By Jason Powell
Prowrestling.net Live airs tonight at 10:30 p.m. CT (11:30 p.m. ET) and your phone calls are welcome for the free audio show. Join hosts Jason Powell and Zack Zimmerman tonight after Raw at Blogtalkradio.com/prowrestlingdotnet.
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Miami, Florida at American Airlines Arena
[Q1] Triple H headed to the ring as Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL checked in on commentary and hyped that Hunter would reveal the challenger for WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena at SummerSlam. Hunter said people have wondered whether he was going to blow a gasket over Cena keeping the title at Battleground.
Triple H said he is madder than he has been in a long time, but he has options. "Do you know what I'm going to do about it?" Hunter asked. "I'm gonna, I'm gonna tweet my displeasure." He said he might even send an instagram or a vine. "If I don't get what I want I'm going to riot. If I don't get what I want, me and my friend Mark, we're going to stop watching." Hunter also said he could just fire everyone.
"Or I could just relax knowing that sooner or later I always win," he said. "And if I have to wait four more weeks until SummerSlam, then so be it." Hunter said he can "guaran-damn-tee" that John Cena will not longer be WWE World Heavyweight Champion after SummerSlam. Hunter said the question is who.
Randy Orton's music interrupted Triple H. Orton said he has been waiting since WrestleMania for his singles rematch. "A rematch is what I am owed," Orton said. Randy guaranteed that he would beat Cena at SummerSlam if he were given the chance. Hunter said he can appreciate the argument and Orton is the frontrunner, but he has not made up his mind.
Triple H said he will give everyone on the roster a chance to convince him. He said he wants someone to impress him by showing how badly they want it. Orton said if Kane had done his job then he would be champion. "Surely you're not considering Kane," Orton said. Cue Kane's music. Kane came to the ring and said he's tired of being Orton's protector and babysitting.
Roman Reigns' music played and he entered through the crowd. He said his name should be in the conversation. He said nobody wants to see Cena vs. Kane or Cena vs. Orton, but it sounds like everyone wants to see Cena vs. Reigns, which drew a good reaction from the crowd. Reigns hit Kane with a Superman punch, and Orton fled the ring. Triple H booked Reigns in a handicap match against Orton and Kane... [C]
Powell's POV: A decent segment. The internet jabs at the beginning were semi-comical, but I don't know how good of an idea it is to mock frustrated fans. Of course, most fans who are passionate enough to threaten to never watch again usually do and he is a heel. I'm just not sure what purpose it serves aside from Hunter getting some frustrations out. The dynamic with The Authority, Kane, and Orton his really tired. Kane and Orton feel like hapless henchmen due to all the times they have failed despite Hunter stacking the odds in their favor.
[Q2] 1. Roman Reigns vs. Kane and Randy Orton in a handicap match. Reigns worked over Orton to start the match. Reigns was in control when they cut to break over five minutes into the match. Kane grabbed Orton by the throat and took a Superman punch from Reigns. Orton ended up walking out on Kane, who then took a spear and was pinned by Reigns. After the match, Orton teased returning to the ring to face Reigns, but he walked off instead...
Roman Reigns defeated Kane and Randy Orton in a handicap match in 12:30.
The broadcast team hyped Chris Jericho hosting The Highlight Reel with guest Bray Wyatt, and hyped Nikki Bella vs. Cameron, Eva Marie, Alicia Fox, and Rosa Mendes in a handicap match...
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon approached the four Divas who will face Nikki in the handicap match and gleefully pumped them up for their match...
Powell's POV: It's hard to care about Orton and Kane's ongoing issues considering the way both men have been pushed lately. Reigns getting the win was actually expected more than it felt like he was overcoming odds, so I'm not sure he really gained anything from it. I still don't understand why WWE expects viewers to care about Nikki Bella when there is no connection there. They show her pouting and that's about all. I also wonder how many fans who watch Total Divas are left wondering why John Cena never seems upset by his girlfriend getting stuck in all of these handicap matches.
[Q3] A graphic noted that Battleground was the most socially active show on TV by beating several notable networks by more than three times...
Footage aired of the Brie Bella slapping Stephanie and quitting at WWE Payback to remind viewers why Stephanie is picking on Nikki. Nikki made her entrance and hugged Brie Bella, who was seated in the front row.
Stephanie McMahon walked out before the match and mocked Brie as she walked to the ring. Stephanie called Brie a quitter and said she went from being a world famous Diva to being just another face in the crowd. She said Brie abandoned her sister for her husband Daniel Bryan, then mocked her for quitting to save Bryan's championship that he was eventually stripped of. She told Brie that Nikki getting demolished was all because of her.
Brie called Stephanie a bitch. Stephanie called for security, but Nikki held up a ticket. Stephanie told her she was blocking the view of people behind her. Brie took the mic and said Stephanie is doing this because she's a vindictive bitch. Stephanie slapped Brie across the face. Brie tried to go after her, but one of the bald security guys who got a bunch of camera time at Battleground pulled her away.
2. Nikki Bella vs. Cameron, Eva Marie, Rosa Mendes, and Alicia Fox in a handicap match. The match started per Stephanie's orders. The bell rang and the four women attacked Nikki. Alicia performed a scissors kick on Nikki and pinned her. After the match, Stephanie told Nikki that she will eventually do what her sister and quit...
Cameron, Eva Marie, Rosa Mendes, and Alicia Fox beat Nikki Bella in a handicap match in 0:33.
The broadcast team hyped Flo Rida's appearance... [C]
Powell's POV: A solid angle with Stephanie and Brie Bella, who are expected to wrestle at SummerSlam. Nikki still hasn't gained anything from this. Using warped WWE creative logic, I could see her eventually taking the easy path by joining Stephanie while claiming that Brie did abandon her.
[Q4] The previous segment was recapped, this time with Brie's "bitch" line censored...
Bo Dallas was in the ring. LaBron James made his entrance. Of course, it was Damien Sandow, who mocked the Miami fans for the real James leaving and going back to Cleveland...
3. Bo Dallas vs. Damien Sandow (as LaBron James). At 2:10, Sandow removed his headband and tossed it into the crowd and yelled, "Cleveland, I'm coming home." Dallas came right back with a running Bo-Dog for the win...
Bo Dallas beat Damien Sandow in 2:30.
Cole hyped that Fozzy's new album drops on Tuesday via iTunes. Lawler hyped The Highlight Reel... [C]
Powell's POV: The Miami fans weren't all that bothered by Sandow. It's hard to tell whether it's just a lack of passion by the majority of the fans or if they just weren't going to play along with the usual Sandow silliness. I have no idea why heel Sandow just faced heel Dallas. Bo didn't do anything out of the ordinary and still had the over the top celebration afterward. I sure hope they're not going to turn him babyface.
Sheamus is on Tuesday's Royal Pains television show... The broadcast team spoke briefly and then the Wyatt Family sounder interrupted them. The Wyatt Family delivered their custom to the city pre-match introduction before making their entrance. They arrived in the ring where the Highlight Reel set was waiting.
Wyatt told the crowd that the host of the show was indisposed. He set up footage of all three Wyatt Family members attacking Jericho in his locker room in a segment that aired on the WWE app during the commercial break. The footage ended with Wyatt performing Sister Abigail on Jericho into the wall. Back in the ring, Wyatt said Jericho wasn't there for the fans but he is.
Wyatt said war is his game. He said that in the Wyatt Family's short reign of terror, they have dismantled giants and destroyed monsters. He said Jericho will find that he can't measure him like a normal man because society is his play thing and time is irrelevant to him. "I live 100 years in a day, man," Jericho said.
Wyatt recalled Abigail telling him that he should be careful chasing vengeance or he would have to dig graves for his opponent and himself. "Unfortunately for you, Chris Jericho, I am forever," Wyatt concluded...
[Q5] Backstage, Jericho was being treated by the trainer. Jericho had blood coming out of his ear... The broadcast team spoke at ringside about the angle. Cole noted that Wyatt said one loss in battle doesn't matter to him. JBL said Wyatt is winning the war. Cole hyped Triple H's decision regarding the SummerSlam main event was coming up next... Backstage, Flo Rida walked through the backstage area and hugged several wrestlers... The Miz made his entrance heading into the break... [C]
Powell's POV: As if stealing the gimmick of Tyler Breeze wasn't enough, now Miz looks like he's wearing one of Disco Inferno's outfits. The Wyatt attack on Jericho was pretty basic followup to Wyatt losing to Jericho. I don't believe there was any mention of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan losing to The Uso Brothers.
The broadcast team recapped how Miz won the battle royal at Battleground...
4. Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match. Cole said Miz took a private jet to Miami after Battleground and parties on South Beach. Sure. Ziggler worked over Miz early and performed nine elbow drops, which the fans counted along with. Some of the fans booed when Miz rolled away before Ziggler could hit the tenth. Both men ended up on the ring apron, and Miz ended up dropping Ziggler face first on the ring post heading into the break.
Powell's POV: If WWE is being consistent, then Ziggler should be out cold from the ring post spot. I guess Jack Swagger has a soft head and WWE is back to making the ring post spot just one of those things that happens heading into a commercial break.
[Q6] [C] Miz was in control after the break and there was a loud "Let's Go Ziggler" chant. Ziggler came back with a couple clotheslines, a Stinger splash, and a neckbreaker. The crowd was hot and then Ziggler was slow to get up and the fans just died. Ziggler went for the Fameasser, but Miz dodged it. Ziggler came back with a backslide for a two count. Miz hit a one-armed slam for a two count of his own.
There was a mildly awkward spot and a bit of confusion, and one of them could be heard calling the audible around 10:50. Miz kicked Ziggler's knee and DDT'd him for another two count made obvious by Cole saying that it might be it. Miz worked over the leg of Ziggler and then went for the Figure Four, but Ziggler caught him in an inside cradle for a two count. Miz blocked a superkick and then applied the Figure Four. Ziggler reached the ropes to break the hold.
Ziggler came back with the Fameasser for another two count at 13:10. Ziggler continued to sell the knee. A "this is awesome" chant broke out. The camera cut a random fan shot and seemed to find the least enthused bunch of fans in the building. Ziggler dodged the Skull Crushing Finale and then teased throwing a superkick, but Miz covered up his face. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag and scored the clean pin...
Dolph Ziggler pinned The Miz in a non-title match in 14:00.
Powell's POV: A good match with near falls that popped the crowd. It didn't take long for WWE to show us that Miz is just another secondary champion who will lose non-title matches, presumably frequently enough that no one will take him seriously.
Backstage, Triple H told Seth Rollins that there's no reason for him to face John Cena at SummerSlam since he has the Money in the Bank contract. Rollins vented about Dean Ambrose preventing him from cashing in. Rollins said they have to shut him down permanently.
Cesaro entered the picture and said he should get the title match at SummerSlam. He said that as of this moment, he is no longer a Paul Heyman Guy. Cesaro said he wants to be "your guy" to Triple H. Hunter said he could be impressed if Cesaro took care of Dean Ambrose in a match. Cesaro told him to consider it done. "What's his deal, man?" Rollins asked Hunter. Triple H said he doesn't know "but let's see what he can do"...
A shot aired of Paige and A.J. Lee together backstage. The broadcast team said they would team up after the break...
Powell's POV: I am curious to see where they go with Cesaro now that he's no longer with Heyman. He's suddenly losing most of his matches and I wonder if they now intend to bring back the Cesaro Swing and turn him babyface.
[Q7] [C] Highlights aired of the AJ beat Paige at Battleground...
5. A.J. Lee and Paige vs. Natalya and Emma. No televised entrances for Natalya or Emma. There was a loud C.M. Punk chant as the match got underway and it faded quickly. Natalya put Paige in the Sharpshooter at 1:55. Paige crawled to the corner and tagged in Lee, who ran the ropes and blasted Natalya with a knee to the face. Lee applied the Black Widow for the submission win.
A.J. Lee and Paige defeated Natalya and Emma in 2:30.
After the match, Lee skipped around the ring and then Paige called her back to the ring and gave her a big hug. They posed for the crowd and then Paige pulled Lee down by the hair and head-butted her a few times. Paige let out a scream and threw Lee to ringside and ran her into the barricade. Paige picked up Lee and ran her into the ring post. "This is my house!" Paige yelled. Paige picked up Lee and threw her over the broadcast table. "My house, A.J." Paige said...
Cole hyped the Triple H decision. He stopped momentarily and asked if Lee was okay. Lawler hyped the Flo Rida segment as well... [C]
Powell's POV: A good attack by Paige and we finally have an established babyface vs. heel dynamic. Okay, we mostly have that dynamic because it's not like A.J. has really said or done anything to embrace the fans since she returned. Still, I'm happy they took this step. I am unhappy that Natalya carrying Charlotte to the match of her life at NXT has resulted in her receiving less TV time than usual and then losing here.
[Q8] 6. Fandango vs. Zack Ryder (w/Summer Rae, Layla). Ryder had a televised entrance for once, which is only so he could point and then the ladies came out and escorted him to the ring. Cole noted that Ryder has 1.6 million followers on Twitter and is doing something right. Ryder hit the Rough Ryder and covered Fandango, who put his foot on the bottom rope. However, Layla pushed Ryder's foot off the rope and the referee counted three...
Zack Ryder defeated Fandango in 1:30.
Powell's POV: The women tormenting Fandango would be the worst thing in WWE if it wasn't for the Damien Sandow silliness.
A recap of the Stephanie and Brie segment aired from earlier in the show. The broadcast team spoke about their storyline...
Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Flo Rida. Heath Slater showed up and recalled Flo putting his hands on him at WrestleMania. Slater said he was there to return the favor. Slater shoved Flo, who responded by shoving him hard enough to knock him to the ground... [C]
Powell's POV: It's bad enough we have to sit through a musical performance on Raw, but did they really need to make the guest musical guest look tougher than one of the main roster wrestlers?
Cole hyped Sheamus vs. Rusev for WWE Main Event...
Stephanie McMahon stood in the ring and introduced Flo Rida as Miami's own. He performed on the stage.
Powell's POV: Heel Stephanie introduces the musical act? It's as if they want you to turn the channel. Keep in mind that this was the segment they chose to air going into the final hour of the show.
[Q9] Stephanie McMahon was approached by two men in suits on the floor and placed under arrest despite the protest of the bald security guard. The fans chanted "Yes!" while Stephanie protested. One of the cops asked if she struck Brie. Stephanie said she did slap her. She was placed under arrest for battery.
Brie showed up as Stephanie was placed in handcuffs. Stephanie and Brie jawed at one another. Handcuffed Stephanie was led up the ramp and into the backstage area. At ringside, Cole said the cops read Stephanie her rights and she did not remain silent. The cameras backstage showed Triple H getting upset. One of the cops showed Hunter his badge and they continued to lead handcuffed Stephanie through the backstage area. Stephanie was placed in a car, and Hunter assured her that he would be right behind her... [C]
Powell's POV: I wish they would have handcuffed Flo Rida too. It's really nothing against him. Musical acts on pro wrestling television shows are very rarely a good fit.
Backstage, Triple H made arrangements to leave. WWE producer (and former wrestler) Joey Mercury brought up the SummerSlam decision. Triple H told him family comes first. Hunter then stopped and said, "She's going to have to get processed, though, right? She's got lawyers there." Hunter told Mercury to put the car on standby and he would leave once he makes his decision...
Powell's POV: Triple H opting to stay instead of racing to the police station was great. Total old married guy move. Great stuff. One can only wonder how many viewers missed out on Stephanie being arrested because they turned the channel during the musical performance.
[Q10] 7. Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. Kofi Kingston and Big E. Rybaxel did not get a televised entrance. Ryback got a strong reaction when he did the Feed Me More shoulder shake. In the end, Kingston went for a high cross body block on Ryback, who rolled through and got the win. Cole said the win might put Rybaxel in the title hunt...
Ryback and Curtis Axel beat Kofi Kingston and Big E in 3:20.
After the match, Xavier Woods stood in the ring wearing a white suit with a red shirt and glasses. He said you can't get ahead by shaking hands and kissing babies. He told Kingston and E that it's "our time" to find purpose. "Now we take," he concluded...
Triple H was shown talking on the phone backstage...
Powell's POV: Where the hell did that bit with Woods come from? I'm mildly intrigued and it would be nice if they would finally do something with Kingston. Rusev should be petrified at the thought of the three of them joining forces, as he spent a good portion of the summer destroying them all in singles matches. Is this not R-Truth's time?
A graphic boasted that Smackdown was the most watched program on cable on Friday... Cole set up a recap of The Wyatt Family attacking Chris Jericho...
Rusev and Lana made their way to the ring. Lana started to talk, but she was quickly interrupted by The Great Khali's entrance music...
8. Rusev (w/Lana) vs. The Great Khali. Chop, chop, crush. Rusev stomped on Khali's back and applied the Accolade for the win...
Rusev defeated The Great Khali in 2:30.
Powell's POV: WWE showed they are not going to back down from critics. Sure, Lana didn't get promo time, but they went with the far more offensive Great Khali wrestling match instead.
[Q11] Cole once again hyped Sheamus vs. Rusev for Main Event... A sneak peak of Sheamus on the USA Network show Royal Pains was shown... The latest Stardust and Goldust backstage pre-tape aired. Goldust told Stardust they can be the brightest and most bizarre. Cody said they need the cosmic key. Goldust said it's calling them... Dean Ambrose made his entrance to a good reaction. Cole said his match was up next... [C]
Another recap of the Stephanie and Brie segment was shown along with Steph being arrested... Backstage, Renee Young said Stephanie had been arrested on battery charges and there were rumors that she she was also charged with resisting arrest
9. Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro. No televised entrance for Cesaro. Triple H was shown talking on the phone backstage while Seth Rollins and Randy Orton watched the match on a monitor. Ambrose still had his shoulder heavily taped. Ambrose dove over the top rope and Cesaro tagged him with an uppercut heading into the break.
[Q12] [C] Late in the match, Ambrose ran Cesaro's shoulder into the ring post. Ambrose grabbed a chair from ringside and slammed it over the arm of Cesaro while it was wrapped around the ring post. Ambrose threw chairs inside the ring and then sat down one one in the ring...
Cesaro defeated Dean Ambrose by DQ in 12:30.
Backstage, Rene Young spoke with Triple H briefly. He said he was on his way to the ring to make the SummerSlam announcement. She asked if he thought he should be with his wife. Hunter gave her the death stare... [C]
Triple H stood in the ring and told the fans to allow him to introduce the man who will challenge John Cena at SummerSlam. Randy Orton made his entrance to no reaction. Roman Reigns showed up and greeted him at ringside. They fought to the side of the stage and then disappeared. Hunter stood in the ring and looked frustrated.
[Overrun] Paul Heyman walked onto the stage. "Um, Mr. COO you know how much respect I have for you, sir, and I hate to point out the obvious, but Plan A just isn't working with Randy Orton, not while Roman Reigns is around," Heyman said. He added that Dean Ambrose is going to stop Seth Rollins whenever he tries to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. Heyman said The Authority needs to agree with him and implement the dangerous Plan C.
Brock Lesnar's music hit and he walked out to a big reaction. Lesnar and Heyman walked to the ring as Cole put over Lesnar ending The Streak at WrestleMania. Lawler pointed out that Lesnar also broke the arm of Triple H. Lesnar wore a "Eat, Sleep, Break The Streak" t-shirt as he entered the ring.
Triple H shook the hand of Heyman and patted him on the back. Hunter shook the hand Lesnar and left the ring. Heyman introduced himself as the man who conquered Taker's Streak at WrestleMania. Heyman said his client was announcing his intention to conquer John Cena and take the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam.
Heyman said there are some fans who will chant Let's Go Cena. He said there are also fans who are not tucked in by their mommy's at night who will yell Cena Sucks. Heyman said his client doesn't care where you stand, but Cena is in for the beating of a lifetime. Heyman pointed to the big screen for an example of what happened the last time his client zeroed in on someone and decided to give him a beating. Footage aired of Lesnar beating Undertaker at WrestleMania 30.
Heyman said Lesnar gave such a violent beating to Undertaker that Vince McMahon had to ride in an ambulance to the hospital with Taker because he feared for a deadman's wellbeing and life. Heyman said the same beating awaits Cena. "You can't escape this beating," Heyman said.
"At SummerSlam, my client will take John Cena down. Brock Lesnar will punch John Cena's face in. You are going to be hurt by Brock Lesnar. Brock Lesnar's going to injure John Cena. Brock Lesnar is going to mangle John Cena. Then and only then, Brock Lesnar is going to F5 John Cena and strip him of the dignity of being WWE World Heavyweight Champion."
Heyman said Taker's Streak being unbreakable was a myth that Lesnar exposed. He said the recent hype of Cena being the greatest champion of all time, and a 15-time champion is something worth conquering. Heyman delivered a Pledge of Allegiance to Lesnar. "Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman, and I'm the one behind the one in 21-1, and at SummerSlam my client Brock Lesnar will beat John Cena and become the WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World." Lesnar's music played to close the segment...
Powell's POV: The Lesnar return would have been so much hotter if Rock, er, John Cena didn't miss Raw because he was making a movie. Geez, the guy couldn't even be bothered to appear via satellite? All jokes aside, Cena's presence was missed here, but Heyman delivered a strong promo to close the show and I'm already looking forward to Cena vs. Lesnar. By the way, there was no mention of Cena beating Lesnar the last time they met and I'm curious to see if they go there or conveniently leave that out. There's certainly some great footage to show if they want to put a highlight video together to showcase how great and physical that match was.
Overall, Raw had some interesting moments, but it was not the red hot show that I thought we might get to launch the hype for SummerSlam. Thanks for watching along with me tonight. I'll have more to say during Prowrestling.net Live coming up momentarily (if you're reading this after Raw) and in Tuesday's WWE Raw Hit List.