Event: WWE Monday Night RAW
Airdate: Monday, April 15th, 2013 (USA Network)
Location: The BI-LO Center in Greenville, SC
Results by Ken Hill
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…”
We are LIVE from Greenville, South Carolina and we’re starting off in a big way with a rematch from Smackdown!
Handicap Match: Randy Orton & Sheamus vs. Big Show
Show powers Sheamus back into the corner. Sheamus fighting back and applies a side headlock. Show counters into a side slam. Shot by Big Show to Sheamus’ chest. Sheamus with the Fiery Red Hand. Show tries to counter but Sheamus counters right back, hanging Show on the ropes. Battering ram from the top rope onto Show for two. Show sends Sheamus crashing to the outside. Series of chops to the chest by Show. Big Show with The Final Cut on Sheamus. Sheamus trying to fight back but Show in control working over the arm. Forearm to the back. Sheamus off the ropes walks into another side slam. Big Show up to the top. Sheamus picks Show up on his shoulders and delivers the Electric Chair Drop. Orton with a series of clotheslines and a dropkick. The big boot to Show. Orton drops Show with the DDT. The Viper coils up and looks for an RKO. Show counters and grabs Orton by the throat. Sheamus with the Brogue Kick sending Show into an RKO by Orton for the three count
Winners: Randy Orton & Sheamus
Cole and company highlight 3MB’s Shield-esque interruption of Triple H this past Friday, and how the tried and true Shield took offense, physically denying 3MB’s help in taking down “The Game.” Josh Matthews is in the back with Slater and his troupe. Slater cuts to the point, and says they plan on calling out the Shield next, plain and simple. Mmmhmm, good luck with that, J.O.B. Squad 2013.
3MB with the jobber entrance, even when just calling out the Shield…oy vey. Slater and company badmouth the Shield for stealing their spotlight and await them…uh oh, HERE COMES THE PAIN! They would have been better off with the Shield. Brock disposes of Slater and Mahal, and F-5’s McIntyre hard. Slater thinks better of entering the ring, but Brock cuts him off lightning quick and delivers not one, but TWO F-5’s to Slater into the barricade! Heyman calms Lesnar down and they head into the ring.
Paul gives credit to HHH, being the only man he has even known to knock out Lesnar (via sledgehammer and steel steps). He respects him and would shake his hand if HHH were here tonight. However, with that being said, Lesnar and HHH are tied up 1-1, and there needs to be a tiebreaker to determine the true alpha-male of the WWE. With the upcoming “Extreme Rules” PPV, Lesnar, via Heyman. proposes a match that tears flesh, a down-and-dirty, old-school Steel Cage match. Two words for Triple H: Challenge issued.
A burgeoning feud comes to a head; Antonio Cesaro and Kofi Kingston fight it out for the US Championship NEXT!
United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. Kofi Kingston
Out comes Kofi Kingston. WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro is out next and yodels the whole way to the ring…are they really having him delve into Swedish stereotypes to “flesh out” his character?
Kofi goes for a quick roll up but Cesaro kicks out. Cesaro with a shoulder blockand a 2 count. More back and forth. Cesaro with a big clothesline in the corner. Cesaro keeps control and keeps Kofi on the mat. Kofi comes back with chops and a dropkick. Kofi with a big right hand and the Boom Drop. Cesaro ducks Trouble in Paradise and hits a BIG upppercut in mid-air. Cesaro with a 2 count as we go to commercial.
Cesaro presses his boot into Kofi’s neck. Clothesline by Cesaro. Kingston looks for the SOS but Cesaro counters with a headbutt. Short jabs by Cesaro to Kingston. Kingston with the SOS out of nowhere, but Cesaro grabs the ropes to break the pinfall. Back elbow by Cesaro. Kingston hits Trouble In Paradise knocking Cesaro out of the ring. Kingston rolls Cesaro back in, but only gets 2. Kingston heads to the top rope with a crossbody, Cesaro catches him in MID-AIR and hits a nice backbreaker for a near fall. Kingston with a boot right between the eyes. Kingston counters the Neutralizer into a sunset flip and a sequence of roll ups by Kingston. Kingston rolls Cesaro up to his feet and hits Trouble In Paradise! Three count! New champion!
Winner and NEW US Champion: Kofi Kingston
Post-match, Kofi on the mic, saying he has brought the US Championship “back home.”
Cole, King and JBL bring up Money In The Bank and flash us back to last week, where we see Dolph’s historic cash-in on an injured Alberto Del Rio and his World Title victory in front of the raucous, overwhelmingly pro-Ziggler crowd in the IZOD Center. He, CR-A.J. and Big E. Langston are WALKING to the ring as we hear from the NEW World Champion NEXT!
Justin Roberts introduces the NEW World Champion Dolph Ziggler as he, AJ, and Big E. make their way to the ring. Dolph on the mic and he gets straight to the point, saying how it’s the greatest single moment in RAW history, and questions how he can top himself. He is the most charismatic, the most flamboyant, and he simply does it better than anyone else. He doesn’t care that some people boo; they should remember when someone scores during a NFL game or what Louisville did during the NCAA Finals, they showed off. That’s what you do when you are simply better than anyone else.
Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo, both hobbling, make their way out to the ring. Del Rio did pride ZIggler on his cash-in and victory, but he wants his rematch right here, right now. Ziggler tries to beg off, but Vickie Guerrero is out and asks for a ref because the match is on! Here comes a ref…
Before anything can happen though, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger interrupt. Colter says if not for Swagger tearing Del Rio apart, Ziggler would not have cashed in and won the World Title. Swagger is a Real American and a Real Champion, not ZIggler, and Del Rio certainly doesn’t deserve a second chance. Del Rio initially fights off Swagger when he hits the ring. Langston puts himself between an eager Del Rio and Ziggler. Swagger drags Del Rio to the post, however, and bashes his leg before putting Del Rio in the Patriot Lock. Officials pull Swagger off, but the damage looks to be done as Ziggler and company simply look on.
The tag champs, Kane and “El Beardo Magnifico” Daniel Bryan, are WALKING to the ring, as they are in action, NEXT!
Swagger’s assault on Del Rio is recapped, and we see Del Rio being worked on in the Trainer’s Room.
Non-Title Match: WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. The Primetime Players
HUGE match for next week: The Brothers of Destruction reunite as Team Hell No & The Undertaker in a rare RAW appearance form up to combat the Shield in 6-man tag team action!
Bryan starts out hot with some blistering kicks to Titus and a big one gets a two count. Tag out to Darren Young, who takes down Bryan with a clothesline. Bryan brought to the Players’ corner, where Titus tags in and tags Bryan with some boots. Titus with a nice rib breaker and a fall-away slam. Young tags in, but Bryan counters him and makes the hot tag to Kane, who cleans house on the Primetime Players. He sends Titus to the floor, where Bryan takes out the “Real Deal” with a diving knee. Kane goozles Young, hits the chokeslam, and Bryan hits the “Flying Goat” headbutt for the quick victory.
Winners: Team Hell No
As Team Hell No celebrates, we find out next Ryback’s reasoning for shell-shocking John Cena NEXT!
We’re given a recap of Ryback shell-shocking Cena. We go to Ryback, who starts out by bringing up WM 29, how Cena was at the top of his career, finding redemption and the WWE Championship by beating the Rock, and Ryback finding himself at his lowest point. That being said, each of them only have one way to go, Cena down, Ryback up. Ryback says Cena must be wondering why. Ryback said he had no choice after everything he’s been through. Ryback says he found himself staring up from the bottom of the ladder again and that wasn’t going to happen. Ryback talks about Cena bring a friend to him last year and even giving him his title shot when injured. Ryback says he isn’t a sidekick. If Cena is Superman, say hello to the kryptonite. Ryback asks Cena where he was when he was attacked by The Shield and robbed of the WWE Title, when he backed Cena up against the Shield every time. Ryback says Cena got lucky at the Royal Rumble when he eliminated him to get the WrestleMania spot. Ryback says he is the biggest threat to Cena’s title reign, ever. Ryback…rules.
Despite being a little long-winded and the small “Boring” chants I heard, this is Ryback’s best promo thus far. Cuts straight to the heart of the matter and brings up Cena’s tunnel-vision going into WrestleMania.
We recap Brock Lesnar’s decimation of 3MB and challenge to Triple H for a Steel Cage match at Extreme Rules.
As Wade Barrett makes his way to the ring, we find out this Wednesday on Main Event, there will be a 10-man battle royal to determine the new #1 Contender to Barrett’s IC Championship.
Non-Title Match: IC Champion Wade Barrett vs. R-Truth
A brief exchange between the two to start the match. Barrett gets a cheap shot to Truth’s arm out of the corner. He drops an elbow for a two count. Barrett with more offense in the corner to Truth, and he covers for 2. Truth counters the Winds of Change into a roll-up for 2. He gets a big boot from Barrett, but ducks the clothesline. Truth starts to fire up, but misses the scissor kick and gets clipped in the leg. Truth floats out of Barrett’s pumphandle and hits the What’s Up! for the surprise three count!
Team Brickie in the back discussing Del Rio’s condition. Teddy Long comes in, and says he’s already made a match with Dolph Ziggler facing an extra-motivated Jack Swagger. Vickie questions if Booker T knows, and Teddy admits that he doesn’t.
Let’s go Fandango-ing! The man himself is on Raw later tonight.
Rhodes Scholars vs. Great Khali & Santino Marella
Before the match, Rhodes and Sandow bring up how they are the proverbial “dwarfs upon the shoulders of giants”, bringing decency to a den of ignorance such as Greenville.
Khali and Sandow start things out. Khali strikes first and hits a big chop in the corner. Cody tags in. Santino also comes in and does some comedy. Cody goes to work on him and beats him down. Cody tags in Sandow for some double teaming. Cody comes back in to keep the attack on Santino up. Santino eventually hits Cobra on Sandow. Hornswoggle hits a mini Cobra on Cody while on the floor. Cody grabs Hornswoggle but Khali makes the save. Sandow rolls up Santino from behind for the win.
Winners: Rhodes Scholars
Up next, we go a-Fandangoing!
In the ring with Jerry Lawler. King brings up Fandango’s success at Mania and the overwhelming social media sensation of “Fandango-ing”, from cheerleaders to PETA to fans on the street and on the subway. Lawler introduces Fandango, who dances his way to the ring with his lovely dancer lady. Fandango asks Lawler how his hips are doing and if he can move them. Lawler thinks twice about dancing and goes back to commentary.
Fandango asks the crowd who wants to go Fandangoing with him and gets a decent reaction. Fandango tries to get the crowd hype. Fandango wants the fans to pronounce his name correctly before they all start Fandangoing. Parts of the crowd try to get his theme going but it’s nowhere close to last week. Fandango says it’s obvious the fans can’t pronounce his name correctly. He says they can all go Fandango themselves. Okayyyyyy.
Backstage with Matt Striker, John Cena says he isn’t hard to find and will be in the ring waiting for Ryback to come and find him.
Swagger and Colter make their way to the ring as Jack faces the World Champ, NEXT!
Non-Title Match: World Champion Dolph Ziggler w/AJ Lee & Big E. Langston vs. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter
According to Teddy Long, if Swagger picks up a win here, he is the #1 Contender for the World Championship. Methinks Booker’s not gonna like Teddy going over his head here.
Dolph and Jack feel each other out to start to match. Dolph dodges and weaves out of Swagger’s holds, before bitch-slapping Jack, which fires him up. Swagger chases Dolph out of and back into the ring, where Dolph beats down on Swagger. Jack comes back and drives Ziggler back into the corner and delivers knee strikes to Dolph. He nails a clothesline and a shot to the back. Swagger whips Ziggler hard to the corner, but Dolph gets an elbow up. He hits a neckbreaker for two, but Swagger surprises him with the Patriot Lock. Dolph finds the ropes. Swagger drops Ziggler on the ropes, and clothesline him hard to the floor.
Swagger misses a shoulder block into the ring post. Ziggler with a fist to the midsection and a roll up for 2. Swagger with a belly to belly suplex for another pin attempt. More back and forth. Ziggler nails a big swinging DDT for a near fall. Ziggler goes for the Fame-asser, but Swagger gets him into the powerbomb postion, hangs him up on the top rope, and rolls up Ziggler for the surprise non-title win.
Winner: Jack Swagger
After the match, Swagger and Colter are standing on the stage when Del Rio attacks Swagger from behind. He throws him into the set and superkicks him off the stage. Del Rio uses the stage to apply a cross armbreaker. Officials come out and break the hold as Zeb yells at Ricardo. Del Rio taunts Ziggler, who is still in the ring.
Cena plans to confront Ryback in the ring later tonight, but coming up next, we hear from the self-proclaimed “Best in the World” CM Punk for the first time since WM 29!
Striker backstage with Sheamus, but Mark Henry cuts off the Irishman with a spear through the set. “THAT’S WHAT I DO!” He barks off at officials as they tell him to leave.
Punk’s music hits, and the Chicago native comes out with Paul Heyman in tow, looking a little worse for wear given his physical match with Taker. He takes in the “CM Punk” chants, seemingly speechless for a few moments.
For 434 days as WWE Champion, he could never enjoy the ride because he was always looking around the corner for the next challenge. He was always looking for the next big obstacle. He found one in The Rock, and even after, when he lost the title, he wanted a greater challenge, and he felt he found that in challenging the streak of the Undertaker at WrestleMania. He took the Dead Man to the limit…and Punk seems unable to finish the sentence as dueling “Undertaker” and “CM Punk” chants ring through the Greenville crowd. Punk hugs Heyman and hands the mic off to him as Punk walks off with a lost look in his eyes and Heyman looks on, befuddled by Punk’s unusual lack of verbosity as the man walks out of the arena.
Backstage with Booker T and Teddy. Booker takes Teddy to task for overstepping his bounds. Del Rio may be injured, but he has a title shot, as does Swagger. Both will get their shot at Extreme Rules in a Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Non-Title Match: Divas Champion Kaitlyn vs. Nikki Bella w/Brie Bella
Nikki is wrestling while Brie cheers her on from ringside. Lots of back and forth in the match. Nikki takes control and puts a knee in Kaitlyn’s back. Nikki with pin attempts and more offense.
Kaitlyn tries to fight back but Nikki keeps control. Nikki slams her head into the mat. Kaitlyn fights up with Nikki on her back and rams her into the corner. Kaitlyn with clotheslines now. Kaitlyn hits a shoulder tackle and a clothesline in the corner. Nikki kicks her knee out and covers for another 2 count. Kaitlyn comes back with a big knee to the gut. The Bellas pull “Twin Magic” and Brie gets the pin on Kaitlyn.
Is it sad that I found the (slightly offensive) commentary more entertaining than this match?
Winner: “Nikki” (Brie) Bella
Ryback MARCHES to the ring as his confrontation with John Cena is NEXT!
We’re reminded about the HUGE 6-man tag with the Shield vs. Team Hell No and the Undertaker next week from London.
A recap of the handicap match with Sheamus, Orton and Big Show segues into Mark Henry ambushing Sheamus in the back later in the night. This Friday, Henry and Show take on the Celtic Vipers in a big tag team main event.
The NEW WWE Champion John Cena makes his way to the ring, all smiles with the usual split reaction. “DA CHAMP IS HERRRRE!” The Ryback is back there, so Cena’s calling him out right now. Ryback obliges, and marches to the ring.
Ryback paces back and forth in front of Cena. He sees what everyone sees: Destruction. Where Ryback goes, people get hurt. Cena should be scared, but he’s not. Ryback made his statement and showed what kind of man he is. Cena made an open challenge to anyone for the WWE Title. Ryback did…nothing. He waited until Cena’s back was turned, then this week, he showed a highlight reel of excuses. He knocked Cena down once and he thinks he’s the biggest threat? Cena’s faced men like HBK, HHH and Orton, and those are his friends. Friends are something, but the WWE Title is everything. Ryback lacks the two critical things to being a threat: The space between his ears and the piece between his legs. Ooooh, that one stung with the crowd. A week ago, Ryback took Cena down and held the championship belt for a few minutes. Cena thinks they should do this differently and says to take him down to his face and see if he deserves a title shot. They face off intensely for a few moments before Ryback walks off amidst boos from the crowd.
The Shield’s music hits, and both Cena and Ryback freeze up as the dangerous trio make their way to the ring. Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins look between the two men and decide to go after Cena. As they beat him down, Ryback simply looks on. Cena initially fights back, but the 3-on-1 is too much and Cena ends up triple powerbombed by Reigns and company. Ryback stands at the top of the stage and then walks off as the Shield stand tall over Cena.
Credit: Ken Hill