Finn Bálor and Elias collide as Raw's Seven-Man Gauntlet Match rolls on.02/19/2018 - 22:15
Bring on the Night!
CINCINNATI -- With just six days until Night of Champions, several competitors in that night's Six Pack Elimination Challenge pushed their luck with Raw's Roulette Wheel. Some hit the jackpot in their matches, while others saw their fortunes dwindle at the tables.
Randy Orton def. John Cena in a Tables Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
John Cena and Randy Orton hadn't faced one another in singles competition since December of 2009. That lapse in no way diminished the animosity that has always simmered just below the surface. During their Tables Match in the night's main event, those callous feelings could no longer be contained.
As the battle progressed, various Superstars would power through more lumber than a Home Depot. In the end, Barrett (and his Nexus cohorts), Edge and Jericho, and The Celtic Warrior would all invade the ring.
Barrett and The Nexus attempted to upend both Cena and Orton, but together the two would dispose of the five members, mostly by sending them through tables.
Next up, The Ultimate Opportunist and the ever-conceited Canadian attempted to disrupt the proceedings. Instead, The Viper sent the two of them headlong into the same piece of splintering lumber.
Meanwhile, outside the ring, Cena seized the WWE Champion, heaved him atop his granite shoulders and sent him hurtling onto the cold, hard arena floor with an Attitude Adjustment.
Finally, Cena snatched Orton up onto his shoulders and readied him for yet another Attitude Adjustment. Just when it appeared The Apex Predator would soon crash through one of the tables, though, he turned the AA inside out, coiling his arm around Cena's neck and administering a mid-air RKO. The lethal maneuver sent his opponent crashing through the long lumber platform for the win and a sizable helping of momentum heading into Sunday evening.
Goldust def. William Regal in a Trading Places Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Lookin' good, Regal! Feelin' good, Goldust! In one of the more bizarre bouts in WWE, William Regal faced off against Goldust in a Trading Places Match, meaning the two men must swap ring attire and entrance music before battle. With Regal (as Goldust) snapping and biting, it was Goldust (as Regal) who pulled brass knuckles out of his trunks and locked in the win for Mother England and, well, weirdoes everywhere.
Chris Jericho def. WWE Tag Team Champions The Hart Dynasty in a Steel Cage Handicap Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
After ruining John Morrison's opportunity to replace him in the Six Pack Challenge at Night of Champions, Chris Jericho chucked a tantrum. He sat in the ring until the GM finally acknowledged him. Rather than allow ever-conceited Superstar to grind the show to a halt, the GM arranged a Steel Cage Handicap Match pitting Jericho against WWE Tag Team Champions The Hart Dynasty. If Jericho prevailed, he would then be included in the Six Pack Challenge Match. However, the Six Pack Challenge is now a Six Pack Elimination Challenge -- beginning with six men, then once someone is pinned or submits, that Superstar is eliminated until there is a sole winner.
Once the sinister structure was lowered into place, Jericho went about attempting to dismantle David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd. Not an easy task. While Hart Smith escaped the cage, Kidd opted to face Jericho, to prove his bones. The young Superstar, though, had underestimated his foe. The wily Canadian struggled mightily and finally overcame Kidd, forcing him to tap out to secure both the victory and his slot in the Six Pack Elimination Challenge.
WWE Champion Sheamus def. John Morrison in a Falls Count Anywhere Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
It was the opportunity of a lifetime. John Morrison had defeated Chris Jericho the week prior, and now he would be competing against WWE Champion Sheamus in a Falls Count Anywhere Match to earn a spot in the Six Pack Challenge at Night of Champions. Unfortunately, Chris Jericho, the man he might replace, wasn't about to step aside so easily.
The Guru of Greatness leveraged his athleticism and agility against The Celtic Warrior, who appeared determined to make a statement just six days before Night of Champions. As the duo battled up the entrance ramp, Jericho appeared and bashed Morrison from behind with a steel chair, allowing the Irishman the victory.
R-Truth & Eve def. Ted DiBiase & Maryse in a Song and Dance Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Ted DiBiase may have millions of dollars, but he certainly hasn't spent any on singing lessons. The "Fortunate Son" and his special lady friend, Maryse, competed against R-Truth & Eve in a Song and Dance Match. Truth dropped his new joint, "Krunk," to which Eve did some sexy shaking. For his part, DiBiase strangled the Sinatra classic, "My Way," while Maryse pranced around him.
The audience determined the winners, Truth & Eve, which didn't sit well with the moneyed menaces. DiBiase & Maryse proceeded to attack, but before any damage could be done, Truth & Eve busted a few moves of their own to emerge unscathed.
Edge def. Evan Bourne in a Body Slam Challenge; Mark Henry def. Edge in a Body Slam Challenge (PHOTOS | WATCH)
It's safe to say that Edge and Raw's General Manager will not be exchanging Christmas cards this year. Last week, the GM punished The Rated-R Superstar for earlier transgressions he made by requiring him to battle The Great Khali twice.
This week, the GM arranged for Edge to compete against Evan Bourne in a Body Slam Challenge as designated by the Raw Roulette Wheel. The Ultimate Opportunist used his size advantage to prevail in the contest, but then he crossed the line and Speared Bourne for no apparent reason.
That's when the GM prescribed a second dose of punishment in the form of Mark Henry. The Rated-R Superstar was forced to take his medicine against The World's Strongest Man with the same stipulation. This time, Edge would have too much difficulty powering his sizable foe overhead and was eventually slammed in defeat by Henry.
Daniel Bryan def. Alex Riley in a Submission Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Subbing for his WWE Pro, The Miz, Alex Riley appeared eager to avenge his mentor. The season two WWE NXT Rookie grappled with Daniel Bryan in a Submission Match after the United States Champion forfeited the match due to a "hernia" (insert eyeroll here). Riley, however, was no match for the submission specialist and eventually tapped out.
In a miracle that will undoubtedly be documented in countless medical journals, Mr. Money in the Bank then appeared in perfect health as he bolted into the ring to ambush his Night of Champions opponent. Daniel Bryan, however, countered the attack and locked Miz into the agonizing LeBell Lock. (More on LeBell Lock)
Daniel Bryan vs. U.S. Champion The Miz ended in a No Contest (PHOTOS | WATCH)
During his match against Daniel Bryan, The Miz came dangerously close to tapping out. In an odd coincidence, all the struggling Miz did to try and break free must have caused him to develop the world's fastest growing hernia -- or so he claimed. The United States Champion insisted on dropping out of the Submission Match due to the phantom hernia, so that he could save himself for his title defense against Daniel Bryan at Night of Champions. He then nominated his season two WWE NXT Rookie Alex Riley to fill his boots.
Raw special guest star Chad Ochocinco confronted U.S. Champion The Miz (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Even his fellow Ohioans can hardly stomach The Miz. The United States Champion patted himself on the back before insulting Raw's special guest star, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver and VH1 reality show star Chad Ochocinco.
As the two outspoken athletes traded barbs, Raw's anonymous General Manager interrupted to reveal the stipulation Miz must compete in, as determined by the Raw Roulette Wheel: A Submission Match. Much to Miz's chagrin, the GM then allowed Ochocinco to choose Mr. Money in the Bank's opponent. Despite protests from Miz, you guessed it, the football player chose submission specialist Daniel Bryan.
John Cena to face Randy Orton in a Tables Match in the night's main event
Who's feeling lucky? John Cena and Randy Orton watched as the Raw Roulette Wheel spun to decide the type of match they must compete in. The Viper seemed pleased when the wheel stopped on a Tables Match. Orton's demeanor may have had everything to do with the fact that the last time Cena competed in a Tables Match, he dropped the WWE Championship to Sheamus. As Cena reminded announcer Josh Mathews, however, that happened right around the time the "Legendary" star last faced and defeated Orton.