Thirteen nights before WWE Payback, the 1045th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the XL Center in Hartford, CT. Two weeks ago, Paul Heyman introduced his newest “Paul Heyman guy”, Curtis Axel, and Axel’s first opponent was none other than “The Game” Triple H. However, Triple H was just twenty-four hours removed from a brutal Steel Cage Match with the remorseless Brock Lesnar and the thirteen-time World Champion had apparently gotten in over his head as Triple H collapsed at the ringside area during the bout, unable to continue the match and giving the young Curtis Axel a technical victory. It’s been two weeks since Triple H’s collapse and, on RAW, “The Game” returns to RAW to face Curtis Axel in a rematch! Also, after The Shield targeted Randy Orton on SmackDown, but was ultimately rescued by Kane and a fired up Daniel Bryan, “The Viper” would team with Team Hell No to face The Shield, United States Champion Dean Ambrose and WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns in a 6-Man Tag Match.
- 6-Man Tag: The Shield def. Randy Orton & Team Hell No by Dean Ambrose pinning Daniel Bryan following the Headlock Driver.
- Jimmy & Jey Uso def. The Prime Time Players by Jey Uso pinning Darren Young following the Superfly Splash.
- Alberto Del Rio def. Big E. Langston by roll-up.
- Sheamus def. Cody Rhodes by pin following the Brogue Kick.
- Fandango and The Great Khali fight to a No Contest after Fandango leaves the ring.
- Non-Title: The Miz (with Fandango & Summer Rae) def. Wade Barrett by submission to the Figure-Four Leg Lock.
- 6-Diva Tag: Kaitlyn & The Funkadactyls def. AJ Lee & The Bella Twins by Kaitlyn pinning Brie Bella following the Spear.
- Daniel Bryan def. Ryback by DQ after Ryback powerbombs Daniel Bryan through a table.
- Non-Title: No DQ: Curtis Axel (with Ryback & Paul Heyman) def. John Cena by count-out.
RAW kicks off with a rare and unexpected surprise as WWE Executive Vice President and wife of Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, make her way to the ring! Stephanie says that it is great to be back on RAW, but she wishes that it was under better circumstances. The Executive Vice President continues, saying that Triple H was unable to finish his match with Curtis Axel a couple of weeks ago due to injuries stemming from his Steel Cage Match with Brock Lesnar. Stephanie then makes the unpopular announcement that, even though Triple H has been medically cleared to compete, she has made the decision to not allow her husband to compete tonight on RAW! Stephanie continues, saying that she made the decision as an “executive”, as a “wife”, and as a “mother” and, while unpopular, she cannot allow Triple H to put his physical well-being on the line against Curtis Axel, who is “beneath” the thirteen-time World Champion. The Executive Vice President then says that the decision is not about the fans, asking the crowd to not be so “selfish”! However, business certainly picks up when her father, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon comes to the ring! The Chairman says that he is glad to see all of them again, but he has a “personal request” and that is that they not “boo” his daughter. McMahon then says that they care more about Triple H than the fans do before backing up his daughter’s decision to forbid Triple H from competing! The McMahons were then set to leave the ring, but Mr. McMahon comes back into the ring, asking the fans what they want from Triple H, adding that WWE is “family entertainment” and it is not a “blood sport”! The Chairman continues, saying that, on SmackDown, when Kofi Kingston was put through a table, the fans kept chanting for Kofi to be put through a table time and time again. McMahon then says that the fans are also “beneath” Triple H and he will not allow Triple H to compete in the ring ever again!
After forcing Mr. McMahon & Stephanie McMahon to leave the ring, The Shield was in action in the opening match of the night as United States Champion Dean Ambrose and WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns would face the team of “The Viper” Randy Orton & Team Hell No in a 6-Man Tag Match. During the match, Randy Orton would hit the RKO on Seth Rollins, but when Orton goes for the RKO on Roman Reigns, Reigns shoves “The Viper” into Daniel Bryan and the two men bump heads. This inadvertent collision allows Dean Ambrose to hit the Headlock Driver on Daniel Bryan, pinning Bryan to pick up the win for The Shield!
Backstage, Randy Orton is pleading his case to Daniel Bryan, saying that he already said that he was sorry and that he wants beat The Shield just as bad as they do. Daniel Bryan then says that he knew that Kane thinks he is the weak link, but now he realizes that Orton thinks so too! Bryan says that it is his “fault” that they lost and they do not “respect” him. Despite both Kane and Orton trying to tell him otherwise, Bryan insists that he is the weak link and, since they do not respect him, he will have another match tonight. Bryan then vows to beat some respect into whoever his opponent is tonight and maybe Kane and Orton will respect them.
Also backstage, Triple H arrives in the arena and immediately seeks out his wife, Stephanie, and his father-in-law, Mr. McMahon. “The Game” confronts his family, saying that his is going to wrestle Curtis Axel tonight. Stephanie stands firm, saying that Curtis Axel is “not worth it”, but Triple H insists on competing. Mr. McMahon says that Curtis Axel is “good” and he left Triple H unconscious a couple of weeks ago, saying that Triple H needs to take his “ego” out of it. Triple H again says that he is going to go to the ring and face Curtis Axel and, when Mr. McMahon tells him that he is not, Triple H asks who is going to stop him. However, before things get too intense between father-in-law and son-in-law, Stephanie steps in between the two hard-headed men as Mr. McMahon warns Triple H to not do something that he will “regret”. McMahon then exits the room, leaving Triple H & Stephanie to talk in private.
In tag team action, The Prime Time Players would face Jimmy & Jey Uso on RAW. In the end, it was Jey Uso coming off of the top rope with the Superfly Splash on Darren Young en route to picking up the win.
With both men having two wins over their adversary, the fifth match in the series would take place on RAW as the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, Alberto Del Rio, with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner, would go one-on-one with Big E. Langston, with AJ Lee in his corner. During the match, Big E. Langston would try to stand up out of the cross armbreaker, but Alberto Del Rio would roll Langston over into a roll-up, scoring the win over the big man!
After repeatedly embarrassing Damien Sandow over the last couple of weeks, “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus would go one-on-one with Sandow’s occasional tag team partner, Cody Rhodes, with Damien Sandow a guest on commentary. In the end, it was Sheamus blasting Cody Rhodes with the Brogue Kick en route to picking up the win. After the match, Sheamus confronts Damien Sandow at ringside and, after Sandow refuses to shake Sheamus’ hand, Sheamus uses the same hand to slap Sandow across the face!
Backstage, the drama continues between Triple H & Stephanie McMahon as Triple H is heading to the parking lot where a limo awaits. “The Game” tells his wife that he is leaving, but it is not because of his father-in-law, he is leaving because of Stephanie. Triple H continues, saying that he is leaving because he does not want to have to “beat our kids’ grandfather’s ass on live TV”! Before getting in the limo, Triple H tells Stephanie to go and tell her father that, when RAW comes on the air next week, he will be in the ring and he will face Curtis Axel! Triple H then gets in the limo and leaves the arena.
Backstage, Ryback confronts a frustrated Daniel Bryan, saying he vomits things bigger than Daniel Bryan. Ryback then dares Daniel Bryan to prove to him that he is not the “weak link” and Bryan accepts the challenge!
Also backstage, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon confronts Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman, informing them both that Curtis Axel will go one-on-one with WWE Champion John Cena later tonight, but this time, there will be no disqualifications!
Fandango was in action on RAW as “The Dancing Enigma”, with Summer Rae in his corner, would go one-on-one with “The Punjabi Giant” The Great Khali, with Natalya & Hornswoggle in his corner. During the match, Fandango would try to get out of the match, opting to walk away. However, The Miz would stand on the stage in Fandango’s path, but this would provide the perfect opportunity for Wade Barrett as the Intercontinental Champion blasts Miz with the Bull Hammer Elbow!
Moments after getting laid out with the Bull Hammer Elbow on the staging area, The Miz would be out for revenge as “The Awesome One” would go one-on-one with Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett in a non-title match. During the match, Fandango & Summer Rae would dance onto the stage, which would distract Wade Barrett long enough for The Miz to lock in the Figure-Four Leg Lock, forcing the Intercontinental Champion to tap out to pick up the win.
Thirteen nights before Chris Jericho faces the returning CM Punk in Punk’s hometown of Chicago at WWE Payback, Chris Jericho and CM Punk’s representative, Paul Heyman, would make the match official on RAW with a public contract signing. WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler would mediate the contract signing and, after explaining that both Chris Jericho and Paul Heyman must sign the contract to make the match official, Lawler introduces Chris Jericho, who makes his way to the ring before Lawler introduces CM Punk’s representative, Paul Heyman, who joins Jericho in the ring. Both men sit across the table from each other and, before signing on CM Punk’s behalf, Paul Heyman says that, if it were not for Jericho’s “massive ego”, they could have just had the contract signing in the back. After signing the contract on Punk’s behalf, Heyman is about to run down CM Punk’s list of accomplishments, Jericho cuts Heyman off, completing Heyman’s usual speech for him and adding some insults, saying that Punk has an array of tattoos, which includes an “ice cream sandwich”.
As Jericho gets ready to sign his end of the agreement, Paul Heyman lets Jericho know that, come Payback, Jericho will be “heckled” and “booed” by a partisan, hometown crowd all supporting CM Punk. Heyman continues, saying that Punk makes “liars” out of people who fraudulently call themselves the “best in the world”. Jericho ponders the disadvantage he may face at Payback, asking Heyman if they should have the match at SummerSlam in Los Angeles instead or maybe Madison Square Garden in New York City, or even right there in Hartford, but Heyman gives a confident “no” to all those options. Jericho mocks disappointment before signing the contract, saying that it does not matter where you are from, if you act like a “jackass”, you will get treated like one. Jericho then stands up and says that he has a very good place to “file” the agreement now that they have both signed it. Jericho orders Heyman to stand up and unbutton his jacket and Heyman complies, so Jericho stuffs the contract in Heyman’s pants, telling Heyman that he will see him in Chicago, exiting the ring with a smile on his face!
The Divas were in action on RAW as Divas Champion Kaitlyn would team with The Funkadactyls, Cameron & Naomi, to face the #1 Contender for the Divas Title, AJ Lee, and The Bella Twins in 6-Diva Tag action. During the match, AJ Lee would refuse to take the tag from Brie Bella and that would lead to the team’s downfall as Kaitlyn blasts Brie with the Spear en route to picking up the win for her team.
Backstage, Kane confronts Daniel Bryan, saying that Bryan is “crazy” to accept a match against Ryback, citing what Ryback did to Kofi Kingston on SmackDown. Kane tells Daniel Bryan that Bryan has “nothing to prove” to him or anyone else. However, Daniel Bryan refuses to believe Kane, shouting at Kane and repeatedly poking “The Big Red Monster” in the chest, saying that he is going to prove himself against Ryback without Kane’s help, telling Kane that he does not want him out there with him! An angry and frustrated Kane fires back, saying that he will do one better, saying that he is leaving the building, telling Daniel Bryan to call him when Bryan finds his “mind” because it is clear that he has “lost it”!
Another vignette featuring The Wyatt Family was shown on RAW as the creepy video shows Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, & Erick Rowan in the woods as Bray Wyatt says that he needs “parents to stop lying to your children”. Wyatt says that “monsters are real” and as flashes of his worshippers are shown, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan are shown with Rowan wearing the lamb mask. Wyatt then says “everything all around you is a riddle” and that he is a “mystery”, saying that he is “open to the world’s interpretation”. The video then concludes with Wyatt’s sinister laughing face before the video fades to black and Wyatt again says, “We’re coming”.
After angering his tag team partner, Kane, to the point that Kane left the building, Daniel Bryan was determined to prove himself as he would go one-on-one with the destructive, career-jeopardizing #1 Contender for the WWE Title, “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback. Daniel Bryan would dominate most of the match, but Ryback would regain the advantage and looked close to victory. However, Daniel Bryan would fight back, leaping over halfway across the ring, landing on Ryback with the flying headbutt, but Ryback would manage to kick out of the pin. When Daniel Bryan goes for a kick to Ryback’s skull, however, Ryback catches Daniel Bryan, drilling Bryan with a powerbomb. “The Sin City Cyborg” then goes for a second powerbomb on Bryan, but Bryan counters, locking Ryback in the No Lock! Ryback is able to use his strength to power his way to the ropes, forcing the break. Ryback then rolls to the outside, but Daniel Bryan dives out after the #1 Contender, taking Ryback down. However, Ryback gets to his feet before Daniel Bryan and Ryback twice rams Bryan’s spine into the steel ring post before rolling the submission expert into the ring. Instead of finishing Daniel Bryan off and getting the win, Ryback heads to the outside, bringing a table into the ring and, much like he did to Kofi Kingston on SmackDown, Ryback drives Daniel Bryan through the table with a powerbomb! This would result in Bryan getting the win via disqualification, but the bigger story came after the match as Ryback grabs a second table, propping it up on the ringside barricade. Before Ryback could jeopardize Daniel Bryan’s career like he did Kofi Kingston’s, WWE Champion John Cena rushes out to make the save, standing between Ryback and the helpless Daniel Bryan. Before champion and contender could collide, Curtis Axel, along with Paul Heyman, would make his entrance for his match against Cena. Ryback takes this opportunity to leave the ring, exiting through the crowd as EMT’s and referees tend to Daniel Bryan.
After Curtis Axel’s count-out victory over John Cena last week, courtesy of Ryback, the WWE Champion would be looking to avenge the loss as John Cena goes one-on-one with Curtis Axel, with Paul Heyman in his corner, in a non-title match and, as decreed by Mr. McMahon, the match would have no disqualifications. During the match, the action would spill to the outside, where John Cena would hurl Curtis Axel over the announce table, but after Cena rolls Axel into the ring, Curtis grabs the steel chair that Paul Heyman handed him earlier, driving it into the mid-section of the WWE Champion. After missing his second shot on the outside, Curtis Axel returns to the ring with chair in hand and the two men face-off. The champion dodges two more chair shots before using a dropkick to kick the chair into Axel’s face, but the third-generation star would continue to fight back. Later on in the match, Curtis Axel would send John Cena shoulder-first into a steel chair that was propped up in the corner and Cena immediately rolls to the outside.
Much to the frustration of Curtis Axel, Cena is barely able to beat the ten-count back into the ring. Axel then grabs the steel chair again, delivering a chair shot to the back of the champion, but is unable to keep Cena down for the three-count. Axel would deliver a second chair shot, but failed to get the pin again. Axel would try the same method a third time with no success, but Axel persists, this time driving the chair into the mid-section of Cena and, then, a shot the back and another to the mid-section. Axel then hits the Axel Cutter on Cena on the steel chair, but the WWE Champion kicks out again! Axel then lifts Cena up and tries to hit the Perfect Plex on the chair, but Cena counters, catching Axel in the STF! With Axel locked in the STF and nowhere near the ropes, Heyman scrambles to the announce table, grabbing the computer tablet of one of the commentators and sliding it into Axel, who uses it on the skull of Cena to break out of the submission. On the outside of the ring, Cena had his sights set on putting Curtis Axel through the table that Ryback had set up moments earlier, but Paul Heyman would step in between the two. Cena would then set his sights on Heyman, but before Cena could take Heyman out, Axel attacks from behind and Cena turns his attention back to Axel, rolling his opponent back into the ring. However, Ryback emerges, attacking his Payback opponent and sending Cena crashing through the table at ringside! This leaves Cena unable to answer the ten-count and Curtis Axel defeats the WWE Champion via count-out for the second week in a row! Ryback then looks down at the helpless Cena, telling his adversary that “Ryback rules”.
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Post your comments in the box below.