WWE Raw is airing LIVE from Richmond, VA this evening starting at 8pm Eastern. We will have live coverage of the show as it airs.
Things worth looking out for tonight? It's been heavily rumored that Sting will be making an appearance in some form or capacity this evening. Could he be joining the roster as an active wrestler, or just promoting WWE's newest video game? We might find out tonight.
Also, WWE.com is advertising a 6-man Tag Team Match for the main event, featuring John Cena & Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns teaming up against Seth Rollins & Randy Orton & Kane.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RingRap!
- Another week without pyro… gotta love those budget cuts.
- John Cena opens the show to a mixed reaction. We’ve got a six-man tag match later, as I mentioned. Cena calls the crowd feisty. He puts over the upcoming pay-per-view, Battleground, or rather the WWE Network. He says in six days, The Champ May Not be Here. He says he’s in a Fatal Fourway against Kane, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns. Boos, boos, cheers. Well done, crowd.
- Cena puts over that he doesn’t even need to get pinned to lose. As he speaks, Roman Reigns’ music kicks in, and he walks through the crowd to the ring. Reigns steps in, mic in hand. Cena says Richmond, VA is chanting his name. Cena says tonight they’re partners, Sunday they face each other. Cena thanks him for last week, when he bails him out. He also says his message last week was heard loud and clear, and he’s not to be ignored. Cena says they have to make it to Sunday. He starts to ramble, and Roman Reigns cuts him off. “Get to the point, John.” Cena says they should handle The Authority tonight. He suggests getting Kane and Orton out of the way tonight, so it’s just them on Sunday.
- Reigns agrees, and says then it’d just be them, and then they could see if Cena is as good as he thinks he is.
- Dean Ambrose cuts them off from the Titantron. He compares their argument to a dance at the prom. “But we ain’t dancing tonight, boys. We’s fightin’!” Ambrose says The Authority always has a plan, but tonight he’s got a plan of his own - “We kick their asses!”
- As he stands there, Kane, Seth Rollins, and Randy Orton all come into the frame and attack Dean Ambrose, but Ambrose fights back. They slam him into a garage door and beat him down pretty good. Kane chokeslams Ambrose onto some crates and they leave him lying in pain. Ambrose taunts them. “Is that all you guy’s got?” Seth Rollins jumps up onto the crates and hits a Curb Stomp. Ambrose got legit cut on the chin.
Thank god Cena and Reigns came to his rescue… Seriously, I’m very disappointed the two men we’re supposed to root for didn’t bother attempting to come to his aid. In fact, I wonder if they just stood in the ring and watched or at least had the decency to leave the ring and at least make an attempt to find Ambrose.
- Pretty cool commercial for the WWE Network airs. We get a recap of the attack from moments ago. Michael Cole says Ambrose is being taken to a local medical facility for “evaluation.” Will he be in the main event? Dunno!
- First match of the night here… Sheamus vs. The Miz
- Sheamus cuts an inset promo for The Miz, says he’s gonna kick his face clean off his shoulders.
- Miz comes to the ramp and says he’s entering the battle royal at Battleground to become the Intercontinental Champion. He says tonight his goal is to keep the Brogue Kick away from the WWE’s Moneymaker - his face. As a special treat for his fans, he plasters his face on the Titantron for the entire match. Funny.
- Miz ducks out of the ring early on, but Sheamus chases him. Miz really needs a win here. He traps Sheamus and kicks him down. They head back outside and Sheamus clubs his back. Miz reverses a whip and sends Sheamus into the barricade. Back in the ring, Miz goes up top and hits a double axe handle. Two-count.
- Sheamus hits a rolling senton, Miz once again ducks out of the ring. We go to break.
- We’re back and Miz is still rolling around outside the ring. Sheamus tries to bring him in with a headlock, and Miz sends him into the ringpost and tumbling off the steps. Sheamus is favoring his knee a bit. Miz wrenches his leg. During the match we get a terrible graphic about the IC Title match and who’s in it. Because that couldn’t have been done before or after the match.
- Sheamus hits about 15 clubbing blows to The Miz on the apron, then bodyslams him to the mat. Sheamus misses a shoulder in the corner, but catches a kick. He heads up top, Miz takes him down, hits a nice DDT for a near fall.
- Miz starts working the knee and goes for the Figure Four, but Sheamus hits the Irish Curse backbreaker for two. Miz tries for his finisher. Sheamus misses a Brogue Kick in the corner, and The Miz gets a roll-up for the clean win.
Pretty good match between these two. Miz couldn’t afford to lose here, and it’s ok that he won by a roll-up, provided we don’t see a bunch more roll-ups throughout the night.
- Backstage, Kane, Orton, and Rollins are laughing. Orton and Kane start bickering. Triple H walks in and says they can both trust each other. He wants the WWE Championship to come back to The Authority, and tonight they need to work together.
- Stephanie comes up to him as Orton and Kane leave. She puts the moves on him and they start making out on camera. Well then. Not sure what that accomplished, really.
- Next match of the night here. Dolph Ziggler walks out…
- Our announcers put over The Network pretty heavy during Ziggler’s entrance. We go to break.
- Back from break, we get a recap of Fandango getting “screwed” over by the ladies. He’s the one facing Dolph Ziggler, apparently.
- Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango
- Back and forth action here, I looked away for a moment so I missed a few things. Fans are really behind Ziggler. The announcers are putting over the IC Title tourney hard. Ziggler misses a dive in the corner and smacks his face. As Fandango goes to take advantage, Layla and Summer Rae are dancing to Fandango’s music on the announcer’s table. Fandango is distracted, so Ziggler hits a dropkick, then does his share of looking. Fandango goes for a roll-up, Ziggler hits a Fame-asser, and Ziggler gets the pin.
- After the match, the ladies come into the ring and dance around him. Fandango looks on. Layla checks Ziggler out. Summer Rae seems smitten too. Ziggler just smiles. They plant kisses on his cheek, and he leaves the ring with both of them.
Decent match, but this was really about the angle, which frankly, I couldn’t care about.
- Backstage, there’s a terrible product-placement promo for Sonic. Damien Sandow comes in on skates, barely able to stand. He takes the tray from a carhop. He gets ready to take a bite of a hotdog when Adam Rose cuts in and interrupts him. This is terrible. I’m done.
- Back in the arena, The Usos come to the ring. Well, before they can, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan attack them. It’s a huge brawl that makes its way to the ring. Harper hits a nasty boot to the face, sending one of the brothers over the top of the barricade. They hit the other brother with a crucifix powerbomb of sorts. Nice heat here.
- Later tonight, Ric Flair appears! Woo!
- We come back from break, and Rusev is in the ring swinging a Russian Flag. Lana stands behind him at a podium. Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter come out to the ring, Swagger has his own flag. This could be pretty good.
- They’re calling this a detente, which has an accent over the first e, but I’m too lazy to do that. Cole speaks and the USA chants fire up, actually drowning Cole out. Lana and Rusev talk in Russian. Lana smiles and says more stuff in Russian, insulting the US in the process. “Mr. Colter, you and America are the same. You simply choose violence to solve all of your problems.” She says we want to be the saviours of the world but we can’t save ourselves. She calls Americans stupid. She freaks out and tells everyone to shut up. Colter just stands there and shakes his head. She makes a crack about how we won our freedom from the British, then fought ourselves in the Civil War. She says Russia is peaceful. She wants Americans to admit to their mistakes. The USA chants are overwhelming. She freaks out again and tells everyone to shut up. More USA chants. Lana is absolutely fantastic here.
- Zeb Colter begs the question: “You want me to apologize? Let me tell you and Bullwinkle something now.” He talks about how he fought in wars, getting shot at in mud, and didn’t come back to listen to them. He says he came back to protect all Americans, foreign and domestic. He refuses to apologize. “Not no, but hell no.”
- Lana says his arrogance is the reason why the USA is crumbling to pieces. She says Vladimir Putin has the remedy to help our nation. Colter calls Putin ugly, and then puts over our President. “Whether we like him or not, he’s our President, and Real Americans always respect the President of the United States.”
- Colter directs his words to Rusev. He asks him when he’s going to step out from behind “this woman” and face Jack Swagger at Battleground. The fans are chanting “We the People!” like crazy right now. Rusev says “This is war!” Colter says he always wondered who wore the pants (or skirt) in that pairing. He leads the fans in a “We the People” chant. Lana slaps him in the face. Rusev steps in, and Swagger spears him. Lana pulls Swagger’s hair, giving Rusev the advantage. Rusev slams Swagger into the podium, then tosses him into the corner. Rusev goes for a kick to the face, and Swagger counters with a Patriot Lock! Rusev slips outside the ring, selling the move. He and Lana retreat. Swagger and Colter stand tall.
Swagger and Colter are majorly over right now, but Lana and Rusev are doing fantastic work too. Lana is getting the cheap heat, but she’s so good at getting it and the fans are rabid about booing her. This segment started out with low hopes but ended up really good. Thumbs up.
- Recap of the beatdown to Dean Ambrose from earlier. Backstage, Roman Reigns and John Cena talk about Ambrose being out. Cena is upset. He asks Reigns if he gets it. Reigns says noone knows the numers game more than him. They took out one of “us” so they’ll take out three of them.
- Alberto Del Rio is in the ring for a match. Looks like he’s facing Rob Van Dam.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam
- Del Rio pretty aggressive from the start. Loud ECW chants for RVD. RVD sends Del Rio outside, and Del Rio does the Finlay, using the apron to trap RVD up. Enzuigiri while RVD is caught. Nice spot. He brings RVD into the ring and locks in a headlock. RVD gets in a few punches, goes for a roll-up, but Del Rio kicks him and hits a DDT for two.
- RVD tries to get some momentum, Del Rio tears him down. RVD gets a side kick and lands Rolling Thunder for two. RVD misses a kick off the ropes, but lands a spin kick. He heads up top for the Five Star. Del Rio lifts the knees and rolls it into the cross arm breaker. It’s over. Alberto Del Rio is the winner.
- After the match, Del Rio heads over to the IC Title and stands over it, like it’s his. He stares at RVD as RVD recovers. The announcers, meanwhile, plug The Network again. The CM Punk documentary is airing tomorrow at 9pm.
A solid match from these two, but RVD looked a step behind. Del Rio’s offense looks strong and legitimate. I wish they’d do more with him.
- We’re back from break, and Nikki Bella runs out for a tag match. We get a video recap of her sister, Brie, slapping Steph in the face.
- Speaking of Steph, she comes out to the ring. She says Nikki must be getting used to being in the ring all by herself. She talks about Brie abandoning Nikki when she quit. Steph says she needs to blame Brie, not The Authority. Looks like Nikki is flying solo here.
- Nikki Bella vs. Alicia Fox & Cameron
- Here’s hoping this is a quick one. Only one of these ladies can really go. Nikki and Alicia start it off. Nikki hits a fireman’s carry into an arm lock. She goes for a roll-up early on. Fox sends her into the corner, and Cameron gets a tag. She slams Bella’s head into the mat. Bella hits a face buster of sorts. She launches Cameron into Alicia Fox, then hits an Alabama Slam on Cameron. Fox breaks up the count. Cameron and Fox work her over in the corner, then a tag to Fox. Another tag. Back and forth tags here. Fox tries to toss Bella out of the ring and Bella reverses it. Drop-kick and a sunset flip. Bella gets her legs taken out from the top rope. Fox hits a face plant of sorts and it’s over. Alicia Fox & Cameron win.
Cameron was kept out of the ring for anything serious. It was mostly Fox and Bella here. The match was about as good as it sounded. Honestly it could’ve been much worse.
- The announcers put over a special character for WWE 2K14 if you pre-order the game. An interesting commercial. An orchestra plays in Sting, who holds a bat. The orchestra turns around and they’re all wearing Sting facepaint. The audience is going crazy for this one. It’s confirmed. Sting is in WWE 2K14.
- Backstage, Triple H and Randy Orton have a little chat. Orton isn’t pleased with Kane. He gets bad vibes. I spaced out here.
- A pre-tape with Goldust and Stardust airs. Goldust says they’re not in Kansas anymore. Cody hits him with gold glitter. He’s all in.
- Cesaro comes out to the ring for a match. No Paul Heyman. Lawler says he heard a rumor he was fired. If they’re addressing it on the air, he wasn’t fired. Just saying. We’ve got another commercial.
- Big E (w/ Kofi Kingston) vs. Cesaro
- A video recaps Cesaro’s attack on Kofi. Cesaro throws Big E early on. Big E returns the favor. Big E bumps Cesaro off the apron. Outside the ring Cesaro tosses Big E over the barricade.
- Big E makes it back in, and Cesaro repeatedly slaps him. They trade punches. Big E presses Cesaro, who drops off and hits a clothesline. Nice powerbomb from Cesaro. Big E hits a belly-to-belly. Spear in the corner, then another belly-to-belly. He hits a splash. Straps come down. Cesaro ducks out of the ring. He hangs Big E up on the ropes, then goes for a chair. He throws the chair at Kofi, then grabs another one. Kingston grabs the other chair, distracting Cesaro. Big Ending from Big E. Big E gets the win.
Good match, but they should’ve saved this for pay-per-view.
- We get another video recapping the participants in the Battle Royal, then a video recapping Chris Jericho’s return and attack by the Wyatts.
- Chris Jericho comes out to the ring, full entrance with the light-up jacket and everything. We go to break.
- We’re back, and there’s a video recap of Orton defeating Jericho on Smackdown last week. Jericho stands in the ring, mic in hand. He gets the audience pumped up with the Raw is Jericho lines. He says this ring is home to him. He’s been in WWE for 15 years. He runs down a bunch of gimmicks and names. He name-drops Bob Barker (and throws down a challenge to him). He puts over defeating The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same night to become the first Undisputed Champion ever. He says he’s seen and done it all in the WWE, or he thought he had, until Bray Wyatt. Jericho calls Wyatt a freak surrounded by freaks. He’s not sure why Wyatt is coming after him. At Battleground, for the first time ever, they face. Jericho says Wyatt has the whole world in his hands, but Jericho has the WWE Universe in his.
- Wyatt comes on the Tron, laughing. He asks Jericho what it is that changes a man. He says children have frail minds. He asks Jericho where he was when they needed him. He says Jericho said he’s save us. Wyatt puts over his past opponents, and then got drowned out by boring chants. Seriously. He asks Jericho if he’s afraid of the dark, then blows out the lights. Harper and Rowan are in the ring. Jericho attacks them, but they have the numbers. Harper misses a boot to the face and slides out. Jericho retreats up the ramp as Harper and Rowan look on.
- Out of nowhere, Bray Wyatt blasts Jericho from behind. He nails him with Sister Abigail on the ramp. Harper and Rowan join Wyatt on the ramp. Wyatt kneels in front of him, and the three pose.
- Back down to our announcers, who put over their upcoming match at Battleground. Michael Cole says Dean Ambrose is not participating in the main event tonight. It’s now a handicap match.
Good segment with Jericho and Wyatt. I’m floored at the boring chants, however.
- We’re back from break and Paige is at ringside for a Divas match. AJ Lee, our champion, is squaring off against Eva Marie.
- Looks like AJ vs. Paige is official for Battleground. A CM Punk chant breaks out immediately. Eva goes for a wristlock, then drops AJ to the mat. AJ Sparta-kicks her in the throat. Paige calls AJ her Frenemy. Friend/Enemy. Get it? Whatever.
- Eva outside the ring yanks AJ off the apron. She rolls AJ in for a cover. Two. Eva hits a back breaker. AJ locks in the Black Widow out of nowhere to get the submission win.
- After the match, AJ skips to the announcer’s table. She sits down, cross-legged, and takes JBL’s headset. AJ talks to Paige about her hair. Seriously. Then, she skips away.
- Backstage, Kane tells Triple H he doesn’t like or trust Randy Orton. Stephanie tells him sometimes you have to work with people you don’t like. Triple H says it’s business, and what’s best is if the WWE Championship comes back to The Authority. “Just get it done.” Kane walks off.
- Bo Dallas is in the ring, on his knee. He talks about his win over El Torito, and how huge his heart is. He hopes his opponent tonight has a heart as big as Torito. We’re going the other direction here. The Great Khali answers the call.
- Bo Dallas vs. The Great Khali
- Dallas ducks like crazy, but Khali hits a chop and tosses him into the corner, hitting a few more chops. Dallas hits rapid fire chops and calls him a “bad giant.” Funny. Khali tosses Dallas over the top rope. Dallas takes Khali’s legs out, then hits a Bo-Dog off the apron while the referee counts. The ref counts to 10, and Bo Dallas wins.
- Dallas runs around the ring, yelling about his streak. He takes a victory lap, then grabs a mic and talks to Khali. He gets chopped in the head before he can finish. Dallas takes off and calls him a poor sport.
Funny segment with Dallas. I hope Vince McMahon doesn’t pigeonhole him into a comedy-only role however. Dallas is capable of more.
- Another commercial for the network puts over The Best of WCW Nitro, airing directly after Raw.
- Seth Rollins is backstage talking about how Orton and Kane aren’t getting along. Seth Rollins holds up the briefcase and walks away. Paul Heyman approaches. Says he likes their plan B, but if they want a full-proof plan C, he’s the guy to talk to. BROCK LESNAR ANYONE?
- Ric Flair is on his way to the ring, after the break!
- Renee Young stands in the ring to introduce our 16-time World Champion, Ric Flair!
- It still feels like a big deal when he comes to the ring. And, he looks great. He calls her “his darling.” Ric is excited to be in Richmond. “And good lord, have I had some fun in this city.” Ric says Virginia is for lovers. He struts around Renee. Renee has no idea what to do with him.
- She asks him who he thinks is gonna win the Fatal Fourway match at Battleground. Flair puts over each guy, but says it’s gonna be John Cena to take the win.
- Roman Reign’s music kicks in, and he comes down through the crowd. Flair walks over to him and shakes his hand, gives him a salute, then leaves the ring. As he heads up the ramp, John Cena’s music kicks in. Ric Flair gets goofy and salutes him. Cena hands him the Big Gold Belt and has him hold it up in the air, then runs down to the ring, leaving it in Flair’s hands. Nice touch. We go to break.
- Seth Rollins is at ringside when we get back from commercial. Randy Orton comes out next, then Kane.
- John Cena & Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins & Randy Orton & Kane
- Cena and Rollins start it off, and Rollins tags out pretty early. Orton in now. Cena hits an elbow, taking Orton to the mat. Tag to Kane. Roman Reigns tags himself in. Kane kicks him in the gut, Reigns fires back. Kane gets the advantage, but Reigns hangs him on the apron. Clothesline from the second rope. Reigns takes out Orton on the ramp, then Kane cuts him off. Tag to Rollins. We go to break.
- Back in, Kane and Reigns are still in. They trade punches. Hot tag to Cena and Rollins. Cena on fire, he hits the moves of doom. Five-Knuckle Shuffle, goes for an AA, misses. Kane gets involved and Rollins tags in Orton. Orton goes for a cover, two-count. Cena hits a dropkick to Orton. Orton gets the advantage, tags Kane. Kane with a leg-drop. Cena goes for an AA, but can’t keep Kane up. Tag to Rollins. Rollins lays into Cena with kicks. Rollins locks in a headlock. Cena powers up, Rollins kicks him in the gut. Rollins with a trio of suplexes, but Cena hits him with the third one instead. Tags to Reigns and Orton. Reigns on fire, big clothesline to Orton. He hits a jump kick onto the apron. Superman punch to Kane, then he clotheslines Rollins over the top, who tweaks his knee on a jump from the top rope. Back in the ring, Reigns is tearing up Orton. Kane attacks from behind. Both men lay into Reigns, and the referee calls for the bell. John Cena enters the ring and sends Kane over the top. Orton on the apron, Kane comes in and nails him instead of Cena. Whoops. Cena gets Kane up for the AA. Reigns goes for a spear, and hits Cena instead. Double-whoops. Orton nails Kane with an RKO out of nowhere. Don’t trust anyone. As Orton poses and his music plays, Roman Reigns nails him with a spear. Reigns stands tall over the other three as the show comes to a close.
I sort of glossed over this during the coverage, because it was so rapid-fire, but it looks like Seth Rollins might have gotten hurt during this exchange. He jumped off the top rope and seemed to have tweaked his knee on landing, and then when he got clotheslined over the top, the landing didn’t seem to help things. The referee called for the X, so it appeared to be legit.
Aside from that, the match itself was pretty good. Good action. Reigns looks like he belongs in there. Rollins did too, though I feel like there was something more to be seen from him before the apparent injury.
A very hot WWE Raw to lead into the pay-per-view this Sunday. We will have a ton to talk about come Wednesday for Ring Rap Audio. See you then, and thanks for following along with me tonight!