WWE Monday Night Raw
April 22, 2013
Tonight is the night Raw goes live (to tape) in London, England~! Undertaker returns to Raw for the first time in ages, and we possibly get Triple H's answer to the challenge from Paul Heyman and Broooooock Lesnaaaar.
Raw opened with Paul Heyman already in the ring. So we may be getting that answer quickly. Heyman read what he alleged was an email from Triple H on his iPhone, in which Triple H supposedly told Paul that he'd answer Brock's challenge next week. Paul called Triple H a gutless coward, which brought out Triple H. Triple H gave Paul the pedigree and accepted Brock's challenge to the cage match at Extreme Rules.
Antonio Cesaro vs R-Truth
Truth pinned Cesaro in a quick match, most of which was spent with Antonio dominating and toying with Truth. Massive JBL chants during this match.
After the match, we got a scene from outdoors when The Shield arrived to England on a helicopter.
Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls came out. I still don't get why Tensai spends the time to put that lettering on his face each night, especially after the gimmick change.
Damien Sandow vs Brodus Clay
Sandow won by pinning Clay with a schoolboy. Lawler tried to claim Sandow was pulling the tights for the pin, which I'm sure he was trying for, but he wasn't actually doing it. Nothing match. Our first sign of #FANDANGOING occurred during this match, though, with the crowd briefly signing the dancer's theme song.
We saw a replay of Dolph's World title cash-in again, and hyped up the title triangle we have going in to Extreme Rules. Backstage, Dolph was hitting on his world title belt. AJ came up, and the two made fun of Kaitlyn. Big E was standing on the other side of the hallway, and Dolph told him to stop creepin' so he left. Team Brickie came up and the four had some interplay. Give those four their own show. Vickie told Dolph that he'll be facing Chris Jericho tonight, and a Jericho win would put Chris in the World Title match at Extreme Rules against Dolph, Swagger, and Alberto Del Rio.
We saw a recap of CM Punk's speech last week, followed by his walking out. Cole said he hasn't been seen since. Unless you're watching FOX networks, of course.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose and The Shield ran down the Undertaker leading to their main event match tonight. Dean did most of the talking.
Chris Jericho vs Dolph Ziggler
Dolph won via pinfall after the Zig Zag. This match didn't click as well as their previous matches have, but these two have set the bar pretty high for themselves and this wasn't a bad match. The crowd did the wave during the match, and WWE made sure we all realized it. It was a long match, and featured plenty of interference from Big E at ringside. Finishing sequence saw Jericho hit the codebreaker, but he took too long to make the cover and Dolph was able to recover and reach the ropes. Jericho then went for the Walls, but while applying the hold, FANDANGO's music hit. The crowd sang along, of course. FANDANGO never came out, though. While Jericho was distracted, Dolph kicked Y2J's knee and hit the Zig Zag for the win.
Backstage, Josh Mathews asked Mick Foley what has changed in WWE since the Attitude Era. Foley rambled on about men not wanting to blame themselves, and pointed to the Ryback. Total non-answer to the original question.
Cody Rhodes vs Tensai
Tensai beat Cody to avenge Brodus' loss earlier. Cody hit his disaster kick for a nearfall, but when he went for his second attempt later on he was caught and tree slammed. Tensai followed up with his running senton for the win.
Backstage, Kane and Daniel Bryan were awaiting the arrival of The Undertaker. Bryan wanted to go over strategy, and told Kane to call Undertaker. Kane said 'Taker doesn't carry a cell phone. Kane finished by telling Bryan not to try and hug Undertaker. The two were then attacked by the Shield and left laying.
Backstage, The Ryback called out Mick Foley. He finished with "Ryback Rules" again.
Big E Langston vs Zack Ryder
Big E pinned Zack, and also debuted his new entrance music. The new music is different than his NXT theme, but it does reference his 5 count gimmick. Zack seems to have totally given up on tanning. Big E dominated the former internet darling, finishing him up the Big Ending.
Team Hell No & Undertaker vs The Shield
The Shield remained undefeated when Dean Ambrose pinned Daniel Bryan. Undertaker came out first, followed by the Shield. Shield surrounded the ring and attacked Undertaker before Bryan and Kane finally came out. It was a six man brawl in the middle of the ring to start us off. The match officially began after a commercial break, when Bryan and the brothers were able to clear the ring and order was restored. After the break, we got a very fun, long match. Undertaker didn't do much in the beginning, but he took the hot tag and ran wild. The match continued to go back and forth after that until Dean Ambrose was able to pin Daniel Bryan after a failed diving headbutt attempt.
Backstage, Mick Foley and John Cena were discussing Mick's upcoming confrontation with The Ryback. Cena tried to talk Foley out of accepting The Ryback's call out later on. Foley doesn't back down from a challenge.
FANDANGO~! vs REGAL~!
FANDANGO beat William Regal with his version of the Shellshock. Not Ryback's Shellshock, but rather Alex Shelley's Shellshock. Also known as the flatliner. Also known as that move everyone does. NXT's Summer Rae debuted as FANDANGO's new dancer. William Regal's entrance music quickly quieted the FANDANGO signing, as well it should have. Regal's music is still the best in WWE. FANDANGO won a rather quick match after all the entrance music greatness, and finished by telling the crowd his name.
Chris Jericho came out and attacked FANDANGO from behind as he was leaving. He stalked Summer Rae, who stood stoic on the ramp. He then asked Summer to dance with him. She obliged. So, weirdly, the crowd continued FANDANGO'ing while cheering on Jericho and Rae, dancing atop the stage.
Divas Battle Royal
AJ Lee won a Divas Battle Royal by doing what everyone should do in a battle royal. She played dead, dead weighted the girls, and at the right moment she kicked Layla El out of the ring. AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn is on!
Mick Foley & The Ryback Talk
Mick Foley, with a steel chair given to him by John Cena, asked where the Ryback of 2012 had gone. The man who feared nothing and always begged for more. Foley called out Ryback's whining about being left for dead against The Shield. Foley said he had been beaten, but never kept score. He did the best he could. He wanted Ryback to do the best he could, to live up to his destiny of being WWE Champion. Ryback told him to shut up. Ryback said he knew what he was doing, and told Foley to get out of other people's business. Ryback called John "Super Cena" a couple of times. Ryback and Foley faced off when John Cena's music hit.
Cena rushed the ring and got inbetween Foley and Ryback. Foley left, leaving Ryback and John inside alone. Before they could fight, The Shield's music hit. Before the trio could get to the ring and surround it, John Cena left, leaving Ryback inside alone. Ryback smirked, and awaited the fight from The Shield. Shield attacked, but Cena ran back into the ring and cleared it with a steel chair, beating down the Shield before again being alone in the ring with Ryback. Cena dropped the chair, Ryback glanced at it, and right then John AA'ed The Ryback to close the show.
This show was loads better than last week, and not just because of the higher energy crowd. The matches were fun, the angles weren't bland, and it felt special with appearances by Foley and Undertaker. Unfortunately, WWE has to return to the US next week.