Every year just a few weeks after Wrestlemania the WWE makes its annual trip across the pond to Europe. April 13th’s edition of Monday Night RAW eminated live from the O2 Arena in London, England.
Extreme Rules became a little clearer. Randy Orton vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion has multiple stipulations, Rusev revived a 1970s tradition for John Cena for their third match — which will likely end their feud — and Big Show continues to torment Roman Reigns.
Here is what went down on this week’s RAW:
Randy Orton & Seth Rollins BOTH Earned the Right to Name an Extreme Rules Stipulation
Randy Orton, the No. 1 for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, took on Cesaro, one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, with an opportunity to name the stipulation for his match with Champion Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules. About five minutes into the match, Orton was disqualified.
Director of Operations Kane came out to restart the match, making it a 2-on-1 handicap match by adding Tyson Kidd. Thanks to an RKO OUTTANOWHERE! Orton defeated Kidd, and the ability to name the stipulation with his match with Rollins at ER.
Kane and Rollins interacted backstage after the match about Rollins’ match later in the night, which was against Dolph Ziggler. Slimy Rollins tried to finagle his way out of the match and suggested Jamie Noble. Noble implied that Kane has been causing Rollins’ headaches the last few weeks. Kane told Noble he wanted to wire his testicles to a car battery (legit L-O-L moment).
(Mick Foley’s daughter Noelle seems to agree here)
Rollins then suggested he wants to fight Kane, continuing to show the dissension in the Authority without Triple H and Stephanie safeguarding the group.
Extreme Rules Stipulations
Seth’s stipulation is that Randy Orton is banned from using the RKO. Orton’s stipulation is that the WWEWHC match at Extreme Rules will be a Steel Cage Match to prevent the Authority from interfering on Seth’s behalf.
RAW went off the air with Orton attacking Rollins and J&J Security, and getting in an RKO on Joey Mercury for good measure before looking up at Rollins who ran back up the ramp.
Hometown Hero Bad News Barrett Comes Out to Answer John Cena’s Challenge
Two weeks away from Extreme Rules on Sunday, April 26th from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, John Cena opened up RAW to a raucous O2 Arena crowd that always greets Cena to a great reaction — there were lots of boos. Cena also tried to extend his hand to the crowd and…
…it didn’t work.
Cena once again extended his open United States Championship challenge to the locker room. To an explosive pop, Bad News Barrett — temporarily moving his motives away from getting back his Intercontinental Championship — to challenge Cena. In a good back-and-forth match that really played to the crowd, Cena defeated Barrett to head into Extreme Rules with momentum.
After the match, Rusev came out and attacked Cena with a chain in his hand. Cena vs. Rusev III was announced for Extreme Rules and the stipulation will be a “Russian Chain” Match, which will be a match where Cena and Rusev are attached by a chain.
Hometown Hero No. 2 Paige wins the Divas Battle Royal
At the height of the #GiveDivasAchance movement — and A.J. Lee’s retirement — the roster took place in a Battle Royal to determine the No.1 contender for Nikki Bella’s Divas Championship at Extreme Rules.
Paige, behind her hometown crowd — she’s from nearby Norwich, England — won the Battle Royal to earn a rematch for the Championship match that she lost at Fast Lane
…until Noami took out Paige, signaling a heel turn for the former Funkadactyl, and getting her into a position to contend for the Divas Championship for the first time since the middle of last year.
The Lucha Dragons Continue to Ride Their Momentum to the Tag Team Champs
Two of the top tag teams in the WWE right now, the Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) and the Ascension, were looking up at a potential championship match with Tyson Kidd and Cesaro down the line.
The Lucha Dragons have been hot since they debuted, and have had the live crowds into their matches ten fold, so it was no surprise that the Dragons earned a victory here. If the last few pre-shows are any indication, the Lucha Dragons may face the Tag Team Champions on the Extreme Rules pre-show.
Big Show Looks to Make Roman Reigns Suffer and Choke Under the Spotlight
Since winning the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 31 and establishing himself as “the best giant in WWE history,” Big Show has had a (no pun intended) enormous chip on his shoulder. Show has continued to focus his verbal and physical attacks to Roman Reigns.
Reigns is still noticeably reeling from not winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event at Wrestlemania. Reigns came out to the London crowd and spoke from the heart, only to be interrupted by the Big Show who only provoked Reigns. Once Reigns finished in the ring and walked to the back, Show came out from behind the titantron and attacked Reigns by throwing him into the car set up by the stage.
Show would also chokeslam Reigns onto the top of the car as evidenced in the WWE’s tweet above.
Dean Ambrose Returns to RAW!
After a two-week hiatus where he was nursing a back injury, Dean Ambrose returned to RAW and defeated Exotic Express Leader Adam Rose in a short match. Before the match began, replays showed Luke Harper’s two powerbombs, one onto a ladder at Wrestlemania and one onto the announcers table on the Smackdown after Wrestlemania, that led to Ambrose’s absence.
The Lunatic Fringe arrived back in style, and may look for revenge on the odd Harper Thursday night on Smackdown. Ambrose vs. Harper in a Tables Match at Extreme Rules seems like a possibility for the Unstable One.
Later in the night Luke Harper faced Ryback in a rematch of last week’s RAW match. After the match, Ambrose came running down the ramp and made a beeline for Harper — setting up the inevitable showdown between the two that is coming at Extreme Rules.
A Conflicted Corporate Kane Eventually Laid Down for Rollins
Kane came out to have a match with Rollins. Rollins, anticipating a lay down and easy 1-2-3 kept badgering Kane during the match to make the right decision. JJ Security eventually intervened and Kane forced them both out of the ring.
After Kane snapped and hit a chokeslam on Rollins, he laid down and pulled Rollins arm over for the 1-2-3 before walking to the back dejected and annoyed.
Mizdow Embarrasses The Miz …& Gets the Girl Too
Ignore the fact that Mizdow has seemingly taken on The Miz’s old persona …and done it better than Miz himself. Mizdow came out to the ring tonight with The Miz’s Marine 4 co-star Summer Rae and the two looked GOOD together down there.
Maybe Miz will call his wife Maryse for back-up? One can dream.
Hometown Hero No. 3 and the Show-Off Have the Match of the Night
Because Seth Rollins’ match was switched to Kane, Dolph Ziggler didn’t have an opponent for the main event of Monday Night RAW. Because of this, Ziggler extended a John Cena open challenge to anyone in the back. Ziggler forgot the man that gravity forgot, Neville, who defiantly answered the Show-Off’s challenge.
In the match of the night, Ziggler defeated Neville after he rolled out of the way from the Red Arrow, moved in the corner, threw Neville into the ring post and hit a Zig Zag on a groggy Neville. Ziggler went to Neville to attempt to shake his hand.
That is… until Sheamus ruined the party and continued his attack on Dolph Ziggler. This is almost certainty leading to a match at Extreme Rules.
Read on for a preview of the night’s action. And if you didn’t watch last week because of the NCAA basketball championship game or for some other reason, here’s what you missed.
How Will the Architect Answer the Viper? Where Does Roman Reigns Go From Here?
Last week without co-owner Stephanie McMahon and COO Triple H around, the inmates were running the asylum. The Director of Operations and Big Red Demon Kane made several matches throughout the night: himself vs. Randy Orton, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins vs. newcomer Neville, Ryback vs. Luke Harper and Roman Reigns vs. The Big Show. He also made a main event triple threat match between Randy Orton, Ryback and Roman Reigns for the No. 1 contendership to Rollins’ WWEWHC at Extreme Rules.
Thanks to interference from the Big show, which prevented a Reigns’ victory, Orton was able to pin Ryback for the 1-2-3 and earn another shot at the Architect — the man he defeated at Wrestlemania like this…
Orton will be anxious to get his hands on Rollins, however, with Trips and Steph back on RAW, it seems that Randy might have some difficulty getting his hands on the “Self-Proclaimed Future of the WWE.”
With Big Show thwarting Reigns’ attempts once again, it seems as though Reigns is going to try and vanquish the giant once and for all, possibly by challenging Show to a match at Extreme Rules.
Who Will Answer John Cena’s Next Challenge?
On the March 31st RAW it was Dean Ambrose and last week it was Stardust (Cody Rhodes). John Cena has openly acknowledged that he will defend the United States Championship once per week on television to all up-and-comers who believe they can defeat him. The real question is: how long are Russian super-athlete Rusev and Lana going to bide their team for until they find the right moment to strike Cena again — or will they even at all?
Technically, their series is 1-1, and a man of immense national pride like Rusev wouldn’t take a tie in this feud so simply. With less than two weeks until Extreme Rules, it’s looking increasingly possible that Rusev finds some way to get Cena’s attention again and look to score the key 2nd victory in a potential rubber match between the two superstars.
After Losing to the Undertaker, Bray Wyatt Still Proclaims He is the “New Face of Fear”
Wyatt is cryptic and eerie. Although he lost to the Phenom at the Deadman’s own game at Wrestlemania, Wyatt still seems like he is as sly and scheming as ever. Bray also seems to have a plan: terrorize the WWE locker room and manipulate whoever he sees fit one by one.
It’s unknown what Wyatt will do or who Wyatt will target next, but he is seemingly building suspense to whenever that moment comes where he does decide to reveal his next move to the WWE Universe.
The Celtic Warrior Begins His Crusade as the Antagonist to the Smaller Protagonists
Before Sheamus was injured last year, he had no purpose or direction, and was regularly getting upstaged by his smaller peers; namely, Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. The Celtic Warrior has a rare combination of size, strength and athleticism that can only be matched by a few guys in the locker room — Cesaro being one.
Sheamus’ purpose since he has returned has been crystal clear: to tower over the Daniel Bryan and Dolph Zigglers of the world and to prove his point that only the bigger and stronger will survive. Bryan’s fans are just about everybody and Zigglers fans are close to that; both have cult-like internet followings. It seems as if Sheamus is beginning his next feud directly with those fans.
The D-List Star Miz Rolled Out the Red Carpet for Mizdow
In their first one-on-one match since the split, the Miz gained a cheap pinfall victory by rolling up Mizdow and using the tights. While Miz has defeated Mizdow already in the ring, this feud is much more than that. The Miz essentially wants the crowd to admit that the only reason they love Mizdow so much is because of the Miz — which is 85% true in this case #heellogic — and will not stop attempting to keep Mizdow down until they admit it.
Mizdow, on the other hand, just wants to kick Miz’s ass and enjoy the WWE Universe’s response while doing it. The Miz, over the last eight months, has become untouchable again when it comes to having the crowd in the palm of his hand and making the WWE Universe hate him. His movie star gimmick change has suited him for the best and it’s turning Damian Mizdow, hopefully later he’ll change his name back to Damian “Sandow”, into a relevant superstar again. Everybody has won in this feud, so far.
– Nine Divas will take part in a Battle Royal with the winner earning a championship match against Nikki Bella at Extreme Rules. At this point, it is unknown if NXT Divas plan on making their television debuts in the Battle Royal.
– Here is WWE’s Top 10 Moments from last week’s RAW on YouTube:
– In honor of the Game of Thrones Season 5 premiere, WWE released several superstar sigils.
– On another John Cena note unrelated to RAW: Cena took part in last week’s podcast with Chris Jericho, which can be seen on the WWE Network, and in it he mentioned a lot of stories about first coming up as a rookie in 2002 and getting over as the “Doctor of Thuganomics.” Cena also answered the question internet fans everywhere have wanted to know: “When is John Cena going to turn heel?”
Cena’s answer? It almost happened — in his feud against The Rock, and he had a new theme song and ring attire ready to go. Cena additionally responded that once a superstar is ready to take his place and be the guy who can bring smiles to the younger fans and be that symbol of hope, then he’ll do what the company asks him. Translation: Cena;s on-screen character is a reflection of who he is in real life, he’s genuine. The idea of a heel Cena is still in play before his career is over.
And now the IWC can breathe again.