Relive The Beast Incarnate's savage return in this slow-motion video, captured during the Jan. 16, 2017 edition of Raw.01/18/2017 - 17:00
BOSTON -- In this historic city, nearly 240 years ago, a group of men rebelled against the tyranny of the English establishment. Those American colonists would eventually go on to overcome their British oppressors. During Raw's 900th episode celebration, however, it would be the Englishman who would prevail in the end.
The Nexus def. WWE Champion Sheamus, John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho & Randy Orton in a 5-on-5 Tag Team Elimination Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Timing really is everything. At the conclusion of the night's main event, The Nexus' leader Wade Barrett proved that as he stood as proud and tall as London's Big Ben.
Earlier in the evening, the Englishman was in the right place at the right time as he punished The Undertaker with a devastating slam to the canvas. At night's end, he -- along with his Nexus cohorts -- emerged victorious in a 5-on-5 Tag Team Elimination Match against WWE Champion Sheamus, John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho & Randy Orton.
Almost immediately, Jericho and Edge ditched their team. At a distinct disadvantage, The Celtic Warrior finally relented and was pinned by Heath Slater. Next up, Cena found himself in trouble against the overwhelming odds and eventually succumbed to the 450Ã‚Â° Splash of Justin Gabriel.
Barrett's fortuitous evening concluded, though, when Orton faced a 3-on-1 scenario. Although Orton has proven a staunch and worthy adversary of The Nexus and managed to eliminate Gabriel and Michael Tarver, he nonetheless was unable to overcome Barrett's offense in a gutting defeat.
Owing to their mutual distrust of one another, the team of former world champions appeared to implode from lack of teamwork. Not surprising, perhaps, given the fact that they will be competing for the WWE Title at Night of Champions in three weeks. In the opening salvo for the coveted title, however, it appears Barrett has fired off one jolly good shot.
Big Show confronted The Straight Edge Society (PHOTOS | WATCH)
CM Punk got his televangelist on again, much to the dismay of the WWE Universe. The preachy Superstar, along with his disciple Luke Gallows, railed against Monday Night Raw and its 900 episodes, blaming the show for everything short of locusts and floods.
While Punk spat ire and brimstone, Big Show descended to the ring like an avenging angel. The World's Largest Athlete not only silenced Punk, he slapped him across the chest with his meaty paw. As the S.E.S. high priest high-tailed it out of the ring and looked on, Show punished his brainwashed devotee, Gallows.
Jack Swagger def. Evan Bourne (PHOTOS | WATCH: Part 1 | Part 2)
Jack Swagger proclaimed himself a "conquering hero" for returning to Raw as a former World Champion. Fair enough. But now, it was time to back up the boasts by facing Evan Bourne. In the battle of height versus flight, "The All-American American" toppled his feisty foe as SmackDown newcomer Alberto Del Rio observed from the comfort of his sleek Bentley automobile.
After the match, the suave Del Rio recounted his physical onslaught of Rey Mysterio on SmackDown before undertaking a similar beatdown of Bourne. Mercifully, Mark Henry wasn't about to let it go down like that. The World's Strongest Man saved the high-flyer and chased "rico suave" back up the ramp.
The Undertaker vs. Bret Hart ended in a No Contest; World Heavyweight Champion Kane and The Nexus attacked The Deadman (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Earlier in the evening, Wade Barrett promised to do something unforgettable during Raw's 900th episode celebration. Consider that a promise kept.
As The Undertaker prepared for his battle against Bret Hart, Barrett complained that he deserved the bout. When he tried to prove himself, however, The Deadman summarily dispensed of him.
Then, the arena suddenly darkened. When light was restored, Kane mysteriously stood where The "Hit Man" had been just moments earlier. The two brothers of destruction circled one another before The Phenom swiftly latched onto Kane's neck. And just a quickly, the arena lights dimmed again. When they brightened this time, The Big Red Monster had vanished. A new plague, however, would take his place.
The Nexus, minus behemoth Skip Sheffield, who suffered a severe ankle injury a week ago, crept toward the ring and surrounded The Deadman. The five proceeded to attack their prey to no avail when the lights cut off and on for a third time. While Kane stood atop the stage and looked on with maniacal glee, The Nexus had somehow emerged in control. Barrett slammed Undertaker to the canvas just before Justin Gabriel nailed the hapless Deadman with a crushing 450Ã‚Â° Splash. The Phenom attempted to sit up, but he simply could not summon the strength.
R-Truth & John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre & "Dashing" Cody Rhodes ended in a Double Disqualification (PHOTOS | WATCH)
With an opportunity to face WWE Tag Team Champions The Hart Dynasty at Night of Champions, the tag team affair was heated -- perhaps overly so. R-Truth & John Morrison faced off against Drew McIntyre & "Dashing" Cody Rhodes to determine the No. 1 contenders to the new bronze titles. With four speedy Superstars in the ring, the action proved frenzied. In the end, however, both teams' overzealous approach resulted in a double disqualification, meaning that the No. 1 contenders' position remains unfilled.
Divas Champion Melina & Eve def. "Co-Women's Champions" Layla & Michelle McCool; Championship Unification Lumberjack Match arranged for Night of Champions (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Oh, it is so on! After weeks of self-professed "Co-Women's Champions" Layla & Michelle McCool taunting Divas Champion Melina, it's time to put up or shut up. After Melina and her partner, Eve, defeated Lay-Cool in a Divas Tag Team Match, the real-life "mean girls" made Melina an offer she couldn't refuse: One of them will face her at Night of Champions, and the winner will unify the Divas and Women's Championships.
The lovely Latina agreed -- on one condition. To ensure the match would be clean, she insisted that all of her fellow Divas be allowed to surround the ring in a Lumberjack Match. Reluctantly, Lay-Cool agreed before storming off in a high school huff.
U.S. Champion The Miz & Alex Riley def. Daniel Bryan & Kaval and Kofi Kingston & Michael McGillicutty in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Perform or perish. That might as well have been the ultimatum given the triumvirate of season two NXT Rookies. Just one night before the WWE NXT season finale, the three remaining men teamed up with WWE Pros and Daniel Bryan in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match.
With gallons of bad blood pumping between the three teams, the match featured United States Champion The Miz & Alex Riley against Daniel Bryan & Kaval, plus Kofi Kingston & Michael McGillicutty. In the end, it was the U.S. Champ and Mr. Money in the Bank who finally pinned the diminutive dynamo, Kaval, to secure the win for his team. After the match, Daniel Bryan booted Riley onto the arena floor, prompting Miz to bash his rival over the head with his Money in the Bank briefcase.
World Heavyweight Champion Kane confronted Bret Hart; Raw GM arranged Hart vs. The Undertaker (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Kane's descent into madness continues. When Bret Hart merely mentioned his brother, The Undertaker, during Raw's special 900th episode celebration, The Big Red Monster was thrown into a fit of paranoia. The World Heavyweight Champion interrupted the WWE Hall of Famer, threatening to take out the icon.
Before Kane could act, though, The Hart Dynasty rushed in to intervene. While David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd slowed The Big Red Monster, they could hardly stop him. After disposing of the two, Kane continued to terrorize The "Hit Man." He seemed on the verge of chokeslamming Hart when the arena lights cut and a familiar -- and familial -- gong sounded.
Kane's brother, The Undertaker, suddenly appeared to confront him. Rather than challenge The Deadman, the World Heavyweight Champion chose instead to bide his time, departing the ring. As Undertaker turned to face Hart, Raw's anonymous General Manager chimed in via computer to decree that, in order to honor the historic occasion, he was arranging a match for later in the evening that hadn't been seen on Raw in 13 years, a match pitting The Deadman against The Excellence of Execution!