WWE Raw is LIVE this evening, in Indianapolis, IN, starting at 8pm Eastern. We will have live coverage of the event, including fallout of WWE Payback, as the show airs.
Be sure to follow along on Twitter @RingRap and refresh this page for the latest information as it airs.
- WWE... Then. Now. Forever?
- Raw opens with a brief video recap of Evolution vs. The Shield. Worth mentioning: The Shield defeated Evolution 3 men to 0 in an Elimination match. It was also a very, very good match.
- Evolution's music kicks in, and all three men walk out. Triple H and Batista are wearing suits. Randy Orton still doesn't like pants. Triple H is sporting a black eye. They all head into the ring. Triple H has a microphone. The fans chant either Bootista or Bluetista. I'm not sure. "They say it's always darkest just before the dawn." Triple H speaks. "Funny thing is they think they've won." He talks about The Shield thinking this is over. He says we don't get it. He says he doesn't lose. He always wins. "This will not be over until The Shield exists no longer." He says it'll happen tonight.
- Batista takes the microphone from Triple H. He says he doesn't want a match with The Shield. "Been there, done that." He wants his one-on-one Heavyweight Title match. Triple H says there's a reason he's the leader, and the boss. He says he sees the bigger picture, and there is a plan. Batista doesn't care. He says he won the Rumble and earned a one-on-one Championship match, and he wants it tonight. Triple H says Daniel Bryan is injured and cannot compete, so even if he wanted, he couldn't give it to him. "Even if I did, you'd probably choke in it anyhow." Triple H apologizes and says things are a little stressful. He asks Batista if he wants to be remembered as the guy that couldn't finish The Shield. Triple H says he's the guy that doesn't start fights he cannot finish. Until The Shield is finished, noone is getting anything.
- Batista says he understands, and he quits. Batista waves his hand to the audience sarcastically, then walks away. The fans chant Yes! Triple H throws a fit in the ring. "You gonna run back to Hollywood?" It's just Orton and Triple H in the ring. We go to the announcers, who put over the gravity of what just happened. We'll be hearing from The Shield later tonight. Plus, a brief recap of The Slap Heard 'Round The World. Up next? Sheamus & Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro & Bad News Barrett!
- We are back from commercial, and they recap Batista's quitting. He did a backstage interview on the WWE App - he's sick of empty promises, and he's done.
- Sheamus and RVD are in the ring. Cesaro walks out with Paul Heyman, Bad News Barrett second. Barrett cuts an inset promo about RVD seeing stars after a Bullhammer.
- Bad News Barrett & Cesaro vs. Sheamus & RVD
- Cesaro attacks Sheamus immediately. Looks like it's gonna be a slobberknocker. Clumsy boot from Sheamus. He hits a top rope shoulder. Cesaro fires back with an elbow. They start trading blows. The announcers start talking about "Bluetista." Tag in to Barrett. Sheamus hits a clothesline to change the tide. Tag to RVD, who hits a jump kick. RVD goes up top and Barrett takes his head off with a clothesline. We go to break.
- Back from break, Cesaro is in control. Paul Heyman puts over Cesaro on commentary hardcore. Tag to Barrett. They're still talking about Bluetista. My goodness. Not much happening here. They're isolating RVD, tagging in and out. Cesaro tosses RVD into the barricade, rolls him in, goes for a pin. Two-count. Cesaro continues working over RVD with no luck. Knee to the face, and Cesaro takes a cheapshot at Sheamus, on the apron. He talks trash, and RVD uses the chance to recover. Tag to Barrett, hot tag to Sheamus. Sheamus is on a rampage. Knee to Barrett, clothesline. He hits a pair of tilt-a-whirls. Sheamus sets up for the Brogue Kick, goes for Cesaro. Cesaro ducks out and hugs Paul Heyman, and they leave the ring, as Wade Barrett gets a near fall. Barrett sees what's happening, he's not happy. RVD tags himself in, Sheamus gets the Brogue Kick, RVD hits the Five Star, and it's over. RVD and Sheamus win.
Decent tag match. Looks like they're constantly needing to find new ways to get the fans to boo Cesaro. Having him turn heel on a heel is a pretty good way.
- Later tonight, The Usos vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper!
- Back from break, and Damien Sandow, dressed up as "Lance Stevenson," comes out dressed in an Indiana Pacers outfit. He cuts a promo about the Pacers being a losing team. He says he has a ton of free time, so he's there for a few reasons. He wants to publically state that Labron James is the best player ever, and that The Pacers are a losing team from a losing city. "Hey! I'm just stating the facts." He is going to give a public display of his skills. He dribbles terribly and pretends to make some basketball moves. Thankfully, The Big Show interrupts him.
- Show enters the ring and Sandow asks him if he's got game. He hands him the ball and tries to goad him into shooting for the hoop, which is very low, mind you. Show tosses the ball into his gut, then takes a swing and knocks him out. He easily dunks the ball into the hoop, breaking the hoop in the process. Simply put: This was dumb.
- Kofi Kingston is in the ring after the break. He's facing Bo Dallas, who gets his full intro. He takes a mic in the middle of the ring, and says the only reason the Miami Heat defeated the Pacers is because they Bo-lieved.
- Kofi Kingston vs. Bo Dallas
- Bo hits a shoulder block and ducks out of the ring, says he's winning. Funny. He offers Kofi a handshake. Kofi doesn't care. Kofi leapfrogs over Bo, hits an elbow and a dropkick. Dallas outside the ring. When Bo comes back in, Kofi offers him a handshake. Dallas takes it, then tries to take advantage. Kofi had him scouted. Swinging neckbreaker from Dallas. He hits a running, rolling knee, or three. He taunts the audience again. "Don't stop Bo-lieving!" The fans start chanting "Bo-ring." Funny. Kofi hits a springboard dropkick out of nowhere. Chops to the chest, and a jumping clothesline for two. He springboards Dallas, then hits a cross-body for two. Dallas catches Kofi and sends him into the top turnbuckle. He hits a running Bo-Dog for the pin. Bo Dallas wins.
- Dallas does a victory lap, thumbs up. Afterwards, he helps Kofi up, but Kofi pushes him away. He puts his thumbs up and rolls out of the ring to head back.
- Our announcers recap Batista's quitting from earlier in the show. They show Batista's WWE App interview, as well. Backstage, Renee Young is hoping to get a word with Triple H. Stephanie comes out instead. Steph says Triple H is busy, but she's about to make an announcement about the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. That's after the commercial.
- Back in the arena after commercial, Stephanie McMahon comes out to the ring. She says last night, Daniel Bryan showed his true colors - a selfish little man who chose himself rather than what's best for business. She says he wouldn't do what's right and surrender the championship. Instead, he stood by while Brie fell on the sword. Steph says Brie should've been fired on the spot when she slapped Steph weeks ago. Steph says she showed restraint and leadership. What did she get for it? A slap in the face. So far, Steph has been really good in this promo.
- She says it's ok, because she's tough - a McMahon. She says she'll live. She wonders if he can live with himself looking into his wife's eyes and seeing her heart broken. Enough about them, however. It's about The WWE World Heavyweight Championship. She says, in four weeks time, if he can compete, he will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Kane in a stretcher match. If he cannot compete, the World Heavyweight Championship will be competed for, for the first time, in a Money in the Bank ladder match. I like it.
- John Cena interrupts her, comes out to the ring. Steph is all smiles, and says the people like him about as much as they like her. She congratulates him in his match last night. She hopes he's ok. Cena thanks her, and says he feels we haven't see the last of Bray Wyatt. He says Steph's job is tough, and some of her decisions are good, but some are questionable. The audience is pretty split, chanting "Let's Go Cena/Cena sucks." She tries to stop it, but Cena allows it, says it's best for business. He says the situation with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship has gotten out of hand. He says he's an employee, and a fan, but as a 14-time champion, and a champion that had to vacate the title due to injury, but no one person is bigger than that championship. Not Daniel Bryan, and not a "spoiled, jealous, egomaniac named Stephanie McMahon." She is disappointed that the fans applauded that.
- Cena says he gets it - she doesn't like Bryan. But, she needs to face facts. Daniel Bryan is good. He's really good. He says the fans will be as loud as they want for whomever they want. At the end of the day, it's about proving yourself in the ring, and Daniel Bryan proves he is championship material every time he steps into the ring. Cena says Bryan beat him fair and square at Summerslam, and she took it from him, and every time he had a chance, she took it from him. Cena says he relinquished his title because he knew he'd get a chance. Daniel Bryan won't give up the title because he's afraid he'll get screwed out of his chance. Steph says Daniel Bryan hasn't defended his title in over 30 days, and as a boss, as a leader, she needs to do what's best for business - popular or not. Cena says he's had surgeries that have taken him out of action, Triple H has had those surgeries too, and Steph.... has had "surgeries." (She pipes in - they put her IN action.) Cena says they'll lock that one up in a chest somewhere. Clever.
- Cena continues, says what is best for business is just plain old business. She's let her personal affairs get in the way and she's made an embarrassment of the WWE Championship, wasted the fans' time, and made an embarrassment of her self. Cena says, employee to boss, her evaluation is zero - "Zero means you suck." Stephanie says she doesn't care about the grade. She does care about creating opportunity. She's gonna give him opportunity tonight, in fact. She's gonna give him a chance to show how tough he is - he's facing Kane tonight. Right now. "Payback's a bitch, John. But then, so am I."
- Kane's music hits as Steph leaves. We go to commercial.
Actually, a solid segment. It addressed both sides of the complaint, and cleared up the future of the title somewhat. My question: Will they still have a briefcase match if the title is in the MitB match?
- We join the match in progress. Kane vs. John Cena. Kane is dominating Cena, beating down with punches and stomps. Cena kicks out at two. They trade blows. Kane goes for a chokeslam. Cena hits his shoulder blocks. A weak body drop from Cena. Five Knuckle Shuffle. The match gets thrown out when Kane attacks in the corner, past the five count. John Cena wins via DQ.
- Kane continues his attack on Cena outside the ring. He throws Cena into the steps shoulder first. He tears the steps off and sets Cena up. Cena counters, sending Kane into the ring post. He picks up the ring steps and throws them at Kane, similar to what he did last night. Somewhat less impressive, however. About eight referees come out and stop Cena from going any further. Kane sits up. Cena leaves. Kane throws the steps, then tears up the announcer's table and starts throwing chairs.
- Our illustrious announcing team recaps Batista quitting, again. Randy Orton is backstage. Renee Young attacks him. He says things got a little heated, so Batista took his ball and went home. He says he and Triple H are still on the same page, and later tonight Orton will face Roman Reigns!
- Back from break, we get a recap of the ending of our Hair vs. Mask match from the WWE Payback preshow. El Torito and Los Matadores are in the ring. 3MB comes out to the ramp. Heath Slater has the mic. He says that Hornswaggle's hair has grown back out. He's wearing a wig. Ok then. Anyhow, it's a tag match.
- Los Matadores vs. 3MB
- Jinder Mahal is sitting this one out. Some good tag action here, actually., but it's short lived These teams *could* be credible if they weren't so goofy. Anyhow, Hornswaggle dances on the apron and El Torito rips the wig off. His hair isn't even completely shaven. It looks like they stopped half-way through. Terrible. Los Matadores get a roll-up on Slater and it's over. Los Matadores win.
- Later tonight, Dolph Ziggler faces Alberto Del Rio in a qualifying match for Money in the Bank.
- After commercial, Nikki Bella comes out to the ring, all by herself. She's in a handicap match, apparently.
- Nikki Bella vs. Aksana & Alicia Fox in a handicap match.
- Aksana and Bella lock up. Nikki getting the advantage, but some sneaky heel work from Alicia gives Aksana an opening. Tag to Fox. Fox taunts the fans, and Nikki uses this opening. Near fall on a roll-up. Fox hits a kick to the gut, and a jumping axe kick to get the pin. Alicia Fox and Aksana win.
- After the match, Alicia Fox literally throws Nikki out of the ring, then starts having one of her fits. Aksana joins in. She hits a tilt-a-whirl back breaker. Fox throws Bella into the barricade. She says she's winning and the fans are losing.
- The beatdown is interrupted by The Wyatts, who cut in on a pre-recorded message. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper cut a promo, without Bray Wyatt. Harper says they take up his cause, they prowl the charred landscape like a dragon with noone left to torture, except the Usos. He says The Usos will pay. "Retribution cannot be achieved, until they are put down like the craven beasts they are." He says they will suffer for their misdeeds, and they will burn. Rowan says, "Follow the buzzards."
Nice work from Luke Harper, who has already shown his value will continue after this story with Wyatt runs it's course. Harper seems very comfortable in the character and very comfortable speaking. Rowan had three words. I suppose he delivered them quite well...
- After commercial, we join Zeb Colter cutting a promo in progress. He wants to deport Adam Rose. Tonight, Jack Swagger is gonna run him out of the country. "We the people."
- Right on cue, Adam Rose's party starts dancing their way to the ring. Rose dances out with them. The Rosebuds seem to be armed with more gorgeous ladies than usual...
- Adam Rose vs. Jack Swagger
- I thought this match was supposed to happen last night. Anyhow, Rose hits a nice sequence leading into an elbow. He attacks Swagger in the corner, but Swagger catches him with a boot to the face. Swagger in control now. Belly to belly into a pin. Two-count. The fans start singing Rose's song to heat him up. He catches Swagger with some jabs. Right to the face, atomic drop, and the CM Punk chants start up. Ugh. Rose hits a running Party Foul for the win. Adam Rose wins. He runs over to his Rosebuds and starts dancing.
- Backstage, The Usos talk to Byron Saxton regarding their upcoming match against Rowan and Harper. Good charisma from these two. This is exactly the kind of thing the Uso's have needed to have time to do for months. Good stuff.
Adam Rose is proving, match by match, he's not a lemon in the ring. The gimmick is still iffy for me, but I'm enjoying his matches now that he's actually, you know, having them.
- Erick Rowan and Luke Harper get the Wyatt noise, but no music. There's an empty rocking chair at ringside. The Uso's get their full intro.
- Erick Rowan & Luke Harper vs. The Uso Brothers
- Rowan and Jimmy Uso start it off. Jimmy is heavily taped across the ribs. Naturally, Rowan targets the ribs, but Uso fights back with fists to the face. Tag to Harper. The ref scolds him, he "tips his hat." Cute. Jimmy hits a cross-body on Harper, sends him into the corner, and Jey gets a tag. Running forearm in the corner. Jey climbs up top and hits a series of punches. Harper hits a dropkick, tag to Rowan. Rowan drops a knee. He locks in a chinlock. Jey Uso hits a series of elbows, tries to slam Rowan but he can't get him up. Rowan drops on top for a two-count. Tag to Harper, who chops Jey. He smacks him around, then steps on his arm before dropping into an eye rake. All the little details.
- Rowan in the ring, he rams into Jey. Jey flips out of a back body drop and gets the hot tag. Jimmy Uso hits a kick to the gut, goes for a sunset flip. Rowan misses a legdrop. Cover for two. Kick sends Rowan outside. Harper jumps in, but gets knocks out of the ring. They tease a run, which Michael Cole calls, but it never happens. We go to break.
- Back from break, Jimmy Uso is laid out on the ramp. Harper picks him up and sends him into the apron. He rolls him back in and hits a few elbows for two. They're keeping Jimmy in the corner. Harper starts making weird faces, tags in Rowan. Rowan whips Jimmy into the corner, clubs him across the chest. He ties Jimmy up in the tree of woe. Rowan goes for the ribs and hits the posts instead. Jimmy goes up top and hits a corkscrew moonsault. He stretches to make the hot tag to Jey. Jey and Harper in. Jey on fire, he hits a kick to the gut, flying clothesline. Another kick, drop punch. Enzuigiri in the face. Running butt ram thing twice to Harper. Two-count broken by Rowan. Harper gets a big boot in, near fall. Uso dives over Harper, hits a dropkick. Jey jumps from the top rope over the top onto Rowan. Luke Harper decides to do the same. Let's get Jimmy Uso in the mix here too, shall we? All four are outside the ring. Jimmy rolls Harper back in, Jey goes up top, he goes for the splash, but Harper had his knees up. Harper is on his feet, he waits for Jey, but Jey catches him with a superkick in the jaw. A very near two-count. Harper struggles to his feet, makes a blind tag as Jey sends him over the top. Jey gets a near roll-up after an assist from Jimmy. Rowan hits his finisher, a sidewalk slam like move, for the win. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper win.
A very good tag match from these four. The announcers put Harper and Rowan over as becoming contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship, which I suppose they are, but titles seem above the gimmick. Does that make sense? Regardless, a very, very good tag match.
- Tomorrow night, Bad News Barrett will defend the Intercontinental Championship against Rob Van Dam. In the ring, Alberto Del Rio. He's facing Dolph Ziggler.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
- Both men lock up. Del Rio unloads some kicks in the corner. Ziggler goes for a roll-up. Neckbreaker to Del Rio, and a cover. Ziggler hits a bunch of elbow drops. Ten, actually. Del Rio hits a kick to the gut, then goes to work on the arm. He gets a near fall. Armbar, Ziggler fights out, but Del Rio pulls the hair and takes him down. Del Rio chokes Ziggler over the bottom rope. Ziggler hits an impressive dropkick to even the odds. Ziggler gets a mean streak, goes for a neckbreaker, but Del Rio attacks. Fameasser from Ziggler for a near fall. Only two. Del Rio hits a tilt-a-whirl back breaker for two. Del Rio goes up top, Ziggler cuts him off and slams him face first into the mat for a near fall. Very much back and forth here. Del Rio hits the cross-arm breaker out of nowhere. Ziggler can't fight it. He taps out. Alberto Del Rio wins, and is in Money in the Bank.
Very good match from these guys. They work well together, and it showed. The finish was always up in the air in my eyes, as neither man seems to be endearing to management's eyes lately.
- We get a recap of Cody Rhodes splitting from Goldust last night. Apparently, he's helped to hand-pick Goldust's new partner, and they're facing Rybaxel... next!
- Back from break, Rybaxel already in the ring. Goldust comes out to the ring. Cody has apparently chosen Sin Cara to team up with him. Yawn.
- Rybaxel (Ryback & Curtis Axel) vs. Goldust & Sin Cara
- Cody Rhodes watches on backstage, awkwardly. Goldust and Axel start it off. Goldust has the advantage, locks in a wristlock. Axel gets free and tags Ryback. Tag to Sin Cara. He hits a dropkick and chops. Tag back to Goldust. Tandem moves from GoldCara. Or SinDust. I'm not sure yet. It's pretty back and forth here. Kind of slow, actually. Goldust is getting beat down, Sin Cara wants the hot tag. Axel isolates Goldust in the corner, tags out to Ryback. Goldust makes the tag to Sin Cara. Axel in now. Sin Cara unloads on Axel, hits a springboard elbow for a near fall. I swear I heard the ref count to three, but hey. Bodies flying everywhere. Sin Cara kicks Axel in the face, goes up top, but misses a senton. Axel hits his finisher, and it's over. Rybaxel wins.
Well, if I had to guess, we don't have to worry about what to call the new pairing, because I suspect it won't last long. Anyhow, it was a fine tag match, but completely skippable.
- Back from break, Lana struts out onto the ring. She does the usual schtick of telling America we suck, says Russia rocks, and then introduces Alexander Rusev. He's the hero of the universe, or something. So is Edward Snowden. And Vladimir Putin. Rusev comes out swinging a Russian flag. He walks out to the ring, where a podium awaits him. Lana instructs him to step up to the podium. "Please, go forward and be recognized." The fans chant USA, of course. Lana is not amused. She introduces some other dude that will present the Golden Star or something. This guy sounds like he's got more of a British accent than a Russian one. He hangs a gigantic gold star around the neck of Rusev, who then speaks. Lana takes the mic. "Long live Mother Russia. Long live the Super Athelete, Rusev." She orders everyone to rise for the Russian National Anthem. Confetti falls from the ceiling. You've got to be kidding. They sprung for confetti for this crap? Anyhow, the Anthem plays as we fade out to the promo for Orton vs. Reigns. Commercial.
Ugh. Just a complete waste of time.
- After break, Bray Wyatt returns on Smackdown. You know, cause he's been away for 24 hours. Also, Batista quit. Just in case you didn't know.
- Roman Reigns comes out to the ring, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins by his side. Ambrose asks how do they look? They feel great. Last night they faced their biggest challenge to date, and they did what they said they would: A clean sweep without a single elimination to their team. He calls it domination. Seth Rollins asks - "Adapt or Perish, that was the whole deal, right?" He says they adapted, Evolution perished. Rollins put them over and three of the greatest in history, but they were not one like The Shield. He called them strangers that were on the same side of the ring. Roman Reigns said they weren't brothers. The men in the ring are brothers. Reigns calls out Randy Orton. "Get your ass out here and let me break your jaw with the symbol of excellence."
- Randy Orton comes out, flanked by Triple H. Trips has a sledgehammer in his hands. Seth Rollins runs out and grabs chairs. Triple H says he adapts better than anybody. Last night was Plan A. Tonight? Plan B. There's always a Plan B.
- Out of nowhere, Seth Rollins slams into Roman Reigns with a chair. Ambrose is completely shocked. Rollins attacks him with the chair too. Rollins completely destroys chair number one on both men, then grabs the second one. He sets it up and curb stomps Ambrose into it. He steps out of the ring, approaches Triple H and Randy Orton, chair in hand. He stands next to them and hands the chair to Orton. Triple H pats Rollins' shoulder, and Randy Orton steps in with the chair. He takes a few swings at Reigns, really working over his back with the chair. He jabs him in the gut repeatedly, then rolls him over and attacks the back again. Orton rips off Reigns' vest and sets him up, very slowly, looking at the wounds from yesterday and today. He RKO's him on the chair. Rollins steps back in again. Triple H pats his back. Our "new" Evolution stands over what's left of The Shield as the show comes to a close.
Well, it was a pretty mediocre show, but newsworthy in a lot of ways. Batista quit, we are guaranteed a title match at Money in the Bank, and SETH ROLLINS FREAKING TURNED ON THE SHIELD. I honestly didn't see that coming. I figured, maybe Roman Reigns? Possibly Dean Ambrose. But Rollins?
I am excited about the possibilities, however. Rollins as Tyler Black was a great heel and it will be good to see him heel it up again. I'm looking forward to seeing Rollins break away and move on to some strong singles matches, and I think pairing up with Triple H will only help him long term. The guy that could get lost in the shuffle is all but guaranteed not to, now.
That does it for me tonight folks. Ring Rap Audio records on Wednesday night, and we will have PLENTY to say. Thanks for joining me this evening!