Monday Night Raw
April 22, 2013
-After a recap of the past couple of weeks, we begin with Paul Heyman in the ring. We’re (NOT) live in London and Paul introduces himself. Tonight, he’s here under the auspices of Brock Lesnar’s interests. Last week Brock took out the 3-Man-Band, and then the challenge thrown out to Triple H. A cage match at Extreme Rules. We go to last week when 3 Man Band was dismantled followed by the challenge. Paul was waiting for an answer, but Triple H isn’t here tonight. Paul is as disappointed as the crowd is. Paul got an e-mail from Triple H saying he doesn’t back down from a fight but next week he’ll give his answer. Paul is in the ring now and wants the answer now. Yet, guess what? MOTORHEAD STARTS CRANKING, and it’s TIME TO PLAY THE GAME. Triple H comes out and the crowd goes crazy. He gets in the ring, tells Paul he lied in the e-mail, accepts the challenge and drops Paul with a Pedigree. Extreme Rules in St. Louis has its first match.
MATCH: R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro
-R-Truth did his old entrance where rapping his music theme and doing “WHAT’S UP”, and it seems the theme has an added rock twinge. This is the first time I’ve seen Cesaro since losing the US Title to Kofi. He yodels to the ring, which is pretty funny. He’s at least gotten some of his character out. The London crowd starts doing the OLE OLE soccer chant during the match. Sorry dudes, you’re not IZOD. Short, inoffensive match that sees R-Truth win with his finisher. He’s beaten Cesaro and Wade Barrett in the past week. Maybe he’s getting a legit re-push for the first time in a couple years.
-Outside a helicopter is landing near the O2 Arena and it’s the Shield. Wow that’s pretty awesome. They will be in their biggest match ever tonight. Maybe bigger than Wrestlemania.
MATCH: Brodus Clay vs. Damien Sandow
-They’re keeping this feud up huh? Sandow has no microphone to cut a promo and that is a tragedy. Sandow is accompanied by Cody Rhodes of course. The match was standard TV fare, with Sandow stealing the win via a handful of tights.
-We look back to IZOD two weeks ago and Dolph Ziggler’s stunning World Title win. Cole announces at Extreme Rules that there will be a triple threat match for the World Title between Ziggler, Del Rio and Swagger at Extreme Rules.
-Backstage Ziggler is ogling his World Title belt when AJ comes over. She’s jealous of his belt but Dolph says she should have one of her own instead of that hippo Kaitlyn. AJ calls her a water buffalo. They start making out, when Dolph tells Big E. Langston to stop creeping around. He leaves, but the lovebirds are interrupted by Team Brickie. Vickie tells Dolph that if he loses to Chris Jericho tonight, Y2J will be added to the Extreme Rules match and it will be a Fatal Four Way.
-We go back to last week on Raw when CM Punk cut the promo about taking on the streak at Mania. He stopped cold, hugged Paul Heyman, dropped the mike and left.
-The Shield is backstage, and they say for 20 years the Deadman was judge, jury and executioner. Tonight that role will be switched, and even Undertaker will believe in the Shield.
MATCH: Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler
-To repeat, if Jericho wins, he’s added to the Extreme Rules World Title match making it a Four Way affair. This has to be what, the 8th or 9th time these two have wrestled on TV going back to last summer. Again these two work great chemistry and have a good match. I thought Jericho had the win after an Enziguiri, but no. Jericho went for the Lionsault, but bounced into a Big E. right hand, but Dolph didn’t get the 3 count. There was a sloppy moment when some move didn’t happen and Dolph just rolled into an awkward pin attempt. The O2 crowd starts doing the wave during the match. After IZOD, I’m not commenting. Jericho got into the wave, but missed the Lionsault. Dolph went for the pin and Jericho kicked out again. TV Match of the week candidate. Jericho tries to lock in the Walls but Dolph kicks away. Jericho hits the Codebreaker but Dolph puts his foot on the ropes during the pin. Big E tries to get involved but Jericho knocks him out. Jericho gets the Walls on Dolph when suddenly Fandango’s music plays. The crowd starts dancing but Jericho gets annoyed. That allows Ziggler to break the Walls, hit the Zig Zag and win the match. So the World Title match at Extreme Rules is still a Triple Threat, and Fandango doesn’t even come out.
-We go back to last week and the showdown between John Cena and Ryback. Wwe.com officially announces that Cena and Ryback will meet for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules.
-Backstage Josh Matthews is with Mick Foley who pimps his DVD and throws a dig at Ryback.
MATCH: Cody Rhodes vs. Sweet T
-Ah, kicking it old school with tag teams facing each other in singles matches. Usual TV fare, with Sweet T getting the win and evening the night with Team Rhodes Scholars.
-Backstage Daniel Bryan is giving a pep talk to Kane about tonight’s match and Kane says Undertaker doesn’t take orders or take hugs. Then both guys are attacked with steel chairs, and we see the Shield’s feet in front of them.
-We go back to last Friday’s Smackdown and highlights of the tag team match where Big Show and Mark Henry defeat Randy Orton and Sheamus.
-Backstage Josh is with Ryback who says John Cena got a taste of his own medicine last week, then tells Mick Foley to come to the ring and continue his comments from earlier.
MATCH: Big E. Langston vs. Zack Ryder
-Quick work as expected. More Long Island Ice Z.
MATCH: Undertaker & Team Hell No vs. The Shield
-Taker’s first Raw match since 2010. I’m thinking it was that MSG show when he Tombstoned John Cena. So does Kane or Bryan do the job? The action in this match has been non stop, particularly with Bryan in the ring. He spent a great portion of the match working the Shield over with his vicious kicks. When Rollins was in control he was taunting Undertaker. Awesome. Taker gets the hot tag and cleaned house, but when he was gonna double chokeslams Ambrose and Rollins Reigns hits the spear. No 3 count. Reigns is stunned. Wow this match is PPV length. Ambrose jumps into a Kane chokeslam but Reigns breaks the finisher from the top rope. Eventually there’s brawling everywhere but in the ring Bryan goes for a flying headbutt, yet misses. Ambrose hooks the legs and gets the 3 count. The mega-studs just keep on winning. Easy the TV match of the week. Great action and the crowd got into it.
-Mick Foley accepted Ryback’s challenge to the ring, and now Foley is preparing. John Cena comes in and tries to Mick he’s making a mistake. Foley will have nothing of it.
MATCH: Fandango vs. William Regal
-The London crowd does sing the song and dance to it. Well they did put the song in the top 20 on UK iTunes. We get a nice hometown pop for Regal, and this match should be very interesting. After some token offense, Fandango wins with what looks like a new finisher, a reverse slam that looks like a dance move.
-Fandango walks up to the top of the ramp, and dances with his partner. Chris Jericho comes out and attacks him, pitching him off the ramp. He then dances with Fandango’s partner and walks off.
DIVAS #1 CONTENDER BATTLE ROYAL: AJ vs. Oksana vs. Naomi vs. Tamina vs. Layla
-I bet AJ wins this. Who cares. Layla is wearing boots with Union Jack on them. Earlier in the match Tamina booted AJ in the face and knocked her out. Layla is trying to pitch Layla out of the ring, but AJ (apparently playing opossum) kicks Layla out of the ring and wins the match. Kaitlyn is trying to hit promos from the broadcast desk and is failing at it.
-Mick Foley comes into the ring with a steel chair that John Cena gave him. He says Ryback wants a face to face encounter? Come on down Ryback. Foley’s wearing some weird shirt under a blazer. He says to Ryback listen to what I say before taking me out. He shows last week when the Shield beat the crap out of John Cena and Ryback watched. Ryback says he loved what he did last week. Foley asked What happened to the guy who came out last year with 3 simple words. The guy who had no fear and commanded respect? Ryback hasn’t changed, so this Foley promo is supposed to change him? I don’t like this forced Ryback heel turn, it can just be two babyfaces. Foley says plenty of times he was left in the ring with no one to help him. He got up and kept fighting, he didn’t whine about it. This entire last segment is badly forced. Ryback is tired of Foley butting into people’s business. Ryback says he knows what he’s doing. Ryback’s whole aura was no talk all action. Now they’re forcing heel promos from him? No, that’s wrong. He needs to be the little talk, lots of action. Now he’s insulting the people. Ugh, this is terrible. The jawing continues when Cena comes down the ramp. This entire last segment is a clusterfuck. Foley leaves the ring and our two Extreme Rules main eventers go face to face, until the Shield come calling. Cena stands outside the apron while Ryback is in the ring. Cena leaves the ring and Ryback is alone. The Shield stalk around the ring. The Shield attack Ryback but Cena returns and swings a chair. God this is so lame. This creative crew just can’t help themselves and make Cena this sugary good guy. It’s nauseating. We still get the dueling Cena chants. Cena hits the AA and with that we’re out.
SCOTT’S TAKE: The show overall wasn’t bad, and the matches were pretty solid, but this entire ending segment was garbage. Extreme Rules has the chance of being the worst post-Mania PPV in quite some time.
Scott’s Raw Top 5:
1) John Cena
3) Team Hell No
4) Wade Barrett
5) Brock Lesnar