SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   July 24, 2014



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

Raw in Miami


Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame inductions


WWE Battleground


ROH in Detroit


Smackdown & Main Event in Ottawa


Raw in Montreal


WWE in Kingston







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT





Raw: Yes, the WrestleMania card gets a big twist
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


Raw rolls into Memphis tonight, but the only city on the minds of the wrestling world is New Orleans. With WrestleMania XXX less than a month away, what plot twists might still be in store? Let's find out together live on USA.

Tonight’s show begins with an appearance from the host of WrestleMania XXX, Hulk Hogan. Seems he’s been reliving some of his favorite WrestleMania moments, and he says doing so (with the help of the WWE Network, naturally) gave him a historic idea: a 30-man over the top battle royal for the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy. That’s pretty cool, as it appears to be a real thing. John Cena joins him, paying some sincere lip service to the idea. More than that, he wants to be the first person to declare himself a contestant in the battle royal. Someone else may have something to say about that though, and that someone is Bray Wyatt. The leader of the Wyatt Family says he’s always been fascinated by pride, calling it his favorite sin. Calling Hogan and Cena liars, Wyatt declares hope dead, the same way Cena’s legacy will be for tangling with the self-professed god. Cena tries deciphering the psychobabble and delivers some barbs set to the tune of “Margaritaville.” He challenges Wyatt to a match at WrestleMania, but it appears Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are going to get physical with Cena and Hogan right now. Commercial time!

Match 1 - John Cena vs. Erick Rowan

Hogan stays in Cena’s corner while the announcers stumble over exactly what we’re going to call the Andre the Giant Memorial. Rowan’s strength gives Cena some issues, particularly when he applies a big bear hug. That goes for naught when Cena surprises him with a roll-up pin that gets him a quick victory. Don’t play that entrance music for long though, because here come Rowan and Harper onto the apron. Wyatt calls them off, bringing some boos from the fans who apparently wanted to see Hogan throw some old school right hands with the 24-inch pythons. Both men play to the crowd as only they can do.

Stephanie McMahon wants everyone to know that she and Triple H are going to lead by example. While they very easily could fire Daniel Bryan for his actions last week, they’re going to be the bigger people and apologize in exchange for the popular superstar doing the same in return. As long as Bryan admits he’s not man enough to be in the ring with Triple H, everything will be fine. Enjoy the rest of the show!

Match 2 - The Usos vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback

The New Age Outlaws join the announcers for this one, offering plenty of excuses for why they dropped the tag team titles to the Usos. They were injured, don’t you know? The Usos do their flying tag thing, and a splash finishes off Axel in short order. Oh, and there was a taunting crotch chop in mid-splash there too.

Kane tells the Shield that they need to talk. He chides them for not sticking together and following it by airing their dirty laundry on SmackDown in a “most unprofessional manner.” Pointing to the loss of the tag belts to the Rhodes brothers as the moment when the first cracks began appearing in the Shield, Kane wants Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to try avenging that loss. Rollins wonders if the Director of Operations is simply trying to deflect criticism away from his repeated losses to Bryan, and Reigns hints that they’ll exorcise any “demon” that gets in their way. Point made.

Match 3 - Big E vs. Jack Swagger

Swagger tells Zeb Colter before the match, “I got this.” Somehow, I think not. That feeling turns out to be correct when Big E rolls up Swagger to get the pin, a turn of events that brings nothing but laughter from Cesaro. Swagger gets right in the face of the Swiss Superman, forcing Colter to go ballistic. He wants the Real Americans to shake hands and bury the hatchet, but that plan goes awry when Cesaro’s handshake proves to be a painful one. This isn’t over. Oh no.

The Undertaker makes his ever dramatic entrance, and he’s soon joined by Paul Heyman from the safety of the ramp. Putting “The Streak” in perspective, Heyman mentions a who’s who of former champions and legends who never even won five WrestleMania matches in a row -- with Hogan, Cena, Triple H and Shawn Michaels among them. Because of that, Paul asks the Undertaker not to step into the ring with Brock Lesnar in New Orleans, because the people who worship the Streak are going to be heartbroken when it ends. The Undertaker responds by saying that while the fear of death is worse than death itself, the fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all. He tells Heyman to advise Lesnar that if he shows up for their match, he will … (wait for it) … rest in peace.

Match 4 - Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Shield (Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins)

Dean Ambrose is ringside to support his teammates, but that hasn’t necessarily been a good thing for them as of late. Rollins has the upper hand on Rhodes pretty much from the opening bell, though Cody is able to tag in his big brother to hit a variety of offense against Reigns. The brothers fly out to the floor to take out both of their opponents before we step out for ads.The Shield members are able to tilt things back in their favor, with Goldust taking the brunt of their assault. His power slam slows Reigns, and he’s able to crawl over to tag Rhodes. Cody’s moonsault almost pins Rollins, and Reigns has to make the save after another high impact maneuver. Rollins evades the Cross Rhodes and the Disaster Kick and power bombs Cody in the corner, leading to the Black Out that gets the win for the Shield.

Fans get to vote on the WWE app for the stipulation between Christian and Sheamus: Falls Count Anywhere, Two out of Three Falls, or a Memphis Street Fight. Jerry Lawler is hoping for the last of those.

Match 5 - The Bella Twins vs. AJ Lee and Tamina

Natalya is on guest commentary, answering questions about fighting AJ and dealing with possible interference from Tamina. “Enough is enough and it’s time for a change …” I’ve heard that somewhere before (R.I.P. Owen). In the ring, Nikki counters the Black Widow and pins AJ, a sweet accomplishment that earns her a staredown from Natalya on the apron after the bell.

Whoa, NCIS Los Angeles stars LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell are on hand and in the front row. They joke about which WWE superstars would make good guest stars and put over the show.

The announcers mention Bill Simmons’ love for the WWE Network. I still haven’t subscribed yet, simply because I fear my family and friends will never see me again once I do. Video takes us back through the Cena-Wyatt confrontation from the top of the show.

Bryan is next to hit the ring, hyping up the crowd by mentioning how hot the Yes Movement is in Memphis. He doubts the sincerity of Steph’s apology and has no plans on returning the gesture. Beyond that, he tells Triple H that their issue will end tonight. He and the Yes Movement are going to Occupy Raw. Taking a page from the Stone Cold Steve Austin playbook, he says he’s not leaving the ring until he gets what he wants. But he goes further, inviting people to take the ring with him. Commercial time again. The Authority is forced to address the mob after the break, saying it’s time for reality to crash down on them. The Game gives the people 30 seconds to clear the ring before they’re all arrested. As a counter, Bryan asks what would happen if he just gets all the fans to leave the building. Security is on its way down, with Bryan mocking the fact that there are only two of them. Steph is furious, but there’s simply too many protesters. As Bryan says, “We own this ring!” Triple H wants the show to continue, but Damien Sandow simply pauses on the ramp, unsure of what to do. He and Triple H exchange words, and Stephanie goes off on the disrespect they’re showing her since she owns all of this. Hunter claims he was simply protecting Bryan in the past, and he can’t believe how he’s being repaid. Despite his bluster, Triple H falls prey to the reverse psychology, saying he’ll face Bryan at WrestleMania. But that’s not all Bryan wants. He also wants to fight for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, so he proposes this stipulation: if he beats Triple H, he gets added to the main event, turning it into a Triple Threat Match. The Game is so angry that he says Bryan can have all of it. Wow.

Match 6 - Sheamus vs. Christian - Memphis Street Fight

Come on, you knew this stip was winning the vote. The Memphis aspect has to do with instruments. Both men take some punishment early that has them down long enough for commercials. They make it back to the ring but so far have no weapons in hand. I spoke too soon as Christian gets a kendo stick from underneath the ring. Sheamus’ back shows some welts, but he’s able to fight off the pain and smash Christian with a series of moves. They battle outside the ring, where Sheamus hits the Irish Curse off the steel steps. He throws a bunch of chairs into the ring and grabs a bass drum as well. Christian rallies with some chair shots and hits a chair-aided splash. That looks like it would hit the splasher more than the splashee. Regardless, Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick right through the bass drum and gets the three count. Cool spot, that.

GM Brad Maddox begs Randy Orton and Batista to take care of Bryan for the Authority. Randy is on board, but Batista … not so much. Also, Wyatt accepts Cena’s WrestleMania challenge in his own unique fashion.

Main Event - Big Show and Daniel Bryan vs. Batista and Randy Orton

All we get is intros before the inevitable commercial break. Batista takes it to Bryan after we return, beating him between the ropes and on the outside. The Animal covers but can only get two. Orton takes the baton and keeps up the pressure, and he continues working nicely with Batista even after Big Show is tagged in. Show flips his way out of a Batista Bomb, and Bryan returns to unload on Orton. The Yes Movement cheers on a series of kicks to Orton that end in a near fall. Bryan flies off the top rope for a head butt only to find no one home. Orton ends up in the Yes Lock anyway, and all four men get in on the action. Show gets nailed with an RKO, and suddenly everyone is down. Batista launches a spear that hits Orton instead of Bryan, yet the champ recovers quickly to hit his elevated DDT. Soon after, Bryan is able to connect on the running knee to pin Orton, and he points to the WrestleMania sign in triumph as the show ends. See you in seven!

RELATED LINKS

  • More on WrestleMania 30