We kick things off with a promo from the Authority. They discussed Daniel Bryan turning over the title and then it turned into Triple H talking about his war with The Shield. It was a pretty basic promo until they called out Brad Maddox. The Authority were none too pleased with Maddox allowing Ambrose and Reigns as guest commentators last week. This brought out Kane. Kane leveled Maddox with a chokeslam and followed that up with a Tombstone Piledriver. But that wasn’t enough for Steph. She stood over the crumpled heap that was Maddox and fired him. So now it seems we will be getting a new Raw GM. I’m all for that personally.
Cesaro vs Rob Van Dam
This was a good first match of the night. Both wrestlers got to trade their trademark shots and entertain the audience. Bad News Barrett decided to come down and give some commentary during the match. At one point, he nearly came in the ring, distracting RVD long enough for Cesaro to hit a bridging German Suplex(one of my personal favorite moves) for the pinfall victory. Immediately afterwards Sheamus hit the ring and flattened Cesaro with a Brogue Kick and shook his limp hand, playing off the angle from Smackdown. This match did a great job of setting up both the Cesaro vs Sheamus and the the BNB vs RVD matches this Sunday at Payback.
Eva Marie vs Summer Rae
Ugh. I really don’t care for either of the Divas in this match. Summer Rae can wrestle but Eva Marie REALLY needs to spend more time at the Performance Center. Eva Marie got the pinfall after Fandango and Layla appeared and made out. That’s really all that needs to be said.
El Torito vs Drew McIntyre
Quick little side note, I wonder who McIntyre pissed off to go so far down the roster. Remember when he was “The Chosen One?” Anyways, this was actually a pretty fun little match. Drew looked vicious in his attacks against El Torito during the match. And El Torito is always fun to watch. El Torito actually picked up the victory, making Jinder Mahal the only one of 3MB that he hasn’t beaten. Yet. After the match, Hornswoggle attacked El Torito and tried to unmask him. He didn’t succeed, but he did manage to rip off his tail. Their Mask vs Hair match on the Payback Preshow should be entertaining. Maybe not Wee-LC levels of greatness, but it should be fun nonetheless.
The Wyatt Family had a fantastic promo. Bray Wyatt is hands down the best talker in WWE right now and he proved it again here. He went from pointing out how many people now Follow the Buzzards to becoming incredibly sinister in a blink. He called Jerry Lawler into the ring to have a chat with him. Lawler initially refused and JBL got laid out trying to defend the King. Harper hit him with a hard clothesline that surely made the Texan proud. Finally, Lawler went into the ring and Wyatt wasted little time tearing into him for being one of the voices promoting Cena. As they were about to attack, Cena made the save only to get beaten down himself. As Wyatt was about to hit Sister Abigail on the King, the Usos made the ultimate save and the three threw the Wyatt’s from the ring. Cena then ripped into Bray with one of his better promos. Honestly, I love this feud. Their match at Payback should steal the show. It just seems that Bray Wyatt has a habit for bringing the absolute best out of John Cena.
Zack Ryder vs Rusev
This was a typical squash match, nothing really special until Big E made the save after the match. Big E managed to get the better of Rusev and even threw him from the ring. This definitely played into the patriotic nature of Memorial Day and I’m okay with that. Their clash at Payback(I’m assuming. Don’t think it’s been announced) should be pretty entertaining.
The Brotherhood vs Randy Orton and Batista
Earlier in the night the Rhodes brothers ran into Orton and Batista in Triple H’s office. They wanted a match so Triple H fed them to the other two members of Evolution. This match was pretty much a statement for how vicious and unfair Evolution can be. Not a simple tag match, this was an elimination tag match. Of course they announced that after Cody had been pinned, leaving Goldust on his own against the Animal and the Viper in a No Holds Barred handicap match. It went pretty much how you think it would. Goldust fought valiantly, but eventually was beaten down by Orton and Batista.
Sin Cara vs Bo Dallas
This was a rematch from Smackdown and it didn’t disappoint. The match was pretty competitive, featuring some great high flying stunts by Sin Cara. Bo Dallas eventually got the win with the BoDog. Afterwards, he cut a promo about competing and gave Sin Cara a hug. I really think that the WWE universe is in for a treat with Bo Dallas. He’s pretty damn great in the ring and like his infamous brother(Bray Wyatt) he is no slouch on the mic.
Now was the time Stephanie came to the ring for Daniel Bryan to hand over the title. He ripped into her, talking about the long, hard road he had to get to where he is now. Overcoming the Authority, becoming the champ, and the attacks by Kane. He flat out told her no and she silently took his berating. She played a card in her sleeve, however. Because Brie Bella had put her hands on her a couple weeks ago, if he doesn’t hand over the title at Payback she will fire Brie. This definitely did the job of making this feel big. And Stephanie is hands down the best heel in all of wrestling.
Emma vs Alicia Fox
It was nice to see Emma in an actual match without Santino. These ladies delivered a great performance, so much better than the previous Diva’s match. Emma ended up getting the victory with a roll up despite Fox’s onslaught. Fox went nuts after the match and destroyed Emma and then once again attacked everyone at ringside. She even delivered an atomic wedgie on some poor shmuck! Alicia Fox is seriously winning me over with her new, “Loose Cannon” persona. He match against Paige at Payback should be fantastic.
Adam Rose vs Davy Crockett(Damien Sandow)
I’m a Rosebud. I love everything about Adam Rose. His entrance, his tendency to turn an interview around on the interviewer and his in ring skills are all incredibly fun to watch. With his in ring debut, it definitely felt like a comedy match. But a comedy match can work if done right and in my opinion this one was. Adam Rose picked up his first victory on Raw despite an attempt to distract him by Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. Afterwards, there was a brawl between Swagger and Rose. These two should put on a great match at Payback. I know I keep saying that, but damn it it’s true.
Sheamus vs Alberto Del Rio
This was one of the best matches of the night. Sheamus and Del Rio put on a classic, back and forth style match that just hits the right notes with me. Sheamus got the victory, but he took a lot of damage to the head in the process. After the match, Paul Heyman distracted him with a short promo so that Cesaro could blindside him. It looks like this match will play up the head injury angle. That’s just good ring psychology folks.
The final segment was for the contract signing between the Shield and Evolution. The Shield came out first and took little time in clearing the ring of the chairs and the table. They put on a great promo until Evolution appeared. Then it was Triple H’s turn and he told them by signing the contract they would never appear on Raw again. And as soon as both teams signed, it turned into the melee you’d expect. This time though, Evolution got the upper hand thanks to Triple H’s trusty old sledgehammer. Evolution left the Shield lying in ruin to end the show. There match at Payback is looking like it will exceed the stellar match they had at Extreme Rules. I can’t wait for Sunday!
Overall Raw Grade – B+