5/20 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: A new Paul Heyman Guy? John Cena and Ryback followup following apparent no-contest in Last Man Standing match, The Shield appear with the gold, Extreme Rules fallout
By Jason Powell
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live from Kansas City, Missouri at Sprint Center
[Q1] Raw opened with an ambulance driving through the backstage area and into the arena as Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL checked in on commentary. The ambulance sired wailed as it parked on the side of the stage. Ryback exited the back of the ambulance with a mic in hand and his music played. The announcers recapped the WWE Championship match that occurred at Extreme Rules.
Ryback climbed onto the top the ambulance and said the result of his match at Extreme Rules was a no decision. He said Cena didn't walk away, he was carried away. Footage aired of Cena refusing to go to the hospital after the pay-per-view. Ryback guaranteed that Cena won't refuse to go next time.
Ryback challenged Cena to an ambulance match at Extreme Rules. Ryback guaranteed the man in the back of the ambulance will be John Cena. Ryback insulted the fans by calling them fat, pathetic, weak people of society. "I have nothing in common with any of you," Ryback said. He said the fans have no idea what it's like to wake up wanting to be the best.
"You are all lost souls of society, yet you worship John Cena," Ryback said. He said that is absolutely pathetic. He said the fans know nothing about busting their asses every day or nutrition. He said he will take John Cena and all the fans with him to the morgue at the WWE Payback pay-per-view. He said there's only one fact of life and that is Ryback Rules...
The announcers spoke about the Ryback segment and said Paul Heyman has confirmed that he has a third member of his group. Lawler hyped Chris Jericho and The Miz vs. Wade Barrett and Fandango for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: A strong segment. An attention grabbing opening with the ambulance and a confident Ryback promo in which he finally went after the fans. That was really missing from his previous mic work. My only complaint is that I felt he should have spent some time griping over the finish of the match and claiming that he should be WWE Champion. As for Heyman's third man, I thought it might be Ryback because Heyman could have been all over how his newest client was wronged via that finish. Even so, that's a good hook that should get viewers to stay tuned.
A graphic touted that over 170 million videos are watched on WWE's various online platforms... Cole read an ad for Sonic as fans were shown drinking their shakes at ringside. Lawler said he had a carmel shake over the weekend. Insert your own heart attack joke here...
Ring entrances for the tag match took place. Wade Barrett has new entrance music...
[Q2] 1. Chris Jericho and The Miz vs. Wade Barrett and Fandango (w/Summer Rae). Cole said Miz is still due for a rematch against Wade Barrett for the IC Title. During the match, they aired footage from an interview with Road Dogg that was being shown on the WWE app. [C]
Powell's POV: WWE really wants viewers to watch app interviews at the same time they have a match airing on Raw? Man, they are really going after the ADD demographic.
After the break, Fandango introduced himself on the mic at ringside while Barrett and Miz were wrestling. Fandango and Summer Rae started dancing. Barrett wasn't happy about it. Jericho checked in worked over Barrett while Fandango and his lady continued to dance. Jericho performed a Lionsault and a Codebreaker on Barrett, then tagged in Miz, who applied the Figure Four for the win.
After the match, Jericho and Miz went to ringside on opposite sides to corner Fandango. However, Fandango jumped over the guardrail and ran away, leaving Summer Rae at ringside. The fans chanted Y2J. Jericho put his hand out and she once again accepted his invite for a dance. She looked like she wanted a kiss, but Jericho laughed and blew her off...
Chris Jericho and The Miz defeated Wade Barrett and Fandango in 8:00.
The announcers teased details on the Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H cage match from Extreme Rules, and said Paul Heyman would reveal his third client... [C]
Powell's POV: Fandango dancing at ringside rather than wrestling was more silly and annoying than anything. Summer is off to an odd start. She danced with Jericho, then faked an injury so he could be attacked, and went back to dancing with him again this week. I knew a girl like that in high school.
[Q3] Vickie Guerrero did the "excuse me" routine and then announced that Jack Swagger would face The Great Khali, R-Truth, or Randy Orton. She said only fans who downloaded the app would be eligible to vote... The announcers spoke about the app and then Cole said the polls aren't open yet...
Powell's POV: WWE is really making me hate their app. You should download the free Prowrestling.net app just to spite them! Hey, at least I won't mention it 700 times tonight.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan told Kane that neither one of them are the tag team champions. Kane said all the negativity isn't productive.
Pitino's POV: All the negativity that's in this town sucks.
Bryan said he feels naked without the title. Kane pointed out that Bryan wasn't wearing a shirt or pants. Fortunately, he was wearing his ring gear. Bryan got upset about Kane cracking jokes and then got worked up when he felt Kane labeled him the weak link of the team. Kofi Kingston showed up and got them to calm down. Bryan told them he would see both men in the ring. Cole announced the trio would meet The Shield later in the show...
Sheamus made his entrance heading into the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Dot Net reader Carl Hobi is at Raw and noted that Chris Jericho was cut during the tag match and was tended to by trainers at ringside as the match continued.
Cole plugged voting for the app would open later... Still shots were shown of the strap match... Footage aired of Mark Henry stating afterward that he was going home...
2. Sheamus vs. Titus O'Neil (w/Darren Young). The announcers noted that Titus made comments about Sheamus during the Extreme Rules post show that led to this match. Titus got a round of offense in before Sheamus made his comeback.
[Q4] Sheamus hit some of his signature spots and then scared off Young from interfering briefly. However, Young tripped up Sheamus when he was on the ring apron. O'Neil capitalized and scored a two count. Titus missed a shoulder block in the corner. Sheamus came back with White Noise and then hit the Brogue Kick for the win.
Sheamus defeated Titus O'Neil in 6:30.
Cole hyped that Paul Heyman will reveal his latest client... [C]
Powell's POV: During the match, Josh Mathews interviewed Vickie Guerrero on the app. I have no f'n clue what she said or what the Raw broadcast team was saying during her interview because WWE's revolutionary new way to watch television sucks ass. As for the match, I like the way the Titus comments on the post show set up this match. It helps make the post show feel relevant and gave the match a story.
One of the Jonas brothers is the social media ambassador...
Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced Paul Heyman, who walked to the ring without music. Heyman said that he gets booed when a Paul Heyman Guy exposes the heroes of the fans. Heyman told the fans to boo him all they want. Heyman said their boos won't change the historical fact that Brock Lesnar defeated Triple H in a cage match.
Heyman continued to gloat over Lesnar's win and how Triple H will go down as a loser in the record books. He said Lesnar is enjoying the spoils of war while Hunter had to tuck his sledgehammer between his legs and run home to mommy. Heyman said he believes it's time for something new and something different. He said it's time to give the WWE Universe a moment they set their DVRs for to watch ten years from now. He said it's a moment where fans will say history took a left turn.
"Ladies and gentlemen, now is the time to hit record because I, Paul Heyman, stand before you this evening and I give to you the newest Paul Heyman Guy," he said. Curtis Axel's (a/k/a Joe Hennig, Michael McGillicutty) music played. "I have arrived," Axel said at ringside. Once in the ring, Axel and Heyman hugged. The fans booed.
Heyman said the fans proved him right again. He said he warned his client this would be their reaction. He said it's the same reaction the fans gave when he gave them Brock Lesnar in 2002, the same reaction they gave in 2006 when he gave them C.M. Punk. Heyman spoke of Axel's pedigree and noted that he's a third generation superstar. Heyman said he wants to carve out his own niche and make his own legend in WWE.
[Q5] Heyman said they took his father Mr. Perfect's given name Curt and paid homage to his grandfather Larry "The Ax" Hennig. Heyman said they created a new brand in the form of Curtis Axel. When the fans didn't cheer, Heyman reintroduced him and this time the boos got louder.
Triple H's music played and Heyman smiled as he watched Hunter make his entrance. Meanwhile, the announcers praised Axel. Triple H said Heyman could really whip up a batch of Kool-Aid. Axel tried to interrupt, but Hunter told him the adults were trying to have a conversation.
Triple H said he's not embarrassed about what happened at Extreme Rules. "You're damn right, heat beat me, just like I beat him at WrestleMania," Triple H said. He added that Lesnar beat him, but he didn't just walk away, he limped away from the battle. Triple H said he was backstage when he thought it would make him happy to come out and beat up Heyman just because he can.
Axel stepped up. "Hey, I don't think you understand the game around here has changed," he said. "You want to talk to him, how about you talk to me first." Triple H smirked. Heyman laughed maniacally. Triple H slapped Axel across the face and knocked him down ini the process. "You know what, I just changed my mind," Hunter said. "First, I'm going to have a match tonight with you. And when I get done kicking your ass, I'm going to kick yours (Heyman)"...
The announcers hyped Alberto Del Rio vs. Big E Langston for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Joe Hennig has told people for well over a year now that he'd been assured he was on the verge of getting pushed and that Triple H was complimentary of his work. I am curious to see whether he's just a quick fall guy or if they are really going to try to make him. We should get a pretty good feel for their intentions later tonight. Heyman and Triple H were both good on the mic, but Axel stood out for the wrong reasons with his brief mic time. Of course, that can be covered by Heyman if they are serious about pushing him. The new name doesn't jump out at me, but it beats the hell out of Michael McGillicutty.
Ring introductions for the next match took place. Ricardo brought the stupid bucket out with him for his introduction again. The announcers spoke about Del Rio becoming No. 1 contender last night and the instant replay controversy. Langston had chalk on his hands and clapped as part of his entrance. Kevin Garnett would love it. The announcers noted that Axel's name was trending on Twitter...
[Q6] 3. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Big E Langston (w/AJ Lee). Del Rio went for the Cross Arm Breaker as Langston was standing on the floor. Langston used his strength to carry Del Rio out of the ring and then to whip him into the ring post.
Later, Del Rio hit Langston with two clotheslines that didn't knock him down. Del Rio fired up for the third and took him off his feet. Del Rio followed up with a Backstabber and a superkick. Later, AJ threw Ricardo's stupid bucket into the ring and distracted the referee. Langston poked Del Rio in the eye and then hit The Big Ending and pinned him...
Big E Langston defeated Alberto Del Rio in 4:35.
Footage aired from the Ryback segment that opened the show... Cole hyped the six-man tag match, then Lawler hyped Triple H being in action for the first time in over three years on Raw for a match against Curtis Axel... [C] An ad for Friday's Smackdown hyped the go-home edition for Extreme Rules and the Triple Threat ladder match with Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, and Jack Swagger...
Powell's POV: Yes, they really played that ad. Meanwhile, here's hoping the bucket ending leads to Del Rio vowing to fire Ricardo if he ever brings the stupid bucket with him to ringside again. Now join me in praying that it doesn't lead to the stupid bucket on a pole match.
A.J. Lee and Layla were in the ring waiting for the bell to ring to start their match. Footage aired of the awful Kaitlyn and A.J. Lee angle from Extreme Rules...
Powell's POV: Hey, I wonder what's happening on the WWE app right now.
4. A.J. Lee vs. Layla. The Bella Twins were shown commenting on the match for the app. Forget I asked about the app. Layla was dominating the match when A.J. caught her in the Black Widow submission hold for the win. Cole said black widows devour their mates, which says a lot about Lee...
A.J. Lee defeated Layla by submission in 2:00.
Cole informed the world that voting is now open on the app for the Jack Swagger opponent... Lawler hyped the Triple H vs. Curtis Axel match...
[Q7] [C] 5. Cody Rhodes vs. Zack Ryder. The match was joined in progress. They showed Ryback watching the match for the app. Rhodes got the win with the Beautiful Disaster kick. After the match, Ryback walked to the ring. Rhodes left, leaving Ryder to be destroyed.
Cody Rhodes beat Zack Ryder in 2:30 of television time.
Ryback paced around the fallen Ryder and then yelled for him to get up. Once he did, Ryback hit him with the Meathook Clothesline. Ryback followed up with Shellshocked, but only after telling viewers that he rules. He picked him up, marched around the ring, and performed Shellshocked again. Ryback dumped Ryder to ringside, then hoisted him onto his shoulders and carried him to the ambulance and placed him inside...
The announcers hyped The Shield vs. Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Yes, you could have watched the WWE app to watch someone else watch what you could have been watching on your television. As for the beatdown, this is pretty much what I wanted them to do last week when Ryback won in one minute squash fashion without showing any of the brutality he displayed here. This was much better. Well, unless you're Zack Ryder.
[Q8] Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns made their entrance through the crowd. Ambrose came out of his own section while Reigns and Rollins entered through another section. It was previously Reigns coming out of his own section. Ambrose said they brought power back to the titles they won.
Ambrose said Kofi and Team Hell No did not believe, but now they do. He took credit for Rock losing the WWE Championship and needing surgery. He said they drove Ryback to snap and attack John Cena. Rollins said the fans now see what a cohesive unit looks like and what unbreakable looks like. "You can see the future," he said. "The scary part is, boys, this is just the beginning."
Reigns said the ending stays the same. "You put them in front of us and we take them out," he said. "We run this yard and we carry the collars to back it up." They all held up their title belts. Ambrose said the fire of justice is burning bright and they are the flames. "Believe in The Shield," he said before Kane and Daniel Bryan made their entrances... [C]
6. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns vs. Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Kofi Kingston. The Shield isolated Kingston early on.
[Q9] Cole reset the show and hyped Heyman's latest client Curtis Axel and his match with Triple H as the match continued. Daniel Bryan eventually took a hot tag and went on an offensive flurry. He clotheslined Rollins, who took a nasty bump on the side of his head. Bryan went to the top rope, but Rollins tripped him up and then tagged in Ambrose.
Bryan shoved Ambrose off the top rope and caught him with a missile dropkick for a two count that the crowd was counting along with. Bryan went for a No Lock, but Ambrose reached the ropes before he could lock it in. Bryan knocked Rollins off the ring apron and the three babyfaces stood tall heading into the break. Cole plugged exclusive app content of the match heading into the break, which was the first good app plug out of all of them thus far. [C]
After the break, The Shield ended up taking control of the offense and worked over Bryan. He fired a few punches at Reigns, but Reigns cut him down with a knee and then tagged in Ambrose. JBL noted that The Shield members all bring something different. He cited the strength of Reigns, the chaotic style of Ambrose, and the speed of Rollins.
Ambrose tagged in and slapped Bryan around while he and Rollins taunted him by calling him the weak link and asking what he had left in him. Bryan got a shot in on Ambrose, who tagged in Reigns. Bryan fought off Reigns and made the hot tag to Kane, who performed his signature spots on Reigns, including a side slam for a two count.
Kingston and Bryan performed stereo suicide dives onto Ambrose and Rollins, leaving Kane and Reigns in the ring. Kane caught Reigns with a DDT for another good two count that the crowd counted along with. On the floor, Rollins ran Kingston into the ring post, and Ambrose took out Bryan.
[Q10] Kane set up to chokeslam Reigns. Ambrose left off the top rope, but Kane caught him. Rollins leapt off the other corner and caught Kane with a knee. Reigns followed up with a spear on Kane and pinned him to win the match...
The Shield defeated Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Kofi Kingston in 23:00.
Powell's POV: A very good match with a receptive crowd that was really hot for the near falls. I really hope creative isn't thinking about turning Daniel Bryan heel. His offensive flurry is one of the most crowd pleasing moments in wrestling and the guy definitely has a big time babyface singles run in him.
Highlights aired of the Paul Heyman, Curtis Axel, and Triple H segment from earlier in the show...
Backstage, a trainer entered Triple H's room and told him that the doctor didn't think he was able to compete. Triple H said that if the doctor doesn't like it, he can seek employment elsewhere... Cole plugged the voting for the Jack Swagger match...
Powell's POV: Did the company executive really just tell the doctor that he calls the shots or the doctor will be fired? Wow. Anyway, the question now is whether that was an excuse for Hunter to lose or a setup for him looking even more heroic.
Cole said there were 11,170 fans in attendance. No wonder they didn't mention the attendance at the top of the show... The announcers plugged Sonic again...
Backstage, Kaitlyn told Natalya that she has the number of her secret admirer. Natalya wanted to give the number to Khali, but Kaitlyn wouldn't do it. Cody Rhodes walked by and asked if they were checking out his love stache. They took his phone and discovered that he was posting photos of himself on the internet...
Powell's POV: Didn't they rule out Cody a couple weeks ago?
Jack Swagger made his entrance. Cole said there were over 160,000 votes cast on the WWE app. Jerry Lawler stood up and delivered the shocking results of the poll. 72 percent of the fans voted for Orton, 19 percent voted for Khali, and only nine percent voted for R-Truth. Randy Orton made his entrance... [C]
Powell's POV: Right now on the WWE app, R-Truth lies to himself about losing a vote to Khali by chalking it all up to his popularity in India. Okay, not really. I wonder if they even bothered to bring R-Truth and Khali in for this.
[Q11] 7. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter. Cole said Colter ranted about the way Swagger lost on the app. The announcers debated the outcome and it being restarted. Swagger targeted Orton's knee when he was on the offensive. Orton came back and attempted a hanging DDT off the apron, but Swagger avoided it and rammed him back first into the barricade and the ring apron. A short time later, Swagger knocked Orton off the ropes and down to the floor heading into the break. [C]
Powell's POV: Apparently, the world is laughing at R-Truth, as he is trending on Twitter following his lousy showing in the fan voting.
After the break, Orton came back with a superplex. Swagger came back and got a two count with a belly to belly suplex. Orton came Swagger with a kick as he was coming off the ropes. Orton went into his signature offense. He went for the hanging DDT, but Swagger came back with another suplex for a two count. The fans are yelling "two" instead of buying into Orton's two counts.
[Q12] Swagger went for the Patriot Lock, but Orton shoved him away. Orton once again went for the hanging DDT and connected this time even though the setup was the worst of the bunch because he dragged Swagger over to the corner after talking to him on the mat.
Orton set up for his finisher, but Swagger avoided the RKO and applied the Patriot Lock. Orton eventually kicked his way out of it. Moments later, Orton hit the RKO on Swagger and pinned him...
Randy Orton defeated Jack Swagger in 16:00.
Powell's POV: I thought the use of instant replay in the I Quit match would have been a bigger talker on this show. I suppose it could be on Smackdown, but even the announcers were talking about the restart more than replay. The match had a slower pace, but it built nicely to the finish and Swagger looked competitive even though the fans didn't buy into near falls on Orton.
Footage was shown of Ryback's promo on top of the ambulance that kicked off the show 17 hours ago, and then of Ryback roughing up Zack Ryder and putting him inside the ambulance... The announcers hyped the Triple H vs. Curtis Axel main event... [C] An ad for Smackdown hyped Dean Ambrose vs. Kofi Kingston for the U.S. Title...
8. Triple H vs. Curtis Axel (w/Paul Heyman). Cole said doctors were worried about Triple H because of the sledgehammer shot to the jaw that Triple H took from Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. Axel's entrance music is an up tempo remake of the Mr. Perfect music. The live crowd was hot for Hunter's entrance, quiet for Axel's entrance, and quiet once the bell rang to start the match.
[Overrun] Triple H jumped out to the early advantage with a couple of clotheslines. Hunter remained on the offensive until Axel caught him with a good dropkick. Axel had a couple minutes of offense, but Triple H came back with the same shoulder blocks in the corner that Brock Lesnar used on him.
Triple H performed a spinebuster, played to the crowd, and then put his head down and shook his head. Hunter cleared Axel from the ring and blinked a couple times while shaking his own head. Hunter followed Axel to ringside and took a couple punches, then fired back with a clothesline.
Triple H struggled to get back inside the ring. He stopped and shook his head again. He went over to a medical team member and sat down. He asked for water and then poured it on himself. Triple H stood up and started to head back to the ring, but he stopped. The trainer shined a light in Hunter's eye and he acted like the light bothered him. The trainer gave the cut sign to the referee.
Triple H stood up from the chair and fell over. The trainer told Hunter to take some deep breaths. Cole said the doctor should not have allowed Hunter to get in the ring. Hunter struggled to get up from the floor as two trainers and a referee tried to get him to stay down to close the show...
Triple H fought Curtis Axel to an apparent no-contest in 7:30.
Powell's POV: Holy shit, Curtis Axel is an overnight sensation after that match!!! Okay, not really. The angle was all about Hunter and Axel didn't gain anything from it. It's really hard to get a feel for how committed they are to his push after one show. This felt like a middle of the show angle rather than a show closer. It was a pretty flat end to Raw and I don't think the average fan is going to be nearly as amped to get an update on Hunter's condition as WWE officials think they will be. I could be wrong, though, if there are enough people who were left wondering whether that was a shoot situation. Even so, it didn't do anything for me.
Overall, this was a decent show with a very good six-man tag match, a good opening promo from Ryback, and the announcement of Paul Heyman's newest client. I know Curtis Axel isn't for everyone, but the tease of a new man for Heyman alone was intriguing even if the end result was not initially satisfactory for most. John Cena sitting out was the right move since he needed to sell his injuries. However, it felt like they breezed over some of the issues I expected to be big talkers coming out of the pay-per-view, such as the finish to Cena vs. Ryback, and the use of instant replay. I will have more to say in tonight's Dot Net Members' exclusive audio review. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
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