.
I think this is where a Bo Dallas promo aired. There was two of them, I don’t remember where the other one was. He’s coming though, guys. I don’t care what anyone says, I’m a bo-liever.
It’s Warrior Week on the WWE Network. Check the schedule for what’s scheduled to air. They air the Ultimate Warrior promo from last week, then follow up with a quote.
Another Adam Rose promo. He won a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. The bunny he beat was sad. Adam Rose says don’t worry, then they had a party. That is one PG party.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett: Barrett has a fantastic new cape that I didn’t point out last week. Barrett works on Ziggler a while, but misses with a knee. Ziggler with a sleeper. Barrett counters but Ziggler clotheslines him out of the ring. Barrett cuts him off and back from commercial. Ziggler fights back with some punches to the corner. Barrett grabs him and hits wasteland but only a two count. Barrett attempts a pumphandle slam but Ziggler counters and drops him for a nearfall.
Ziggler misses a splash into the corner, and Barrett goes to the top and poses, but Ziggler fires back and goes for a superplex, only for Barrett to throw him off. Ziggler flies back and hits a top rope facebuster for a nearfall. Crowd chants “This is Awesome”. This is not awesome, it’s ok at best. Barrett hits a sidewalk slam for a nearfall, then motions for the bole hammer elbow. Ziggler ducks, but doesn’t duck a second time and gets nailed and pinned. It got pretty good towards the end but it was not as “awesome” as this crowd suggests. More of the placing on the card than anything that hurt it, at least for me.
Barrett grabs the mic and says he has some bad news- he’ll be the one who gets the title shot. That is bad news…for him.
They showed a video of Kane being the monster or whatever, destroying a bunch of people. Scary. You know, the only time he was ever over as a monster was during that first run from like 98-00. All these other times Kane has tried to be the monster failed because several months later they just kind of drop it and make him go back to goofy comedy. He’s had so many gimmick changes in the last couple of years alone it’s all kind of stupid really.
The Shield vs. Midcard Heels: That’s what it looks like. All the midcard heels from earlier plus 3MB emerged. Looks like this is a 11 on 3 match. Not much of a match until they just all attack Reigns on the outside for a DQ.
All of a sudden, Evolution’s music hits. Yes- Orton, Batista and Triple H are reunited as one. This got little to no reaction. They make their way to the ring and clear the geeks out of the ring. Then they attack the Shield, laying them all out with multiple finishers in a segment that could have been accomplished in quicker fashion. Triple H then takes the mic and says “Believe in Evolution” as the show ends with Evolution standing strong.
This was a lame duck show if there ever was one. All the matches were ok, not great, and the rest just kind of came off as filler. Looks like they’re pairing off the Shield with Evolution, so that should be interesting. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan has been done enough on weekly television, so much so that even if Kane puts the mask back on I don’t think anyone is clamoring for that match again. I also get a CM Punk title run vibe for Daniel Bryan. Not the best vibe to get after two weeks as champion, but we’ll see. The less said about the insipid John Cena comedy time review segment, the better. But at least they saved that in the end with Wyatt’s stuff. The Intercontinental title tournament is coming off as a big deal, but considering no one’s cared about the Intercontinental championship in ages hopefully this makes people start to care about it with this tournament being the midcard focus for the next few weeks. Not the greatest of shows, but not terrible.