RAW opens in Columbus, OH with Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez heading to the ring to a huge pop. Rodriguez is participating in a Triple Threat match between Zeb Colter and Big E Langston. The winner of this match will allow their… “guy” for lack of a better term… to choose the stipulation for the World Heavyweight Championship match at Extreme Rules.
As soon as the bell rings, Zeb Colter ducks out of the ring, leaving Ricardo Rodriguez alone to face off against Big E Langston. Langston is (not surprisingly) completely in control of the bout until the entire thing turns into a huge melee involving Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, and Jack Swagger. As the match devolves into chaos, Ricardo Rodriguez takes advantage and pins Zeb Colter with a rollup. Overall a fast, fun match and a good start to RAW.
The next segment kicks off with the WWE Champion, John Cena. Cena brings out three children who have been awarded this place via the efforts of the Make-A-Wish foundation. Cena introduces them as the three newest WWE superstars: The Eliminator, Nick The Stitch, and Lightning Logan. The kids look adorably nervous as they’re put in front of an arena full of fans who at least have some class, as the arena gives the kids a good solid pop.Cena yaps a bit about the foundation and encourages people to help make these sorts of wishes come true by donating to the Make-A-Wish Foundation at their website.
Randy Orton is up next for the second match of the night, taking on his former partner in the Legacy stable, Cody Rhodes. A lot of fans complain on Twitter that this match comes out of absolutely nowhere, but regardless the pair give a very solid effort and put on an enjoyable match. The match ends when Orton counters a Disaster Kick into an RKO.
Matt Striker hops into the ring with Orton after the match and asks him if he is “haunted” by Big Show’s sucker-punch at Wrestlemania. Randy Orton says that he is fueled by the moment, and would say a bit more save for an interruption by Cody Rhodes, who tries to jump Orton from behind and receives an RKO for his troubles.
Cut backstage with Brie and Nikki Bella, as the pair put over their new E! reality show, Totally Divas. Apparently Nikki is taking on Naomi tonight, so there will actually be a Divas match on RAW.
To the ring now for the Nikki/Naomi match, which is as brief as one would expect. The Bellas seem to pull out the victory via Twin Magic, but the referee is on to their shenanigans and reverses the decision, awarding the victory to Naomi via disqualification. This infuriates the Bellas, who charge the ring and absolutely demolish Naomi and Cameron.
The Shield make their way to the ring next. Dean Ambrose is on the stick, and he says that when they arrived they promised “to bring justice to an unjust world,” and notes that so far, that’s just what they’ve done. Seth Rollins notes that brick by brick, they’ve “torn down the wall of injustice that has been built” in the company. A video package plays of The Shield dominating The Undertaker on last week’s Smackdown. The Hounds of Justice want to say a bit more, but are interrupted by the arrival of 3MB.
Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre all make their way to the ring with mics in hand. Slater demands that The Shield just shut up and tells the trio that they have unfinished business with the Three Man Band. McIntyre and Mahal both more or less say the same thing, and that is that the 3MB plans on rocking The Shield’s faces tonight. 3MB charges the ring and are quickly put down by The Shield without much of a fight. The Shield put the beatdown on 3MB for a bit, but Team Hell No charges to the ring to make the save. In spite of the two on three advantage, The Shield decide that a tactical retreat is in order and make their exit through the crowd. Team Hell No then take out their frustration on 3MB as The Shield watches on.
Cut backstage with John Cena, who is getting his injured ankle taped up. Ryback shows up and states the obvious, simply noting that Cena is hurt. John Cena clarifies the situation for everyone by pointing out that he is “hurt, not injured,” and that he is good to go to face The Shield tonight. Cena even goes so far as to say that he might be better on one leg than Ryback is on two, a sick burn from the former Doctor of Thuganomics. Ryback confuses the world by saying that he “can’t take that chance,” then he turns around and walks away.
Back out to the arena as World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler takes on United States Champion Kofi Kingston in a Champion v Champion match. This is the second very good match of the night, as the pair show off a great deal of in-ring talent, but in the end, shenanigans by AJ Lee and Big E Langston allow Dolph Ziggler to hit the Zig Zag and score the win over the current US Champ . After the match, Zigglypuff and the gang engage in some extracurricular activities as Ziggler sicks Langston on Kingston. Kofi Kingston is put down by a pair of Big Endings from Langston.
Backstage with Dolph and company after a commercial break, as Ziggler notes that he “stole the show like always, no big deal.” Rounding a corner, the group runs into Kaitlyn and Natalya. Kaitlyn and AJ Lee have a bit of a verbal sparring session, as AJ reminds Kaitlyn that she is the number one contender for the Divas title. Kaitlyn tells her to just try to take the belt. In the middle of this intense battle of sharpened wits, a package arrives which AJ assumes is for her from Ziggler but is actually for Kaitlyn. AJ storms off angrily as Kaitlyn opens the package to reveal a hat with spikes on it and a note which states that it’s from a secret admirer. Cue the live studio audience “oooooooh!”
A video package of the ongoing spat between Brock Lesnar and Triple H precedes a backstage segment with Team Brickie, Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero. Ryback bursts into their office and demands a change to the tag match tonight against The Shield. Guerrero adds Team Hell No to the mix, making this evening’s main event a six-man tag, but Ryback refuses, saying he’s “been there and done that.” Ryback refuses to play along tonight, and leaves Guerrero’s office.
Jack Swagger heads out to the ring next. Swager is taking on Zack Ryder this evening. Ryder not only gets ring time by a mic as well, and Ryder taunts both Swagger and Zeb Colter by making them watch footage of Colter’s pinfall loss to Ricardo Rodriguez from earlier in the evening. Ryder holds his own for much of the match, but in the end Swagger picks up the win with the Patriot Lock. After the match, Jack Swagger holds Ryder against the ropes as Zeb Colter taunts Ryder, then punches him in the face.
Cut to a quick view backstage, where Ryback is seemingly leaving the arena.
Mark Henry in the ring now. Henry told Vickie Guerrero that he wanted any two men in the back to take him on in a tug o’ war contest. Apparently the World’s Strongest Man also wants them one at a time, which hardly seems fair given that we’ve already established him as, well, the World’s Strongest Man. Henry’s first opponents are Tons of Funk, Tensai and Brodus Clay. Tensai is up first, and Henry makes quick work of him, then does the same for Brodus Clay. Henry then celebrates his victory, but said celebration is short lived when Sheamus interrupts. Sheamus challenges Henry to let him have a turn. Henry rejects at first but Sheamus asks if he’s scared, prompting Henry to accept the challenge. Apparently Mark Henry has a similar reaction to Marty McFly when it comes to be accused of cowardice. Henry is tugging hard and has Sheamus beat when lets go, sending Henry flying. Sheamus then nails a Brogue Kick on Mark Henry and calls it a night.
Backstage again, and this time it’s Team Hell No’s turn to confront Team Brickie over the main event tonight. Kane says they’re fine without Ryback. Daniel Bryan says that they want the match “no matter what.” Vickie Guerrero doesn’t want to make it a handicap match, she has something else in mind, which is apparently to be a secret until after the commercial break.
Brad Maddox is now backstage with John Cena. Cena borrows a bit from Chris Jericho’s schtick as he refuses to get Maddox’s name right, even calling him “Braden Walker.” Maddox wants to deter Cena from being in the six-man tag tonight, Cena refuses to let Team Hell No go out there without a partner. So apparently Vickie’s secret idea was to try and fail to talk Cena out of getting involved in a match tonight? Who knows.
Back to the ring as Ricardo Rodriguez is introduced not just as Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer by as the man who defeated Zeb Colter. Rodriguez is introducing Del Rio for his match against Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro has been flailing of late, but his excellent showing in this losing effort offers some hope. The pair have a great match which ends when Cesaro, just an inch shy from a rope break, is forced to tap to the Cross Armbreaker. Alberto Del Rio grabs the mic after the match and makes the World Heavyweight Championship match at Extreme Rules a Ladder Match.
Fandango in action next, facing The Great Khali in a dance off which is every bit as cringe-inducing as you might expect. Jerry Lawler is there to officiate the contest. Lawler asks them both what they thought of Chris Jericho on Dancing with the Stars, drawing some relevant connection to what was nonetheless a terrible segment. Khali mumbles a bit and dances. Fandango puts strange emphasis on his words and then rips it up with the lovely Summer Rae. Lawler puts it up to crowd vote and declares The Great Khali the winner, prompting Fandango to attack the Punjabi Playboy after the match.
John Cena heads out now to join Team Hell No in the evening’s main event, facing off against the undefeated team of The Shield. Match starts off with a massive brawl between the six men. This is the fourth incredibly solid match of the night, which might be some kind of RAW record. The end comes when John Cena tries to power Seth Rollins into an Attitude Adjustment, but fails when his Achilles injury acts up, allowing Roman Reigns to down Cena with a Spear and pick up the victory for The Shield. Yes, you read that right, Roman Reigns pinned John Cena clean. Injury excuse aside, that has got to make a certain segment of the internet very happy.
Ryback, who apparently changes his mind about leaving, heads out to the top of the ramp now to stare down Cena. Cena is selling the injury hard and RAW goes off the air with Ryback eyeballing a Cena who is being attended by trainers and is unable to stand.