Raw: Cena, Orton face off yet again in L.A.
NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
Probably since they entered the WWE during the same year, we've seen John Cena and Randy Orton do battle tons of times. Tonight they'll do it again, but hopefully not too many more times after this. It's Raw, it's live from Los Angeles, and it's about to start.
Tonight’s very special guest star Betty White is led out by Big Show, and she says she’s going to kick some ass tonight. No, really. The Authority quickly comes out, and Stephanie McMahon greets White with a hug before she and Triple H go all the way down to the ring. The Game wants to clear up some confusion from last week, specifically when it comes to Daniel Bryan. He talks about reconsidering who should be the face of the WWE, but his speech is brought to a halt by the arrival of WWE Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. Stephanie thinks he should be preparing for his match tonight, but he’s been doing some thinking, and he wants to apologize to her and Triple H. Randy says he’s been childish, selfish, foolish, and maybe some other -ish words, and that he needs to bring the Viper for the rest of his championship reign. How can they trust him? Is this change of heart coming because of the pressure the fans are bringing by their vocal support of Bryan? No, Orton claims he simply wants to be the face of the WWE both in and out of the ring. The crowd explodes as Bryan comes out to dispute the idea that Orton is the heart and soul of the WWE. Steph doesn’t appreciate the interruptions from either man, saying they should make appointments with the Director of Operations. Bryan reminds her that Kane failed to intervene in his match last week, when he defeated Orton. He isn’t looking for an appointment with Kane, he wants a match with Kane tonight. Hilariously, Steph says Kane is on administrative leave and has a strongly worded letter of reprimand in his personnel file. Bryan and Orton do some more verbal sparring until Triple H unveils his plan to do what’s best for business and give Bryan the night off. He’s not happy about that, leading the fans in a “No!” chant.
Match 1 - Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Wyatt Family
The faces grab the early advantage in this one before a none-too-surprising commercial break. That changes during the ads, as Goldust is taking a beating from Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. Cody saves his big brother, but the Bizarre One is still in trouble. He manages to hit Harper with a power slam and powers his way to tag in Mysterio. Rey nails Harper with a tornado DDT, forcing a save from Bray Wyatt, and he hits a 619 before getting bogged down in chaos outside the ring. Bodies are strewn all over, and Mysterio runs right into the Sister Abigail. That’s a win for the Wyatt Family, and Bray says he’s got a new plan that’s about to win. Follow the buzzards.
A video package recaps the big night Roman Reigns had in the Royal Rumble. The Shield tells Renee Young that they will destroy the Wyatts when they meet, and Dean Ambrose takes offense to questions about the fact that he hasn’t defended his U.S. title in like forever. The reverse psychology works, as Ambrose announces he’ll make an open challenge for a title shot tonight. Elsewhere, the Divas and Vickie Guerrero talk to White, and the New Age Outlaws stop by to escort her away for tea.
Match 2 - Santino Marella vs. Fandango
The Miz stomps his way over to the announce table to act pissy for the second straight week about not getting a match over the two guys currently in the ring. Fandango gets the win with his typically big top rope leg drop.
New interviewer Byron Saxton is in the locker room with Sheamus. The Celtic Warrior is excited to be back, and he’s got no problem teaming with Christian tonight even though they’ll be competing against each other at Elimination Chamber. He promises he’ll kick anyone’s teeth in for a chance to become champion again.
Christian doubts that he’s poster boy material, even though his mom seems to think so. Nevertheless, he’s like to be champion again.
Match 3 - Sheamus and Christian vs. The Real Americans
Could there be cracks forming in Zeb Colter’s mini-stable because of the opportunity Antonio Cesaro is getting? Maybe so, but the fans have a “We the people!” chant going anyway. Christian and Sheamus work well together to keep Cesaro off-balance, but Cesaro is able to turn the tables and dump Sheamus out to the floor before a commercial break. Christian gets tagged in and gets a two count on Cesaro with a sunset flip. He scores with a reverse elbow off the turnbuckle but runs into a big uppercut and has to kick out from several near falls. Jack Swagger enters the fray and keeps the pressure on Christian, who ends up becoming the victim of a Cesaro Swing. Sheamus is tagged back in to rain down blows to Swagger’s chest, and Cesaro gets some too. Christian comes off the top rope with a cross body to stop Swagger from applying the Patriot Lock, and Sheamus finished him with a Brogue Kick.
Young gets a word with John Cena, who vows to end his long rivalry with Orton with a victory tonight. He puts over the guys who represent the future of the WWE but says they’ll have to go through him to get to the top.
Match 4 - Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio
If there’s any doubt that Ziggler continues to be buried, this should end it. Del Rio runs through Ziggler in easy fashion, winning in just a few minutes. I guess ADR is going to keep feuding with Batista? Del Rio returns after the bell and locks on the cross armbreaker, getting the attention of the Animal. Batista hits a spear on Del Rio and sends him hard into the steel steps. The fans boo him, but they change their tune when Batista clears off the announce table. A Batista Bomb sends Del Rio through the table with authority.
Triple H stops Batista backstage and cautions him about keeping the carnage in the ring for the sake of what’s best for business. Right now, the Animal says Del Rio is his business. The Game says Dave can have a match against Alberto at Elimination Chamber, but Batista still thinks things have changed since last time he was in WWE.
The newest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014 is… Lita. Well deserved, I’d say. Backstage, the Outlaws have their tea with White.
Spoilers for the movie Pompeii that has a trailer during this commercial break: the volcano erupts and buries the city. There, I just saved you 105 minutes.
Match 5 - Curtis Axel and Ryback vs. The Usos
Done with tea, the New Age Outlaws join the commentators to denigrate the Usos a bit. Road Dogg doesn’t think they’re up to the level of the Samoan teams of the past. Billy Gunn looks a little sick. Could White have done something to his tea? Jey Uso makes a tag while flying out to the floor to take out Ryback, and his brother hits a top rope splash to pin Axel. The Outlaws go to confront the Usos after the bell, but Billy heads to the back in what looks like it’s going to be a Peter Griffin-style photo finish.
Match 6 - Dean Ambrose (champion) vs. Mark Henry (challenger) - United States Championship Match
Ambrose looks pretty distraught about the World’s Strongest Man answering his challenge, and his Shield teammates seem amused. They do stay ringside as the match begins. Henry hits a big boot and tosses Ambrose around. Dean takes the brace off Mark’s injured arm but still gets thrown out to the floor. Pause for commercials. Henry eventually hits a World’s Strongest Slam, but Seth Rollins interferes, and Ambrose retains his title even though he loses the match by DQ. The Wyatt Family shows up after the match, causing the Shield to turn around and head back to the ring. A showdown looks like it’s brewing between the two stables as they hop up on opposite sides of the apron. Turns out to be just a tease of what’s to come.
Wiz Khalifa and former UFC fighter Stephan Bonnar are in the house. A highlight package for Bobo Brazil is shown in honor of Black History Month.
Match 7 - The Bella Twins and Cameron vs. AJ Lee, Aksana and Alicia Fox
Aksana keeps the pressure on Brie Bella, double teaming her with the help of Fox. Alicia takes it to the mat, bending Brie back painfully before eating a dropkick. Cameron hits a big DDT that ends up being enough to keep Aksana down for the three count.
The tale of the tape is shown for tonight’s main event between Cena and Orton. That’s cool and all, but the fact remains that we’ve seen this match more than a few times.
A video promo heralds the coming of the Bulgarian Brute, Alexander Rusev. We’ve already seen a bit of what he can do at the Royal Rumble.
Kane comes to the ring to accept his punishment, but Bryan isn’t in the mood to hear the Director of Operations speak. They brawl in and out of the ring, and Kane heads into the crowd once Bryan gets the upper hand.
White says she hasn’t been around so many shirtless men in tiny trunks since… last night. She wants to get to the main event.
Main Event - John Cena vs. Randy Orton
A hip toss gets Cena the first pinfall attempt, and the Viper slithers out to the floor to regroup. It happens again soon after, though this time Orton heads halfway up the ramp to gather his wits. That does the trick, as the champ ambushes Cena with repeated right hands. Cena responds in kind and follows with a bulldog for two. Orton uses a series of stomps and kicks to slow Cena until a vertical suplex gets reversed. A charge into the corner misses as Orton steps out of the way. He follows Cena to the floor, bouncing him off the second announce table and the barricade. Pose for the crowd and cut to commercials. Orton is feeling it now, suplexing his old foe back into the ring off the apron and covering for two. An Attitude Adjustment is countered with a DDT, earning the champ another near fall. Cena takes advantage of Orton’s momentary lapse in concentration with his usual build-up to the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Another Attitude Adjustment is countered, this time with a backbreaker, but it’s still not enough to win the match. Orton gets sent flying out to the floor, but he returns to hit a power slam. Cena kicks out yet again. Orton delivers his trademark elevated DDT, then takes some time to rant to the fans. He calls for the RKO but takes too long and ends up in the STF. Orton makes the ropes to break the hold. He misses the punt but connects with the RKO, and Cena kicks out anyway. Orton returns the favor by kicking out of the AA, and...now what? How about an AA off the top rope? Orton escapes that fate but eats a top rope leg drop on the back of his neck, followed by a second AA that finally earns Cena the victory. The rivalry is over, for now anyway. See you in seven!