Raw results: Bryan's miracle continues, RVD returns, Cesaro switches allegiances and NXT standouts make an impact
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan addressed the WWE Universe
NEW ORLEANS – Twenty-four hours later and it still doesn’t seem quite real. But there he was in the flesh, Daniel Bryan – WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan – galloping all the way down Bourbon Street with his conjoined championships on display as the “Yes!” Movement all but swallowed him whole on the first Raw after WrestleMania ( "YOU-DE-SERVE-IT!" was the chant du jour, as they say in the French Quarter). And Triple H was, as ever, right there to pull Bryan back down to Earth. The King of Kings apparently isn’t one for miracles, as he vowed to kickstart the Reality Era and end Bryan’s reign before it even got going, naming himself as the first challenger to the submission expert’s title later the same evening.
The Wyatt Family def. John Cena, Intercontinental Champion Big E & Sheamus
John Cena ensured his legacy will live another day by defeating Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 30, but The Eater of Worlds did not grant the Cenation leader a further reprieve the night after The Show of Shows. Finding himself in need of two partners for a six-man showdown, Cena came strapped with Big E and Sheamus at his side, and at first the heavy artillery appeared to pay dividends against “The Man of 1,000 Truths” and his dead-eyed brood when all three charged The Wyatts right off the bat.
Watch: Wyatt sings Big E to sleep
The relative inexperience of The Wyatts left them at a slight disadvantage when faced with a team of two veterans and a champion, though Bray’s aggressiveness and Rowan’s raw power kept them in the game. Big E brought the crowd to its feet with three backbreakers to Rowan, but Harper was right there to reclaim the advantage with a timely tag. The bout see-sawed wildly for 20 epic minutes (The crowd, it should be mentioned, seemed to be under the sway of Bray Wyatt) and it was Bray himself who dispatched his foes with Sister Abigail to Big E while Cena looked on in horror.
Santino Marella & Emma def. Fandango & Summer Rae
The night after WrestleMania 29, Fandangoing was born. The night after WrestleMania 30 was less kind to the dancing fiend, who suffered a mixed-tag embarrassment at the hands of his happy-go-lucky rivals, Santino & Emma. The night nearly ended in an instant for Fandango when Santino withdrew the Cobra early on, though a timely tag to Summer Rae brought Emma back in. That, sadly, went worse for the duo, as the former NXT standout applied the Dil-Emma, Emma Sandwich and Emma Lock in short order while The Italian Stallion Cobra’d an interfering Fandango out of the ring.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar addressed The Streak
Well, we can’t say we weren’t warned. The WWE Universe was told by Paul Heyman, time and again, that his monstrous client would be the one to defy The Undertaker and suck the life from his WrestleMania Streak. Even a day after that fateful F-5 sent The Phenom from the ’72 Dolphins to the ’07 Patriots, it’s difficult to believe the mad scientist’s typically empty rhetoric carried so much weight. Yet, Lesnar and Heyman – with the headlines to back them up – strutted down Bourbon Street with the swagger of two Egyptian Pharaohs, relating the story of The Deadman’s trip to the hospital and the prevailing excellence of Lesnar himself. As for the WWE Universe, they are nothing more than “wannabes” in Lesnar’s black-and-blue eyes, while The Anomaly himself is “The one … the one in 21-1.”
WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos def. Randy Orton & Batista via Count-out
We may not see another Evolution run with the WWE Tag Team Championships, and despite the fact that Randy Orton & Batista didn’t dethrone The Usos as the twin titleholders, they did display a kind of brutal synergy in their Authority-mandated challenge of the Samoan brothers. The Viper & The Animal displayed a ruthless aptitude when they hit Daniel Bryan with an RKO-Batista Bomb combination one night previous at WrestleMania, and they picked right up where they left off against The Usos, taking it to the twins in what amounted to something of a mugging.
The Usos hadn’t even gotten their fleet feet under them when their opponents tossed the titleholders to the outside, bashing the brothers to and fro while the referee counted them out. Not that they particularly cared; the twosome punctuated their evening with a hanging DDT to Jey off the barrier and a Batista Bomb to Jimmy atop the steel steps.
Rob Van Dam def. Damien Sandow
WWE was having a party in “Nawlins” and didn’t invite Rob Van Dam?! Clearly, that simply would not do for the former WWE Champion, who soared back into WWE the night after WrestleMania with a typically high-flying victory over the increasingly beleaguered Damien Sandow. The former Mr. Money in the Bank (Sandow, that is) didn’t take too kindly to RVD’s attempt at a happy homecoming, cutting the former Mr. Money in the Bank (Van Dam, that is) short each time he attempted to do his famous chant.
Photos: R-V-D is B-A-C-K
An Elbow of Disdain knocked Van Dam loopy, RVD recovered and initiated a highlight reel of greatest hits: First a corkscrew guillotine leg drop to Sandow atop the barricade, a Rolling Thunder, and finally Mr. Monday Night descended upon The Intellectual Savior of the Masses with a Five-Star Frog Splash for the win. Welcome back, Rob! Van! Dam! (Yes, he did the chant.)
Bad News Barrett def. Rey Mysterio
Good news for all you Bad News Barrett fans out there: The three-time Intercontinental Champion has traded in his podium for a pair of boots once again. Despite the fact that Rey Mysterio wasn’t exactly fixing to listen to a “BAD NEWS” oration – he kicked the mic right out of the Englishman’s mitts – it didn’t take the former bare-knuckle champion to find his groove once again.
Things got hairy for a moment when Mysterio connected with the 619, but Barrett wasn’t about to abandon his trend of eventful post-WrestleMania Raws. With the international crowd raining soccer chants down on Barrett, he tripped Mysterio up in the ropes before he could Drop the Dime and connected with a Bull Hammer to The Master of the 619 while he was stranded atop the turnbuckle.
Alexander Rusev def. Zack Ryder
Rusev crush. Rusev destroy. And Ryder … well, Ryder is the one who pays the price. “The Bulgarian Brute” made his long-awaited debut on Monday Night Raw, squaring off against The Long Island Iced-Z in what amounted to little more than a display of the former NXT standout’s monstrous power. Ryder got his hits in where he could, but a swift kick to the dome robbed The Ultimate Broski of all higher brain function and things snowballed from there: Rusev hurled Ryder through the air with a fallaway slam and locked in his “Accolade” submission hold, refusing to break it until his valet, Lana, commanded him to do so.
The Ultimate Warrior addressed the WWE Universe
The Ultimate Warrior had the entire WWE Universe on the edge of their seats when he took the stage for a no-holds-barred acceptance speech at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. How about an encore?
Watch: The Warrior returns
The firebrand WWE Hall of Famer made his return to Monday Night Raw and rode that rocket ship one last time (oh yes, ropes were shaken), tossing on an Ultimate Warrior mask and slipping seamlessly back into his old persona. Rather than talk up his own legend, the former WWE Champion gave his gratitude to all his Warriors, asking them to lend their same spirit to all future legends in the WWE locker room.
NXT Women’s Champion Paige def. AJ Lee to become the new Divas Champion
Facts are this: AJ has beaten every Diva that has lined up to face her on the main roster, and it would take a challenger from a wholly unexpected place to throw the Divas Champion off her game.
How about someone from NXT?
AJ’s post-WrestleMania “pipe bomb” left the WWE Universe smoldering when NXT Women’s Champion Paige made her first appearance on the WWE roster to offer up her congratulations to the self-proclaimed “Queen of the Divas Division.” AJ wasn’t all that appreciative and forced the newcomer into an impromptu match ... although her “post-WrestleMania treat” of a title defense turned sour very quickly when Paige reversed the Black Widow into her signature “Paige-Turner” to put AJ on the mat and claim the title for herself. Undisputed Divas Champion, anyone?
Hulk Hogan presented the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Trophy to Cesaro
He was a Real American … now he’s a Paul Heyman Guy?!?!
Cesaro, who seemingly broke free of Zeb Colter’s Real Americans hours before he channeled Hulk Hogan and bodyslammed Big Show out of the ring to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30, not only cemented his split from Colter’s clan on Raw, but shocked the WWE Universe at large when he revealed his new allegiance.
The Immortal One himself had come to present Cesaro with the Andre trophy when Colter crashed the party and extolled the virtues of his mightiest “Zeb Colter Guy.” The former U.S. Champion, however, politely informed The Founding Father that he was, in fact, now a Paul Heyman Guy. As Colter stood there gobsmacked and Heyman instructed the announce team how to address the “King of Swing,” Jack Swagger struck from behind and destroyed the Andre trophy. Unfortunately, that only made Cesaro mad …
Cesaro def. Jack Swagger via Count-out
When Paul Heyman gets ‘em right, he gets ‘em right. The mad scientist’s latest client, Cesaro, proved his stripes as a Heyman Guy almost immediately by defeating his former fellow Real American, Jack Swagger, in a one-on-one contest on Raw. With Heyman clutching the remnants of the Andre the Giant trophy at ringside, Cesaro went to work in high style against the former World Heavyweight Champion.
Swagger knew Cesaro too well to go quietly into defeat, though, unceremoniously tossing The Swiss Superman from the turnbuckle to the mat before planting him with a double-leg takedown. With Heyman crowing at ringside, “The King of Swing” found his second wind and booted Jack out of a Swagger Bomb, suplexed him off the ring apron and went clobberin’ with a series of European uppercuts. Swagger made himself scarce before the Über-American could apply the Cesaro Swing, though, taking the count-out on Zeb’s orders and leaving Cesaro to celebrate with his new advocate.
Triple H def WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan via Disqualification
Triple H has made a habit of cutting Daniel Bryan’s World Title reigns short. But habits were, of course, made to be broken. The Game seemingly had entrusted The Shield to make sure Daniel Bryan didn’t leave New Orleans with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Alas, Kane exposed The Game as the architect of his recent attacks on The Hounds, so they weren’t much interested in supplanting a pre-match beat down of The Beard by Randy Orton, Batista and Kane himself.
The referee only rang the bell – on The Game’s orders – after that mauling had concluded, and The Shield made themselves known before Triple H could pin the felled Bryan. With Kane, Orton and Batista frothing for a fight and The Shield looking for some payback, The Game was unable to corral his lieutenants into order and ate a Spear from Reigns that ended the match with a DQ; though Triple H ended up worse for wear after The Shield drove his men from the ring and Bryan himself blasted him with the Running Knee. As they say in New Orleans: Oui! Oui! Oui!