4/8 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: The night after WrestleMania 29, John Cena's latest run as WWE Champion begins, crowd takeover, no Rock
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to the two-hour audio review of WrestleMania 29 that featured former WWE creative team member Seth Mates (Twitter.com/SethMates) joining Chris Shore and I to discuss the biggest show of the year. The members will also be listening to my audio review of WWE Raw later tonight. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from East Rutherford, N.J. at Izod Center
[Q1] Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler opened the show and discussed WrestleMania 29. They narrated still shot photos taken at the shows and spoke about John Cena beating Rock and the respect that Rock showed him...
Powell's POV: Justin Roberts announced to the live crowd that The Rock would not appear due to a severely strained abdominal muscle.
John Cena's music played and was greeted by major boos. He wore a white shirt that read The Champ is Here with an arrow pointing down at the title belt, which now has Cena inspired side plates. Cena paused to soak up the boos while smiling the entire time.
Cena said it should be every superstar's dream to go to main event WrestleMania. He said that winning the match comes with the adulation, the respect, and the cheers. He paused after each example and let the crowd taunt him. He said he was going to stop right there because he and the fans have known one another for ten years.
Cena said the fans seem a little angry, maybe a little more than angry. He said this is the WWE Raw after WrestleMania. Cena said they had a very volatile crowd and maybe he would do a championship dance. He did just that for a moment and did a leg kick too. It was greeted by loud "no" chants. He did a "heel turn" and there were some cheers and laughs from the announcers.
Ric Flair's "to be the man" line was quoted. Cena said two titans clashed and a champion rose. "So I proudly say to you, the champ is here," he said. Cena said this is exactly what he wanted for a WrestleMania celebration. He said he's not going to rest up drop balloons for the season, he is starting off the next road to WrestleMania with a match for the WWE Championship.
Cena said he didn't know who the number one contender is. He mentioned Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton, and C.M. Punk's names. Cena was stopped in his tracks by Mark Henry's entrance music. Cena sold it by looking a bit surprised. Henry made his entrance and said that the problem with asking for trouble is that trouble may just find you.
Henry pointed out that Cena won his match at WrestleMania. The fans chanted "Sexual Chocolate." Cena said it's a raucous crowd that wants to have sex with chocolate. Henry said he destroyed Ryback. The crowd booed and then chanted Feed Me More. Cena said they wanted to have sex with chocolate and eat smores.
Cena said he could see the look in Henry's eyes and he was afraid. "I'm afraid to tell you that you have the breath of 1,000 asses," Cena said. He followed up by saying that they would have a match for the WWE Championship.
Booker T's music played and he headed to the ring and said he can't have Cena making WWE Championship matches. Booker said The Rock is entitled to a rematch. The fans booed. "Once in a lifetime, best out of three?" Cena said. Booker said Rock is the number one contender for the WWE Championship. "I'm with you guys, I beat him last night," Cena said.
[Q2] Booker said Rock suffered an injury and would not be at Raw. Booker told Henry he would give him a title shot, but he would have to earn it. Booker said that if Henry could beat Cena in the middle of the ring he would get his shot. Henry stepped forward and Booker stood between them. Henry said Cena told jokes and has all the fans laughing, but he's not. Henry said all the jokes would get Cena entered in the Hall of Pain. He told him to bring his A-Game...
Cole hyped Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter in a handicap match, and Big E Langston's in-ring debut on Raw... [C]
Powell's POV: The crowd doesn't like Cena and they clearly resent the fact that Rock isn't there (and some are probably just plain down on him). There was no disrespect of Rock, but it wasn't like Cena spent a lot of time raving about him and their match either. Cena clowned it up with the tough crowd. I got a kick out of that, but I didn't care for him being so comedic when bad ass Henry was in the ring.
Still shots aired from WrestleMania. The set was absolutely spectacular...
1. Daniel Bryan (w/Kane) vs. Big E Langston (w/Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee). Bryan charged at Langston, who responded with a one-armed slam. He charged into Bryan with a big shoulder block in the corner. There was a loud "Daniel Bryan" chant. Bryan came back with a series of kicks.
Bryan went to the top rope, but AJ distracted the ref and Ziggler pulled Dolph down. Kane grabbed Dolph by the throat. Bryan crashed into Kane and the announcers said Langston threw Bryan. It was a bad camera view, but they showed the replay after Langston won the match with The Big Ending...
Big E Langston defeated Daniel Bryan in 2:20.
At ringside, Josh Mathews interviewed Kurt Warner about his reality show "The Moment." He spoke about John Cena getting a second chance against Rock, and he said the show is all about that... [C]
Powell's POV: Lawler played it up big by saying it was one of the most impressive Raw debuts they've ever seen. JBL reminded viewers that Langston beat a former World Champion. It was good, but Lawler laid it on pretty thick. Langston entered to Dolph's music. If they want to establish him as his own man then he really needs his own theme. Meanwhile, it's a good thing for Warner and his show that his comments were not heard by the live crowd.
[Q3] 2. The Miz vs. Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Title. Cole said Barrett was using the rematch clause. There were loud "Let's Go Barrett" chants. Barrett was in control of the match and performed a neckbreaker off the ring apron heading into the break. [C]
After the break, Barrett performed an elbow drop off the ring apron onto Miz on the floor. Miz made his comeback and was greeted with boos. He hit a rough looking Reality Check. It appeared Barrett took the bump early, and the announcers tried to cover by saying Barrett got lucky to slip out of it.
Later, Miz applied the Figure Four leg lock. Barrett, who was bleeding a bit from the mouth, slowly backed to the ropes and grabbed them to break the hold. The crowd cheered. Miz charged Barrett in the corner and ran into a boot. They ended up fighting for position on the ropes. Barrett pulled Miz's head down and slammed it into the ring post. Barrett set up for his finisher and blasted Miz with the Bull Hammer and got the win.
Wade Barrett defeated The Miz to win the Intercontinental Title in 13:00.
Powell's POV: Hell yes, Barrett wins the title that puts him back in the role of designated jobber to the stars! Hey, I hope not, but it's hard to care about that title right now. Really good effort from both men. This was much better than their WrestleMania pre-show match.
[Q4] Backstage, Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox were talking when Sheamus entered the room and complained about Big Show punching him out. Sheamus said he wants Show in a match. Maddox said if they give him the match, they don't want him to forget that he owes them one. Sheamus said he just wants to kick the head off the giant piece of crap. Vickie gave him the match, and then she and Maddox acted like they just pulled one off after he left the room... [C]
More still shots from WrestleMania were shown... Backstage, Randy Orton congratulated Booker T on his Hall of Fame induction. Orton said he wants a match with Big Show. Booker said Vickie already gave the Show match to Sheamus. Orton said if anyone can overrule Vickie it's Booker, who then agreed and made the match...
Powell's POV: I'm happy this happened because it reminded me of how odd it was for Booker to interrupt the Henry and Cena segment to stop their match from happening. Isn't he the Smackdown guy? Even if Henry is a Smackdown guy (is he?), why would Booker have any say over the WWE Championship? The authority figure situation is an even bigger mess than usual.
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter made their entrance. Colter cut a promo as they walked to the ring. He said the country is on the verge of tyranny and anarchy. He asked the crowd to cheer "USA" at Del Rio. Some fans chanted USA... [C] The WreslteMania 30 in New Orleans video played... [C]
A Did You Know graphic boasted bout the WrestleMania celebrity involvement... A video recapped the opening segment with Henry and Cena...
[Q5] 3. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter in a handicap match. Del Rio jumped out to a fast start while working with Swagger while Colter stood in the corner. There were "We Want Ziggler" chants. Del Rio took a shot at Colter, which gave Swagger a chance to hit him from behind. Swagger eventually knocked Del Rio to the floor heading into the break. [C]
After the break, Del Rio sold a leg injury. The crowd chanted for Ziggler. Lawler asked if they were calling for Colter. Swagger applied the Patriot Lock, but Del Rio rolled out of it and kicked Swagger, then applied the Cross Arm Breaker and got the submission win.
Alberto Del Rio beat Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter in a handicap match in 11:15.
[Q6] After the match, Ricardo checked on Del Rio's injured leg. Trainers came out and checked on Del Rio. Dolph Ziggler's entrance music played and he got a huge pop. Ziggler came out with Langston and A.J. Ziggler told the trainers to get out of the ring and then informed referee Scott Armstrong that he was cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. The announcement was made and the crowd roared.
4. Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio. Dolph hit an early Fameasser on Del Rio for a two count. Ziggler missed a splash in the corner and Del Rio caught him with a kick. The crowd booed. Del Rio covered Ziggler for a two count. Del Rio applied the Cross Arm Breaker, but Ziggler grabbed his injured leg to break the hold. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for the 1-2-3...
Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee, Big E Langston) defeated Alberto Del Rio in 2:05 to win the World Hvt. Championship.
Powell's POV: A good two minutes of drama. Ziggler was the babyface in the eyes of the live crowd. I like the way they teased the possibility of Del Rio winning the match rather than just having Ziggler dominate and get an immediate pin. This would have breathed some life into the WrestleMania 29 lineup, but at least it finally happened. Del Rio just wasn't clicking.
The announcers hyped an Undertaker appearance for after the break... [C]
Undertaker's theme played and the crowd stood for his entrance. The announcers spoke about Taker extending The Streak to 21-0. Cole said Taker cemented the fact that he is the greatest performer in the history of WrestleMania. Once the music stopped playing, the crowd applauded. Taker paused and listened to the loud "Undertaker" chant.
Taker said he dedicated his WrestleMania match to the memory of Paul Bearer. The Shield's theme music interrupted Taker. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns entered through the crowd. The Shield members surrounded the ring as Taker stood his ground.
The Shield members climbed onto the ring apron. Kane's music played. Kane and Daniel Bryan ran out and joined Taker in the ring. The Shield members hopped back over the guardrail and walked away...
[Q7] The announcers hyped the Cena vs. Henry match as the main event... [C]
Powell's POV: It was pretty cool when The Shield music interrupted Taker, but it didn't really go anywhere. It would be pretty cool if this led to a six-man tag at Extreme Rules with Taker involved. If his schedule in recent years has been any indication then we probably shouldn't get our hopes up too much.
Additional still shots from WrestleMania 29 were shown... A recap of Dolph Ziggler winning the World Hvt. Championship narrated by the announcers...
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler was telling AJ and Langston that he deserved this more than anyone. Josh Mathews popped up out of nowhere and asked how it feels to be the new champion. Ziggler said he's been too damn good for too damn long. He said it's the day after, but this is his WrestleMania moment. He said he will take the title, shine it up, and show it off...
5. R-Truth, Zack Ryder, and Santino Marella vs. Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre. Ryder got a favorable reaction when he tagged in. Santino got a good reaction from the smark heavy crowd for The Cobra (really). He ended up hitting Slater with it for the win...
R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Santino Marella defeated 3MB in 3:25.
Powell's POV: Not as bad as it may have looked on paper. They kept things moving quickly and I was only 98 percent certain that 3MB would lose this this match.
Cole set up a video that showed WWE personalities making various mainstream media appearance along with highlights from WWE Axxess and other events...
[Q8] Backstage, Randy Orton and Sheamus bickered about which one of them would face Show. Sheamus was upset because Orton went behind his back to get the match changed. Sheamus said he had this and stormed off. Orton looked like he was coming up with a new plan...
Powell's POV: Orton got cocky and took a tag that was going to Big Show last night, and he goes behind Sheamus's back to get the match with Show tonight. The heel turn speculation continues.
An interview with Big Show from the post-game show aired. Show said Sheamus and Orton turned on him. He said he tagged himself in and got aggressive and sacrificed himself with the spear. He said all he wanted was to get the tag so he could get it done, but Orton had to take his thunder. Show said no one will take his thunder ever again. "I tried this route and I don't want any part of it," he said. "There's only one thing in this world that's important to the Big Show and that's the Big Show"...
Sheamus came to the ring and asked who wanted to see him kick Show's ass. He wasn't very popular with this crowd. Randy Orton's music played and he headed to the ring. "While you were out here pleading his case and practically begging for support..." Orton said.
Orton stopped, walked around the ring, and then approached Sheamus and clearly asked him what his line was. Orton backed away and said Show is his tonight. He asked the fans who wants to see him kick Show's ass. The announcers cut in and said the fans would decide by tweet vote...
Powell's POV: Wow, Orton really lost his place and froze there. I assume he was supposed to say that while Sheamus was pleading with the fans, he was backstage talking to one of the authority figures, which led to the fan vote.
The announcers revealed that 77 percent of the fans voted for Orton to get the match with Show. Apparently, the authority figures said screw the will of the fans, as Vickie and Booker came out and announced Sheamus vs. Orton for the right to face Show. The fans groaned...
[Q9] 6. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus. The fans broke into an "Ole, Ole, Ole" song as the match got underway. They amused themselves with a loud chant for Mike Chioda. Cole said there were a lot of chants they would normally hear in London where they will be two weeks from now. There was a loud RVD chant as well.
There was a JBL chant as well. JBL was shown laughing and said, "These folks are brilliant." They followed up with a Jerry chant. In the ring, Sheamus went to the top rope and Orton caught him with a dropkick. [C]
Powell's POV: Wow, the fans were not into the idea of two of the top Smackdown babyfaces wrestling one another. They seemed to like Orton earlier. He dropped the ball during the promo and the whole thing has been a mess ever since then. Raw is Smarks.
Orton and Sheamus traded punches after the break. Sheamus hit the Irish Curse for a two count. The crowd was still amusing themselves with the wave. Sheamus watched the wave from the ring for a moment. He later hit his forearms to the chest and fans chanted along. There was a loud Randy Savage chant. Orton looked to the crowd. The announcers were cracking up. An HBK chant broke out.
In the ring, Sheamus performed White Noise. The HBK chant fired up again. Sheamus played to the crowd and set up for his Brogue Kick, only to have Orton move. Big Show's music played and he came to the ring. Show ran Sheamus into the ring post. He entered the ring and the fans chanted "Thank you, Big Show." Show caught Orton with a knockout punch.
Sheamus fought Randy Orton and The Fans won in 15:50.
[Q10] The Show beating continued after the match as he speared Orton on the floor. A Holy Shit broke out and was muted a bit by production. Show threw Orton over the announcers table and then threw one of the announcers' chairs and it hit the ropes, which got a big rise out of the fans. Orton sat up at ringside. The fans in the front row chanted his name in a super over the top moment...
Powell's POV: No official finish. It had to suck for Orton and Sheamus when they realized where this was going and they knew they had 15 minutes to fill. It's as if every fan in the building who owns an ROH tape or has purchased an independent show in iPPV has converged upon the Izod Center. You know Orton is fuming, but this was a freaking riot.
Cole announced that Triple H will appear on Friday's Smackdown television show after keeping his career alive at the pay-per-view...
Powell's POV: Let the speculation begin that Hunter knows the hardcore fans stick around for the Raw after Mania and thus he saved his post-WrestleMania appearance for Smackdown. Cerebral indeed.
A video package recapped the Undertaker, Kane, Daniel Bryan, and The Shield segment. "I want to see those six guys get it on," JBL said.
Powell's POV: Someone will have fun with that JBL sound byte. The face that he is calling for the match and they are showing replays left me thinking we may see it after all. Taker will be in London in a couple weeks for the tapings. Dot Net reader Brian Kaufman is at Raw and noted that X-Pac is in a luxury box and the fans chanted his name during the commercial break.
[Q11] 7. Fandango vs. Kofi Kingston. The fans sang Fandango's music in unison. Hilarious. Chris Jericho ran in and attacked Fandango to end the match before it really got started.
Fandango beat Kofi Kingston by DQ in 1:25.
Jericho threw Fandango over the top rope and then into the timekeepers area. Jericho took the fight back inside the ring and locked Jericho in the Walls of Jericho. Fandango tapped out and referees tried to talk Jericho down. JBL said this is the old veteran teaching the rookie a lesson. He said he doesn't blame him. Jericho performed the Codebreaker on Fandango.
Jericho smiled and left the ring and the fans went back to singing Fandango's music. Justin Roberts announced Fandango as the winner by DQ. Fandango's dancer was in the ring with him. While lying on the mat, Fandango corrected Roberts by saying his own name properly. The fans sang the song again...
Powell's POV: Jericho got his revenge for losing at WrestleMania and I assume this sets up a rematch. The crowd has completely hijacked the show at this point. Will there be copycat crowds or is this just isolated to the night after WrestleMania?
The announcers spoke about the Triple H and Brock Lesnar match and showed footage of Hunter getting checked out by the medical staff after WrestleMania...
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed Paul Heyman. The crowd cheered. Josh said it wasn't a good night for Paul Heyman Guys. Heyman said ignorance is still bliss in New Jersey. He said Lesnar was knocked out cold 90 seconds into the match, yet it still took Triple H 23 minutes to survive.
Heyman said Lesnar is ready for a fight tonight. However, he won't let his client fight for free. He turned the focus to the Undertaker vs. C.M. Punk match. Heyman said Punk should tell everyone how he feels and he will do that...next week on Raw. Heyman did nothing to play to fans and worked to turn them against him...
Ring entrances for the mixed tag match that was supposed to play out at WrestleMania too place. Cole acknowledged the switch and said the match would be coming up on Raw...
[Q12] [C] 8. Brodus Clay, Sweet T, Cameron, and Naomi vs. Rhodes Scholars and The Bella Twins. Tensai wore a singlet with the same colors as Clay's. Lawler laughed his ass off during Sweet T's offense and dancing and said it looked like he was wrestling himself like in a Ric Flair match. In the end, Clay and T hit their finisher on Sandow for the win...
Tons of Funk, Cameron, and Naomi beat Rhodes Scholars and The Bella Twins in 2:25.
Cole danced like a jackass to Clay's music while seated at the announcers' table. He said the fans chanted his name and he trended on Twitter so it's a good night for him. He set up a commercial for The Moment...
Powell's POV: Something tells me the mixed tag match would not have saved WrestleMania. The announcers are dicking around more than the crowd is at this point. They've totally lost control. Lawler was laughing at T and it wasn't even funny. It took Cole so long to win over the fans. The last thing he should be doing is act like a tool again. Oh, and USA is gaga over The Moment, yet they couldn't produce another season of Tough Enough?
WrestleMania 29 still shots were shown... Ring entrances for the main event took place...
[Overrun] 9. John Cena vs. Mark Henry in a non-title match (Henry gets a title shot if he wins the match). The crowd continued with the Fandango humming. Cena played into it by dancing for a few seconds. Funny.
The announcers said Rock went to the University of Miami where a physician determined that Rock tore his abdominal and abductor muscles and suffered a hernia during the WrestleMania main event with roughly 15 minutes remaining in the match. Damn.
Henry took control of the match and brought Cena to ringside where he rammed his back into the ring post. He tried to do it again, but Cena reversed it and sent Henry crashing into the ring steps. Cena got back in the ring and Henry was counted out.
John Cena beat Mark Henry by count out.
Henry returned to the ring and clotheslined Cena, then performed the World's Strongest Slam. Henry picked up the title belt and held it over his head. Ryback's music played and he charged to the ring and beat up Mark Henry. The crowd was still chanting other things when Ryback got the bulk of the fans to chant Feed Me More.
Ryback looked down at Cena. The crowd cheered. Ryback and then offered his hand to pick him up and the fans booed. Cena went to the ropes and played to the crowd. Ryback led another Feed Me More as Cena climbed down. Suddenly, Ryback hit the Meathook Clothesline on Cena. Ryback picked up Cena and performed Shellshocked on him as the crowed roared. Ryback picked up the title belt and held it over his head. The fans chanted Feed Me More to close the show...
Powell's POV: Is Ryback a heel? The crowd didn't seem to think so, but the babyface announcers were doing the "Why, Ryback, why?" routine. He did the same thing Henry did by holding up the title belt over his head, so it's possible they are working to a Triple Threat match at the pay-per-view. As much as I enjoy Henry's act, Ryback facing Cena feels bigger coming out of WrestleMania. It was a good ending to a totally bizarre show. It was a fitting end to a strange WrestleMania weekend. I will have more to say tonight in Dot Net Members' exclusive audio. Thanks for humming along with the Jersey crowd tonight.
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