WWE Raw airs LIVE this evening starting at 8pm EDT, and will be filmed in Montreal, QC. We will have live coverage of the show as it airs.
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- Show opens with a recap of last week's Raw, and Cena being welcomed by The Authority. They announce the Fatal Four Way match for Battleground. We get highlights of the main event, with Kane nailing Cena with a Tombstone Piledriver to end the night, and Seth Rollins nearly cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. Dean Ambrose denied him of the chance, thankfully, and Roman Reigns stopped a continuing beatdown.
- We're live int he arena, and Roman Reigns is walking through the crowd to the ring. Our announcers inform us that The Authority is away on vacation this evening. Yeah, right. Reigns stands in the middle of the ring. HUGE cheers. He says he comes down to the ring with a point. He talks about being put into the Fatal Four Way match because it's best for business. Reigns says he can neutralize Cena, deal with Kane, and Orton won't leave with the title. He can assess and attack. He says he's a wanted man, but he's got a hair trigger. A Cena Sucks chant breaks out - "When Roman Reigns is in the house, you're damn right Cena Sucks." Funny. He says Orton is just a pawn in The Authority's game, but he's not a pawn. He's the next WWE Champion. "Believe that."
- Kane's pyro hits and he walks out onto the stage, but doesn't do anything else. Reigns asks if Kane is standing in for The Authority while they're away, because he looks like their lapdog, correction, Randy Orton's bitch. Kane heads down to the ring and Reigns meets him at the ramp. The two brawl outside the ring. Reigns gets the better of the exchange, and they start fighting through the audience. They get back to the ring and Kane slams him into the ringpost a number of times. Finally five referees or so run out to separate them. Kane chokeslams one of the referees, and some of the agents hit the ring. Jaime Noble, Fit Finlay, Mike Rotundo, They hold back Reigns, and Reigns ends up spearing Finlay! He nails Kane with a superman punch to a huge pop.
Hot segment to set up Roman Reigns as a very real threat to the title. He came off confident and cool, and I think he did well on the mic, but the fans really respond to him most when the fists fly.
- Later tonight, John Cena vs. Seth Rollins, plus Chris Jericho vs. The Miz!
- Back from break, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are in the middle of the ring, just kind of standing there. Looks like they have another match with The Usos. Harper and Jey start things out, and it’s intense from the start. Kick and Harper goes out, tag in and they send Rowan over the top too. Instead of predictably diving out of the ring, they wait, and Harper steps back in. Jimmy Uso legal here. Punches traded, and Harper gets the advantage. Rowan legal now, he wrenches Jimmy’s neck. Jimmy gets free and tags his brother in. Jey uses speed to take Rowan down. Cover for one. Rowan tosses Jey into the corner, then tackles him to the mat. Pin in the corner, tag to Harper. Rapid tags and Rowan has control as we go to break.
- We’re back and Rowan gets a near fall on Jey Uso. He squeezes Jey’s head with his fists, then wrenches the head again. Tag in to Harper. They miss a double-team in the corner, and both men go tumbling over the top. Tag to Jimmy Uso, he hits a cross-body and clotheslines to Harper. Punch to the face, Samoan Drop, and he hits a 450 corkscrew off the top. Rowan gets involved, but Jey hits a running dive outside. Superkick attempt by Jimmy, Harper counters. Two-count. Jimmy hits him with one this time, a very near fall. He heads up top, and Rowan hits the ropes to cause a slip-up. Harper nails a sit-out power bomb, Jey breaks up the pin. Harper goes over the top, then eats a kick. Flying Usos cut off by Rowan. Harper nails a fierce clothesline out of nowhere to get the pinfall victory. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan win.
Good match from these two teams. They work well together and the feud continues to be enjoyable. As long as these four keep putting on good matches, I don’t mind.
- Back to our announcers, who plug the free week of the WWE Network. It’s a good opportunity if you haven’t checked it out yet. They plug their 90% satisfaction rate, which seems a bit high, but whatever.
- Later tonight, Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton! Orton and Kane are talking backstage about what happened earlier. Orton tells Kane he has his back. Kane says one way or another the championship is coming back to The Authority. Seth Rollins enters and says it’s important they have each other’s backs, and he’ll think twice about cashing in on one of them. He walks away. Orton says he’s starting to hate Rollins. Kane says he’s starting to hate Orton. Cheesy.
- Back from break, we have a “One Arm Tied Behind Their Backs” match, per The Authority. It’s Nikki Bella vs. Alicia Fox. Great. They tie up Nikki Bella first, which means Alicia Fox is probably going to pull something. Sure enough, she attacks Bella before even being tied up. She lays into Bella with some kicks, sending her out of the ring. She slams Bella head-first into the barricade. She rolls her back into the ring and grabs beverages from under the ring. Naturally, she shakes them up and pours them all over the place, then hops out of the ring shouting Brie’s name. Strange, and really not very good.
- We’re back from commercial, and Rusev stands in the ring swinging a Russian flag. Lana lays into Canada about accepting the leadership of Vladimir Putin. Before she can continue, RVD’s music hits. Huge RVD chants. Van Dam has lots of kicks for Rusev. Rusev flips him to the apron, but RVD hits a tornado DDT. Two-count. Rusev tosses Van Dam across the ring and attacks him from behind. He lays into him with the kicks and knees. Giant fallaway slam. Inset promo from Zeb Colter during the match. Colter announces Jack Swagger and Rusev will square off at Battleground. Anyhoo, the match. Rusev still in charge. RVD punches out, but Rusev catches him. RVD gets a roll-up for a near fall. RVD heads up top and hits a jumpkick off the top. He misses Rolling Thunder, and Rusev catches him with a kick to the face. Rusev stomps him in the back and locks in The Accolade. RVD taps out. Rusev wins.
- After the match, Lana drapes the medal over Rusev and raises his hand.
Good showing from Rusev. Probably his most challenging match to date, and he held his own with RVD.
- Randy Orton is on his way to the ring for his match, up next!
- Back from break, Orton heads out to the ring. Dean Ambrose comes out next. He doesn’t believe in ring gear. Ambrose is talking trash from the get-go. I wish I could hear him. Orton ducks out after a lock-up. Ambrose wrenches an arm bar. Orton frees out and returns the favor, but Ambrose hits a drop toe-hold and wipes the mat with Orton’s face. In the corner, a clothesline. Back and forth, Orton gets some offense in, Ambrose turns the tides and runs his face on the ropes. Dropkick. Ambrose locks in a strange choke and locks both arms. Orton on his feet, he rolls Ambrose through, nails a clothesline. Orton hammers Ambrose in the corner. Ambrose drops Orton and pounces him. Clothesline sends Orton over the top as we cut to commercial.
- Back from break, Orton in control. He nails a dropkick for two. Orton has a wristlock, focusing on the shoulder. Orton continues to work the arm, but Ambrose nails a nice DDT and both men struggle to get up. Ambrose gets some fire and takes Orton out. Cross-body into some fierce punches. Boots in the corner. Orton reverses a clothesline, but Ambrose reverses it into a Figure Four Leglock. Orton gets the ropes. Ambrose climbs up top, goes for a move, and it was an awkward spot, but it ended with Orton hitting a dropkick. Someone missed their cue…
- Orton poses on the top rope, hits an uppercut, but Ambrose bounces back and nails a clothesline. Orton ducks out and Ambrose follows him. He throws Orton into the barricade, then starts tossing chairs into the ring. Things get crazy, and Orton catches Ambrose with a raised DDT outside the ring. Ambrose barely makes it in for 9. Orton sets him up for another one, Ambrose reverses. Back and forth reversals. Ambrose goes for another slingshot clothesline, but Orton catches him with an RKO. It’s over. Randy Orton gets the win.
A very good match, from start to finish. Ambrose looked great and hung in with one of the top stars. Aside from the minor flub, this was an excellent match.
- Later tonight, Bret “The Hitman” Hart appears.
- Backstage, Renee Young welcomes John Cena. He talks about having a target on his back. He says he’s got a briefcase over his head, a match at Battleground where he doesn’t have to lose to lose, and other threats. As he talks, Roman Reigns approaches him. Reigns wishes him luck in his match tonight. Cena says he doesn’t need luck. Reigns says he’ll need it in the Fatal Four Way match.
- Back from break, Fandango joins in on commentary. Alberto Del Rio is in the ring. Dolph Ziggler is heading out to face him. Ziggler tosses Del Rio out early. Del Rio pulls a Finlay and yanks the ring apron out to catch him. Enzuigiri to the face. He rolls Ziggler back in for two. Del Rio pushes Ziggler off the turnbuckle, catches him and hits a really impressive reverse suplex of sorts, only worth two. Probably should’ve finished him. Del Rio misses a kick to the head, Ziggler hits a DDT. Two-count. Del Rio misses another enzuigiri, and Dolph hits the Fameasser for a near fall. Fandango decides it’s time to dance on top of the announcer’s table. It distracts Ziggler. Del Rio kicks him in the head, and he wins a shot to the IC Title Battle Royal.
A good match until Fandango ruined everything.
- Stardust cuts a promo backstage about… I have no idea. Goldust comes in and says there’s noone more bizarre than them. I think they’re calling themselves Road Dust now. Weird, but intentionally so.
- Bret Hart is next!
- Backstage, Layla approaches Fandango. She asks him what he was doing out there. He says he was just embarrassing Dolph after last week. Layla says she doesn’t know what she would do if he still had feelings for Summer. They embrace, and while Layla’s back is turned, Fandango sees Summer Rae standing there seductively. He stares.
- Jerry Lawler stands in the middle of the ring and talks about the last time they were at this arena, he had a heart attack. He says it put a damper on what was supposed to be a great night for both Bret Hart and Pat Patterson. Tonight, he’s here to introduce Bret “The Hitman” Hart!
- Bret Hart stands in the ring, and thanks the fans. “No matter what happened here in the past, it’s always great to be here in Montreal.” He says he speaks from the heart when he says if he could lace up the boots one more time, it’d be in Montreal. He says he’s getting goosebumps, like he did back in the day when he was WWE Champion. Out of nowhere, he’s interrupted by his own music.
- Damien Sandow walks out in Bret Hart’s gear. He presents the REAL best there is/was/ever will be - Bret “The Hitman” Sandhart. Ok then. He says he has a regret (not the screwjob) or not the fact he pretended it was an elaborate screwjob. His one regret was that he was actually proud to be from a third-world country, like Canada. Sandow has all the mannerisms down. He says that talking has never been his strong suit. Hart punches him right in the jaw, sending Sandow tumbling. Hart’s music plays, until Sheamus comes out to the ring.
- Bret Hart stands in the ring and greets Sheamus with a handshake. Sandow looks on. He’s facing Sheamus, after the break.
Funny segment. Sandow deserves more than this, as far as I’m concerned, but he’s making what he’s got work.
- Our match is in progress, and Sheamus is chasing after Sandow. Sandow lures him outside, and tosses him into the barricade. Only worth one in the ring. Sandow hits a diving punch off top, then goes for a Sharpshooter, but Sheamus grabs him by the beard. Sheamus pushes him over with a boot, then lays into him with clubbing blows. Brogue Kick. It’s over. Sheamus wins.
Short, meaningless match.
- Renee Young interviews The Miz backstage. He cuts her off, and reads a letter from a fan. It’s about how they hoped he would return, and then his return got ruined by Chris Jericho. Miz talks about his face, and how important it is. “Don’t you worry Johnny: when it comes to this fist, Chris Jericho is going to get his closeup.”
A better promo than we’ve had from The Miz in a long, long time. This new character direction he’s got? I like it so far.
- After the break, the announcers plug the free week of the WWE Network. We get a brief clip of last week’s happenings, including the Wyatt attack on Jericho.
- Jericho hits the ring first, then The Miz. Since this is their first match back after both being away, this kind of feels like it should be on a pay-per-view. Just saying. Miz looks pumped up, Jericho relaxed. They lock up, and Miz sends Jericho down. He puts the boots to Jericho. Y2J hits a few chops back. He sends Miz over the top rope. Springboard dropkick keeping him off the apron. Jericho heads outside and tries to send Miz into the ring post, but Miz blocks it. Back in the ring, Jericho hits a bulldog and goes for a Lionsault. Miz pushes him out of the ring. Miz checks his face before heading out of the ring.
- Miz tosses Jericho back into the ring and stays on the offense. He goes for a cover, gets two. Jericho elbows out of a rest hold. He gets the advantage with a series of shoulder blocks, then goes up top and hits an axe handle. He tries to roll Miz over into The Walls of Jericho. Miz fights out and hits a boot to the face. Two-count. Jericho catches Miz with an enzuigiri. Chops in the corner. Miz takes out the leg, hits a DDT. Two-count. Jericho ducks a kick to the face, gets a roll-up, but misses a dropkick. Miz catches him with the Figure Four. Jericho gets to the ropes. Miz continues kicking the leg as the referee pulls him off. Jericho fights back and nails him right in the face. He takes Miz down and locks in a deep Walls of Jericho to get the submission win. Chris Jericho wins by submission.
- After the match, The Wyatt’s cut plays, the lights go out, and Bray is sitting on the ramp in a rocking chair. He says they’re waiting for Chris to “Save us.” He’s been wondering how he plans on saving an universe if he can’t save himself. He says he proved last week that actions speak louder than words. Actions scream eternities to a generation with no tongue. He says he’s holding every word Jericho says against him. Jericho cuts him off - “Would you please shut the hell up.” Quiet, Wyatt. He says he agrees with every word he’s saying, because actions do speak louder than words. He says he’s going to come up there, knock him off his rocking chair, and beat his ass. The lights go out again, and when they come back, Harper and Rowan are next to Wyatt. Jericho stands at the bottom of the ramp as we go to commercial.
I definitely enjoyed the match, and the post-match antics with Wyatt were entertaining too. He’s so good on the mic, and I feel as if Jericho - provided he doesn’t get childish with his promos - can really help Wyatt get to the next level.
- Naomi and Cameron are in the ring after the break. Paige comes out to team up with AJ Lee, who, in case you missed last week’s Raw, is our new WWE Divas’ Champion. As AJ comes out to the ring, Paige grabs the mic to introduce AJ. It was a cross between sincere and mocking. Paige has got to be going heel. Anyhow, Naomi and Paige start it out. Naomi has an early advantage, until she tries to tag out to Cameron, who was too busy yawning. Paige takes advantage and stomps Naomi in the corner. Tag to AJ, who skips around a bit, kicks Naomi in the gut, then hits a hurricarana of sorts. Two-count. Naomi actually pulls out makeup and starts putting on lipstick during the match. Tag to Paige. Naomi tries to fight out and the ladies clothesline each other. Naomi struggles to the ropes, Cameron tags herself in, but Paige hits her with the Paige Turner to end it. Paige & AJ Lee win.
- After the match, AJ shakes her hand. Cameron and Naomi argue in the ring. Cameron pushes Naomi in the face. They start shoving each other, and it’s a cat fight! The referee tries to separate them but can’t. They brawl to the floor. Cameron walks away, flipping her hair.
- We get a recap of Kofi Kingston’s surprise defeat over Cesaro last week, and his subsequent destruction.
- Paul Heyman is in the ring, with Cesaro. He brags about being the advocate for Brock Lesnar, but before he can put over Cesaro, Cesaro cuts him off, saying the audience doesn’t speak English. He says the French can’t stand them, and neither can the rest of Canada. He insults the audience in French before Kofi Kingston comes out. Kofi IMMEDIATELY charges at Cesaro and goes on the offense. Action spills outside quick, and Kofi is pissed, but Cesaro cuts him off and sends him back outside. He deadlifts Kofi and tosses him onto the apron. Ouch. The fans chant Cesaro’s own insult back at him. Kofi tries to get the advantage and goes for the same finish last week. Cesaro powers him into a military press into a knee. He attacks the gut. Kofi gets another rollup and actually gets the surprise pin again! Kofi Kingston wins.
- Cesaro promptly attacks Kingston and sends him into the post, but before the damage can get worse, Big E comes running out to make the safe. Cesaro bails out.
Quick match. Kofi getting fluke wins doesn’t help him any. It doesn't help Cesaro, either.
- Backstage, Seth Rollins approaches John Cena. He says he wants to have a civilized conversation. He says he considered cashing in the contract last week, but tonight is about proving he’s the best. Cena thanks him for the backhanded compliment, and says he’s good, but times have changed. He says he’s walks around with a briefcase that guarantees he’s got a shot, but tonight he’s guaranteed to face a champion. Decent exchange between the two. Rollins looked comfortable.
- El Torito is in the ring after the break. Looks like he’s facing Bo Dallas? Well, alright. Dallas says he never ducks out of a challenge, and takes on all comers (“Little Guy.”) The bell rings, and Torito runs circles around him. Dallas drops to his knees and challenges him. Torito swats him with his tail, the runs head first into him. Dallas charges and yells at him, but gets slapped. Dallas pushes one of Los Matadores, who’s at ringside. He pushes Torito, hits the Bo-Dog, and gets the pinfall. Bo Dallas wins.
A ridiculous pairing, but Dallas makes it work because he’s so over the top.
- Outside the ring, El Torito is selling the finisher. Bo runs him over during his victory lap. Hilarious.
- Back from break, we get a sneak peek of the new documentary, Monday Night War. It’s the same one we’ve seen for months.
- John Cena comes out to the ring first, belts in the air. Seth Rollins out second. Briefcase in hand… here we go.
- The crowd is hot for his one, and they lock up. Cena starts calling spots audibly. Cena misses a bulldog out of the corner, Rollins hits a twisting neck slam thing. Two-count. We go to break.
- After the break, Cena manages to get the advantage on Rollins, but barely. Rollins reverses it and goes for a cover, for two. Rollins ducks out and attacks Cena on the apron. Back in the ring, Cena hits a desperation side slam to Rollins. Rollins gets some offense, then talks trash about the briefcase. Cena grabs the legs, then lifts Rollins up for a sitout powerbomb. Two-count. Cena goes up top, Rollins catches him with a kick to the face. Two-count. Rollins misses a dive and Cena starts hitting his series of moves - shoulder block, slam to the mat, Five Knuckle Shuffle. He sets Rollins up for an AA, and Rollins flips out, but Cena takes him down and goes for the STF. Rollins goes for the ropes, and Cena drags him back in. Before Rollins can tap, Kane’s music plays, and Cena readies for him. Randy Orton attacks Cena from behind. Both Orton and Kane are attacking Cena now. Roman Reign’s music hits, and he walks down at a very slow pace. He greets Kane with a Superman punch outside the ring, and he’s got one for Orton too. Seth Rollins takes a shot at Roman Reigns with the briefcase, taking him out, then he nails Cena with the briefcase and lays him out too. He eyes Cena, then calls for a referee. He starts to cash in the briefcase, and Dean Ambrose attacks him out of nowhere! Ambrose saves Cena once more, and they fight to the back.
- Back in the ring, Randy Orton slides in, and Cena barely makes it to his feet. He AA’s Orton, but just as Kane is about to chokeslam Cena, Roman Reigns nails Kane with a spear. He raises John Cena’s hand in victory, smiling knowingly. They have a staredown of sorts, but Cena raises his hand in return. The show comes to a close as both men have an arm raise-off.
Not a bad show! General feedback so far is placing this show about a 7 out of 10. What did you think? Let me know in the comments.