May 7, 2013
Raw: Lesnar and Heyman pay Triple H an office visit
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
What were Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman doing at WWE corporate headquarters? Why did Ryback walk out on John Cena last week? Agh, so many questions! And the place to get answers is on Raw, so let's go live to Roanoke, Virginia on USA.
Saying to the camera that he's doing better than he was last week, WWE Champion John Cena hits the ring. He claims you can feel the unrest in the WWE Universe, and since everyone has questions, he's going to provide some answers. Specifically, Cena admits that competing in last Monday's main event was probably not the best idea, but his heel injury isn't going to stop him from taking on Ryback at Extreme Rules. Though he hasn't been 100 percent since 2002, it's not going to stop him from defending the title to the best of his ability. Excuse me – Vickie Guerrero has something to screech... er, say. The managing supervisor reminds everyone of the great matches lined up for the PPV, and she wants to get Cena and Ryback's input on their title match. What stipulations do they want? Cena uses the opportunity to mock his buddy turned foe before saying he doesn't care what kind of match they have, unless it's a Vickie Guerrero's Granny Panties on a Pole Match. Ryback thinks it's pretty stupid of Cena to let him pick the stip, but he proceeds to say that he wants it to be a Last Man Standing Match.
Match 1 – Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow does his own version of Orton's entrance theme, changing all the lyrics as only he can. Fantastic. They work through a commercial break, and Sandow seems to be wearing Orton down. A Russian leg sweep sets up the Elbow of Disdain for a two count. Orton's response comes in the form of clotheslines and a power slam, and he also manages to dropkick Sandow while he's coming off the top turnbuckle. Damien is planted with a DDT before stumbling into an RKO, and that, as they say, is that. Except it isn't because Big Show lays out Orton on stage. Where'd he come from? Eh, it's easy for a 7-foot tall, 400-pound guy to hide in the shadows, right?
The feud between Chris Jericho and Fandango isn't over yet. The fans get a “Y2J” chant going as he grabs the microphone and reveals that he is putting a panel of judges together to critique Fandango's performance. He wanted people who know how to kick butt and shake some booty, so he asked Brodus Clay and Sweet T to help him.
Match 2 – Fandango vs. R-Truth
Fandango isn't happy that “Christopher” is judging him just because he was on Dancing With the Stars. That doesn't stop the 1s and 2s coming from the judges, who have their own table set up next to the announcers. They do like Truth's split, and Fandango has had enough, walking away and getting himself counted out.
Daniel Bryan wants a rematch with Ryback, who scoffs and calls Bryan “half the man” he is. Kane suggests the two of them throw down instead, to which Ryback replies that there's only one monster left in the WWE, and it's not the Big Red one. So that's a no then?
Match 3 – Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Del Rio looks strong early as the announcers debate who might have the edge in the Triple Threat Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship in two weeks. Both men earn near falls before Del Rio gets Ziggler caught in the ropes and delivers repeated forearm shots to the kidneys. Cue Jack Swagger's music, and he heads toward the ring with Zeb Colter in tow. They do a staredown with Big E Langston and we go to more commercials. Del Rio is in a bit of trouble after the break, and we learn that AJ had a hand in that. Swagger does a nice job looking intense as he watches from the announce table (#ActingSkills). Meanwhile, Del Rio hits a pretty awesome looking inverted superplex. He kicks Ziggler in the face and goes for a pin, but Dolph kicks out again at two. A series of reversals ends with the cross armbreaker applied, and Langston is forced to intervene. Big E sends Del Rio into Swagger before getting thrown into the ring post in response. Swagger pulls a ladder from beneath the ring and ends up using it on Ricardo Rodriguez, Ziggler and Del Rio. I'm not certain who was declared the winner, if anyone, but this match is over.
WWE and Yahoo! have something special in store for this summer. Stay tuned. In the back, Natalya, Cameron and Naomi tease Kaitlyn about her secret admirer. How about we send Great Khali undercover in the men's locker room to find out who it is? Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.
Match 4 – The Shield vs. Kofi Kingston and The Usos
Seems kind of random to have The Usos in there, but I guess The Shield is running out of other teams to wrestle. JBL is going all out comparing Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to the Freebirds. A Samoan Drop to Rollins finally gets the faces a breather, and Kingston runs wild as he is tagged in for the first time. He wants Trouble in Paradise on Ambrose but has to settle for a high cross body instead. All six men get involved, and Kofi ends up getting thrown off the top rope. Ambrose hits his headlock driver finisher and The Shield wins again.
Match 5 – Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder
Poor Zack. He's close to becoming a full time jobber at this point. He gets in about two offensive moves between getting thrown around by Cesaro, and a Neutralizer ends his short night. Cesaro is unimpressed with that kind of competition, saying he puts the 'W' in WWE. No one can hold a candle to him in the ring, he says, but he'll get a chance to prove it when he takes on Orton on Main Event later this week.
Heyman appears live via satellite to give us “exclusive” footage of their trip to WWE headquarters. Love the décor in there, by the way. They're upset because there are no posters of Lesnar anywhere. After a bit of a search, they find Triple H's office and proceed to wreck the place. Ah, I get it: it's a preview of the kind of destruction that HHH can expect when he's locked inside a cage with Lesnar. Heyman claims he ironically has to be the voice of reason when Lesnar goes into a rage, discouraging him from further carnage. But after The Game hit him with a Pedigree, Heyman says he's going to encourage his client to maim Triple H at Extreme Rules. His description of how far Lesnar will go is interrupted by the man himself, as Trips heads to the ring. He doubts Heyman and Lesnar really expected him to be in Stamford on a Monday since he was going to be in his other office for Raw. That'd be the ring, and Triple H suggests that if Lesnar has something to say to him, he can visit him in his other office.
Match 6 – The Bella Twins and AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn and the Funkadactyls
In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't pay much attention to this one. AJ gets pinned and the faces win.
Mark Henry comes out to accuse Sheamus of acting tough, while he is tough. He also isn't thrilled that the fans are giving him the “What?” treatment. Footage is shown of Henry's various assaults on the Celtic Warrior over the last few weeks. He challenges Sheamus to a match at Extreme Rules, and it appears the Great White is going to give him an answer in person. Sheamus cheerfully shows his own video, painting himself in a much better light with a couple of recent Brogue Kicks to the World's Strongest Man. Henry calls Sheamus full of jokes and says he better be serious in two weeks. But why wait? Both men are willing to go right now, but Sheamus is already scheduled to take on Wade Barrett.
Match 7 – Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett
Henry joins the announcers, but all that gets him is yet another Brogue Kick when the action goes to the floor. Medical types check on him, yet there's still a match going on back in the ring. Barrett looks for the Bull Hammer but gets scooped right into White Noise. A Brogue Kick ends Barrett's night, but Henry comes in right after the bell and starts whipping Sheamus with a belt. Mark also hits a World's Strongest Slam on the floor, rhetorically asking “How funny is that?”
Main Event – Kane vs. Ryback
Ryback can't just run through Kane, though he does clothesline the masked man out to the floor. Kane takes the worst of it out there before one last commercial opportunity. They go toe to toe when we return until Kane gets a two count with a DDT. Ryback catches him coming out of a corner with a slam, but Kane manages a suplex for another near fall. Now Kane wants to fly, but Ryback says no by crotching him on the top rope. The Shell Shock follows, and Ryback rules, as he might say. After the bell, Bryan comes out to check on his partner, The Shield begins to approach the ring, and Cena runs down to join them all. Ryback re-enters the ring with a steel chair, but he uses it on Cena, not The Shield. He stands triumphant over Cena's body as Raw calls it a wrap for this week. See you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk has never been approached by an angry wrestler in his office but does remember a time a college basketball player as tall as a wrestler angrily came looking for his writing partner at the newspaper office. Good times. Follow Nick on Twitter or Google+ or give him a shout via email.