Raw results: Evolution reforms to break The Shield and Cena issues an 'Extreme' challenge
Superstars and Divas paid tribute to The Ultimate Warrior
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Gone too soon, The Ultimate Warrior left a mark on the WWE locker room and Universe that will never be forgotten. So it was only fitting that, one week after his final, powerful address to the “legend-makers” who lifted him to the highest echelon of Superstardom, the Superstars and Divas of the WWE family gathered to pay final tribute to the WWE Hall of Famer. Ten bells were tolled, a moment of silence was observed, and with every Superstar donning Warrior’s colors and his theme music blaring throughout the arena, a final farewell was bid.
Rob Van Dam def. Alberto Del Rio to advance in the Intercontinental Championship No. 1 Contender’s Tournament
Well, it wasn’t for the World Heavyweight Championship, but Rob Van Dam still got an educated leg up over Alberto Del Rio six months after the two clashed over “Big Gold” at WWE Battleground and took a step towards the Intercontinental Title in the process. Van Dam started strong out of the gate by sending “Mexico’s Greatest Export” tumbling with a monkey flip, though Del Rio replied by chucking “Mr. Monday Night” shoulder-first into the barrier.
It was touch-and-go for The Whole Dam Show from then on out; Del Rio kicked him in the gut moments after Rolling Thunder put The Essence of Excellence on his heels, and clocked the former WWE Champion with an enziguiri moments before a potential Five-Star Frog Splash could end the night. He wasn’t so lucky a few moments later, though, when Van Dam showed a rare burst of outright aggression by sweeping Del Rio off the turnbuckle and swooping down with a mat-shaking Five-Star Frog Splash for the pinfall victory.
Rybaxel def. Cody Rhodes & Goldust
It’s funny what a little unlimited energy can get you: Despite having been the odd men out in the WWE Tag Team Title picture, Ryback & Curtis Axel cemented themselves as major players in the race for the twin titles by knocking off the beloved Brotherhood in a big-time upset on Raw.
WatchL Rybaxel upsets Rhodes Bros.
Goldust had to grit his way through The Human Wrecking Ball’s offense to tag in Cody, and despite a flurry that put the Rhodes Bros. in the driver’s seat, Ryback took advantage of a melee to regain his footing. As “the prince” sprang off the ropes for the Disaster Kick, Ryback struck with a Meathook Clothesline that put Cody flat on his back. Only a Feed Me Moron would fail to be impressed.
Divas Champion Paige def. Alicia Fox
She’s only seven days into her surprise Divas Title reign, but Paige, the “Diva of Tomorrow” (and – by the way – still your NXT Women’s Champion) proved her title win over AJ Lee was no fluke with a victory over a game Alicia Fox one week later. Granted, it didn’t look good for Paige after Miss Fox hit the newcomer with one, two, three Tilt-a-Whirl backbreakers, but the champ countered with a trio of clotheslines to soften Alicia up for her signature Scorpion Crosslock submission. The book of Paige continues to Chapter Two.
Batista & Randy Orton def. WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos via Disqualification
WWE COO Triple H was left hanging by Randy Orton & Batista when he called for unity against The Shield. Judging by what happened to The Viper & The Animal in their second tag team battle against The Usos, they may have been hasty to dismiss his offer. Channeling the late Ultimate Warrior by donning his face paint, the Tag Champs took the fight straight to their opponents as payback for the beating they received last week, shaking the ropes for emphasis after dropping the duo with a pair of suicide dives.
Photos: Usos honor The Ultimate Warrior
Batista was able to rally his team into the advantage, and thanks to The Viper, an attempted interference from Jimmy Uso was nullified. When the fight spilled over the ropes it seemed like last week’s events would repeat themselves, but this time it was Orton & Batista who felt the pain of an unexpected pummeling when The Shield stormed out from the folds of the WWE Universe to send them scurrying
Cesaro def. Mark Henry to advance in the Intercontinental Championship No. 1 Contender’s Tournament
A match between The World’s Strongest Man and the “pound-for-pound” strongest Superstar in WWE is already a contest worthy of a monster movie. Add in Paul Heyman and an Intercontinental Title opportunity to the mix and things get really interesting, especially when Mark Henry is the one who ends up on the losing end of things. The World’s Strongest Man initially had his fun toying with his Heyman-endorsed opponent, Cesaro, but a flurry of European uppercuts put the big man out on his feet. With fresh legs and the benefit of a clear head, Cesaro writhed free of The World’s Strongest Slam and Neutralized Henry (!) to put his title hopes to rest.
Alexander Rusev def. Xavier Woods
In a battle between brains and brawn, brains can potentially win the day. But when that brawn comes in the titanic form of Alexander Rusev, even the smarts of PhD candidate Xavier Woods couldn’t stop what turned out to be a grade-A whomping from The Super Athlete that ended horribly and briefly with a quickly applied Accolade. Woods’ mentor, R-Truth, wasn’t safe from The Bulgarian Brute’s power either. The former U.S. Champion attempted to get a measure of retribution against Rusev and was similarly crushed in short order when Lana, Rusev’s ambassador, commanded her client to destroy him as well.
Sheamus def. Jack Swagger to advance in the Intercontinental Champion No. 1 Contender’s Tournament
Looks like the Intercontinental Championship No. 1 Contender’s Tournament just got a little luckier. Facing a self-proclaimed Real American, born-and-bred Real Irishman Sheamus brought the Brogue and then some to Jack Swagger in a match that saw The Celtic Warrior march one step closer to a fateful match against Big E.
Watch: Sheamus shaken up in victory
There was little technical wrestling going on in the contest, with grappling thrown out the window in favor of fisticuffs. Unfortunately for Swagger, that’s where Sheamus lives. Despite a timely distraction from Zeb Colter that stopped the Ten Beats of the Bodhrán, the Irishman staged a late-game rally and battled through a wicked Patriot Lock to put Swagger away with a Brogue Kick that sent him walking on one foot towards the tournament semifinals.
Big Show vs. Damien Sandow never happened
Damien Sandow may have hit a skid of late, but the former Mr. Money in the Bank has not lost his flair for splendid orations. Unfortunately for him, nobody shuts a jacking jaw better than Big Show, and the giant did not very much appreciate The Enlightened One’s extended proclamation of his lingering superiority, moments before their scheduled one-on-one contest. While Sandow refused to drop the mic and put up his dukes, the giant former World Champion went for action over words, blasting the scholar with the KO Punch without so much as a word.
John Cena challenged Bray Wyatt to a Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules
What’s a WrestleMania loss to Bray Wyatt? Apparently not much; being pinned on The Grandest Stage of Them All by John Cena hasn’t done much to diminish The Eater of Worlds’ mission to expose what would be the most precious sheep in his flock. “He is no man,” said Wyatt, “he is beast!” Vowing to give his foe the last push into monstrousness, Bray beckoned Cena to “come out and play” and that’s exactly what happened. While Cena was all jokes at first, Wyatt's demand for him to get serious brought out a challenge for a Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules. Needless to say, The Eater of Worlds ate it up.
Fandango & Layla def. Santino Marella & Emma
Call it “How Fandango Got His Groove Back.” The dancing devil traded Summer Rae for Layla as a companion last week and has been two-stepping all over the opposition ever since. His winning ways continued on Raw thanks in no small part to the former Divas Champion. Yet again Fandango evaded The Cobra by tagging in his better half, and yet again Emma got off to a strong start with the Dil-Emma. The ending, unfortunately, went the other way from last week, as Layla swooped Emma off the turnbuckle and pinned the NXT veteran for the win.
Bad News Barrett def. Dolph Ziggler to advance in the Intercontinental Championship No. 1 Contender’s Tournament
Big E might have some you-know-what coming his way: Bad News Barrett’s good fortune extended into his second week back in the ring, scoring a victory over Dolph Ziggler to advance a round in the bracket to determine E’s No.1 contender. Ziggler claimed the early advantage by using his quickness and capitalizing on a tweaked knee. Luckily for Barrett, his brawling style kept him in the game throughout, and he tapped into his inner goon by literally throwing Dolph headfirst into the ring post.
The Showoff forced Barrett to go into his back catalogue with Wasteland and the Winds of Change, but Dolph answered with a Famouser and a top-rope facebuster. The Showoff couldn’t connect with the Zig Zag, though, and after a failed roll-up, Bad News Barrett delivered bad news to The Showoff with Bad News, proclaiming himself the next Intercontinental Champion moments after the bell rang.
The Shield vs. Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, Bad News Barrett, Alexander Rusev, Fandango, Rybaxel, Titus O’Neil & 3MB went to a No Contest
Given The Shield’s continuing defiance of the corporate power, it was no surprise that, after teasing a mystery opponent for the trio, The Authority assembled a host of Superstars to face The Hounds of Justice in an 11-on-3 Handicap Tag Team Match in Raw’s main event. What was surprising was who emerged to spell ultimate doom for the men in black.
Rollins found himself the victim of a plus-sized numbers game from the super team, battered by Slater, McIntyre, O’Neil, Rusev & Ryback in quick order. Reigns came to the rescue by Spearing “The Big Guy” outside the ring; the subsequent melee ended both the bout and, seemingly, The Shield’s chances of leaving Birmingham upright. But the exclamation point came in the form of Triple H, Batista & Randy Orton – reunited as Evolution – who administered RKOs, Batista Bombs and one final Pedigree to the overpowered Hounds of Justice. Perhaps it’s not all that surprising: After all, The Shield did cross the line in the sand. What did they expect?