Last night, the WWE got extreme with their Extreme Rules pay per view. John Cena is still WWE Champion, but only because Ryback drove him through the stage set and there was no count as both men could not get up. Will Cena make an appearance tonight? What will Ryback say, or do, in response to last night's events?
Also, Triple H lost his cage match war with Brock Lesnar. Lesnar's gimpy, and The Game was helped to the back. Will these two admit this is the end of their war, or will there be another chapter?
Show Open, Live from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO
After the standard opening, we see an ambulance screeching through the backstage. It goes into the arena by the stage as Cole and Lawler welcome us to the show. Ryback emerges and gets up on the ambulance as his music hits. Cole narrates some still shots of Ryback crashing Cena through the light wall.
Ryback says the result of his match at Extreme Rules was a no decision. He talks about how Cena didn't walk away though, but was carried away. They show footage of Cena being wheeled to the ambulance but refusing to go to the hospital. Back live, Ryback guarantees that Cena won't refuse next time.
Ryback issues a challenge for Payback, the next pay per view. He proposes an ambulance match, and the man in the ambulance will be John Cena. Ryback starts insulting the fans, calling them fat, weak, and pathetic. "I have nothing in common with you." He accuses the fans of having no idea what it's like to wake up wanting to be the best.
He calls the fans the lost souls of society, yet they worship Cena. He says that's pathetic. He says the fans know nothing about busting their asses day in and day out, or nutrition. He says he will take Cena and all his fans to the morgue at the Payback pay per view. He says there's only one fact of life and that is that Ryback Rules.
The announcers talk about what just happened with Ryback. They also mention that Paul Heyman has confirmed he is adding a third member to his "enterprise" and he will be revealed. Lawler hypes up Chris Jericho and The Miz taking on Wade Barrett and Fandango after the break.
This was pretty strong. They grabbed attention with the ambulance entrance, and Ryback gave a confident promo and attacked the fans, which he was missing out on previously. He didn't focus on the title enough though and how he was wronged. As for Heyman, that serves as a good hook for the rest of the show.
They tout views of WWE video on various platforms then show some product placement from Sonic with fans drinking milkshakes.
Match #1 - Chris Jericho and The Miz vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae) and Wade Barrett
Cole reminds us that Miz is still due a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship from Wade Barrett. In the early action, they show a clip from the app where Road Dogg is interviewing with Matt Striker. That is exclusive to app users.
Wow, nothing like taking away from the viewership by adding content like that on the app. Gotta have 4 screens to watch WWE Raw now...yikes!
After commercial, Fandango jumps from the apron and announces himself. His music hits and he and Summer dance. Barrett is less than amused while he continues to work with Miz.
Jericho gets the tag. He works Barrett while the dancing continues. He finishes off Barrett with a Lionsault and a Codebreaker, then tags in Miz. Miz locks Barrett in the Figure Four for the submission win.
Afterward, Jericho and Miz talk, then approach from each side of the ring. Fandango jumps the guardrail and leaves Summer alone. Jericho holds out his hand and offers a dance, and they do. A kiss gets teased, but Jericho puts his hand up and walks away, laughing.
Total silliness for Fandango to dance rather than work. Summer's back and forth reminds me of women I dated in my past.
The announcers tease more details on the Brock vs. Triple H cage match and the reveal of the third Heyman guy.
Vickie comes out and does her "excuse me" bit. She says that Jack Swagger will have a match tonight, and the fans can vote. It's either R-Truth, Great Khali, or Randy Orton. Only fans who have downloaded the WWE App can vote. The announcers talk about the app and says the polls aren't open yet.
The more they hype it, the more I hate the WWE App.
Daniel Bryan throws a towel into the locker. Kane walks up and Bryan says he is not the tag team champions, nor is Kane, meaning they aren't the champions. Kane says the negativity won't help them.
Bryan says he feels naked without the title. Kane points out that Bryan doesn't have a shirt or pants on. The camera pulls back to show he's in ring gear. Bryan gets upset about Kane's jokes. He then gets worked up with the notion that Kane is labeling him the weak link of their team.
Kofi walks into the picture and tries to get everyone to calm down. Bryan tells them he'll see them in the ring and storms off. Cole tells us that the three will face The Shield later in the night.
Cole plugs voting on the app for Jack Swagger's match will open later. They show still shots of the strap match from last night between Sheamus and Mark Henry. They show the video where Mark Henry says he's going home.
Match #2 - Sheamus vs. Titus O'Neil (w/Darren Young)
The announcers hype this match as having come into being because of comments that Titus made on the post-show last night. Titus gets in some offense before Sheamus makes a comeback.
Sheamus hits his signature spots, and intimidates Young from interfering. Young does stick his nose in the match and trips Sheamus on the apron. O'Neil capitalizes and gets a near fall out of it. Titus misses a shoulder block, which opens the door for Sheamus to make a comeback.
In the end, Sheamus hits White Noise and cues up the Brogue Kick to get the win.
The match was decent enough. I like the tying in from last night's comments to tonight's match.
I guess Vickie had something to say on the app. I'm not up for watching 4 screens...
The announcers hype up that Paul Heyman will reveal his new client next.
Justin Roberts introduces Paul Heyman, and he walks out without music. He says he gets booed when a Heyman Guy exposes the fans' heroes. He tells the fans to boo all they want. He says the boos won't change the fact that Brock Lesnar beat Triple H in the cage match last night.
Heyman gloats over Lesnar's win. He says Triple H will go down as a loser in the books. He says Lesnar is off enjoying the spoils of war while Triple H tucked his sledgehammer between his legs and ran home to mommy. Heyman says it's time for something new and different.
He says it's time to give fans a moment to set their DVR's and watch ten years from now. He says 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 give you the newest Paul Heyman Guy."
A remixed version of Mr. Perfect's theme plays and Curtis Axel (formerly Michael McGuillicutty) walks out onto the stage. He makes his entrance and says "I have arrived." at ringside. Axel and Heyman hug and the fans boo.
Heyman says the fans proved him right again. He says he warned Axel this would be the reaction. He says it's the same reaction that fans gave when he introduced Brock Lesnar in 2002 and when he introduced CM Punk in 2006. Heyman puts over Axel's pedigree and points out he's a third generation star. Heyman says he wants to carve out his own niche in WWE.
Heyman talks about how they took Mr. Perfect's given name and paid homage to his grandfather (Larry "The Axe" Henning) to create a new brand. That name is Curtis Axel. Heyman gives him an introduction, then when the fans didn't cheer he gives another introduction. The boos grow.
Triple H's music hits and Hunter makes his way out. Heyman smiles and the announcers praise Axel. Triple H says that Heyman can whip up a batch of Kool-Aid. Axel tries to step in, but H tells him that the adults are having a conversation.
Hunter says he's not embarrassed about what happened at Extreme Rules. "You're damn right, he beat me, just like I beat him at Wrestlemania." He adds that Lesnar beat him but Lesnar didn't walk away, he limped away. H says that he was backstage and thought it would make him happy to come out and beat up Heyman just because he can.
Axel steps up and says "Hey, I don't think you understand the game around here has changed. You want to talk to him, you talk to me first." H smirks while Heyman laughs. Trips smacks Axel down. "You know what, I changed my mind. First I'm going to have a match tonight with you. And when I get done kicking your ass, I'm going to kick (Heyman's)." Hunter leaves.
Hesitant, but open to this repackaging. He didn't shine in his short time on the mic, meanwhile Heyman and Hunter carried it. We should get a good feel for what's going on with pushing the former Michael McGuillicutty later in the show. The former Joe Hennig has been complimented by Triple H, so we shall see.
The announcers hype up Big E Langston vs. Alberto Del Rio for after commercial.
Match #3 - Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Big E. Langston (w/AJ)
We get ring introductions. The announcers talk about Del Rio getting the number one contender's position, and they replay the controversy at the end of the match. Langston is all chalked up like a power lifter as he comes out.
Del Rio teases the Cross Arm Breaker early on with Langston on the floor. Langston uses his power to carry Del Rio to the ring post. He swings him like a baseball bat into the post.
A bit later, Del Rio hits two clotheslines but that doesn't take down Langston. Del Rio fires up and hits a third that does take him down. Del Rio hits a backstabber then follows with a superkick.
The finish comes when AJ throws Ricardo's bucket into the ring. The official is distracted by it, and goes chasing. That lets Langston poke Del Rio in the eye and hit the Big Ending to get the win.
The match was fine but the ending was dumb. Does that mean we get a bucket on a pole match sometime in the future?
The announcers reset the top of the show with Ryback talking from the top of the ambulance. Cole hype up the six man match between The Shield and Kofi and Team Hell No. They also give hype to Triple H being in action on Raw for the first time in three years.
Match #4 - Layla vs. AJ
AJ and Layla are in the ring. They reset the attack Kaitlyn launched on AJ last night at Extreme Rules.
Via the app, they show the Bella Twins commenting on the match and making fun about AJ's ring gear. Layla dominates this one, but AJ locks in the Black Widow hold to get the submission win.
Formula Divas match to keep AJ hot going into a future title match. Side note - how many guys wish they could spank AJ's bottom to tap out of that hold?
Cole tells us voting is open on the app to determine Jack Swagger's opponent for later. Lawler puts some hype on Triple H vs. Axel for later.
Match #5 - Cody Rhodes vs. Zack Ryder
Joined this one in progress. Ryback is watching on, as they show us via an app screen shot. Ryder gets in some offense and hits the Broski Boot, but Rhodes gets the win via the Disaster Kick.
Ryback's music hits and he comes out. He paces around Ryder and yells for him to get up. Ryback hits him with the Meathook Clothesline, then a powerbomb after yelling "Ryback Rules". He hits Ryder with Shellshocked after that. He dumps Ryder to ringside, then picks him up and takes him to the ambulance and throws him in it. The ambulance hits the sirens and exits.
A sound beatdown to establish the point that Ryback is violent and physical going into a potential ambulance match. Served its point.
The announcers hype up The Shield vs. Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston coming up next.
Match #6 - The Shield vs. Kofi Kingston and Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan)
The Shield makes their entrance; Ambrose alone and Rollins and Reigns together. They get to the ring and get microphones to cut a promo. They introduce themselves and their championships. Ambrose says they brought power back to the titles.
Ambrose says that Kofi and Team Hell No didn't believe, but now they do. He takes credit for The Rock losing at Wrestlemania and needing surgery. He says they made Ryback snap and attack John Cena. Rollins says the fans now know what a cohesive unit looks like and what unbreakable looks like. "You can see the future, and the scary part is, boys, this is just the beginning."
Reigns says the end remains the same. "You put them in front of us, and we'll take them out. We run this yard and we carry the collars to back it up." They hold up their title belts and Ambrose says the fire of justice is burning bright and they are the flames. "Believe in the Shield." Ambrose says before Kane and Daniel Bryan make their entrance.
Early on, the Shield is able to isolate Kofi Kingston. Cole gives us a reset that hypes up Curt Axel facing Triple H later. The action continues. Daniel Bryan goes on a run of offense, clotheslining Rollins who takes a nasty bump.
Bryan goes up top but gets knocked down by Ambrose. Ambrose tries to lock in a superplex, but Bryan throws him down. He follows by hitting a missile drop kick off the ropes on Ambrose. He tries to lock on the No Lock but Ambrose gets to the ropes to keep out of it.
Bryan knocks Rollins off the ropes to the floor. The match goes to break, and Cole gives a plug for exclusive content on the app during the break.
After commercial, The Shield gets control of the match and works on Bryan. He throws some punches but Reigns cuts him down and tags Ambrose in. JBL points out that each member of The Shield brings something different to the table.
Ambrose gets the tag and slaps Bryan around. He and Rollins taunt and call him the weak link, asking what he has left. Bryan gets a shot in, and Ambrose tags in Reigns. Bryan fights him away and makes the hot tag to Kane. Kane unloads, hitting corner splashes and a side slam among his signature spots.
Kingston and Bryan get involved, hitting dives on Ambrose and Rollins. Kane and Reigns work in the ring, with Kane hitting a DDT. Out on the floor, Rollins throws Kingston into the ring post, and Ambrose takes out Bryan.
Kane cues up the chokeslam. Ambrose jumps from the top rope, but Kane hits him in the midsection. Rollins leaps from the other corner and hits Kane with a knee. Reigns follows with his spear to get the win.
Formula win for the Shield. Work through, then get a numbers edge and pull out a win. Boring act. The match itself got a good reaction from the fans, but the ending really soured me. For once I'd like to see them work a six-man that doesn't end with a 3-1 situation. Hopefully, they don't turn Bryan heel - he has a good offensive set and could go on a great face run.
We get a reset of the Heyman/Axel/Triple H segment at the top of the second hour.
A trainer walks in to the training room where Triple H is taping up. He says the doctor doesn't thing Triple H is up to working tonight. Triple H asks if the doctor likes his job and the trainer says yes. Triple H tells the trainer to tell the doctor that he will compete tonight and if the doctor doesn't like it he can find employment elsewhere.
Is that reinforcing the idea that Trips has an out if he loses?
Kaitlyn and Natalya are talking about Kaitlyn having a phone number for her admirer. Natalya wants to hand it off to Khali for him to investigate but Kaitlyn refuses. Cody Rhodes walks up, texting. They stare and Rhodes asks if he has something in his lovestache. They mob him and take his phone to discover Rhodes is posting pictures of himself online. Kaitlyn says it's good that it's not him.
Cole plugs the voting for Jack Swagger's opponent. Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter come to the ring, and once he's there the opponent is revealed. It's Randy Orton, by a landslide.
Match #7 - Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)
Cole talks about how Colter ranted via the app about how Swagger lost. The announcers debate the finish and how that match got restarted. Swagger goes after Orton's knee while on offense. Orton battles back and tries to hit his elevated DDT from the ring apron to the floor. Swagger counters and drives Orton to the security barrier. A little later, Swagger knocks Orton to the floor going into commercial.
Out of commercial, Orton hits a superplex. Swagger comes back with a belly to belly suplex. Orton begins to run through his signature offense, with the scoop slam. He tries the hanging DDT again, but Swagger counters and hits another suplex for two.
Swagger tries the Patriot Lock, but Orton shoves him off. Orton hits the hanging DDT this time, even though the setup was off.
Orton hears voices and tries to go for the RKO, but Swagger avoids it. He gets the Patriot Lock in and Orton struggles to stay alive. He works his way out of it. He hits the RKO ot end things and get the win.
Good match. A bit predictable and slow but it built to a nice finishing sequence. I thought they might use the replay of the end of the I Quit match as a bigger talking point, but maybe they'll go there on Smackdown.
We get a recap of the opening segment, featuring Ryback's promo and challenge to John Cena. They also recap the roughing up of Zack Ryder, sending him out in an ambulance. They hype the main event of Curt Axel vs. Triple H, next.
Match #8 - Triple H vs. Curtis Axel (w/Paul Heyman)
Cole tells us that the doctors are worried about Triple H given the sledgehammer shot he took last night. Triple H makes his full entrance, followed by Axel. Axel's music is a remix of Mr. Perfect's old theme. The live crowd didn't react much to Axel nor to the opening of the match.
Triple H gets the early advantage from a couple clotheslines. He keeps the run going until Axel hits him with a good drop kick. Axel gets in a short series of offense, but Trips battles back and hits him with the shoulder blocks that Lesnar has used on him in the past.
Trips hits a big spinebuster and plays to the crowd, then puts his head down and shakes it. Hunter clears Axel out and continues with the shaking the head routine. He goes out to ringside and takes a couple punches from Axel, then fires back and hits a clothesline.
Trips struggles to get in the ring. He stops, shakes his head, then goes over to the medical corner and sits down. He asks for water and dumps the bottle on himself. Trips starts back for the ring but stops. The trainer at ringside grabs a penlight and shines it in Trips' eyes. He acts like it bothers him and the trainer can be heard saying it's done, and gives the cut sign.
Trips gets out of the chair but falls over. The trainer and doctor tend to him and tell him to take some deep breaths. Cole reiterates that the doctor should have stopped this before it started and not allowed Triple H in the ring tonight. Trips tries to get up, but trainers and the referee encourage him to stay down. That's how it ends.
This was all about Triple H. The result of this match did absolutely nothing for Curtis Axel. It's one show - so there isn't enough there to judge on how serious they are about pushing him. This really belonged in the middle of the show, not the main event slot.
It was a flat ending to an otherwise decent show. The average fan might not be as concerned about getting an update on Triple H as WWE might think they will be - hard to say there. All in all, this angle did little for me as a viewer, and did nothing to establish Axel as a big deal now that he is in Paul Heyman's stable.
This show had some good stuff in it. The action of the six-man match was sound, Ryback cut a solid promo to kick the night off, and they paid off the tease all day of the new Heyman Guy, Curtis Axel. It was smart to sit John Cena for the night to sell injuries from last night's match at Extreme Rules.
The one thing I wish they'd have done more with is focus on the end of that match, and the controversy surrounding the I Quit match. They beat us over the head way too much with the App as well, which I am not a fan of.
I'll have more to say tomorrow night on the Ring-Rap App...errr...in Raw Afterthoughts. Thanks for watching along tonight.