One night after an unforgettable Payback, the 1047th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI. At the unpredictable Payback event, three brand new champions were crowned as AJ Lee wore Kaitlyn down to the point of submission to claim the Divas Championship, Curtis Axel paid the ultimate tribute to his Hall of Fame father, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, by defeating Wade Barrett and The Miz in a Triple Threat Match to become the new Intercontinental Champion, and Alberto Del Rio showed a new and more vicious side by relentlessly targeting the previously concussed head of Dolph Ziggler and, despite a valiant effort from Ziggler, Del Rio would put Ziggler down and become the new World Heavyweight Champion! Payback also saw the hometown return of “The Best in the World” CM Punk, who had another five-star classic match with longtime rival Chris Jericho, ultimately picking up the win over Y2J, but now that Punk is back, what does the sixth longest reigning WWE Champion of all-time have in store? After a stunning Attitude Adjustment to Ryback through the roof of an ambulance, John Cena is still the WWE Champion, but who will be the next Superstar to step up and challenge “The Champ”? Also, after some time off to recover from injury, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry is advertised to return to action on RAW, but rumors are swirling on social media that the former World Heavyweight Champion may announce his retirement from professional wrestling on RAW!
- Christian def. Wade Barrett by pin following the Killswitch.
- 2-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match: Team Rhodes Scholars def. Sheamus by Damien Sandow rolling up Sheamus.
- No DQ: Randy Orton def. Daniel Bryan by referee stoppage.
- United States Championship: Kane def. Dean Ambrose (c) by DQ after Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns interfere. As a result, Dean Ambrose (c) retains.
- Antonio Cesaro def. William Regal by pin following the Neutralizer.
- Chris Jericho def. Heath Slater (with Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre) by pin following the Codebreaker.
- Non-Title: Curtis Axel def. Sin Cara by pin following a spike DDT.
- Non-Title: CM Punk def. Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) by intentional count-out.
One night after taking advantage of Dolph Ziggler’s head injury to rip the World Heavyweight Title out of the hands of Dolph Ziggler, RAW kicks off with the new World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio, and Ricardo Rodriguez. The new champion says that many are saying that his title win at Payback was “controversial”, but Del Rio says that, when Dolph Ziggler cashed in Money-in-the-Bank the night after WrestleMania to take the title away from Del Rio, that was “controversial”. Del Rio continues, saying that he gave the fans everything, but they never showed him the “respect” he deserved. Del Rio then says that America is all about “pigs and cowards”, saying that he has been fighting for the fans for the last five months, but when he fought for himself at Payback, he won the World Heavyweight Title. Del Rio then says that he is going to give the fans a “second chance” to show him the respect that he “deserves”, but the World Heavyweight Champion is interrupted by a man who knows a little something about respect, not to mention the World Heavyweight Title, as “The Best in the World” CM Punk, with Paul Heyman in tow, returns to RAW to a huge ovation!
CM Punk says that the last time that they were in the ring together and Alberto Del Rio was a champion was at Survivor Series in 2011 when he beat Del Rio to win the WWE Title, going on to hold the title for a record-breaking 434 days. Punk continues, saying that there is only “one best in the world” and he is out there to challenge Del Rio. However, Paul Heyman cuts Punk off, saying that his “clients” don’t “fight for free”. Heyman begins to ramble about Del Rio’s win at Payback, but Punk interrupts, taking the microphone away from Heyman’s face. Heyman says that Punk is still banged up from his match at Payback and that the title would not even be on the line. Punk says that he knows that the title would not be on the line because Dolph Ziggler has the right to a rematch for the title and he “damn well deserves” it. Punk says that he knows that he is banged up because, while Del Rio was “stealing a title” from Ziggler, he was “stealing the show” with Chris Jericho and he proved that he was the “best in the world”, proposing that he will do the same tonight against Del Rio. The champion tries to weasel out, saying that Punk does not want a match with him, but Punk insists, saying he does want to face Del Rio tonight. Del Rio says that he is the World Heavyweight Champion and Punk does not “want” to fight him. Punk then tries to challenge Ricardo Rodriguez to a match, but the Managing Supervisor of RAW, Vickie Guerrero, along with her assistant, Brad Maddox, interrupts. Vickie tells the World Heavyweight Champion that Del Rio cannot make the call to face or not face CM Punk or anyone else. The Managing Supervisor then makes the official announcement that the main event of RAW will see CM Punk face Del Rio in a non-title match!
Backstage, CM Punk is having a discussion with Paul Heyman, telling Heyman that he does not “need” Heyman’s help to win matches like Curtis Axel or Brock Lesnar. Punk then tells Heyman that he does not want Heyman to accompany him to ringside for his match tonight or for any of his matches anymore! Punk says that this is the way that it has to be, but he will always be a “Paul Heyman guy”.
At Payback, Wade Barrett found himself locked in The Miz’s Figure-Four Leg Lock in the Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Title, but Curtis Axel would take the opportunity to quickly pin Barrett to become the brand new Intercontinental Champion and, on RAW, Wade Barrett was set to get his rematch for the Intercontinental Title. However, RAW Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero comes out, announcing that Barrett’s title match will have to wait because Barrett will be going one-on-one with her “big surprise”. Vickie then reveals the surprise as a former two-time World Heavyweight Champion makes his first appearance on RAW in nearly a year as “Captain Charisma” Christian makes his long-awaited return to the WWE!
Competing in his first match in nearly a year, the returning “Captain Charisma” Christian went one-on-one with Wade Barrett on RAW. In the end, it was Christian planting Wade Barrett with the Killswitch to make a successful return to RAW!
After Sheamus defeated Damien Sandow on the Payback Kickoff pre-show, “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus would face both members of Team Rhodes Scholars, Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow, in a 2-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match. During the match, Sheamus was about to put Cody Rhodes down with the Brogue Kick when Damien Sandow came out of nowhere, surprising Sheamus with a roll-up to pick up the win. However, Sandow would quickly exit the ring, leaving Rhodes to be blasted with the Brogue Kick from Sheamus.
Backstage, RAW Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero and her assistant, Brad Maddox, are touting their ideas to WWE COO Triple H. Vickie says that it was “genius” move on her part to make the main event match between CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio, but Triple H asks Vickie what her main event was going to be if Punk had not took it upon himself to confront Del Rio. Vickie tries again to impress the COO, saying that she brought Christian back. Triple H says that it was a great move, but says that Christian has been cleared for a month and a half, asking Vickie why it took her so long to have him make his return. Triple H then brings up the big announcement from Payback that “The Whole Damn Show” Rob Van Dam will return at Money-in-the-Bank next month and both Vickie and Brad try to take credit for signing RVD. However, Triple H says that, when he was making the deal with RVD over the phone, he doesn’t recall either of them being a part of it. The COO then brings up the issue of The Shield, saying that the trio has been running roughshod over RAW, saying that he needs Vickie to “take control” and she needs to “make an example” of The Shield. Before exiting, the COO sarcastically says putting 3MB on the show was a stroke of “genius”.
Backstage, Kane confronts Daniel Bryan and Bryan accuses Kane of still thinking that Bryan is the weak link, but Kane argues that their failures at Payback may be a “sign” that Team Hell No should give it another try. Daniel Bryan says that the only team he cares about is Team Daniel Bryan, “Team D.B.” Kane says that it makes sense, since Bryan is acting like a “D.B.” Bryan then comments that he wants to become the WWE Champion and Kane says that he does too before wishing Bryan “good luck” in his match against Randy Orton.
After their dysfunction as a team led to their defeat at Payback, RAW would see “The Viper” Randy Orton going one-on-one with Daniel Bryan and, as voted on by the fans, the match would have no disqualifications! During the match, Randy Orton would utilize a kendo stick against Daniel Bryan and, later on in the match, Bryan would try to vault back into the ring over the top rope, but Orton would kick Bryan below the belt! The ringside physician would rush to check on Bryan’s condition over a head-first dive into the ringside barricade earlier in the match, but Bryan would break away from the doctor’s care to try and continue the match, but when Bryan was tossed to the outside, the doctor would finally bring an end to the match as the referee gives the victory to Orton as Bryan was unable to continue. After the match, a concerned Randy Orton helps Daniel Bryan to his feet before Bryan is escorted to the back.
One night after physically and emotionally breaking Kaitlyn down at Payback to win the Divas Title, the brand new Divas Champion, AJ Lee, with Big E. Langston in tow, would appear on RAW. AJ says that Dolph Ziggler is not able to be at RAW tonight, but it won’t be long before Dolph is back to share the spotlight with the “greatest Divas Champion of all-time”. AJ continues, saying that she has always been the champion, but now she has “proof”, admitting that she played “mind games” with Kaitlyn, saying that she knows how to get what she wants. The new Divas Champion says that there is not a woman as “strong” or “courageous” as she is, saying that, if there is a woman in the back who thinks that she is a “fraction” of the woman that she is, then she should come out there right now. However, the woman that came out was certainly not who AJ Lee expected as the most powerful woman in the WWE comes down to the ring as WWE Executive Vice President Stephanie McMahon confronts the new Divas Champion. Stephanie congratulates AJ on her title win, but says that AJ supports the “stereotype” about women that they are “conniving” and “manipulative”, that they would rather “tear each other down”, adding that what AJ did to Kaitlyn was “degrading to women everywhere”. Stephanie then tells AJ that it is time that she starts “acting like a champion”, but the new Divas Champion shows no respect for her superior, saying that instead of “dating” Superstars, maybe she should “marry” one, eluding to Stephanie’s husband, Triple H. Stephanie says that she expected something a bit more “original” from AJ Lee, but AJ argues that what she did to Kaitlyn was “original” and it was her “masterpiece”. Stephanie reminds the Divas Champion that she is a McMahon and “nobody does crazy” better than the McMahons! Stephanie again suggests that AJ starts acting like a champion, but AJ continues to argue, saying that the only reason that Stephanie is out there because AJ is just like Stephanie, only younger. Stephanie then lets AJ know that, while she is the Divas Champion, she could easily take all of that away and, if she saw fit, she could make sure that AJ would be out of a job! The floodgates of the Divas locker room then open as Kaitlyn, Natalya, Cameron, Naomi, Layla, & Alicia Fox all come out to the stage. As Kaitlyn begins to speak, Stephanie McMahon gets in the former champion’s face, saying that he is giving Kaitlyn a “bye” because of what she is going through, but threatens Kaitlyn and the other Divas to never interrupt her again.
After Stephanie McMahon exits, Kaitlyn starts towards the ring, saying that AJ Lee won the Divas Championship, but AJ “broke” her and now it is her “turn”. With that, Kaitlyn rushes the ring, pummeling the Divas Champion, but Big E. Langston quickly gets involved, pulling AJ Lee out of the ring, putting the shrieking champion over his shoulder and carrying her to the back.
At Payback, Dean Ambrose narrowly managed to hang on to the United States Title via a count-out victory over Kane, but, on RAW, “The Big Red Monster” would get a second shot at the gold as Kane challenges The Shield’s Dean Ambrose for the United States Title. It would not take long before Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns get involved as the WWE Tag Team Champions join Dean Ambrose to assault “The Big Red Monster” as Reigns blasts Kane with the Spear before The Shield puts the monster down with the three-man powerbomb.
Backstage, The Shield is heading to their locker room, proud over their assault on Kane. However, an angry Vickie Guerrero confronts the United States and WWE Tag Team Champions, but The Shield laughs in the face of the Managing Supervisor, asking if she is going to slap them on the wrist or give them a “time-out”. Dean Ambrose then suggests that Vickie start thinking about what she is doing before she does it. Just when it looks as though Vickie was close to actually firing The Shield, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon interrupts, shaking the hands of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns, saying that they remind him of himself, saying that The Shield exudes “ruthless aggression”. After the trio exits, the Chairman says that he never liked that “Halloween mask wearing freak” Kane anyways.
In another strange vignette akin to the ones of previous weeks, Bray Wyatt hypes the arrival of The Wyatt Family, saying that the “world needs men like me” because men like him are the “creators”. Wyatt then screams that “the fist comes down and the fist is change” before concluding with “we’re coming”.
With his associate, Jack Swagger, still sidelined with an injury, “The Founding Father” Zeb Colter appears on RAW, saying that the government is “lying” to them and, every day, immigrants are sneaking into America like “rats in the street”. Colter then states that “we are at war” and war can produce some very strange alliances before saying that both he and Jack Swagger have decided to work alongside a man who has “honor, integrity, and respect”. Zeb says that, while this individual was not technically born in the United States, but he speaks five languages, including the most important language, English. Colter then brings out his new associate, Antonio Cesaro, who would go one-on-one with William Regal. In the end, it was Antonio Cesaro hitting the Neutralizer on William Regal en route to picking up the win. After the match, Cesaro would lay the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag over the body of Regal as Cesaro and Colter put their hands over their hearts and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
One night after putting Ryback through the roof of an ambulance to successfully retain the WWE Championship in a Three Stages of Hell Match at Payback, WWE Champion John Cena would appear on RAW to discuss his victory. Cena tells the fans that he has always respected the “honesty” of the fans and he can confidently tell them that he is ready to face “any challenge” and, at Money-in-the-Bank, he will know who his next challenger will be. “The Champ” then sends a message to the next “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank”, saying that there will be “no opportune time” to cash in Money-in-the-Bank on him, saying that whoever takes the WWE Title away from him will have earned it.
Before the WWE Champion can exit the ring, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry comes out, dressed in his finest suit with his wrestling boots in hand. Henry symbolically puts his wrestling boots on the stage before entering the ring. An emotional Mark Henry says that Cena can put his guard down, shaking the WWE Champion’s hand, but when Cena starts to exit the ring, “The World’s Strongest Man” asks Cena to stay. As the fans chant “Henry”, Mark Henry says that he “respects” everyone who works for the WWE because he knows how difficult it is. As the fans chant “thank you Henry”, Mark Henry says that he was a seasoned veteran when Cena arrived in 2002 and Cena is doing just fine some eleven years later. Henry then tells Cena that, at the rate Cena is going, he will be the “greatest WWE Champion of all-time”. Henry continues saying that he has won the World Heavyweight Title and the ECW Title in his career and, while he has not done nowhere near as well as John Cena in his career, he thinks that he has done pretty well for himself. Henry then cuts to the chase, saying that he is out there to formally retire from the active WWE roster. As the crowd clamors for “one more match”, Cena comes back into the ring and graciously hands Henry the WWE Title belt, letting Henry hold it for a short time, but Henry hands it back to Cena, saying that the title is something that is earned. Henry continues, saying that he stands in front of them as a “proud man” and telling his wife, Janna, that she will be seeing more of him than she probably wants to. Henry also gives a shout-out to his children, Jacob and Joanna, before declaring “baby, I’m coming home”. Cena then goes over to Mark Henry, raising the hand of “The World’s Strongest Man” and going in for a hug with the big man, but in a shocking turn of events, Henry picks Cena up and squashes the WWE Champion with the World’s Strongest Slam! Henry then rips his jacket and tie off, screaming at Cena that he has got “a lot left in the tank”, tossing the WWE Title belt on top of Cena, exiting the ring as the crowd roars their approval!
Moments after faking his own retirement in order to sucker John Cena in and plant the WWE Champion with the World’s Strongest Slam, Mark Henry comments on his betrayal in a backstage interview, saying that everyone fell for his retirement ruse. Henry then officially challenges John Cena to a match for the WWE Championship, saying that he is carrying two boots because he is going to leave one in Cena’s rear-end!
Following his classic match against the returning CM Punk at Payback, Chris Jericho was in action on RAW as Y2J went one-on-one with Heath Slater, with Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre in his corner. In the end, it was Chris Jericho hitting the Codebreaker on Heath Slater en route to picking up the win. After the match, Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre would try to jump Jericho, but Y2J would drop them both with the Codebreaker as well.
With The Miz a guest on commentary, the brand new Intercontinental Champion was in action on RAW as Curtis Axel, with Paul Heyman in his corner, went one-on-one with Sin Cara in a non-title match. In the end, it was Curtis Axel planting Sin Cara with a spike DDT en route to picking up the win.
Backstage, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon confronts RAW Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero and her assistant, Brad Maddox, asking what Vickie is going to do about the Mark Henry situation. The Managing Supervisor then says that she is going to have John Cena defend the WWE Title against Mark Henry at Money-in-the-Bank. Stephanie McMahon then comes in, telling Vickie that RAW is “out of control” as her father tries to explain that he just commended Vickie on her work tonight. Things then get more complicated once WWE COO Triple H confronts Vickie, saying that he told her to make an example out of The Shield. Mr. McMahon says that he was not informed of Triple H’s intentions of having Vickie make an example out of The Shield. Triple H ignores the comments of his father-in-law, but looks at Mr. McMahon as he tells Vickie that she needs to start listening to him. After Triple H exits, Mr. McMahon tells Vickie that she will be fine because she will be “good to go” as long as she listens to him. However, after the Chairman leaves, Stephanie tells Vickie that she should not listen to either of them, putting her arm around the Managing Supervisor and saying that Vickie knows who to really listen to.
On his way to the ring, CM Punk is confronted by Paul Heyman, who says that he “loves” Punk, hugging Punk and telling him that he is the best in the world.
Then it was time for the main event of the evening as, in his first match on RAW in nearly three months, “The Best in the World” CM Punk would go one-on-one with new World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner, in a non-title match. During the match, CM Punk would hit the GTS on Alberto Del Rio, but the World Heavyweight Champion would fall out of the ring, but even after recovering from the move, Del Rio opts not to get back into the ring, taking the count-out loss to Punk. However, the World Heavyweight Champion would be blind-sided by the former champion, Dolph Ziggler, who, despite not being cleared to compete, would absolutely pummel Del Rio, forcing the champion to make a hasty retreat to the back with Ziggler not far behind.
Alone in the ring, CM Punk is announced the winner of the match, but Punk is then greeted by an unexpected surprise as none other than “The Beast” Brock Lesnar comes out, slowly walking around the ring, not taking his eyes off of CM Punk! Lesnar then steps into the ring and the two “Paul Heyman guys” come face-to-face for the first time. Brock then grabs a microphone, getting in the face of CM Punk. Lesnar then puts the microphone to his mouth, but as Punk awaits the words of “The Beast”, Lesnar catches Punk off-guard, hoisting Punk up and drilling him with the F-5 in the middle of the ring! Lesnar then exits the ring with a sadistic smile on his face.
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