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   April 17, 2014



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Raw: Ryback rules as The Shield serves up justice again
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


We’re getting right to the action tonight, as Raw comes to us from Columbus, Ohio. Let’s not waste any time then, we’re heading to the ring as Raw is live again on USA.

Match 1 – Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Zeb Colter vs. Big E Langston

The winner of this match gets to earn his boss a choice of stipulation for the World Heavyweight Championship match at Extreme Rules. Hmm... I wonder if there's a betting favorite for this one. Big E has the other two fairly intimidated, to the point where Colter feigns an injury. Rodriguez tries some foreign object shots that don't even faze Langston. Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and AJ all get involved, and the whole mess ends with Ricardo rolling up Zeb to get the pinfall.

It's World Wish Day, meaning the most recent Make A Wish kids get to come out on stage with John Cena. Pretty cool, you have to admit. Cena encourages the fans to hit the website to find out how they can contribute to the effort. He also dubs the three boys honorary WWE Superstars: The Eliminator, Nick the Stitch and Lightning Logan.

Match 2 – Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

Rhodes is feeling pretty good about himself early, but Orton slowly takes control of the proceedings. And Orton continues beating on his former stablemate until Rhodes finally manages a dropkick for his first near fall. The announcers seem to be getting a bit rammy during his one too. Cody heads to the floor, where he's promptly felled by a running clothesline. He pulls himself together in time to counter an RKO back in the ring, a development so dramatic that it sends us to a commercial break. Wouldn't you know it, Rhodes has the upper hand when we come back. Must be the mustache. Orton rallies with a very slow and dramatic superplex for two. He hits his rope-aided DDT as well, but Orton connects with a Cross Rhodes that nearly wins it. An incredulous Rhodes lines up for the Disaster Kick, but Orton counters with an RKO to pick up the victory. After the bell, Matt Striker asks about Big Show's betrayal at WrestleMania, which Orton says has him feeling as focused and extreme as ever. To back up his point, he senses Cody rising and coming at him from behind and drops him with another RKO.

The Bella Twins talk about their upcoming reality show on E. Sounds intellectually stimulating! Oh look, a sneak peek too. Thanks for that.

Match 3 – Naomi vs. Brie Bella

Matches like this are why there needs to be a female version of The Shield. Brie gets a quick win thanks to some twin magic, but Cameron is able to convince the referee of what happened and he reverses the decision to a DQ victory for Naomi. All four women hit the ring, and the Bellas end up getting the last laugh.

No one has been able to stop The Shield's quest for justice so far, as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are more than willing to remind us, complete with exclusive still images (#Really). Last week they even force fed justice to The Undertaker. Rest in peace Deadman. See, justice doesn't care who you are, and when it calls, you better answer. Or something like that. One group of guys is evidently not getting the message, and it's 3MB. The band may have bitten off more than it can chew – okay, it definitely has – but reinforcements arrive in the form of Kane and Daniel Bryan. In the back, reluctant partners Cena and Ryback talk smack to each other, and we find out Ryback can't take the chance that John is healthy enough to go in the main event. Wonder what that means, eh?

Oh yeah we're shilling for Domino's Pizza now. Did you know you can track your pizza online, even the new slow-baked pan pizza? #Amazing

Match 4 – Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston

It's a champion versus champion match, though no belts are on the line and we have an early commercial break. There's also a discussion about whether AJ calls Dolph Zigglepuff or Zigglypuff. Ain't love grand? Ziggler shows off as he hits a neckbreaker on Kingston, but he misses on a leap into the corner. Kofi builds momentum with a series of moves that ends with a Boom Drop. Ziggler ducks Trouble in Paradise and gets a near fall with a modified DDT. Kingston fires back with an SOS for his own two count. Ziggler is right back in trouble but ges bailed out by AJ. Big E tries reviving Dolph on the floor, but Kofi comes off the apron and takes them both down. Next it's a cross body off the top for Kingston, but that's still not enough. Back and forth they go, with both men nearly getting roll-ups before Kingston misses another move off the top rope. Ziggler nails the Zig Zag and gets a hard earned win.

Team Show Off is in self-congratulatory mode backstage when AJ gets confronted by Kaitlyn. She also gets a gift from a secret admirer. Michael Cole says it's not him.

A video package replays Triple H's acceptance of Brock Lesnar's challenge to a Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules. Here's a hint: it was a painful one for Paul Heyman. In the back, Ryback expresses his displeasure at facing The Shield alone. Guerrero tries to give him Kane and Bryan as partners, but Ryback says no.

Match 5 – Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder

In a not very bright move, Ryder does some pre-match taunting of the way Colter lost the show's opening match. Zack actually gets in quite a bit of offense, but once he's in the Patriot Lock he ends up tapping out faster than Jerry Lawler used to yell “Puppies!” back in the Attitude Era.

During the break, it appeared that Ryback might have left the building. Make of that what you will. In the ring, Mark Henry wants Tensai out there for a tug-of-war. Hey, it used to be an Olympic sport! Sweet T fails to defeat Henry, so Brodus Clay comes out next. He doesn't do any better than his partner, but a third guy wants in on it: Sheamus. Henry initially declines but changes his tune when Sheamus suggests he is scared. Sheamus is about to lose when he drops his end of the rope, sending Henry to the canvas. The World's Strongest Man also gets to suck on a Brogue Kick.

Team Hell No tells Vickie and Brad Maddox that even without Ryback, they want to take on The Shield. She agrees but also gives some super secret instructions to Brad.

I lost my cable for this part of the show, but I can tell you this much: Cena tells Guerrero and Maddox that he's going to be in the main event, injury be damned, and Del Rio beats Antonio Cesaro before letting us know that he's picked a Ladder Match as the stipulation at Extreme Rules.

It's the moment you've all been waiting for: a dance contest between Great Khali and Fandango. We also find out Fandango thought Chris Jericho was “clumsy” when he was on Dancing With the Stars. The fans get to vote on the winner, and when they favor Khali, it brings out the other side of Fandango. A big top rope leg drop puts Khali down for the count.

Main Event – John Cena and Team Hell No vs. The Shield

Kane starts out against Ambrose in a preview of their upcoming SmackDown singles match. Well it's never really singles when we are talking about The Shield, but you know what I mean. Rollins tags in and gets in some offense before eating a big boot and getting stuck in the wrong corner. Cena gets in and starts working over Ambrose before seamlessly giving way to Bryan to do more of the same. Ambrose has to kick out from a right hand by Kane, and he takes a bunch of kicks to the chest from Bryan. Daniel gives Dean the inverted surfboard, though he ducks under Kane's top rope lariat and gets Rollins back into the fray. Commercial time. Bryan is the one in trouble now, as The Shield won't allow him to get anywhere near his team's corner. Naturally, he eventually gets to tag Kane in, and the Big Red Machine looks like he's going to send Ambrose through the announce table. Numbers finally get to Kane on the floor, and he barely beats the count to get back in the ring. Ambrose taunts the monster and receives his just deserts in the form of a choke slam. Cena tags in and drops the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but his injured knee gives out and leaves him a sitting duck for a spear by Reigns. The Shield gets another win, and Ryback looks on from the ramp as the show goes off the air for this week. See you in seven!