Battle Lines Are Drawn.
April 6, 2014 will go down in WWE history as the date of the most shocking, jaw-dropping WrestleMania of all-time and, one night removed from “The Show of Shows”, the 1089th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW would come to you, live, from the Smoothie King Center in the home of WrestleMania XXX, New Orleans, LA. From WrestleMania XXX kicking off with an unreal meeting between The Rock, Hulk Hogan, & Stone Cold Steve Austin, who all stood in the same ring at the same time for the first time ever, to Daniel Bryan overcoming every conceivable roadblock in his way to make miracles a reality on “The Grandest Stage of Them All”, one moment rendered the sold-out crowd in the Superdome completely silent and flabbergasted. In a moment that nobody could have seen coming and many still can’t believe actually happened, Brock Lesnar did what 22 other men have failed to do as “The Beast” defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania, ending the 21-0 undefeated streak of “The Phenom” and possibly ending the career of one of the WWE’s most extraordinary competitors. It took three F-5’s to do it, but that does not change the fact that Brock Lesnar made good on his promise to conquer the streak. After the crushing defeat, The Undertaker pulled himself to his feet and made the slow, agonizing walk to the back while an arena full of fans rose to their feet and applauded the incomparable Undertaker.
One man who had an incredible night at WrestleMania XXX was Daniel Bryan. After a surprising upset over WWE COO Triple H in the opening match of the night, “The Game” would assault Daniel Bryan in a fit of rage with the intent of taking Bryan out of the main event, but despite Triple H’s best efforts, Daniel Bryan would refuse to let the opportunity pass him by. Injured shoulder and all, Daniel Bryan would scratch and claw his way through the Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Orton and Batista. The pugnacious Bryan would overcome interference from The Authority and crooked referee Scott Armstrong, as well as a temporary partnership between Orton and Batista, finally locking in the Yes Lock on Batista, forcing “The Animal” to tap out to make the miracle a reality and become the brand new WWE World Heavyweight Champion on “The Grandest Stage of Them All” in an epic WrestleMania moment that Daniel Bryan, nor the fans in attendance, will ever forget! The new champion will, no doubt, be in the house for RAW. What will Daniel Bryan have to say about his hard-fought victory in the Triple Threat Match? What will The Authority, Triple H & Stephanie McMahon, have to say about the new champion?
Also, two nights removed from taking his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame on an emotional and memorable night, WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior would return to the very same venue where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday night! What will the always outspoken and always entertaining Hall of Famer have to say when he appears live on RAW?
- 6-Man Tag: The Wyatt Family def. John Cena, Sheamus, & Big E by Bray Wyatt pinning Big E following the Sister Abigail.
- Mixed Tag Match: Santino Marella & Emma def. Fandango & Summer Rae by Summer Rae submitting to Emma’s Emma Lock.
- WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) and Batista & Randy Orton fight to a Double Count-Out. As a result, The Usos (c) retain.
- Rob Van Dam def. Damien Sandow by pin following the Five-Star Frog Splash.
- Bad News Barrett def. Rey Mysterio by pin following the Bull Hammer Elbow.
- Alexander Rusev (with Lana) def. Zack Ryder by submission to the Accolade.
- Divas Championship: Paige def. AJ Lee (c) (with Tamina Snuka) by pin following the Paige Turner to win the Divas Title.
- Cesaro (with Paul Heyman) def. Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) by intentional count-out.
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) (with The Shield) & Triple H (with Kane, Batista, Randy Orton, & Stephanie McMahon) fight to a No Contest after The Shield comes out. As a result, Daniel Bryan (c) retains.
One night after winning the biggest match of his career and overcoming impossible odds at WrestleMania XXX, RAW kicks off with the brand new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan! After making his entrance to a chorus of “yes” chants, the fans follow it up with a deafening “Daniel Bryan” chant. Finally, the fans let the new champion speak as Daniel Bryan says that it is hard to raise his arms to do the “yes” taunt with a heavy title belt on his shoulder. Bryan does the taunt before saying that everyone was united behind him with one word. The fans then break out in the first ever “you deserve it” chant and Daniel Bryan says that he might deserve it a little bit, but the fans deserve it more than he does. The new champion continues, saying that, thanks to them, he went into WrestleMania, overcame The Authority, and became the brand new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Unfortunately, Daniel Bryan’s celebration is short-lived as The Authority interrupts the new champion as an angry Triple H makes his way to the ring, accompanied by his equally angry wife, Stephanie McMahon. The Authority refuses to get in the ring as Triple H says that he does not want to get in the ring because he does not want to do something to Daniel Bryan that he is going to regret. Bryan responds to this by getting in Triple H’s face, chanting “yes” and raising his title belts as the fans chant along. The COO says that he is going to personally make sure that this is Daniel Bryan’s only moment to enjoy being champion because, tonight, Daniel Bryan will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against “The Game” himself! Triple H then vows that he is not only going to become a 14-time World Champion here tonight, but he is going to “put an end” to Daniel Bryan and he is going to “shut up the world”, shouting that the reality is that RAW is his show and there is not a “damn thing” that Daniel Bryan can do about it! As The Authority storms off, Daniel Bryan remains unaffected as he continues to celebrate his title victory with the wild New Orleans crowd.
Backstage, a seething Authority is confronted by an angry Batista, who says that he earned a one-on-one title match and he deserves a rematch. Former champion Randy Orton enters, saying that, as the former champion, he is entitled to a rematch for the title. Triple H says that they both deserve another shot at the title, but it’s not going to happen tonight because he is going to take care of the Daniel Bryan problem. Stephanie then tells Orton and Batista that they will discuss their respective rematches after tonight’s RAW before making the bizarre decision to book Batista & Randy Orton in a match against The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Titles. Perplexed by this decision, Orton tells Stephanie that if they wanted the tag titles, they would take them, but he wants the WWE World Heavyweight Title back. Triple H says that they all have their problems before reminding Orton and Batista that, when they are all on the same page, nothing can stop them.
Despite losing to John Cena at WrestleMania XXX, Bray Wyatt made an impressive showing in a unique match on “The Grandest Stage of Them All” and the opening match of the night would be a major collision as all three members of The Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, & Erick Rowan would face the team of John Cena, Sheamus, & Intercontinental Champion Big E in a 6-Man Tag match. After Luke Harper & Erick Rowan take out John Cena and Sheamus on the outside, the match comes down to Bray Wyatt and Big E and Bray hits the Sister Abigail on Big E, pinning the Intercontinental Champion to pick up the win for The Wyatt Family. Having witnessed this, John Cena backs up the ramp with a look of absolute terror on his face.
After all four of them were unsuccessful in their respective matches at WrestleMania, Santino Marella & Emma would face Fandango & Summer Rae in Mixed Tag action on RAW. In the end, it was Emma locking in the Emma Lock on Summer Rae, forcing Summer to tap out for the win.
One night after making history and leaving the world with mouths agape in sheer shock and awe by ending the 21-year undefeated streak of The Undertaker at WrestleMania, “The Beast” Brock Lesnar, with his advocate Paul Heyman at his side, would make an appearance on RAW to address his incredible feat. With nothing but boos surrounding them, a proud Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman stand in the ring before Heyman says that it is the “greatest privilege” of his career to serve as the advocate for Brock Lesnar, the conqueror of The Undertaker’s streak. Heyman says that he understands that they are in shock, but they told everyone that Brock would break the streak and he did just that. Heyman calls himself the “greatest manager of all-time” before saying that Lesnar is there to “shock” the fans and put “tears in the eyes of children”. Heyman continues, saying he is going to “shoot from the hip”, revealing the true story that, seconds after his loss at WrestleMania, The Undertaker collapsed backstage and, with WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon riding along, The Undertaker was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a severe concussion. Heyman also reveals that The Undertaker narrowly avoided a broken neck and a cracked skull before saying that The Undertaker was wise to stay down because Brock Lesnar would have broken The Undertaker’s neck and cracked his skull. Heyman then addresses the commentary team, saying that, when the match was over, JBL and “those two other things who call themselves announcers” all gave a standing ovation for The Undertaker. Heyman continues, saying that The Undertaker was a “loser” at WrestleMania and, whether they like it or not, Brock Lesnar was the “winner”. Heyman then says that every fan in the arena is just like every Superstar in the back, they are all a bunch of “wannabes”, saying that nobody gave Lesnar a standing ovation at WrestleMania, they all looked down because nobody “respects” Lesnar.
Paul Heyman then says that this is fine because Brock respects no one and Lesnar barely tolerates him, saying that Brock is certainly not going to respect someone who flies halfway around the world just to be on TV the night after WrestleMania. Heyman continues, saying that Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and The Undertaker never fought in the octagon and that is because they are all “wannabes” and Brock Lesnar is the “one”. Heyman then says that Brock is a former NCAA Champion, a former UFC Champion, and a former WWE Champion, a feat that The Rock, Hulk Hogan, and Stone Cold Steve Austin never pulled off because they too are “wannabes”. Heyman continues, saying that a lot of guys came up to him last night and said that they could have beaten the streak before saying that Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H could not beat the streak because they are “wannabes” and Brock Lesnar is the “one” and Brock is the “one in 21-1”. Heyman says that there are WWE Hall of Famers, legends, and WWE Superstars and those are all plural, but there is one man who is on a platform all his own and that is Brock Lesnar.
In an unusual match set up by WWE Principal Owner Stephanie McMahon, former Evolution teammates Batista and Randy Orton would team together to challenge The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Titles on RAW! In a clear message that they have no interest in being tag champions, Batista & Randy Orton would take The Usos to the outside, beating on The Usos as the referee reaches his ten-count. After the match, Orton plants one of The Usos with a DDT on the arena floor before Batista picks up the other Uso and slams him down with the Batista Bomb on the steel steps! Batista & Orton then stand in the ring with their arms raised, proud of their actions.
In what has become a tradition in the WWE, the night after WrestleMania would feature some surprises and this year would be no different as the incomparable Rob Van Dam returned on RAW as the former WWE and ECW Champion went one-on-one with Damien Sandow! In the end, it was RVD hitting the Five-Star Frog Splash on Damien Sandow, pinning Sandow to pick up the win in his return to the WWE.
RAW would have some “bad news” as the preeminent downer in the WWE, Bad News Barrett, would go one-on-one with Rey Mysterio. Much to the elation of the New Orleans crowd, Bad News Barrett would recover from a 619 from Rey Mysterio to hit the Bull Hammer Elbow, pinning Mysterio for the win.
After weeks of vignettes and appearances, it was finally time for the official main roster debut of “The Super Athlete” Alexander Rusev as Rusev, with “The Ravishing Russian” Lana in his corner, would face Zack Ryder on RAW. In a dominant display that lives up to his moniker of “The Super Athlete”, Alexander Rusev locks in the Camel Clutch that he dubs the Accolade, forcing Ryder to tap out as Rusev wins his RAW debut.
For the first time in nearly eighteen years, The Ultimate Warrior would make an appearance on RAW as the newly inducted WWE Hall of Famer makes his way to the ring to a huge response from the New Orleans crowd! Putting on one of his old-school jackets and even putting on an Ultimate Warrior mask, The Ultimate Warrior then says that a Superstar is made immortal by the fans and they are the “legend makers” of The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior continues, saying that he sees a lot of potential legends in the back and they will make those Superstars into legends just like they did for him. Warrior then proclaims that the spirit of The Ultimate Warrior will “run forever”. The Hall of Famer then gives one last shake of the top rope before making his exit.
One night after solidifying herself as the top Diva in the WWE by successfully defending the Divas Championship against 13 other Divas in the Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational at WrestleMania, the longest reigning Divas Champion of all-time, AJ Lee, appears on RAW with Tamina Snuka by her side. AJ says that, for 295 days, she has been the Divas Champion and she gave every Diva in the locker room 294 days to prove her wrong, but they couldn’t. AJ continues, saying that she is the “hero” of this story, saying that the odds have always been against her, saying that she has gone from being a “poor girl in New Jersey” to being the “best Diva in the world”. AJ then says that, not only is she the “savior” of the Divas division, but she is the Divas division. RAW is then treated to another surprise courtesy of NXT as the reigning and first ever NXT Women’s Champion Paige makes her way to the ring! “The Anti-Diva” says that she is out there to do what no one else would do, congratulating AJ Lee on her victory. However, the Divas Champion says that she does not need Paige’s congratulations, telling Paige to go back to NXT because the champion does not appreciate being interrupted. Paige apologizes, saying that she just wanted to congratulate AJ Lee, but AJ calls Paige a “sweet, little crumpet” and says that, since Paige is dressed to compete, then she should do what she did to thirteen other Divas at WrestleMania and that is beat Paige. The timid NXT Women’s Champion says that she is not ready to compete, but the aggressive AJ Lee slaps Paige across the face, knocking Paige off of her feet. AJ then says that, ready or not, she thinks they should have a match right now and, as a “post-WrestleMania treat”, she will put the Divas Title on the line! After calling for a referee, AJ Lee gets in Paige’s face, saying that this is her “house”.
In a match that the confident AJ Lee put herself in against the NXT Women’s Champion, AJ would defend the Divas Title against Paige in an impromptu match that Paige did not even want! In a short match, AJ Lee would dominate the young rookie Diva, even locking in the Black Widow on Paige, but Paige would fight out of the submission move and would hit the Paige Turner, pinning AJ Lee to pick up a huge upset to become the brand new Divas Champion in her RAW debut!
Then it was time for the official presentation of the first ever Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy as the Host of WrestleMania XXX Hulk Hogan would appear on RAW to present the trophy to the winner of the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Cesaro. Before bringing Cesaro out, Hulk Hogan says that WrestleMania XXX was the biggest WrestleMania in history, saying that there were a lot of great moments, but for him personally, the biggest moment was the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Hogan says that, when he saw Cesaro slam Big Show over the top rope last night, it made his heart felt great because he knew that Andre was looking down with a big smile on his face. “The Hulkster” then says that there were 31 men in that battle royal and a man who was not even originally scheduled for the match won the whole thing. Hogan then introduces the winner of the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Cesaro, who makes his way to the ring with Zeb Colter by his side, shaking hands with the Hall of Famer before Hogan hands Cesaro the microphone and exits the ring, leaving Cesaro to admire his prize. Before Cesaro can speak on his victory, Zeb Colter take the microphone and says that he will hand the microphone back to Cesaro and tell them the kind of guy he is. Zeb then says that, even though Cesaro is not from America, he brought Cesaro in and made him a real American and a “Zeb Colter guy”. Cesaro then takes the microphone back, saying that he is not a “Zeb Colter guy” before making the big reveal that he is a “Paul Heyman guy”! This brings out the man himself, Paul Heyman, who says that not only is he the “strategist” behind the streak being broken, but he is the advocate for “The King of Swing”, Cesaro! Outraged, Zeb Colter asks if Cesaro is really “jumping ship” to Paul Heyman and Heyman says that this seems to be the “week of shocking moments for Paul Heyman guys”. As the fans chant “king of swing”, Paul Heyman exits the ring to instruct the announce team on how to properly talk about his new client. However, this provides the perfect opportunity for Cesaro’s estranged former tag team partner, Jack Swagger, to attack Cesaro from behind, knocking Cesaro out of the ring. Then, in an unbelievably heinous act of disrespect to the late, great Andre The Giant, Jack Swagger smashes the Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy into pieces, tossing the remains of the trophy to the outside, smashing the prize into multiple pieces! Cesaro would charge after Swagger, knocking him out of the ring, but the damage was already done and Cesaro was left shocked and in disbelief as he sees his biggest accomplishment laying in pieces.
After Jack Swagger smashed the Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy, an impromptu match would take place as the newest Paul Heyman guy, Cesaro, with Heyman in his corner holding the only solid piece remaining of the Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy, would go one-on-one with his former tag team partner, Jack Swagger, with Zeb Colter in his corner. During the match, Cesaro would set Jack Swagger up for the Cesaro Swing, but Swagger would fight out, retreating from the ring at the coaxing of Zeb Colter, taking a count-out loss to “The King of Swing”.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon is with Kane and The Shield as the Principal Owner tells all four men that she does not care what happened between them at WrestleMania and she does not care what happened to Kane’s brother The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Stephanie says that the only thing that matters is that Triple H wins the WWE World Heavyweight Title here tonight and all of them are going to make sure that happens. Seth Rollins then says that it looks like Kane is missing some “buddies”, noting the absence of The New Age Outlaws and Dean Ambrose adds that, as long as The Shield is around, they will probably never see Road Dogg or Billy Gunn again. Kane tells The Shield that they do not realize that they are on “thin ice” already because Triple H sees them for what they are, “expendable pawns”. The Director of Operations then lets his anger get the better of him as Kane yells at The Shield that they can’t go around beating up Triple H’s friends, accidentally revealing that, when he and The New Age Outlaws assaulted The Shield a few weeks ago, it was Triple H who told him to do it! Having tried to stop Kane for the entire spiel, Stephanie finally gets the Director of Operations to shut up before Stephanie turns to The Shield, telling The Shield that Daniel Bryan being the champion and the Yes Movement is an “injustice” and they all know what it is like to be a champion. Stephanie concludes that they are all going to be on the same page because, what Triple H wants, he gets. Stephanie then asks Kane and The Shield if she is making herself clear and the four men reluctantly agree.
Then it was time for a monumental main event as, one night after surviving a post-match assault by Triple H, interference from The Authority, and a Triple Threat Match against Randy Orton and Batista at WrestleMania, the brand new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan would defend the WWE World Heavyweight Title for the first time ever on RAW against the man he beat at WrestleMania and hit with a sledgehammer later that same night, WWE COO Triple H. However, after Daniel Bryan makes his entrance, a sinister plan becomes apparent as Daniel Bryan’s WrestleMania opponents, Batista & Randy Orton, make their way to the ring. While Daniel Bryan tries to get the jump on the two men, “The Viper” and “The Animal” beat down the new champion before Orton hits Daniel Bryan with the RKO, followed with the Batista Bomb by Batista. Director of Operations Kane then comes to the ring, telling Batista & Randy Orton to back off before Kane picks up Daniel Bryan and plants the new champion with a chokeslam. As Kane, Batista, & Randy Orton stand over the fallen champion, WWE COO Triple H, with Stephanie McMahon in tow, conveniently makes his entrance. Triple H takes his time in getting to the ring as Kane, Batista, & Randy Orton watch from the outside. The Authority then bullies referee Mike Chioda into starting the match against his will, threatening to fire Chioda if he doesn’t comply.
Reluctantly, Mike Chioda rings the bell and the title match officially gets underway, but as Triple H reaches down to pick up Daniel Bryan, The Shield make their entrance. As The Shield stands at ringside, Kane, Batista, & Randy Orton get on the ring apron as Triple H tries to calm both sides down. With Triple H still standing in the middle trying to keep the two sides from fighting each other, The Shield gets on the ring apron on the opposite side. The Shield then steps into the ring and Triple H is the first to confront The Shield, telling the three men to “stand down”. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ring, Kane, Batista, & Randy Orton enter the ring as well and the COO talks to both sides, holding Kane back and telling them that the fight is not going to happen tonight, saying that it is not going to break down into a “war”. Triple H then turns around to talk to The Shield, but he is blasted with a Spear from Roman Reigns! With the COO out of the way, The Shield and Kane, Batista, & Randy Orton collide as all hell breaks loose with Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins diving to the outside, taking out Batista & Randy Orton. Meanwhile, in the ring, Roman Reigns fights out of the clutches of Kane, taking the Director of Operations out with the Superman Punch. The Shield then regroups in the ring, surrounding the man who called for their destruction a few weeks ago, Triple H. Before The Shield can strike, Daniel Bryan charges out of the corner with a running knee to the face of Triple H! Kane then quickly pulls his boss out of the ring as Daniel Bryan & The Shield stand tall in the ring as Triple H, Kane, Batista, & Randy Orton collect themselves on the ramp with Triple H screaming that Daniel Bryan & The Shield have “started a war they cannot win”.
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Post your comments in the box below.