One night after a controversial win over Randy Orton in a Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules, thanks in large part to Kane, where the RKO was banned, RAW kicks off with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, with Director of Operations Kane and J&J Security in tow. The champion says that, at Extreme Rules, Randy Orton learned what the fans knew all along, that you cannot “outsmart” Seth Rollins. Rollins then says that he “single-handedly” created and destroyed The Shield before reminding everyone about his Money-in-the-Bank cash-in at WrestleMania. Rollins continues, saying that he is a “fighting champion” and he had Randy Orton right where he wanted him at Extreme Rules, claiming that he beat Randy Orton “all my myself”. Calling it the “SKO”, Rollins laughs about using Randy Orton’s own RKO against him before acknowledging Kane as a “good soldier”. Rollins then says that Kane did what was “best for business” as the “Crypt Keeper” at Extreme Rules, taking a shot at the Director of Operations by saying that the “Crypt Keeper” is a “relic from the 90’s that no one cares about”. Trying to backpedal from the insult he just let slip, Seth Rollins corrects himself and says that Kane was the “Gatekeeper of Gatekeepers” at Extreme Rules, saying that Kane did such a good job that the “more talented” people were able to handle things in the ring.
Kane then speaks up, saying that if it wasn’t for his position as the “Gatekeeper” and Seth Rollins’ “illegal use” of the RKO, Randy Orton would be the WWE World Heavyweight Champion right now and Seth Rollins would be complaining like the “spoiled, entitled brat” that he is. The Director of Operations then says that he would much rather be WWE’s version of the Crypt Keeper than WWE’s version of “Justin Bieber”! Seth Rollins then gets in Kane’s face, saying that Kane is “jealous” of him because he gets to “go home as champion” before telling Kane that he should just “go home”. Kane fires back, saying that Rollins is “scared” because he knows that he wouldn’t be champion if Rollins didn’t have “six guys” helping him out. The champion then says that he is not scared of anyone and he’s not scared of Kane, saying he could “wrestle circles” around the Director of Operations. The bickering is then broken up by the arrival of “The Viper” Randy Orton, saying that he’s not typically the type of guy to come out there and accuse someone of “cheating”, but when someone in Rollins’ own “administration” admits that Rollins cheated, he thinks that is grounds for a rematch. Rollins then says that it’s not the “Kane regime” or the “Orton regime”, it’s the “Rollins regime” and, as long as he’s champion, Orton only gets “one shot” at the title and he “squandered it” at Extreme Rules. Referring to Rollins as “Catwoman”, Orton says that he’s not talking to Rollins, he is talking to Kane.
Before Kane can answer, however, he is interrupted by the man who buried Big Show underneath an announce table in a Last Man Standing Match at Extreme Rules in Roman Reigns, who makes his way to ringside and stands on top of the announce table. Roman says that he cannot help but notice that Rollins is missing a “giant”, saying that they can call him the “last man standing”. Reigns then says that, with all due respect, Randy Orton already had his shot at the title and, if anyone deserves a shot at the title, it’s him. Seth Rollins responds by saying that there is one “common denominator” between Randy Orton and Roman Reigns, saying that he has defeated both of them. The champion then says that neither Orton or Reigns “deserve” an opportunity at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. However, Kane disagrees with the champion, saying that both Orton and Reigns make “compelling arguments”, so he is going to do what is “best for business”, suggesting that they put their differences aside and team together to face Orton and Reigns in tag team action. The Director of Operations then adds that, by the end of the night, they will know who Seth Rollins will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Title against at WWE Payback because the fans will decide the new #1 Contender!
The opening match of the night would be a First Round matchup in the 2015 King of the Ring Tournament as, fresh off of his humiliation at the hands of Sheamus at Extreme Rules, “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler would go one-on-one with Bad News Barrett with the winner advancing to the Semi-Finals of the tournament to face either R-Truth or Stardust, which will take place exclusively on the WWE Network tomorrow night. During the match, Sheamus would come out to the stage, showing a picture of Dolph Ziggler’s humiliation at Extreme Rules. Reliving his embarrassment of having to kiss the ‘arse’ of Sheamus would distract Dolph Ziggler long enough for Bad News Barrett, catching Ziggler with the Bull Hammer Elbow, pinning Dolph to pick up the win and advance to the Semi-Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament.
After using questionable tactics to win the WWE Tag Team Titles from Cesaro & Tyson Kidd at Extreme Rules, new WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day would appear on RAW as one-half of the new champions, Big E, with Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston in his corner, would go one-on-one with Tyson Kidd, with Cesaro & Natalya in his corner. During the match, Big E would hit a clothesline on Tyson Kidd and, unbeknownst to the referee, Xavier Woods would hold onto the ankle of Tyson Kidd, keeping Kidd from kicking out as Big E picks up the win.
After interrupting and silencing Bo Dallas at Extreme Rules, Ryback was in action on RAW as “The Big Guy” would go one-on-one with Bo Dallas. In the end, it was Ryback planting Bo Dallas with Shell Shocked, pinning Bo Dallas for the win. After the match, the lights would go out and, when they came back on, Bray Wyatt was standing in the ring behind Ryback with the rest of the arena coated in darkness. Ryback would turn around to face Bray Wyatt, but when “The Big Guy” charges at Wyatt, Bray quickly strikes with Sister Abigail, leaving Ryback laid out in the center of the ring as Bray Wyatt kneels next to Ryback, looking up to the heavens.
Despite just being one night removed from a punishing Russian Chain Match against Rusev at Extreme Rules and three weeks before he faces Rusev in an “I Quit” Match for the United States Championship at WWE Payback, United States Champion John Cena would be on RAW to continue the U.S. Open Challenge. Cena says that he respects Rusev because he refuses to “quit” before saying that will change at Payback, vowing to give Rusev the “beating of a lifetime”. Cena then proclaims that he will “never surrender” before saying that Payback will be the “final chapter” in his rivalry with Rusev, saying that if Rusev makes him say the words “I Quit” then he has “disgraced” all the fans and he has “disgraced” the United States Championship. Cena then says that, if he is forced to say “I Quit” to Rusev, then he does not “deserve” a rematch, laying it all on the line by telling Rusev and the world that, if he loses at Payback, then Rusev will “never” see him again! Cena continues, saying that he has done nothing but work as hard as he can to define the United States Championship as the “symbol of excellence” and the “symbol of opportunity”. Cena then says that, while Rusev chooses to “rest”, he is choosing to “provide opportunity” before declaring that the U.S. Open Challenge begins now.
The Superstar who answers the challenge is a man who was originally going to challenge John Cena last week before he was taken out with an RKO by Randy Orton as Heath Slater answers the call. However, before Slater can even make it to the ring, he is ambushed by Rusev, who kicks Slater in the face, knocking Slater off of the stage to the floor. Rusev then stands on the stage, glaring at John Cena, who lays the United States Title belt down in the ring, daring Rusev to come and try and take it from him. This brings out a beaming and waving Lana, who gets a warm reaction from the Green Bay crowd, but an angry Rusev takes the microphone away from Lana, shooing Lana away to the back. Rusev calls the fans “quitters”, saying that they have all “quit on themselves” before saying that, at Payback, John Cena will be just like them as Cena will join the fans in saying “I Quit”. The Russian flag then flies high over the ring as Cena stares a hole through Rusev.
Backstage, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins confronts Director of Operations Kane with his concerns of letting the fans choose his opponent at Payback, asking if Kane is out of his mind. The champion continues, threatening to tell Triple H & Stephanie McMahon about what Kane is doing, asking if Kane is “too stupid” to care. Kane says that he thought that Seth Rollins would be able to “handle” letting the fans choose his opponent at Payback, but if Rollins would rather be a “tattletale” or insult his intelligence, then there is only one thing he can do. Kane then informs Seth Rollins that, tonight, the fans will get to vote whether Rollins will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, or both Orton and Reigns in a Triple Threat Match!
In the second First Round matchup of the King of the Ring Tournament, RAW would see R-Truth square off with Stardust with the winner advancing to the Semi-Finals on the WWE Network. In the end, it was R-Truth hitting the Lie Detector, pinning Stardust to advance to the Semi-Finals to face Bad News Barrett exclusively on the WWE Network.
In their ongoing rivalry, Fandango would go one-on-one with Adam Rose, with The Exotic Express in his corner, on RAW. During the match, Fandango would dive to the outside, taking out Adam Rose and two of his Rosebuds. One of the Rosebuds would then reveal themselves to be Rosa Mendes, who dances at ringside, distracting Fandango long enough for Adam Rose to take advantage, hitting Fandango with the Party Foul, pinning Fandango for the win. After the match, Rosa Mendes would stand in the ring with Adam Rose, saying that she has found someone who treats her like the “sweet flower” she is before Rosa shares a passionate kiss with Adam Rose in the middle of the ring.
After her husband, Intercontinental Champion Daniel Bryan, was medically unable to compete at Extreme Rules, Brie Bella would comment on her husband in a backstage interview. Brie says that Daniel Bryan loves WWE more than anything in the world and it kills her because she knows how badly he wants to compete. Brie then says that only time will tell before saying that they are grateful that the WWE fans care so much about Daniel Bryan because Bryan cares so much about them. The emotional interview is then ruined by Naomi, who shoves Brie Bella down by her face, telling Brie that “no one cares” about Brie Bella or Daniel Bryan.
Moments after she was attacked and disrespected by Naomi backstage, Brie Bella, with Divas Champion Nikki Bella in her corner, would go one-on-one with Naomi on RAW. In the end, it was Naomi rolling Brie Bella up, scoring the three-count to pick up the win.
After surviving one of the wildest Chicago Street Fights in WWE history against Luke Harper at Extreme Rules, “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose would go one-on-one with “The Celtic Warrior” and 2010 King of the Ring winner Sheamus in the third First Round Match in the King of the Ring Tournament. During the intense match, both brawlers would find themselves fighting on the outside with Dean Ambrose sending Sheamus face-first into the steel ring post, but “The Celtic Warrior” would somehow rebound with a Brogue Kick to the face. This is when Dolph Ziggler would spring onto the scene, making a beeline for the man who not only humiliated him at Extreme Rules, but also cost him his First Round Match earlier in the night. Dolph’s interference would result in the disqualification win for Sheamus, meaning he will advance to the Semi-Finals to face either Neville or Luke Harper. However, the King of the Ring Tournament was the farthest thing from Dolph Ziggler’s mind as he whaled away on Sheamus at ringside before Sheamus is quick to retreat into the crowd, narrowly escaping the grasp of “The Show-Off”. Dolph then storms off before Dean Ambrose gets to his feet in the ring as the announcement is made that he lost the match by disqualification, leaving Ambrose livid.
One week after he was betrayed by Summer Rae in his match against The Miz, resulting in The Miz winning the match and retaining the exclusive rights to The Miz brand, there would be no sunglasses and no Miz parodies as Damien Sandow makes an appearance on RAW. Re-introducing himself as Damien Sandow, Sandow says that the last thing that he wants to do is come out there and “lie” to the fans, saying that he made his WWE debut three years ago, wearing a “blue bathrobe” and the idea that he was going to “enlighten” WWE. Sandow then says that they know how well that idea worked out, saying that he was actually told, to his face, that he was “not entertaining enough”. Sandow continues, remembering his time as Bret “The Hitman” Sandhart, Magneto, LeBron James, and Mr. McMahon before coming to his most recent impersonation, Damien Mizdow. Sandow says that his time as Damien Mizdow cost him a lot of respect from his peers, but he gained something much more important in the respect from the fans. Sandow says that, without the fans, he would not be in WWE right now before admitting that he doesn’t know where he goes from here. However, Sandow is then interrupted by Curtis Axel, who says that, if there’s one thing he can’t stand, it’s someone who tries to be someone else. Curtis Axel then does his impersonation of Hulk Hogan, but Damien Sandow responds by mocking Curtis Axel’s mockery, which infuriates Axel as Axel orders Sandow to get out of “the Axe Man’s ring”. However, Sandow only continues to mock Axel and Axel tries to attack Sandow, but Sandow fights back, knocking Axel down before doing his signature Elbow of Disdain, leaving Axel embarrassed and Sandow standing tall.
After attacking Ryback earlier in the night, Bray Wyatt would provide a creepy sermon on RAW. Presumably talking about Ryback, Bray asks if Ryback will always be a man “obsessed” with his own “vanity”, saying he can see right through him. Bray continues, saying that it’s “only the beginning”, telling Ryback to “open your eyes”.
In the final First Round Match in the King of the Ring Tournament, “The Man That Gravity Forgot” Neville would go one-on-one with the bearded madman known as Luke Harper with the winner advancing to the Semi-Finals to face Sheamus. At the end of a stellar battle between speed and power, it was Neville hitting a sunset flip powerbomb and following it up with the Red Arrow, pinning Luke Harper to pick up the win and advance to the Semi-Finals on the WWE Network where Neville will face Sheamus.
As fans around the world vote for either or both of them to challenge Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Payback, it was time for the main event as “The Viper” Randy Orton would team with Roman Reigns to face WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, with J&J Security in his corner, and The Authority’s Director of Operations Kane. Despite their issues with each other, Seth Rollins and Kane would work together flawlessly for most of the match, but when Kane goes for a chokeslam on Roman Reigns and Roman is able to power out, Seth Rollins tries to deliver a dropkick to Roman, but the champion misses his mark and hits Kane with the dropkick accidentally! Roman then knocks Joey Mercury off of the ring apron before Seth Rollins is able to knock Reigns out of the ring, followed shortly by Randy Orton, who gets kicked in the face by Rollins. The champion then goes for a dive to the outside on Orton and Reigns, but both men move out of the way and Rollins collides with Kane, knocking the Director of Operations down again!
This sends Kane over the edge as the executive channels his inner monster as he tosses both members of J&J Security over the announce table before decking Seth Rollins with a right hand! Kane then rolls Rollins back into the ring before continuing to wreck the ringside area. Meanwhile, in the ring, Roman Reigns hits Seth Rollins with the Superman Punch and Randy Orton follows it up with the RKO, pinning the WWE World Heavyweight Champion to pick up the win for himself and Roman Reigns. Randy Orton then exits the ring to the stage as Roman Reigns waits in the ring and Seth Rollins climbs to his feet. Kane then picks up a microphone to announce the winner of the WWE App poll as an overwhelming 78% vote for Seth Rollins to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Triple Threat Match against both Randy Orton and Roman Reigns at Payback! An enraged Seth Rollins then turns around right into a Spear from Roman Reigns, leaving Roman as the one standing tall in the ring as Randy Orton looks on from the stage.
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