4/29 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: John Cena and Team Hell No vs. The Shield, update on Cena's Achilles injury
By Jason Powell
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live from Columbus, Ohio from Nationwide Arena
[Q1] Michael Cole (joined by JBL and Jerry Lawler on commentary) announced that Raw was live and sold out in Columbus. Alberto Del Rio's music played and he and Ricardo Rodriguez made their way to the ring with the bucket in hand. Ricardo was wearing Zubaz.
Big E Langston and Zeb Colter were already in the ring. Cole explained that Teddy Long had booked them in a Triple Threat match with the winner picking the stipulation of the World Hvt. Championship match at Extreme Rules...
1. Big E Langston (w/Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee) vs. Ricardo Rodriguez (w/Alberto Del Rio) vs. Zeb Colter (w/Jack Swagger) in a Triple Threat. Langston smiled before the match. JBL said Langston should be smiling because he was facing a ring announcer and a war veteran. Langston roughed up Ricardo to start the match while Colter stood in his corner. Cole said there were 14,282 fans in attendance.
Langston whipped Ricardo into Colter's corner. Langston charged at Ricardo, who moved and went on a flurry of offense. Colter checked in and threw punches at Langston. Ricardo and Colter squared off, but Langston recovered and clotheslined Ricardo. Colter threw punches at Ricardo until Langston approached him.
Colter backed off and pretended to blow out his knee. Ricardo grabbed the stupid bucket and hit Langston with it. Langston no-sold the bucket and slammed Ricardo down. Del Rio entered the match and kicked Langston. Cole pointed out it was a No DQ match due to it being a Triple Threat. Ziggler dropkicked Del Rio. Swagger threw Ziggler to ringside. Langston clotheslined Swagger and they both tumbled to ringside.
Colter found himself alone in the ring with Ricardo and covered him. AJ Lee entered the ring and stopped the referee from counting. Colter stood up and bickered with the referee. Ricardo recovered and rolled up Colter for the win...
Ricardo Rodriguez defeated Zeb Colter and Big E Langston in a Triple Threat match in 5:00 to give Alberto Del Rio the right to pick the stipulation for the World Hvt. Championship match at Extreme Rules.
Powell's POV: Ridiculous, absurd, and entertaining. Colter did a good job of showing cowardice and trying to be an opportunistic heel. The live crowd really liked Ricardo getting the win. I wouldn't want to see that more than once, but it worked here. Now why is there a stipulation for a Triple Threat match with no disqualifications? I guess we'll find out.
The announcers addressed John Cena's Achilles' injury at ringside and said it seems like he will be ready. Lawler acknowledged that Cena will be ready for the main event. Cole said Cena was coming up next with a special presentation for World Wish Day... There was an awkward transition to highlights from the opening match... [C]
A graphic noted that WWE had over 1.5 billion video views on Youtube last year...
[Q2] At ringside, Cole spoke about John Cena's work with Make-A-Wish. They set up footage from NBC's Today Show of a segment involving a boy whose wish was to meet Cena. Cena came out in his gear and handed the boy the WWE Championship and invited him and his family to Raw. Cena told him he would be a WWE Superstar with him on Raw...
Back in the building, the fans cheered after the video played. Cena made his entrance with three boys and their mothers. No boos here (thank God). Cena introduced Jacob, Nicholas, and Logan. Cena said they were three Make-A-Wish kids whose wish was to experience Raw in person. The crowd cheered.
Cena encouraged viewers to visit Wish.org/wwe to help make similar moments possible. Cena said tonight was special and they were making the three kids WWE Superstars. Jacob said his WWE name is The Eliminator, Nick picked "Nick The Stitch," and Logan went with "Lightning Logan."
Cena told the fans to keep in mind that the kids were granted just one wish and they chose to come to Raw and hang out "with all of us." Cena fired up the crowd and told them to let the kids know what it's like to be apart of WWE Raw. They all did the "You Can't See Me" hand gestures. "For everybody here tonight, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making a very special moment that much more wonderful," Cena said...
Powell's POV: The best segment we will see on Raw this year.
The announcers spoke at ringside about the segment with Cena and the kids... A shot aired of Randy Orton walking backstage... [C]
2. Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes. There was a loud "Let's Go Orton" chant as Cody took temporary control.
[Q3] Cody avoided the Hanging DDT and the RKO and they cut to commercial at 6:25 of the match. [C] After the break, Cody caught Orton with a Beautiful Disaster kick. Rhodes controlled the next couple minutes of offense and then went to the top rope, only to be tripped up by Orton.
Orton followed up with a big superplex and covered Rhodes, but Cody kicked out. Orton fired off some of his signature offense, including the hanging DDT. Orton worked the hot crowd into a frenzy before striking the Viper's Pose and then going for the RKO. Cody blocked it and countered with CrossRhodes for an excellent near fall. Cody went to the ropes for what the announcers said was a Beautiful Disaster kick, but he dove headfirst into the RKO...
Randy Orton beat Cody Rhodes in 16:25.
Matt Striker entered the ring and interviewed Orton. He asked whether Orton is still haunted by Big Show knocking him out at WrestleMania 29. Orton said the moment fuels him and he's never been so focussed and never felt so extreme. Cody tried to attack him from behind, but Orton caught him with another RKO.
Powell's POV: Remember when Orton vs. Rhodes meant something? It's a shame that Legacy didn't make Cody and Ted DiBiase they way it should have. The match was very good and it shows just how well they can work together. I get a kick out of Cody's mustache and all, but this match is a reminder that he can be more than a comedic heel.
Backstage, The Bella Twins said they were too busy walking the red carpet for Total Divas while the battle royal was taking place last week... Cole hyped the Total Divas show starting in July on E!, and then hyped Nikki Bella vs. Naomi for after the break...
[Q4] [C] An ad for Smackdown questioned whether The Shield is totally unstoppable... A sneak peak aired of Total Divas...
Powell's POV: The twins played up their snobby personas and there were crying Divas as well. Here's hoping some of the tears are over the sad state of the Divas division.
3. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) vs. Naomi (w/Cameron). Twin Magic led to Nikki getting the win, but the referee listened to Cameron complain and then disqualified Nikki. The Bellas attacked Cameron and Naomi afterward. "The Bellas are back and as nasty as ever," Cole said...
Naomi beat Nikki Bella by DQ in 1:15.
Powell's Chauvinistic POV: I can sympathize with the referee. I can't even tell you how many times I've reversed one of my own decisions just to end the needless bitching of a woman.
The Shield made their entrance through the crowd and set up in the ring for a promo.
[Q5] Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns took turns talking. Rollins said that from the moment they started their crusade at Survivor Series through now, no one has been able to stop them. He said they changed the course of WWE history when they stopped Ryback from becoming WWE Champion. Still shot photos aired of Ryback, Rock, Big Show, Sheamus, and John Cena taking the Triple Power bomb.
Dean Ambrose said those men were mortal. He said they looked immortality in the face and force fed justice to The Undertaker. Ambrose said Taker is a victim. He said he was a symbol of justice in WWE and generations bowed down to his legacy, but they bow down to no one. "Rest in peace," Reigns said. Highlights aired of The Shield attacking Undertaker at the end of Smackdown.
Ambrose said justice doesn't care if you are undefeated at WrestleMania or the champion. "When your number gets called justice strikes without warning or mercy," he said. Rollins said justice has not forgotten about Cena or Ryback.
The 3MB music interrupted Rollins. Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal walked onto the stage. "Why?" Lawler asked. Heath Slater said they have business with 3MB tonight. McIntyre asked who they think they are. He said they were seconds away from showing Triple H how they roll when The Shield crashed the party. Jinder said they are crashing their party and rocking their face. "You've got to be kidding me," JBL said.
3MB entered the ring and fought. The Shield members got the better of 3MB immediately and beat them down with punches until Kane's music and pyro hit. Kane and Daniel Bryan walked to the ring. Cole said Kane may be looking for retribution for Undertaker. Kane and Bryan entered the ring, and The Shield slipped away. Kane and Bryan beat up 3MB instead. "Does everybody hate 3MB?" JBL asked...
Powell's POV: For a second I thought they might try to establish 3MB as plucky underdogs, but it was just another burial complete with negative comments from the announcers. If WWE knows the trio sucks, why not end the act and repackage the trio? The Shield promo felt overproduced with all of the pauses for the still shot photos. They delivered their lines well, but it felt like they had more heat when they entered than they did in the ring until Kane and Bryan showed up.
Backstage, John Cena was getting his foot wrapped when Ryback entered the room. "You can tape that up all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that you're hurt," Ryback said. Cena responded by saying he's hurt, not injured. Cena said he is more effective on one leg than Ryback is on two. "I can't take that chance," Ryback said before leaving the room... [C]
At ringside, Cole and Lawler spoke about Domino's pizza. Lawler said he just ordered a pizza, so they went onto the website to track it. Lawler asked how long it would take. Cole said it's slow baked so it would be another 20 or 30 minutes...
Powell's POV: Call me when they bring back the "30 minutes or it's free" bit. That said, this is a massive upgrade from that a-hole Jared from Subway.
[Q6] The announcers hyped Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro for the U.S. Title as the featured match on Wednesday's WWE Main Event television show...
4. World Hvt. Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee, Big E Langston) vs. U.S. Champion Kofi Kingston in a non-title match. Kingston caught Ziggler with a kick to the face early. Dolph ended up dropkicking Kingston off the ring apron to the floor heading into the commercial break. [C]
After the break, Ziggler avoided Trouble in Paradise and followed up with a DDT for a two count. Later, Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise and had the pin, but Lee put Ziggler's foot on the ropes to break up the pin. Langston pulled Ziggler to ringside. Kofi dove off the ring apron onto Langston and then slid Ziggler back inside the ring.
Kingston performed a Cross Body Block for a two count. Kofi knocked Langston off the ring apron. Dolph rolled up Kingston, who rolled through for a good two count. Later, Kofi missed a move from the top rope and then ate the Zig Zag to lose the match. After the match, Langston entered the ring and performed The Big Ending on Kingston twice...
Dolph Ziggler beat Kofi Kingston in 12:50 in a non-title match.
Cole hyped "the entire story" of Brock Lesnar and Triple H after the break...
Powell's POV: A very good match that would have been so much more entertaining if we didn't know the formula of the secondary champion losing to the World Champion in these far too frequent champion vs. champion matches.
[Q7] [C] Backstage, Ziggler, Langston, and Lee were celebrating their win when they bumped into Kaitlyn and Natalya. Kaitlyn told Ziggler to get his crazy little tramp out of her way and back into a straight jacket. She said she was holding back when she thought she could get her best friend back, but she's not holding back anymore.
A delivery man showed up with a gift. Lee thought it was for her, but she was informed it was for Kaitlyn. It was a hideous studded hat. Even Natalya thought it was awful, but Kaitlyn said it matched her bracelet. It turned out the gift was from a secret admirer...
Powell's POV: I wish the hat was a gift from Mickie James circa 1995.
A video recapped last week's Triple H and Paul Heyman segment... Cole hyped Triple H vs. Lesnar in a cage match for Extreme Rules. He asked who will win the rubber match. JBL said the cage will be used as a weapon, so that has to favor Triple H...
Powell's POV: JBL is right. If only Brock had the same experience that Triple H does with fighting the best heavyweights in the world inside a cage. Oh, wait...
Backstage, Ryback told Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox that John Cena has left him alone to face The Shield for the last time. Vickie said she was thinking the same thing. She announced Ryback and Team Hell No vs. The Shield as a replacement match. "Ryback rules," he said. "Been there, done that. I don't trust either of those guys. No!" Ryback stormed off... [C]
Cole said Raw has been so good that he's developed a huge appetite. Lawler questioned where his pizza is at. They went back to the pizza tracker and found out it's been delivered. Fans at ringside were eating the pizza instead...
Powell's POV: So we've learned tonight is that Domino's will take an eternity to deliver your pizza and then give it to the wrong person. Money well spent on this advertising campaign, Domino's.
[Q8] 5. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Zack Ryder. Ryder had the footage of Colter losing the opening match play on the big screen before the match. Swagger went for a splash off the second rope, but Ryder put his foot up. Ryder had a round of offense that ended when Swagger caught him with a gut wrench powerbomb. Swagger applied the Patriot Lock for the win. Afterward, Swagger held Ryder so Colter could punch him...
Jack Swagger beat Zack Ryder in 3:05.
Powell's POV: Swagger suffered a bloody lip during the match. I like the way Colter is becoming more of a standard despicable manager rather than being a one dimensional heel political commentator.
Footage aired of Matt Striker trying to interview Ryback, who left the building. The announcers questioned what that meant for the Raw main event...
Mark Henry stood in the ring and said he was going to prove that he's the World's Strongest Man. He said he asked Vickie Guerrero for two opponent. Sweet T came out for a tug of war. Yes, really. Henry won. Brodus Clay was out next. He lost a tug of war. Sheamus made his entrance and asked Henry if he wanted one more opponent. Henry was reluctant, but Shemaus goaded him into it.
[Q9] Henry had the advantage when Sheamus let go of the rope, causing Henry to fall on his ass. When Henry stood up, Sheamus gave him a Brogue Kick...
Powell's POV: It's times like these when I wish Raw could be four hours every week. Goddamn, maybe we can we get WWE kickball next week.
Highlights aired of the John Cena segment with the Make-A-Wish kids...
Backstage, Maddox told Kane and Bryan that Ryback left the building. Kane told him to shut up and said it looked like they were back to a handicap match. Bryan said they want the match no matter what. Vickie agreed to give them the match and they left the room. Vickie told Maddox there was one more thing she needed him to do. She whispered into his ear... [C]
Powell's POV: Does Vickie whispering to Maddox mean she's aware of the camera's presence in the backstage area this week?
The announcers updated The Rock's condition following surgery via his Tweets, and hyped that Pain & Gain was No. 1 at the box office...
Backstage, Maddox was inside Cena's locker room. Cena called him Braden Walker and bad mattress. Cena told him to tell Vickie that he wouldn't let Team Hell No go to the ring without a promo. Maddox said Cena is hurt. Cena said Maddox will be hurt bad if he doesn't tell his boss that Cena will be fighting in the main event...
6. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro's entrance was not televised.
[Q10] Cole said Cesaro played rugby and that's why he wears the wraps around his legs. [C]
Powell's POV: I was a hockey goalie when I was younger, but I don't wear a giant goalie cup when I play softball. That's right, that thimble-like bump is all me, ladies!!!
Cesaro had a chinlock applied. Cole said some incredible things have aired on the WWE app tonight and actually cited Cesaro's yodeling as an example. Cesaro continued to control the offense. Del Rio finally made his comeback. Ricardo tried to get the fans to chant and had no luck. Del Rio performed a good suplex into a bridge for a two count.
The fans started singing Ole. Del Rio leapt off the top rope into an uppercut from Cesaro, who covered him for a two count. Ricardo encouraged the Ole singing at ringside, but it didn't pick up again. Del Rio performed a superkick for a two count and then went for the Cross Arm Breaker. Cesaro countered out of it, but Del Rio managed to apply it on the second try and got the submission win...
Alberto Del Rio beat Antonio Cesaro in 13:30.
After the match, the Ole singing started up again and Ricardo motioned for the fans to keep it up. Del Rio said he can choose the stipulation for his title match at Extreme Rules thanks to Ricardo. Del Rio announced that it will be a Triple Threat ladder match, which got a favorable reaction from the crowd...
Shots aired of Fandango and his dancer, and The Great Khali with Natalya...
Powell's POV: We're getting the same long matches with predictable outcomes that we got throughout WrestleMania season. The in-ring action has been solid, but it seems like live crowds are having a hard time caring. Oddly enough, I didn't have that feeling when I watched Smackdown this week.
[Q11] [C] Fandango and his dancer made their entrance and there was some Fandangoing in the crowd. Jerry Lawler, who was standing in the ring with Khali and Natalya, handled the Fandango entrance. Lawler said Fandango and Khali were about to compete in a dance off.
Lawler asked Khali if has ballroom dancing experience. Khalie said he does. Lawler asked him about Dancing With the Stars. I have no f'n clue with Khali said. Lawler asked him how Chris Jericho did on the show. Khali said he's better than him. Khalie and Natalya danced horrible together.
Lawler asked Fandango how Jericho did on Dancing With The Stars. Fandango said he was clumsy. Lawler introduced Fandango's dancer as Summer Rae. They did their usual dance. Lawler asked the fans to vote with their applause. Khali and Natalya won.
Khali danced to his theme song until Fandango took out his leg from behind. Fandango went to the top rope and performed his leg drop. Fandango said his name while Summer posed in front of him...
Powell's POV: Dance contests, Domino's, and three tug of wars. WWE Raw should be five hours every week!!!
At ringside, JBL held up a 10 sign, then a thumbs down for Raw, er, Khali. Cole set up footage from Smackdown of The Shield attacking The Undertaker...
John Cena made his entrance. He said told the camera that he was going to take a run at it and give it everything he has. He hobbled as he ran to the ring while wearing his bad white t-shirt. Kane and Bryan were out next... [C]
[Q12] Cole hyped Kane vs. Dean Ambrose in a match for Friday's WWE Smackdown television show... The Shield made their entrance through the crowd...
7. The Shield vs. John Cena, Kane, and Daniel Bryan. The Shield surrounded the ring and then brawled with the faces upon entry. Kane and Ambrose started the match as things quickly settled into a standard six-man tag. Cena checked in briefly and then tagged out after wincing from a kick he threw with his bad leg. He wanted a tag from Bryan, who tagged Kane instead.
Later, Kane checked in and missed a top rope clothesline, which allowed Ambrose to tag Seth Rollins into the match. Rollins put the boots to Kane heading into the break. [C] After the break, The Shield isolated Bryan.
[Overrun] Bryan knocked Roman Reigns to the floor and made the hot tag to Kane. The live crowd was hoping for Cena, so they were a bit deflated. Cena played it up as if he wanted to be tagged in. Kane performed a top rope clothesline on Ambrose and then threw him to the floor. Kane took the announcers' table apart and the announcers told the story that Kane wants payback for Undertaker.
Ambrose recovered and DDT'd Kane on the floor. Rollins and Reigns recovered and stood on the apron as Kane got back inside the ring to beat the ref's count. Kane eventually tagged in Cena, who performed his signature spots on Reigns and then caught Rollins leaping off the top rope. Cena had Rollins up for the Attitude Adjustment, but then reached down and grabbed his foot. Reigns speared Cena and pinned him...
The Shield defeated John Cena, Kane, and Daniel Bryan in 15:25.
After the match, Ryback walked onto the stage. Lawler acted shocked that Ryback had been there all along, and Cole explained that Ryback was originally scheduled to team with Cena to face The Shield in a handicap match. A trainer checked on Cena while Ryback watched from the stage. "I don't care what he says, he's hurt bad," JBL said to close the show...
Powell's POV: A good main event with the right finish. I like the story of Kane losing his temper and trying to go for move on the announcers' table instead of going for the win inside the ring, as it was a suitable followup considering that Undertaker took the Triple Powerbomb through the table on Smackdown. It also set up Kane vs. Ambrose nicely for Friday.
The hype for Cena vs. Ryback seems to have shifted to Cena going in wounded. They didn't really put any heat on Ryback tonight. Cena looked noble for working hurt, yet even his own partners wouldn't tag him into the match, so he also looked a little foolish, which basically validated Ryback's decision not to team with him. That said, the wounded Cena element makes the match more intriguing. Overall, this Raw felt like it wouldn't end. Dance contests, Domino's, and tug of war. That's what I will remember about this show more than anything.
I will have more to say about Raw tonight in the my audio review, which will be available exclusively to Dot Net Members. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
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