Let’s start with…
1.) R-TRUTH DEF. ANTONIO CESARO – This was kind of a weird match. Cesaro dominates using his strength and wear-down holds on Truth, until Cesaro misses a clothesline. Truth takes over with fast-strikes, (mostly kicks,) and gets the win with the face-drop.
Rytman Remark: What is with the R-Truth winning streak? Are they building him up to challenge Ziggler? And why R-Truth as opposed to…anybody else?
Side Note: The less said about Cesaro yodeling the better.
2.) DAMIEN SANDOW (w/Cody Rhodes) DEF. BRODUS CLAY (w/”Sweet T” and the Funkadactyls) – Team Rhodes Scholars (Sandow/Cody Rhodes,) come out without the Bellas for the second time this month. Clay tosses Sandow around with ease, until Sandow takes control with a combo of short-range strikes and mat-wrestling. Match ends with Cody distracting Brodus and Sandow getting a roll-up with a handful of tights for the three-count.
Rytman Remark: Without a Bellas/Funkadactyls cat-fight, this feud really has no point.
3.) ZIGGLER (w/AJ and Big E.) DEF. CHRIS JERICHO – First really good, solid match of the night. The first high point is Dolph faking out Jericho and sliding out to score a kiss from AJ, and Jericho responding w/a drop-kick to the back of the head. Ziggler dominates until he gets cocky, and Jericho uses his agility and high-flying moves to make a come-back. Jericho locks in the “Walls of Jericho,” and just when it looks like Ziggler will tap…
Yup, Fandango’s music hits, and a distracted Jericho takes a Zig-Zag from Ziggler, who gets the pin.
Rytman Remark: Sorry to see a loss for Jericho, but Ziggy needed the win here.
4.) “SWEET T” (w/Brodus Clay & the Funkadactyls) DEF. CODY RHODES (w/Damian Sandow)– Pretty much the same match we saw earlier (see Brodus/Sandow,) with the exception of “Sweet T” holding Cody up in the air for a long time (ala Davy Boy Smith’s standing vertical suplex.) Brodus and the Funkadactyls try to get the crowd going with mixed results. Sandow interferes but Brodus takes him down with a head-butt charge, and “T” catches Cody’s attempted “Beautiful Disaster” kick. “T” gets a three-count, and we get a dance party.
What do you wanna hear? It was what it was.
5.) BIG E. DEF. ZACK RYDER – Ryder got in some offense, but this ended with the “Big Ending” by Langston for a three-count.
Rytman Remark: Let’s face it people, this is the best possible use for Ryder. At least he’s getting TV time.
6.) THE SHIELD DEF. THE UNDERTAKER/WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS TEAM HELL NO (KANE/DANIEL BRYAN) – The big match of the night. Crowd was into this one before it even got started. Taker makes his entrance alone, and is soon surrounded by the Shield. (See “Angles” below.) Team Hell No run-in just in time and the match gets going.
Taker’s team took control early w/quick and frequent tags and getting an “old school” spot on Ambrose (second attempt.) They double-teamed Ambrose, then Reigns. The Shield took over on Kane when Reigns held him for a clothesline/running kick combo from Ambrose/Rollins. Shield takes turns beating down Kane, but Kane gets Daniel Bryan in, and Bryan has huge crowd support. He gets the “YES” chants going with every shot he lands until he misses a charging dropkick to Rollins in the corner.
Shield works over Bryan until Taker gets the hot tag. Taker is in charge until Reigns gets a spear in. Kane comes back in and takes over, bringing Bryan back in. Taker/Kane get into a brawl w/Rollins & Reigns while D-Bry misses the flying head-butt. Ambrose wraps him up and gets a three-count.
Rytman Remark: Sorry to see Taker get a loss, but putting over the Shield was the right thing to do.
7.) FANDANGO DEF. WILLIAM REGAL – Here’s a fun little surprise bonus. Regal matches Fandango’s hip action w/a little step or two of his own. The match ends quickly when Fandango catches Regal in the “Dip-DT,” (Copyright, Robert Rytman,) and gets the three-count.
Rytman Remark: Good to see Regal here in action. Just now (sadly) realizing how awesome a Regal/Jericho tag team would’ve been.
8.) DIVA ROYAL – AJ, Layla, Naomi, Aksana, and Tamina. Diva’s Champ Kaitlyn joins the announce team to scout this match. The Bellas (according to the announce team) where disqualified from competing in this because of their illegal double team on Kaitlyn last week. (Author’s note: Dafuq?) AJ teases a kissing spot on Tamina, who responds with a kick to the face. AJ spends the whole match out on her back (Author’s note: SHUT UP PERVS!) while the other ladies eliminate each other.
Layla is the last girl standing. She tries to get AJ up and through the ropes while AJ sandbags her. AJ ‘comes to” and kicks Layla out of the ring to win.
Rytman Remark: Okay, I get what they’re doing. They don’t trust AJ to wrestle a whole match, so they book her to win, by making one smart move at the right time. Not a horrible idea, but they will run out of ways for her to pull it off quick.
Side Note: The Bellas were “disqualified” from being in the battle royal for their illegal double team last week? I could go into a dissertation about all the ways that doesn’t work and all the plot-holes it opens, but I wanna get this over with, you wanna get back to your lives, let’s just call it stupid and leave it at that.
Side-Side Note: I’d be wasting the effort it would take to point out Layla could’ve just rolled AJ over the bottom rope to the floor, right?
Okay, moving on to…
1.) BROCK/TRIPLE H: THE SAGA CONTINUES…WEITHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT – RAW opens with a fade-in on a close-up of Paul Heyman. Heyman introduces himself as a representative for Brock Lesnar, and recaps his decimation of 3MB last week, as well as his subsequent challenge to Triple H to a cage match at “Extreme Rules.” He announces that Triple H is not at RAW, and reads an e-mail from him, saying his injuries have kept him from flying and he will answer Heyman next week. Heyman knows how let-down we all are. He feels the same…
“I have been let down by this gutless coward who didn’t have the manhood to appear tonight… “- Paul Heyman
At that moment, the music hits and Triple H is out! He explains the e-mail simply, he lied.
He asks Paul for a favor…
“I want you to go back home to Brock Lesnar and tell him I ACCEPT!” – Triple H
Triple H ends this w/a pedigree on Heyman to the cheers of the crowd.
Rytman Remark: This has got to be a record, SHORTEST TRIPLE H PROMO EVER!
2.) ZIGGLER/DEL-RIO/SWAGGER: HEY THIS MIGHT GET INTERES-NEVERMIND – We backstage as Ziggler is making kissy-kissy w/the World Heavyweight Championship. AJ shows up and jokes about being jealous. Ziggler remarks how good she’d look with a title of her own, when we notice Big E. looking on…
”E! This is Dolph-and-AJ time. Please no creeping!” – Dolph Ziggler.
Big E. walks off as RAW managing supervisor Vicki Guerro and her assistant Brad Maddox enter, informing Ziggler if he loses to Jericho tonight, Jericho gets a spot in the title match w/Swagger & Alberto Del Rio, making it a four-way at extreme rules. Ziggler wins, (see Match Results, above,) and everyone gets disappointed.
Rytman Remark: Nice tease job WWE, however I argue that Jericho would’ve brought some BADLY needed heat to a lukewarm angle.
3.) JERICHO/FANDANGO: SPECIAL GUEST DIVA, SUMMER RAE – Fandango comes out for his match with Regal, with NXT developmental diva Summer Rae as his new dance partner. After his win (see Match Results, above,) he gets jumped from behind by Jericho, who rubs salt in the wound by offering Summer a dance. She accepts and Jericho gives her a whirl. Summer looks flustered (in the good way) as Fandango rolls around in pain.
4.) SHIELD/TAKER/TEAM HELL NO: AN UNDERTAKING OF TAKING ON, THE TAKING-OUT OF UNDERTAKER – The Shield make their first on-camera appearance of the night, by helicopter, transferring to a black Range Rover to the arena.
Backstage, Bryan is upset that the Taker hasn’t shown up to go over strategy. He asks Kane why he doesn’t just call his brother…
“Give him a call? He doesn’t exactly carry a cell phone!” – Kane
Bryan insists that Kane look at his diagrams, and asks if Kane is upset about them not hugging in a while. Kane asks Bryan for a favor when Taker shows up.
“Do NOT try to give him a hug!” – Kane
Suddenly, Kane and Bryan go down hard as the camera shakes. The tag champs are on the floor as three sets of black boots stroll off.
Later in the night, it looked like the Taker would have to face Shield all by himself, but Hell No made the match in time.
Rytman Remark: Waste of effort seeing how Shield won anyway.
5.) CENA/RYBACK: I HAVE NOTHING – We take a look back at the recent bad-blood between Cena/Ryback, and how it’s lead to a match at Extreme Rules. Mick Foley is interviewed about Ryback’s recent actions. Foley mentions how it’s not in human nature to look in the mirror and see your own shortcomings. Ryback responds in his interview later that night…
“I look in the mirror and don’t see shortcomings. I look in the mirror, and see the next WWE Champion!” – Ryback
It’s revealed that Foley will confront Ryback later on the show. A little later, we see Foley talking w/Cena backstage…
“In a career full of mistakes, this might be my biggest!” – Mick Foley
I’m just gonna sum this up, Foley calls out Ryback and gives him the speech about character, about how he can have all the tools, but needs heart and guts to get it done, and how letting Cena get beat-down by other people makes it a cheap-win. Ryback snaps back with how Foley is old and his message is archaic. It looks like Ryback will kill Foley, but Cena runs out to make the save, much to the disappointment of a crowd that wanted to see Foley die apparently.
The Shield makes an appearance and Cena teases leaving Ryback at their mercy. But when Shield attacks, Cena makes the save with a chair and runs the Shield off. Cena gives the AA to a confused Ryback, and RAW ends w/Cena standing tall.
Rytman Remark: Why can’t Mark Henry be the #1 contender and just spare us all this?
Side Note: Why didn’t Ryback and the Shield join forces? It was the perfect moment and would’ve been easy to explain. Ryback wants Cena, Shield wants to get rid of Cena, done and done.
Rytman’s Review: I liked this RAW up until the ending. It kept things moving and set up the stories nicely, but this FRIGGIN’ ending made no damn sense. My only guess is the save at the end was an attempted “make good” to Ryback in order to protect Cena’s image.
Tags: Agility, Cat Fight, Cesaro, Clothesline, Cody Rhodes, Damian, Davy Boy Smith, Drop Kick, Fandango, High Point, Music Hits, Rhodes Scholars, Sandow, Tights, Vertical Suplex, Walls Of Jericho, Winning Streak, Wrestling Match, Yup, Ziggy