5/12 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Daniel Bryan and Kane, John Cena and The Uso Brothers vs. The Wyatt Family, WWE Payback build continues
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live from Greenville, South Carolina at Bon Secours Wellness Arena
[Q1] A video package recapped Sheamus winning the U.S. Title in a battle royal, and The Shield battling The Wyatt Family and eventually Evolution... Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler were on commentary...
The Shield stood in the ring for a promo. Dean Ambrose recalled how they were all left in the ring. He said that doesn't happen often and they don't stay down. He said they want Evolution. Seth Rollins took the mic and said they are not running from Evolution, they are running to Evolution. He said they want a rematch and will run through Evolution.
Rollins said they will hunt down Evolution once they arrive. He said Evolution is good and all three men have headlined WrestleMania. "You were really good," he added. Rollins said they are not the Evolution they once were because they can't evolve into what it takes to beat The Shield.
Rollins said he saw Roman Reigns pacing and asked if he had something to say. Reigns gave the mean face and the women squealed. Reigns recalled taking all the finishers from Evolution. "All of that made me realize, is that all you got?" He said if it is, then they have a serious problem. Reigns said they are going to teach Evolution the concept of payback and to believe in The Shield. He said he would personally team them to believe in him.
On the big screen, a limo was shown arriving at the building. The Shield members headed backstage. Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista stopped and Hunter signed off on something. The Shield attacked them and WWE producers and referees quickly intervened. Hunter was left lying on the ground holding his head...
The broadcast team discussed the segment and then hyped the six-man tag match... Rob Van Dam made his entrance. Cole said RVD would face Jack Swagger after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: The Shield shined during the opening segment. Rollins had more mic time than his teammates, but he didn't overstay his welcome this time. Reigns continues to come off like the coolest guy in WWE. They didn't make a big fuss over Hunter lying on the ground holding his head. I thought it might be an injury angle initially, but then they just moved on without drawing attention to it.
Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger were in the ring cutting a promo after the break. Zeb said his deportation list is one of the most important documents in U.S. history when Adam Rose interrupted him. Zeb said a man who hangs out with a full grown bunny has moral issues...
1. Rob Van Dam vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter). The bell rang and that was the cue for Adam Rose and his posse. They all headed to ringside and Rose stood on the apron. On cue with the music, Swagger took a swing and Rose did his trust fall into the arms of his posse, which had more men in costume than before. RVD ended up kicking Swagger and performing the Five Star Frogsplash for the win...
Rob Van Dam defeated Jack Swagger in 2:00.
Powell's POV: The match consisted of the punch and splash. RVD celebrated with the Rosebuds afterward, but he didn't look nearly as corny as Dolph Ziggler did on Main Event Live. Unfortunately, Michael Cole demonstrated how to stand up out of your seat and jump up and down. WWE still hasn't figured out that Cole endorsing something like this is the kiss of death.
A video package focussed on WWE Divas Champion Paige. If featured highlights of her in the ring and of her sit-down interview. Cole said Paige was up after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Simple and effective. This was better than the usual graphic we see for whoever is coming up next. It was brief yet it made Paige look important.
The latest Bolieve vignette aired for Bo Dallas...
2. WWE Divas Champion Paige vs. Alicia Fox in a non-title match. JBL noted that it was a good week for the UK because Paige, Bad News Barrett, and Sheamus are all champions. Cole added that they will all be on the UK tour. Alicia Fox cut a promo saying that the Divas don't like Paige and she doesn't fit in. Alicia hit her with the mic and put the boots to her.
The referee got Alicia to back off and let Paige get to her feet and made sure she was okay to compete before starting the match. Alicia worked over Paige early and put her in a surfboard before dropping her on her face.
[Q3] Paige came back with Paige Turner for the win out of nowhere. After the match, Alicia threw a tantrum at ringside. She tore the announcers' table top off, then opened a can of something and sprayed it on the front row of fans. She also face palmed a crew member and jawed at the referee. Alicia grabbed JBL's hat and strutted away...
Paige beat Alicia Fox in 3:55.
A video recapped the horror movie silliness involving Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Brie Bella from last week... [C]
Powell's POV: It seems like a little thing, but I like the way the referees now check on the babyfaces when they are attacked before a match. It always seems odd when the heels are rewarded for attacking babyfaces by having the bell ring to start the match. Alicia was good here and I've never really understood why she became a throwaway Diva. The only thing I didn't care for was the way she grabbed JBL's hat and strutted at the end if only because she went from being a heel to getting cheers from the horny males.
A portion of Daniel Bryan's entrance was shown. Once in the ring, Bryan thanked the fans. He said he knew it was going to be an uphill battle from the moment he first won the title at SummerSlam. He said it has been, but it's just a little bit steeper than he thought it would be. The fans chanted "no." Bryan laughed and said, "So that's what it's like to be John Cena."
Bryan said that as soon as he got back from his honeymoon, he got the worst beating of his life. He recalled Kane performing three Tombstone piledrivers on him. He said he was determined to come back and beat him and he did at Extreme Rules. Bryan said that came with a price. He said his entire style comes with a price. He said he believes some of the reason that people cheer him is that he pays the price with his body.
Bryan said he has to pay the price this week when he has neck surgery on Thursday. Bryan said he's not happy about it because this has been a dream of his since he was a little kid. He said there are people such as Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Kane who are excited about it because they think his career is over.
Bryan said there's a chance it will be. "But it won't be," Bryan said. He said he doesn't know when he will come back. He asked the crowd whether he will come back and then said they know the answer. Bryan led the fans in "Yes!" chants... The broadcast team discussed the news at ringside...
[Q4] A Bray Wyatt and John Cena video package aired... [C]
Powell's POV: Damn, can this guy catch a break? I hope the retirement possibility is simply a case of the severity being played up for storyline purposes. I just can't believe the roller coaster ride this guy's life has been lately. Here's wishing him the best.
John Cena made his entrance with his new "Never Give Up" rally towel. Footage of his appearance as grand marshal of the Susan G. Komen event over the weekend was shown. The Uso Brothers made their entrance. The Wyatt Family did their backstage "we're here" bit and didn't mention the name of the city... [C]
[Q5] 3. John Cena and The Uso Brothers vs. The Wyatt Family. The Wyatt Family isolated one of the Uso Brothers early on. The Uso made the hot tag to Cena, who got a strong reaction with some boos mixed in. Cena cleaned house until Luke Harper picked him up and slammed him down on his face. It was rapid fire spot time with all six men taking their turn.
Cena applied the STF on Rowan, but Wyatt broke it up with a senton splash. Wyatt went for his finisher, but the Uso's broke it up with a pair of super kicks. The Uso Brothers dove onto Wyatt and Harper on the floor. Inside the ring, Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Rowan for the win...
John Cena and The Uso Brothers defeated The Wyatt Family in 9:40.
After the match, Bray Wyatt took the mic in the ring and addressed Cena on the stage. Wyatt thanked Cena for helping him realize what he must do. Wyatt thanked Cena again and told him to follow the buzzards... The broadcast team hyped Evolution appearing later in the show... [C]
Powell's POV: A strong high energy six-man tag match. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper looked good in defeat, and the crowd was fired up for the rapid fire move sequence and the babyface star power. It was a logical feel good match to follow up the Bryan announcement. I am surprised that they are not playing up the reaction of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon to the Bryan news. I expect the usual insincere routine, but fans are asking questions about the status of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
[Q6] Evolution made their entrance as the broadcast team recapped the opening segment. Orton said it's time to take the gloves off. He said he knows The Shield were Hunter's boys at one time, but it's time to put the Hounds of Justice to sleep. Batista yelled without a mic that he's had enough and complained that they are calling him out.
Triple H conceded that it might be time to take the gloves off. He said he coddled them and The Shield got a little too big for their own minds. He said they are undisciplined like kids who wave a stick around in front of them. Huh? Anyway, Hunter said they will get their rematch. He said the gloves are off and they will take them apart one by one.
Hunter recalled Ambrose asking if they look humbled. Triple H said Ambrose doesn't look humbled yet but he will. He said he plans to pluck the wings off the "hummingbird" Rollins. He said they will get to Reigns and then take their time and make an example out of him. Hunter said Reigns will be the member of The Shield who does not come back from Payback.
"Roman Reigns, you will fail to adapt and at Payback, you will..." Seth Rollins tripped up Triple H from behind. The other members of The Shield hit the ring and all three men worked over Evolution and cleared them from the ring quickly. Batista grabbed a mic and said he's had enough about five times and then challenged Reigns to a match for later in the show... [C]
Powell's POV: The Rollins attack came just at the right time as there was a growing "boring" chant. The Shield has been so dominant in every head-to-head confrontation the factions have had that what Evolution says just doesn't ring true. For that matter, it doesn't feel like a showdown match as much as one that The Shield should win barring outside interference.
Eva Marie, Cameron, Naomi, and Brie Bella were shown at ringside... Following the Brie Bella and Natalya introductions, footage aired from Total Divas. Natalya painted a bad picture of Cena and Nikki, and now she's upset that Nikki didn't like the painting. Yes, really...
4. Natalya vs. Nikki Bella. The aforementioned cast members stood at ringside and held up numbers.
[Q7] Late in the match, Natalya went for a rollup, but Nikki sat down on her and got the pin. Natalya was upset afterward. Nikki celebrated with the other cast members, and Natalya came over and tore up one of the numbers they were holding up...
Nikki Bella pinned Natalya.
Powell's POV: Awful. Natalya is mad because Nikki didn't like her painting? What the hell are the fans supposed to do with this? Do you cheer Nikki for having good taste? Do you cheer for Natalya because she's overly sensitive about her poor painting skills? No, you turn the channel and swear off Total Divas while doing so.
Footage aired of Sheamus winning the U.S. Title via the battle royal last week...
5. U.S. Champion Sheamus vs. Curtis Axel (w/Ryback) in a non-title match. Axel and Ryback now have matching red hats. Really. They played rock, paper, scissors and flipped a coin to see who would work the match. In the end, Sheamus applied the Cloverleaf, causing Axel to tap out. After the match, Ryback attacked Sheamus, who asked, "You wanna fight, fella?"... [C]
Sheamus beat Curtis Axel in 3:20.
[Q8] 6. U.S. Champion Sheamus vs. Ryback (w/Curtis Axel) in a non-title match. Ryback had Sheamus down and went for the Meathook Clothesline, but Sheamus ducked it and countered with White Noise for a two count. Ryback ducked the Brogue Kick and performed a spinebuster for a two count. Sheamus performed a powerslam for a two count.
Sheamus went to the corner and set up for the Brogue Kick, but Axel distracted him and Ryback regained control. Ryback went for Shellshocked. Sheamus slid off his shoulders and hit the Brogue Kick for the win...
Sheamus beat Ryback in 12:00.
Powell's POV: So much for the match red hat idea. Ryback and Axel should add red mittens next week.
The featured match on WWE Main Event will be Sheamus vs. Cesaro...
Stephanie McMahon walked to the ring for a promo. She built up Daniel Bryan and then said she hopes she's not right about this, but he's simply not an A-plus player. She said he has the heart of a champion. "But he just can't pull through for you," she said. Stephanie said she and her family have to do what's best for business.
[Q9] Stephanie said that since they don't know what the outcome of the surgery will be, she needed him to come to the ring so that she could tell him something face to face. Kane's pyro hit instead. Kane dragged Bryan by one arm onto the stage and left him there. Bryan's shirt was torn and his face and arms was scratched up.
Stephanie flashed a look of shock. Several referees and trainers ran out, and Brie Bella joined them on the stage. Stephanie joined them on the ramp and watched as the medical crew put Bryan on a gurney. Stephanie told the EMTs that Bryan is having neck surgery on Thursday... [C]
Powell's POV: No official ruling regarding Bryan and the title. Let's just say that Kane dragging him around by one arm is odd for a guy having neck surgery. At the rate they are going, I just expect Kane to show up and attack Bryan during surgery.
After the break, Bryan was being placed in the ambulance. Stephanie said she was sorry repeatedly while claiming that she didn't know that was going to happen. Brie shoved her and told her to stay away. Stephanie initially looked surprised and then flashed her serious/angry face...
7. Fandango (w/Layla) vs. Dolph Ziggler. More Total Divas footage aired before the match. Late in the match, Layla got her foot caught in the ring apron. Fandango turned his attention to her and Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for the win.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Fandango in 4:45.
[Q10] After the match, Layla entered the ring with a concerned look on her face. Fandango grabbed the mic and said that he may have lost the match, but he knows he's a winner because no woman makes him feel the way she does. He said Dolph may have won, but she is worth something much more valuable - my heart. "Layla, I love you," Fandango said. They made out...
Powell's POV: Ziggler and Fandango actually borrowed that finish from a classic Verne Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel match that was held at the Cow Palace in 1978. Okay, I'm just making shit up now. Based on the live crowd's reaction, no one cared about the post match love fest. The fans barely even groaned at the "I love you" line like wrestling fans normally do.
Hacksaw Duggan came to the ring and did his usual schtick. He snuck in a plug for Legends' House before Lana's music interrupted him. She said Duggan symbolizes America in that it was once a great nation, but just like England the empire has crumbled and it is a laughing stock.
Lana said China has the strongest economy in the world. The fans chanted USA. She put over Vladimir Putin. Duggan excused her and led a USA chant. Lana introduced Rusev (he lost his first name last week). They walked to the ring together, and Lana told Duggan he had once chance to beg for mercy.
Duggan tried to start a USA chant. Rusev grabbed his two-by-four and broke it over his knee. Lana gave the crush command. Big E's music hit and he ran out for the save. Rusev worked over E and caught him with a big kick to the head. E rolled to ringside...
Powell's POV: I'm not sure what it was about E getting his ass handed to him that led Duggan to feel so patriotic, but I'll be damned if he didn't lead another USA chant while E was selling next to him on the floor.
The broadcast team recapped the Evolution and Shield drama from earlier, and hyped Batista vs. Reigns...
[Q11] [C] Damien Sandow made his entrance and recalled his interruption of the Raw Pre Show. He said people are afraid of what he has to say. He was interrupted by entrance music...
8. Cody Rhodes (w/Goldust) vs. Damien Sandow. Late in the match, Cody raked the eyes of Sandow while the referee yelled at Goldust for no apparent reason. Rhodes hit the Disaster Kick for the clean win...
Cody Rhodes beat Damien Sandow in 4:50.
The broadcast team hyped Reigns vs. Batista... [C]
Powell's POV: After watching the finish over again, this referee is a stickler for where Goldust stands. I believe the idea was that he wanted Goldust in Cody's corner, which is probably the first time this has been enforced in the modern day history of WWE.
[Q12] Another Bolieve vignette aired for Bo Dallas... Footage aired of Bryan announcing his neck surgery, and of the scene at the ambulance...
Backstage, Bray Wyatt cut a promo while Harper and Rowan stood by. Wyatt said humans are flawed. "They've become parasites, infected," he said. Wyatt accused Cena of being the same. He set up a Last Man Standing match for the Payback pay-per-view, but it was not made official...
The Shield made their entrance for the main event... [C] John Cena's response to Bray Wyatt was advertised for Smackdown... Evolution made their entrance...
9. Roman Reigns (w/Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose) vs. Batista (w/Triple H, Randy Orton). After a few minutes of forgettable action, the other Evolution members got involved and then The Shield members got the better of them. The referee called for the bell.
Roman Reigns fought Batista to a no-contest in 4:20.
[Overrun] The Shield had Evolution down and were standing around them in the ring. Stephanie McMahon walked out and pointed a group of heel wrestlers to the ring. Ryback, Axel, 3MB, Swagger, Brodus Clay, Titus O'Neil, and Fandango ran out. The heels worked over The Shield while Evolution watched on from ringside.
The Shield came back and got the better of all those wrestlers. Ryback was the last man in the ring with them. Reigns speared Ryback and then they teamed up for the Triple Powerbomb. Evolution looked a little concerned on the floor...
Powell's POV: The Shield continue to be so dominant that it's definitely helping them stay over, yet making them look like heavy favorites against Evolution once again. Sure, there could be cheating that leads to an Evolution win, but these matches should have felt like major showdown matches with real mystery regarding which team was better than the other. They didn't capture that going into Extreme Rules and they're definitely not creating it for Payback. Perhaps they feel it's worth it to make The Shield strong.
Overall, a decent show that became much more newsworthy with the Daniel Bryan injury and the way it was handled. I will have more to say tonight during Prowrestling.net Live and on Tuesday in my WWE Raw Hit List. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.
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