Dawn of a Dark Era.
One night after the most controversial night in SummerSlam history, the 1056th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. “The Biggest Event of the Summer” left a lot of burning questions, but none more than those surrounding the main event of the show, where Daniel Bryan achieved his dream by upsetting John Cena to become the new WWE Champion only for WWE COO and Special Referee for the match Triple H to shock the world by dropping Daniel Bryan with the Pedigree, allowing Randy Orton to cash in his Money-in-the-Bank contract and crush Daniel Bryan’s moment by taking the WWE Title from the new champion in what was apparently a well-executed plan by the former Evolution teammates. What will Triple H have to say for himself? Why did the COO screw Daniel Bryan in favor of crowning a new champion in Randy Orton?
- Cody Rhodes def. Damien Sandow by roll-up.
- The Funkadactyls def. AJ Lee & Layla by Naomi rolling up Layla.
- 3-on-1 Handicap Match: The Shield def. Dolph Ziggler by Roman Reigns pinning Dolph Ziggler following the Spear.
- Non-Title: Alberto Del Rio def. Sin Cara by referee stoppage.
- The Prime Time Players def. The Real Americans by Darren Young pinning Antonio Cesaro following the Gut Check.
- 3-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match: The Shield def. Big Show by Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns pinning Big Show following the three-man powerbomb.
- Bray Wyatt def. R-Truth by pin following the Sister Abigail.
- The Miz def. Wade Barrett by DQ after Fandango interferes.
One night after losing the WWE Championship to Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, the eleven-time former WWE Champion John Cena kicks off RAW. The former champion says that he is “absolutely disgusted” with what happened at SummerSlam, saying that, when he was the WWE Champion, he said that whoever took the title from him would have “earned it” and Daniel Bryan did just that at SummerSlam. Cena continues, thanking Bryan for bringing out the best in him, saying that being a WWE Superstar has nothing to do with race, creed, or appearance, it is all about your “commitment to excellence” inside the ring. Cena then addresses the baseball-sized lump on his left elbow, revealing that the WWE doctors informed him prior to SummerSlam that the lump of fluid is a result of torn triceps muscle and Cena should go home immediately and not defend the WWE Title at SummerSlam, but he refused. Cena continues, saying that he is not using his injury as an excuse for losing, saying that he got what he wanted from Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam and that was a “clean match”. Cena then says that, when he was in the locker room following the match, somebody rushed in and told him about Triple H blatantly screwing Daniel Bryan out of the WWE Title in favor of Randy Orton holding the gold. Cena says that he was “offended and disgraced” by what happened at SummerSlam before saying that he cannot put off his surgery any longer and, tonight, he is leaving the WWE! As the crowd erupts with chants of “yes”, Cena says that he will be gone for the next four to six months as he tries to get healthy. Cena says that, before he leaves, he wants to introduce a man who has earned the right to be called a “champion”, bringing the man who was screwed out of the WWE Championship by Triple H and Randy Orton at SummerSlam to the ring, Daniel Bryan.
John Cena then hands the microphone over to Daniel Bryan before leaving the ring, but before Daniel Bryan can speak, he is interrupted by the Executive Vice President of Creative and the wife of Triple H, Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie makes her way to the ring, telling Daniel Bryan that she is “sorry” and Bryan earned the WWE Title last night and he did not deserve to have his dream snatched away from him. Stephanie continues, saying that Triple H was just doing what was “best for business”, but Daniel Bryan argues that the fans disagree, saying that he expects that from Mr. McMahon and he expects it from Stephanie, but he did not expect it from Triple H. Bryan continues, saying that Triple H was a “rebel” and he was the leader of D-Generation X, but now, Triple H is wearing a suit, sporting a “corporate haircut”. Bryan then gestures towards Stephanie, saying that “when you lie down with trash, you start to stink”, but Stephanie says that she is going to “let it slide” because she knows that Bryan upset. Bryan says that he is not afraid of being fired, saying that, whether it will be against her “snake husband” or Randy Orton, he will definitely give her a reason to fire him! Stephanie claims that Daniel Bryan’s “anger management issues” are getting the better of him, saying that Daniel Bryan is the “ultimate underdog” and he is part of the “very fabric of the WWE”. Stephanie continues, saying that not everyone can be the “face of the WWE” and the fans clearly love Daniel Bryan, saying that Bryan may not be an “A”, but he is a “solid B+”! Daniel Bryan says that he understands that Stephanie is just out there to try and rationalize her husband’s behavior, but that does not mean that he has to accept that, nor does he have to accept being relegated to the middle of the card, shouting at Stephanie that he can be the WWE Champion and he does not care what she thinks!
When Stephanie tries to speak again, Daniel Bryan slaps the microphone out of her hand and kicking it out of the ring. Grabbing another microphone, Stephanie tells Daniel Bryan that he is being “unprofessional” and she won’t stand for it. Stephanie then calls for security, instructing security to escort Bryan out of the building! Bryan then reluctantly leaves the ring with the security team following him out of the building.
The opening match of RAW would be a rematch from SummerSlam as Cody Rhodes would go one-on-one with the World Heavyweight Championship Contract “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Damien Sandow. In the end, it was Cody Rhodes catching Damien Sandow with a roll-up to defeat “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” for the second night in a row!
Backstage, RAW General Manager Brad Maddox addresses the fans and the comments made by several Superstars, but points out some poignant comments made by Dolph Ziggler. In reference to Triple H’s actions at SummerSlam, Ziggler stated, “I wondered what his intentions were. To be honest, I have never really trusted him since I started working here.” The GM says that Dolph Ziggler is “The Show-Off”, saying that Ziggler will get the opportunity to “show off” when he faces The Shield in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match!
With his arm in a sling, courtesy of CM Punk, Paul Heyman appears on RAW, saying that, at SummerSlam, CM Punk was defeated by Brock Lesnar. Heyman then says that Punk gave Brock Lesnar all that Brock could handle last night, saying that it is time to end this “family feud”. Heyman continues, saying that it is no longer a time for “retribution”, it is a time for “forgiveness”, saying that he forgives CM Punk and, when Punk apologizes to him, then he will take Punk back! Heyman then says that, with him, they will achieve heights that they have never reached before, saying that he still “loves” Punk and he will guide Punk back to the WWE Championship and to the main event of WrestleMania. Heyman then declares that, together, they will be the “best in the world”.
The Divas were in action on RAW as Divas Champion AJ Lee would team with Layla to face The Funkadactyls, Cameron & Naomi, in tag team action. In the end, it was Naomi catching Layla with a roll-up to pick up the win for The Funkadactyls.
As punishment for his comments about the deceptive WWE COO Triple H, “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler would be forced into a 3-on-1 Handicap Match against all three members of The Shield, United States Champion Dean Ambrose and WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns. Dolph Ziggler would manage to take it to The Shield, but the three-on-one advantage would ultimately reign supreme as, after dispatching Seth Rollins with a suplex to the outside of the ring, Ziggler would turn around into a huge Spear from Roman Reigns, who pins Ziggler to pick up the win for The Shield. After the match, The Shield would take it upon themselves to drop Ziggler in the middle of the ring with their three-man powerbomb.
After a successful title defense against Christian at SummerSlam, the World Heavyweight Champion was in action on RAW as Alberto Del Rio went one-on-one with Sin Cara in a non-title match. Early on in the match, Sin Cara would knock Alberto Del Rio to the outside of the ring and the high-flyer would do what he does best as Sin Cara dives to the outside, taking the champion down. However, the move would cost Sin Cara as, upon landing on the floor, Sin Cara would immediately call for the referee, apparently injuring his wrist during the dive to the outside. The ringside physician would quickly tend to Sin Cara, but Del Rio would insist on punishing Sin Cara, rolling Sin Cara back into the ring. The referee would then determine that Sin Cara was unable to continue, ringing the bell and awarding the match to Alberto Del Rio. Despite the match being over, the World Heavyweight Champion would show no mercy, kicking the injured Sin Cara before the referee does his best to keep Alberto Del Rio at bay.
As the referee and the ringside doctor help Sin Cara to the back, Alberto Del Rio says that, at SummerSlam, he proved that he is the best World Heavyweight Champion in history and he proved to the Latino community that they finally have “someone to cheer for”. Del Rio continues, saying the Mexican community has “no heroes”, but he will do his best to represent his home country, setting a good example for all the “peasants”. This brings out Del Rio’s former ring announcer whom he assaulted a few weeks ago, Ricardo Rodriguez, who says that Del Rio is no hero and he is glad that he no longer has to represent Alberto Del Rio and that he no longer has to stand by Del Rio’s side. Rodriguez then reveals that he is happy to reveal that he is representing somebody new and that man is none other than “Mr. Monday Night” himself, Rob Van Dam! RVD then comes out, looking for a piece of the World Heavyweight Champion and he gets just that, putting Del Rio down with a straight kick to the face, but when RVD goes to the top for the Five-Star Frog Splash, Del Rio rolls out of the ring, narrowly escaping “The Whole Damn Show” for the time being.
In tag team action, The Prime Time Players, Darren Young & Titus O’Neil, would face The Real Americans, Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro, with Zeb Colter in their corner. In the end, it was Darren Young hitting the Gut Check on Antonio Cesaro en route to picking up the win for The Prime Time Players.
Backstage, Renee Young is interviewing Big Show about the possibility of Big Show and Mark Henry teaming up to try and take the WWE Tag Team Titles from The Shield’s Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns, but RAW General Manager Brad Maddox interrupts. The GM shoos Renee Young away before telling Big Show that Show had some very poignant things to say about WWE COO Triple H. Big Show owns up to the remarks, saying that the last time he checked, they were in America where Freedom of Speech reigns. The GM then says that he will allow Big Show to express himself when Big Show faces all three members of The Shield in a 3-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match! Big Show welcomes the challenge, asking the GM if he is sure that he wants to do that to The Shield.
As punishment for speaking his mind about WWE COO Triple H, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show would be forced to face all three members of The Shield, United States Champion Dean Ambrose and WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns in a 3-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match, where Ambrose, Rollins, & Reigns would be allowed to be in the ring at the same time. During the match, Big Show would systematically take out Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, briefly leaving Dean Ambrose alone with “The World’s Largest Athlete”, but Seth Rollins would soon come to the rescue, taking Big Show down with a knee to the face off of the top rope. However, when Ambrose & Rollins go for a double suplex, Big Show reverses, delivering a suplex to both men. Before Big Show can capitalize, Roman Reigns comes back into the ring, dropping Big Show with the Spear. The Shield then hoist “The World’s Largest Athlete” up high, driving Big Show down with the three-man powerbomb before all three members of The Shield hop on top of Big Show, pinning Big Show for their second victory of the night.
One night after taking Brock Lesnar to the limit only to ultimately be cost the match by Paul Heyman at SummerSlam, “The Best in the World” CM Punk would appear on RAW to address his grueling match at SummerSlam, as well as Heyman’s request for an apology from earlier in the night. Punk says that Heyman had a lot of personal things to say to him earlier in the night, telling Heyman to come out there and Heyman may just get what he wants. Heyman does come out, but with Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel by his side. Punk says that he is “sorry”, sorry that he did not rip Heyman’s arm all the way off and take it home with him and he is sorry that Heyman thinks that a beating will stop him! Punk continues, saying that he will get his revenge on Heyman, daring Heyman to come into the ring so they can finish it right now! Heyman says that he is the one who owes an apology to CM Punk, saying that he is sorry for what is about to happen to Punk. Heyman then tells Curtis Axel to go in the back and tape his hands for a fight before telling Punk that, if Punk is still in that ring when Axel comes back, Axel will finish the job that Brock Lesnar started at SummerSlam!
CM Punk would welcome the fight, sitting in the ring, waiting for Curtis Axel and, as soon as the Intercontinental Champion gets in the ring, Punk strikes, hitting Axel with a steel chair before the fight spills to the outside. Curtis Axel tees off on the hurting Punk, targeting the mid-section of CM Punk that was targeted by Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, but Punk would dump Axel on his head over the ringside barricade. Punk then retrieves the ring bell, using the heavy implement to smash the mid-section of the Intercontinental Champion before Punk rolls Axel into the ring, looking at Heyman as he hoists Axel up for the GTS. However, Axel would wiggle out of the precarious situation, taking Punk out at his injured left leg. Axel then grabs the steel chair, using the steel to decimate the left leg of Punk before putting Punk down with the Axel Cutter. The Intercontinental Champion was not through there, however, as Curtis Axel wraps the steel chair around the leg of Punk. Before Axel could deal the death’s blow to Punk’s career, Punk narrowly manages to roll out of the way of Axel’s attack and, on one leg, Punk uses the steel chair to fight back against the Intercontinental Champion, taking Axel to the outside where he repeatedly slams Axel’s face into the steel steps before picking Axel up and hitting a modified GTS on Axel, planting Axel face-first on top of the steel steps! Punk then stares daggers at Paul Heyman, who slowly backs away.
After their annihilation of Kane at SummerSlam that allowed Bray Wyatt to defeat “The Big Red Monster” in the first ever Ring of Fire Match and allowed The Wyatt Family to carry Kane out of the arena, the leader of The Wyatt Family would make his in-ring RAW debut as Bray Wyatt, with Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in his corner, would go one-on-one with R-Truth. In the end, it was a dominant victory for Bray Wyatt as Wyatt puts R-Truth down with the Sister Abigail en route to picking up the win.
In tag team action, Jimmy & Jey Uso would face two-thirds of 3MB, Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal, with Drew McIntyre in their corner. In the end, it was Jimmy Uso landing the Superfly Splash on Jinder Mahal en route to picking up the win for himself and Jey Uso.
In the renewal of an old rivalry, “The Awesome One” The Miz would go one-on-one with Wade Barrett on RAW. The Miz would lock in the Figure-Four Leg Lock on Wade Barrett, but before Barrett could tap out, Fandango would emerge, coming off of the top rope with a leg drop to The Miz. Fandango & Summer Rae then dance over the prone body of The Miz.
After Triple H shocked the world by directly costing Daniel Bryan the WWE Championship in favor of crowning Randy Orton the new champion via Orton cashing in his Money-in-the-Bank contract at SummerSlam, RAW would host the WWE Championship Coronation of Randy Orton! With WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon and WWE Executive Vice President of Creative Stephanie McMahon in the ring, a massive gathering of WWE Superstars and Divas line the staging area, including RAW General Manager Brad Maddox, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero, Christian, Mark Henry, Fandango, Big E. Langston, The Prime Time Players, The Real Americans, Ryback, Natalya, The Bella Twins, Eva Marie, Kofi Kingston, The Great Khali, Cody Rhodes, Booker T, and Theodore Long, among others, stand on the stage as WWE COO Triple H makes his entrance, joining his wife and father-in-law in the ring, but not before passing The Shield, who are standing guard at the bottom of the ramp! Mr. McMahon says that tonight is a wonderful night and a momentous occasion, saying that they have a WWE Champion that they can all be proud of. The Chairman says that he is most proud of his son-in-law, who “saw the light”. Father-in-law and son-in-law then embrace before Triple H addresses everyone, saying that the fans are “short-sighted” and they can never see the “bigger picture”, saying that he did what he did at SummerSlam to “ensure the future” of the WWE. Triple H continues, saying that he did it for each and every one of the fans, as well as their children and grandchildren and the Superstars and Divas standing on the stage. Triple H says that he also did it for Vince McMahon and the McMahons to come before him to ensure that the WWE will be around to exist in all of their futures. Triple H continues, saying that he considers Daniel Bryan a “friend”, saying that Bryan is a very good “little technician” and he “deserved to win” at SummerSlam, but Daniel Bryan is not WWE Championship material and he is certainly not the “face of the WWE”, saying that the fans “deserve better” than Daniel Bryan.
Triple H says that the fans deserve “A+” and that is what he gave them at SummerSlam, saying that Daniel Bryan’s “personal problems” are a small price to pay. Triple H continues, saying that it “hurt” him personally to have to screw Daniel Bryan over like that, to crush Bryan’s dreams. Triple H then addresses the new champion, saying that he “buried” his personal feelings and his hatred for Randy Orton to do what was right for each and every one of them. The COO then says that, for Daniel Bryan to say that he has a personal problem with what he did, is “selfish” of Bryan. Triple H says that he checks his ego every time he goes to work, saying that it is not about him and it is not about what he does, it’s about the WWE fans. Triple H then says that he is going to put his personal feelings aside again tonight, introducing the man that once punted Vince McMahon in the skull and dropped Stephanie McMahon with an RKO while Triple H was forced to watch, the brand new WWE Champion, “The Viper” Randy Orton! The new WWE Champion then makes his way to the ring, shaking hands with Mr. McMahon and Triple H and even hugging Stephanie! Orton says that he told all of them that, when he cashed in, none of them would see it coming and there he stands a ten-time World Champion. The new champion says that he owes all of this to Triple H, demanding that the fans stand on his feet and show Triple H the “respect” that he deserves. The WWE Champion then hands the microphone back to Triple H, who says that he is aware that Daniel Bryan is somewhere in the building, saying that he is opening the door for Daniel Bryan to come out there and do whatever it is that he needs to do, suggesting that Daniel Bryan have a “good cry”, saying Bryan can do whatever he needs to do to get on with his “little career”.
To try and coax Daniel Bryan out to the ring, Triple H has The Shield step aside and tells the Superstars to keep their hands off of Daniel Bryan or face the consequences. Triple H even starts a “yes” chant and has Daniel Bryan’s music played for him. Reluctantly, Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring, but when Bryan climbs on the apron, The Shield attacks, but Daniel Bryan takes down Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns before targeting Dean Ambrose. Bryan then manages to take down Ambrose & Rollins on the ramp, but when Bryan gets close to the ring again, Reigns comes out of left field, blasting Bryan with the Spear before Ambrose & Rollins jump back into the fight. The Shield then sets up for the three-man powerbomb on the arena floor, but Triple H calls a stop to the beat down, taunting Daniel Bryan to climb into the ring. Hurting from the beat down, Daniel Bryan struggles to pull himself up to the ring apron, putting his sights solely on getting a piece of Triple H, but as soon as Bryan is within reach of the tyrannical COO, Randy Orton strikes, dropping Daniel Bryan with the RKO. The new WWE Champion then stands with the McMahon Family, all with their hands raised in unity as they stand over the broken body of Daniel Bryan.
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