Six nights remain until Wrestlemania 30. Last week, Daniel Bryan didn't appear as he dealt with the wounds he got from Triple H two weeks ago. He should be on the show tonight - will he extract a measure of revenge on Triple H, or get beaten down again? Will the title contenders - Batista and Randy Orton - try to help Triple H, or find a way to gain their own advantage over both men since either one could end up in the title match? And will John Cena recover from being embarrassed by the Wyatts last Monday by being masked with the sheep's mask in his match with Luke Harper?
Pre-Show, live on WWE Network
Josh Mathews introduces the panel, who is Booker T, Wade Barrett and Alex Riley. Barrett tells us there will be a special Piper's Pit tonight with Roddy Piper. Booker T tells us that Undertaker will be delivering a special message to "Batista" (meaning Brock Lesnar) tonight and it will get 30 degrees colder. Riley hypes up Batista vs. Randy Orton just a few days out from Wrestlemania. He feeds it into a video recap of last week's opening segment with Batista, Orton, and Stephanie McMahon.
After the recap, Renee Young asks Randy Orton what his strategy for tonight is. He says it bugs him a lot that he is the ignored part of the Wrestlemania main event. He says he will prove tonight that when you forget the Viper, you pay for it. Back to the panel, they talk about the story between all these men. Riley says we have the Animal now that he brought a chair against Sheamus. Booker says this is about settling an old score, and Barrett says that when you have Orton backed to a corner, that's when he strikes.
Mathews says that Undertaker will be addressing Brock Lesnar tonight. He says Paul Heyman has been talking a lot and feeds it to a video recap of the story between Lesnar and Undertaker from last Monday's Raw. Mathews asks if the Undertaker will continue to hold the upper hand and reads some quotes from Heyman. Riley says that the numbers - age, height, weight, youth - are all on Lesnar's side, but after Undertaker's mind games last week it's a 50/50. Barrett says we have never seen Lesnar look like the underdog and he will want to change that tonight. Booker T calls Paul Heyman an ace in the hole that can will Lesnar to a win, but Undertaker always rises to the occasion.
Jerry is talking with fans and asking if they're excited and talks to a fan with three sons. One son wants to meet Cena, and King promises they have an awesome Raw coming up in a few minutes. Mathews hypes a poll to vote for Kane's opponent out of one of the three Shield members that will open later.
Mathews hypes up "Wrestlemania Today" that will air on the Network on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. He segues into John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt and asks if Wyatt is living rent-free inside of John Cena's head. That feeds into a video highlight package where Cena talks about Wyatt having gotten in his head. Lots of visual effects with interspersed Wyatt and Cena promo comments all set to Eminem's "Legacy." They continue some Wyatt/Cena discussion with Barrett saying that Cena may have bought into his own hype and he doesn't stand a chance with Wyatt on Sunday.
They air a clip of the Hogan sit-down with Michael Cole. The panel talks about favorites to win the Andre the Giant Battle Royale. Brad Maddox appears and says he has an announcement. He introduces himself into the Battle Royale and says his strategy is to keep it exciting and pull it out in the end. Booker says if he could get his hand on Brad for two seconds it would be worth it.
Mathews hypes the Wrestlemania press conference from New York City tomorrow at 11AM EST. Raw is about five minutes out! We get a commercial for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for Saturday night on the Network.
Back with the panel, they hype Undertaker delivering a final message to Brock Lesnar. Riley picks Lesnar based on speed and strength. Booker goes with Undertaker, and Barrett goes with Brock. Mathews hypes up Batista vs. Randy Orton for tonight's main event and sends it to Renee Young. She says that anything Batista has to say he will say in the ring tonight. Riley thinks the fans will cheer Batista. Raw is up next!
Raw, Live from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.
Right out of the gate we get the entrance of the Deadman to a nice reaction. Cole tells us we're sold out in Washington, DC and he invites us to talk about this on Twitter. As Taker makes his entrance, Cole feeds it to a recap of the end of last week's show. Big "Undertaker" chants as the music cuts. "Twenty one men have stepped up, and twenty one men have been set down." Taker does not claim to be better than his victims, but at the showcase of immortals, he says he will go further than anyone else. That is why the Streak stays alive.
He says he is sure Brock is thinking how he will break the Streak. He tells Brock he should be thinking about when Undertaker takes him to the deep water where his feet no longer touch the bottom. He asks what Lesnar will do - grab Taker and take him to the bottom or swim to shore. He says his past opponents were in the same position and not one has successfully swam back to shore. He admits Lesnar is dangerous and many think Taker's time will come and the Streak will be broken. That draws boos from the live crowd and a few "NO!" chants. He says there are many more who believe in three things that can't be beat - death, taxes, and The Streak. He tells Lesnar this Sunday he will Rest...in...Peace...but Lesnar's music cuts in.
Lesnar and Heyman come to the stage, Heyman with the mic. JBL says he believes Lesnar will do it. Heyman starts by saying he means no disrespect, but his client does. He says his client has taken the position that it is a match Lesnar must win, but one that Taker must not lose. He tells Undertaker that he can beat on Lesnar with Hell's fury but it takes one F5 and three seconds and the Streak is over. Heyman says this Sunday will bring the most historic moment since Hogan beating Andre when Brock beats Undertaker. Heyman says it's not a prediction, it's a spoiler. They go to leave to a chorus of boos. Lesnar pauses and looks back toward the ring.
Lesnar with a slow walk to the ring, and Undertaker takes the robe off. This might go right now. Lesnar looks at the sign, pauses, and starts to back away. He points to the sign over Taker's head. Lesnar walks back to the ring again, only to laugh and back off again. Rinse and repeat a third time, this time with Heyman circling the opposite side of the ring. Lesnar keeps circling, and Heyman slides a chair in. The distraction is enough for Lesnar to get in the ring.
Taker throws some hands and whips Lesnar but Lesnar counters. He hits a big clothesline on Taker then hits him with the F5. Taker is left laying with Lesnar standing above him. Lesnar's music plays and he jumps out of the ring. He goes back and yells into the ring as Taker looks up smarting from the F5. The announcers hype that Lesnar may now have a chance to win at Mania.
Too little too late. It's not that the segment was particularly bad, it wasn't. It just should have happened a few weeks ago. Lesnar has some heat now, but not nearly enough going into this kind of a match.
Out of break, the announcers feed it to a recap of what we just saw happen between Undertaker and Lesnar. JBL says all streaks are made to be broken and if Lesnar hits the F4 he is a three count away from breaking the Streak.
Match #1 - Big E. vs. Alberto Del Rio
They hype Big E. being a part of the Andre the Giant Battle Royale as he makes his entrance. As Del Rio comes out they hype the Wrestlemania superstore in New Orleans. Cole tells us he will also be in the Battle Royale.
Big E gets early control after some strikes are exchanged. Big E hits a corner spear for two. Del Rio attacks the arm of Big E and starts to work on it as we go to break. Out of the break, Del Rio is still controlling the arm but Big E hits a big suplex. Del Rio locks a cross arm breaker over the ropes then goes up top, only to be caught and hit with a back breaker from Big E.
Big E starts his comeback with a couple clotheslines and a belly to belly but eats knees on the splash. Del Rio goes for a kick but Big E ducks and throws Del Rio skyward for a two. Big E hoists up Del Rio but gets the Backstabber. Del Rio takes too long calling for the Arm Breaker so Big E counters and hits his big splash for two. Down come the straps, and he looks for the Big Ending but Del Rio counters to the Cross Arm breaker. Big E rolls it over and powerbombs Del Rio for two.
Both men end up on the top rope. Big E ends up flat and takes a stomp from Del Rio. Del Rio calls for the short superkick and gets it to grab the win. The announcers talk about how this gave Del Rio momentum going into Sunday's battle royale. JBL says they're brewing tequila for a national holiday for Del Rio.
That was a pretty good match. Between the two men, it didn't really give them any sort of momentum, but the fans started to buy in as it worked to its finish. Adult males were chanting "si!" for Del Rio along the way. Neither man has any real heat for me to care one way or the other.
Cole asks us to go to the App to vote for which member of the Shield will face Kane tonight. King hypes up Orton vs. Batista for later tonight, and Cole hypes Triple H and Stephanie's "farewell to the Yes Movement" later, and the Wyatts are up next.
Cole hypes up that Raw has been #1 on cable for seven straight weeks. He swings into talking about how Cena is trying to preserve his legacy against the Wyatts. He feeds it to a video recap of Cena's match with Luke Harper, which ended with Cena wearing the sheep mask and being tied up in the ropes.
Promo time. The Wyatt cut in hits and we go backstage. Wyatt says the world is bleeding from the inside out and wants change. He says it's easy to become enamored with the gardens and look past the landfills. One has to pry the eyes open and make them watch and asks if he has the kids' attention now. "She" said that Bray would change the world. He says they will cry for Cena but they won't understand. In time they will forget Cena, and in time they will see Cena as he does - as a monster. He sings "He's Got the World in His Hands." and it cuts out. JBL says he doesn't know that Cena can figure it out and it's gotten in Cena's head.
Cole says that King has been keeping up with the drama on Total Divas. They feed it into a video package between Natalya and Summer Rae. Natalya told Summer she's on the edge of being a stripper.
Match #2 - Summer Rae vs. Natalya
Summer Rae dances her way to the ring with her own intro (not under the Fandango entrance) as Cole hypes up Wrestlemania happenings later this week. Summer is still dancing for us as we come back from break. Vickie Guerrero is on the announce position and gets introduced as Natalya makes her entrance. They hype the Vickie Guerrero Invitational Championship match for Wrestlemania. Cole asks for details and Vickie says it will be a one-fall match.
Brawl in the ring as they debate the fairness of all the Divas going after AJ in a "one-fall to a finish" match. Summer gets the upper hand of the brawl in the ring with a clothesline. Vickie says she's just doing her job as GM and JBL praises her. Natalya turns things around with a suplex, but gets slapped. Natalya slaps her back then tries to lock on the Sharpshooter. No dice and she gets kicked away. In the end, Natalya takes a kick to the head and Summer covers for the win. She celebrates as Natalya is smarting.
They were really trying to hype the Divas title match more than they were interested in the match itself. There's a story there to tell that could actually develop a real program in the Divas division, but they're doing nothing to advance it.
We see Triple H and Stephanie walking backstage. King says they're going to give a "proper farewell" to the Yes Movement, next.
Eminem's "Legacy" is one of the official themes of Wrestlemania. They show a shot of the Capitol as Cole hypes that we're on the road to Wrestlemania on Sunday.
Motorhead's "King of Kings" hits and here comes Triple H and Stephanie. Cole hypes the Wrestlemania week features on the Network, including the Hall of Fame, the press conference tomorrow, and Wrestlemania Today on Thursday-Saturday.
Stephanie says that her and her husband are benevolent people, so they will give the fans a chance to say farewell to the Yes Movement before Triple H destroys Daniel Bryan on Sunday. He says the fans won't care, because fans just want to be a part of something. They look for a flavor of the day and move on to the next thing. He recalls Fandangoing and they mock his dance. He says the fans thought it was big, then threw it away. He says Fandango is a solid talent - "a B+ player, maybe an A talent." Stephanie asks who wants to see Bryan and gets a "Yes!" chant going. She says that the fans even got going for her, and says that Bryan won't be on the show again tonight.
She says it's best for business, and he went on to New Orleans early to rest up. Hunter calls the Yes Movement a fallacy, and says fans want to believe Bryan is an "A" player. No matter how many times they chant yes, it isn't true. He gives an example, saying that his power and success is because he married well. He admits he married spectacularly, but the reason he has the power is because of his dominance in the ring. The dominance is the reason he got, and stayed, at the top. He says it doesn't matter who was the flavor of the month. The same thing happened, over and over again. He feeds it to a hype package for Hunter, starting with Daniel Bryan's "yes" then runs down a number of his opponents. It closes with Hunter beating a handcuffed Bryan from a couple weeks ago.
Stephanie drools on Triple H saying she loves watching him in the ring. He says it's not that the guys he beat weren't great - in fact Hall of Famers - but they were just players. He calls himself the Game. He says since everyone cried about it, he will then step into the title match and prove he is the most powerful man in WWE. He will walk out of Wrestlemania with the World Heavyweight Championship, and as the COO. They go to exit, but here comes Batista.
Batista applauds the whole "Yes Movement" farewell, but can't help but notice that he wasn't in the video. Triple H agrees and asks if Batista has anything better to say, then asks if Batista bought the jersey in a gift shop when he bought new glasses. Batista chuckles, then apologizes for speaking out of turn. He says he realizes that he is the brain of the operation, and Stephanie is the brawn. That draws an "oooh" from the crowd.
Randy Orton's music hits. He comes out and tells Stephanie to hold on, because if she's going to slap Batista again, he wants to get a front row seat. He tells her to save it though because he wants to deal with Batista himself. He credits Triple H to be the one to beat Bryan and end the Yes Movement, and he would be honored to defend the title against him. But Orton pleads with Hunter to reconsider again and step out of the stipulation for the triple threat.
Triple H tells Orton that no amount of ass kissing will get him out of it. He tells Orton that his reign is coming to an end very soon, unless Orton finds "the viper" again. He says if Orton finds it, he doesn't know if he can beat that guy. He tells Orton he better find that guy fast, because as of now the match between Orton and Batista tonight on Raw is no disqualification. Hunter and Stephanie exit as Orton and Batista face off.
The over the top praise of Hunter makes sense as it plays into fans who think Hunter is conspiring for himself and playing backstage politics. Very surprised with no Bryan tonight - hopefully it ends up being a swerve.
Cole hypes Rowdy Roddy Piper hosting a Piper's Pit tonight. The vote is still ongoing to determine which member of The Shield will face Kane tonight.
Match #3 - The Usos and Los Matadores (w/El Torito) vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel and The Real Americans (w/Zeb Colter)
We get hype for the four-way tag team championship match that will be on the kickoff show. Uso works with Ryback, chopping him to a knee then arm-dragging him down to the mat. The Usos team up on Ryback with a double superkick. JBL is betting on The Real Americans to win at Wrestlemania. Uso continues to work on Curtis Axel, who teams up with a Matadore for a springboard move as he tags in.
Cesaro gets the tag in and gets some shots in, but takes kicks from Uso. The Americans team up for a moment and Swagger controls Uso. Action breaks down, with a Matadore hitting a dive and an Uso hitting a dive on the other side. Cross body from an Uso gets a two count. Swagger bumps Uso from the apron then goes out after him as we go to commercial.
After break, the fans are chanting "We the People" as Uso gets caught by Cesaro and slammed. The heels continue to hold control of the match. JBL says he's going to miss the Yes Movement as they talk about the previous segment. Uso hits Ryback with a slingshot DDT off the ropes. Axel clears out the Matadores but not the other Uso. He gets the tag. Off and running with a flurry of offense, hitting a Samoan drop and the butt splash in the corner. Ryback breaks up the fall and gets a superkick for his troubles. Superkick for Axel, but he gets a boot to the mush from Swagger.
Action breaks down. Cesaro tries to set the swing up on one of the Matadores but the other breaks it up with a hurancanrana. Uso counters a Swagger Bomb in the ring with a boot to the face. He hits an enzugiri. A bit later, he gets Matadore in the Patriot Lock but Uso gets involved. Swagger slams him and talks but the Matadores switch places unawares to the official. When Swagger turns around, Matadore rolls him up for the win. The faces exit and celebrate on the ramp.
Well, it got the live crowd fired up, but it didn't do much for me. And now they're using Twin Magic on the Matadores? Ugh.
Worth pointing out that a friend of mine, Kyle, is in the Verizon Center tonight and he called the show "pretty crazy."
Match #4 - The Rhodes Brothers vs. Damien Sandow and Fandango (w/Summer Rae)
So I guess Fandango and Summer haven't broken up. The heels control the match in the early going as Cole and JBL bring up Cody throwing the Money in the Bank briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico. Sandow continues to beat on Cody outside and throws him ion the ring. The heels keep control of Cody. More "commenhatin'" going on about hair transplants.
Goldust gets the hot tag and goes on a run. He hits some of his vintage offense then hits both men with a cross body. Scoop slam gets a near fall. Cody hits a springboard kick on Fandango, then takes him out at ringside. In the ring, Sandow tries a roll-up but it doesn't work. Goldust comes back with the Final Cut to get the win. The brothers celebrate in the ring.
Pretty much bullshit that Cody and Goldust aren't in the tag title match. This didn't get me more enthused for the Battle Royale, really.
Cole and King hype the 30-man Andre the Giant Battle Royale and they flash still shots of the various competitors. Up next though is The Shield, addressing the assault they underwent.
Coming out of break, we get a recap of the tag match on Smackdown that resulted in a beatdown on The Shield led by Kane.
Rollins says he almost feels bad for Kane and it's almost murderer's row. He says it doesn't matter who wins the app vote, and if the Geriatric buddies want to come out he has something for them too. Ambrose says that it wasn't the Shield who disrespected Kane, but Kane who disrespected them. Reigns tells them to run and tell everyone they know that the Shield is not to be messed with, and believe in the Shield.
Match #5 - Bray Wyatt (w/Erick Rowan and Luke Harper) vs. R-Truth
Backstage, Wyatt lights the lantern after the cut-in. "Washington DC....we're here." The Wyatts make their entrance prior to the break. Truth gets no televised entrance.
Wyatt controls the early going but takes a leg lariat from Truth. Wyatt comes back with his cross body crash block. Wyatt controls the offense for another few moments. Truth gets out of the ring only to see the two henchmen and gets back in the ring. Truth takes a beating to the back of the head then a spinning gutbuster move. Truth keeps trying, but Wyatt keeps cutting him off. He hangs upside down, sets up Sister Abigail, and wraps this one up.
Xavier Woods tries to come to Truth's aid, but he gets taken out. Wyatt yells "this is not the beginning, this is the end" and poses in a spotlight. A second sheep mask appears. Harper and Rowan don't quite know what to think. Neither does Wyatt. It's Cena! He hits Rowan with the AA, Harper and Wyatt exit. Wyatt calls the troops off and backs them up the ramp. Wyatt sits on the ramp and Cena poses on the ropes. The announcers put him over as protecting his legacy and not going away without a fight.
Simple squash match to give Wyatt momentum going to Wrestlemania. Cena found his way to get heat in his match with Wyatt and get inside his head a little bit. It wasn't a bad segment and didn't overstay its welcome. It worked for the kids for sure and it came off well live. Cena jumping around took a little bit off of it for my tastes but it wasn't horrible.
The announcers give us hype for Kane vs. a member of The Shield and Randy Orton vs. Batista in a no-DQ match.
We get a recap of Vickie Guererro setting up the Divas Championship Invitational. We still don't have good rules for this, but we'll run with this.
Match #6 - AJ vs. Naomi; Lumberjill match
The lumberjills are all the ladies in the Invitational match at Wrestlemania. AJ throws a hip toss then mouths off to the lumberjills. AJ hits a drop kick and ends up outside, but they throw her back in. Naomi ends up outside and no one touches her. AJ goes out after Naomi and screams that she "will do it myself". Naomi tries a spinning kick but catches air, but AJ catches hers. AJ goes to work with stomps in the corner and eyes up all the Divas at ringside. She tries to wear Naomi down then hits a neckbreaker.
Naomi comes back and hits a Bubba Bomb. AJ rolls out, and things break all kinds of down. Catfight ensues with the women teaming up on Tamina and AJ. AJ scrambles back to the ring, and she gets met with the Rear View from Naomi and she picks up the win over the Champion. Cameron and Naomi celebrate in the ring as Tamina and AJ look around seething.
A bit of advancement for Sunday's 14-Diva clusterfuck match I guess.
Cole hypes the press conference tomorrow at 11AM EST at the Hard Rock Cafe. It's live, and Triple H, Vince, Stephanie, John Cena, and others are going to appear. John Cena will be back out next.
John Cena is with Renee Young. She says anything can be expected on Sunday. Cena says that Wyatt is spreading propaganda that on Sunday he will take everything away from Cena and turn him into a monster. He says that a man can do dangerous things when forced to fight. He tells Wyatt he will see hell, fire and rage. "You will see John Cena, and John Cena will be a monster." Being a monster for a day will secure his legacy for a lifetime. Cena ends by saying that Wyatt will change the way he walks because Cena plans on stuffing his foot in his ass.
Good energy from Cena. He has come full circle from making jokes to being afraid to being his normal self again. He gave his fans something to rally behind.
Cole sends it to the panel of Booker T, Bad News Barrett, and Alex Riley. Riley gives Cena credit for flipping the script and playing mind games. Booker T says a desperate man is a dangerous man. Barrett says he has bad news and Cena will lose because it's three on one. Mathews hypes up Backstage Pass on the Network as he feeds it to a recap of the opening segment with Brock Lesnar and Undertaker. JBL still thinks 21-0 becomes 21-1 with Brock Lesnar facing Undertaker.
King is in the ring. He reveals the App vote for Kane's opponent, and in a landslide it's Roman Reigns. The Shield makes their entrance and sends Reigns on his way to the ring.
Match #7 - Roman Reigns of The Shield vs. Kane
Kane makes his entrance after the break as the announcers talk about how Lawler had something to do with this. Strikes from Kane followed by a whip and a splash then a side slam. Kane cues up the chokeslam already and goozles Reigns, but Reigns breaks it. Reigns starts off on a run with a big clothesline and a corner splash. Kane falls to his knees and Reigns kicks him, then hits his leaping kick at the apron.
Reigns loads up the Superman punch but here comes the New Age Outlaws. Ambrose and Rollins attack the Outlaws on the ramp and Reigns hits the Superman Punch in the ring. The Shield gets in the ring and they gang up on Kane. They try to set up the Triple Powerbomb but the Outlaws drag Kane out of the ring to protect him. The two teams stare down and jaw back and forth.
This wasn't offensive, but I just can't seem to think people are into this.
I still can't get over how many acts are over for WWE and they can't create enough compelling stories to get a hot card going without having Daniel Bryan working twice.
Rowdy Roddy Piper is up next in Piper's Pit!
Cole hypes up that Hulk Hogan will be on Smackdown this Friday. Rowdy Roddy is introduced and he is already in the ring for Piper's Pit.
Piper says it's Wrestlemania season and 29 years ago today he had the honor to be in the main event of the first Wrestlemania ever. He duly notes that it was not him that got pinned in the ring. He says there was a man who played a role in Wrestlemania and made it the monster it is today - Andre the Giant. This Sunday, 30 WWE superstars will compete in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale, and they will have a Wrestlemania moment and also a chance to link their name with one of the all-time greats in the business.
Piper starts to address who he thinks will be the favorite but Miz cuts him off. Piper asks what he's doing and they exchange "really". Miz says that unlike Piper and Andre, he has won the main event of a Wrestlemania. Miz and Piper argue and here comes Sheamus. He cuts down Miz, saying he can't hold Piper's kilt. He will have a Brogue Kick for Miz on Sunday. Cue Titus O'Neil with whistle. He puts himself over as the man who will win the match. Ziggler's music interrupts and he didn't mean to steal the spotlight - oh yes, he did. On Sunday, he vows to etch his name in Sports Entertainment history.
Piper intervenes, and addresses Miz. He pokes him in the eye and sends him into Sheamus. It breaks down now and it's a full on scrum. Now most of the competitors have hit the ring for a scrum. Here comes Big Show. He starts clearing house, taking out Ziggler with a choke slam and throwing Rey Mysterio out of the ring. In the end, Show and Piper are left in the ring, and Show's music plays. Piper hypes him up over Big Show's music.
This is the typical "get all the battle royale guys on the show" segment. It didn't do much for the match, really. Piper looked good and was reasonably coherent, so that was the highlight of the segment to me.
They set up a recap of last week's segment with Batista, Orton, and Stephanie.
Match #8 - Batista vs. Randy Orton; No Disqualification
Batista comes out first and gets a bit better reaction this time from the hometown crowd. Orton comes out second and JBL reminds us this was to be the main event of Wrestlemania before the Occupy Raw moment. After Orton comes to the ring, here comes Stephanie and Triple H to watch this one apparently and they join in on commentary. Gonna be some commenhatin' going on here I suspect.
Orton gets an early advantage on Batista, bouncing him off the ring but Orton gets his going into the security barrier at the ramp. Orton stomps on Batista and rolls him back out of the ring. Batista gets a big shoulder-ful of the timekeeper area and gets dumped into it by Orton. On commentary, Triple H comments that he is seeing the Viper and The Animal as Orton and Batista unload on each other. Stephanie says it's fun and Triple H says the only thing better is to be in it. Orton unloads on Batista with a chair. Orton taunts and carries the chair around ringside.
Back in the ring, Batista and Orton exchange strikes. Orton ends up outside the ring, and Batista slams him into the announce position. Triple H yells at him to "show him the Animal" and Batista runs Orton into the ring apron. Orton grabs a kendo stick and whacks Batista with it, but Orton ends up getting thrown into the steps hard.
Back in the ring, Batista hits a charging Orton with the spinebuster and calls for the Batista Bomb. He tries to load it but Orton counters and hits a back breaker. The audio keeps muting on my TV - must be swearing on the camera. Orton hits his elevated DDT as Triple H rants that this is the Viper and what he talked about. There's a buzz in the crowd.
All the sudden Daniel Bryan jumps Triple H from behind at the announce position. The scrum is on and he beats Triple H all over the announce position. Randy Orton runs over for the save and tries to stop it but isn't successful. Orton throws Bryan to the steps then throws him in the ring. As he gets in, he takes a spear from Batista. Batista picks up Bryan and he gets a kick to the head for his troubles. Batista takes a running knee, then Triple H takes a suicide dive. Bryan beats him around the ringside area a bit more, then whips him with a kendo stick.
Triple H gets in the ring to get away, then exits to the ramp. Randy Orton takes a drop kick from Bryan, who gets up on the buckle and gets the fans to chant "YES!" with him. Hunter screams at him that he will end this on Sunday as the show goes off the air.
This show picked up at this point. The show was flat, but DC really woke up for Daniel Bryan making an appearance. They really bought in when Stephanie said he wouldn't be there. Some fans tried to get chants started for Bryan, but it never got traction until he actually appeared. When he showed up the live crowd woke up and everyone involved sold for him, especially Hunter. He gave up a lot for Bryan.
I think this last angle really picked up an otherwise lackluster Raw. It was really flat until the end. This year's Wrestlemania is really just about four matches, and two of them are tied together. There's only so much time you can focus on four matches especially in the three hour format. They spent time on the undercard and it really showed how weak it is. The biggest hook going into Wrestlemania though is the Bryan story and the show was hot going out. Even as I'm watching the post-game show you can hear the buzz in the crowd.
We've got a STACKED slate to cover Wrestlemania. Raw Afterthoughts tomorrow. Two parts of RingRap Audio. A variety of opinion and prediction. News. Not to mention all the other stuff we've got on-site. It's a full week. Stay tuned here on Ring-Rap.com for all your Wrestlemania, among other federation, coverage all week long. Thanks for following tonight! Also, interact with us on Twitter!