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   October 25, 2014



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Raw: Cena-Wyatt and Shield-Evolution feuds heat up before Extreme Rules
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


St. Louis is a great wrestling city, and it's hosting the final Raw before Extreme Rules. You know that it's extreme because there's a steel cage already around the ring. It's time for another scene-setting show, live on USA.

The cage beckons ominously as John Cena takes the ring. He talks about his feud with Bray Wyatt, acknowledging the verbal talents of his foe and seeming to understand why the fans are drawn to him. Cena thinks it’s important to stand up to the charismatic cult leader now, but he’s cut off by a new rendition of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” being sung by a children’s choir. When they get to the end, all of the kids put on lamb masks for an extra creepy twist. Cena looks disturbed, leaving Wyatt to simply laugh in his rocking chair. Jerry Lawler calls the segment “shocking and disturbing.”

Match 1 - The Usos (champions) vs. RyBaxel (challengers) - WWE Tag Team Championship Match

There’s an early commercial break as the announcers discuss how Ryback and Curtis Axel took some time to gel as a team. They’ve come together enough to have Jimmy Uso in trouble and Jey Uso apparently injured. Despite his bad wheel, Jey gets back on the apron and is tagged back in. He manages to gut out his ailment, and the brothers retain their titles.

Michael Cole and Lawler mention the fact that Extreme Rules will not be available on DirecTV or Dish Network, but there’s an easy solution: subscribe to the WWE Network. Also, Wolverine will be here tonight, or at least the man who plays him in movies, Hugh Jackman.

Paul Heyman tells Cesaro that Rob Van Dam got under his skin even though the things said about him weren’t untrue. After that, a video package reminds us that Kane has rediscovered his monstrous side, much to Daniel Bryan’s painful dismay. For now, the mask is back in its case, which means … well, probably that Kane isn’t going to unleash the fury on anyone right this second.

Match 2 - Sheamus vs. Titus O’Neil

Titus assaults Sheamus on the ramp, giving him an early advantage. It doesn’t last. A Brogue Kick darn near beheads O’Neil, and the Celtic Warrior gets another victory.

Get out of the passenger seat and Bolieve! Or don’t, it doesn’t matter to me either way.

Dolph Ziggler is in the ring to plug X-Men: Days of Future Past. That’s the perfect segue to Jackman heading down to the ring. The actor says being involved with the WWE ranks right up there with the coolest stuff he’s done in his career, but Ziggler wants to relive his last appearance, when Jackman punched him in the face. They go to bury the hatchet but are interrupted by Damien Sandow dressed as Magneto. Jackman mocks Sandow’s costume, which seems to be based around a cool zip-up hoodie. Damien tries displaying the power of magnetism, and both Hugh and Dolph play along. Alas, it’s only to get close enough to wallop Sandow and send him packing. Guess he hadn’t quite mastered using his powers to create a magnetic shield yet.

Speaking of shields, the SmackDown recap shows the Shield thwarting the Authority’s plan to make them run the gauntlet. Believe that.

Heyman wants everyone to know that he’s really a funny guy. Oh goodness, he’s going to tell us a joke. It’s not very funny.

Match 3 - Jack Swagger vs. Cesaro

Cesaro shows off his power right away with repeated gutwrench suplexes. Yes folks, he’s pretty strong. Swagger gets a few shots in out on the floor and several near falls when they return to the ring. Heyman and Zeb Colter both get involved, but their participation turns out to be a net negative for Swagger, and Cesaro is able to pick up the win.

Because it wasn’t spooky enough the first time, the footage of Bray Wyatt leading the children’s choir is shown again (#NightmareFuel). Cena is asked for his reaction backstage, but he’s speechless, for once.

Just in case you’re wondering, Kane’s mask is still in its case.

Match 4 - Cody Rhodes vs. Alberto Del Rio

Rhodes gets the better of the early action until Del Rio catches him with a shot to the gut as he’s attempting a springboard move. Del Rio slaps on the cross armbreaker, and with nowhere to go, Cody has to tap out. Goldust tries comforting his little brother after the loss but gets shoved away for his trouble.

Match 5 - Alexander Rusev vs. Xavier Woods

Is this going to be a squash, or will poor Woods actually get in some offense this time? We’ll never know, because R-Truth interferes after just a short burst of action. The ref calls for the bell, though Truth and Woods are able to chase Rusev off by working together.

RVD gets a backstage interview and an intriguing offer from Colter to form an alliance to battle Heyman. Since he has a mind of his own, Van Dam politely refuses.

Match 6 - Los Matadores vs. 3MB (Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre)

This match is really just a sideshow for the battle of the little men, El Torito and Hownswoggle. While the latter helps his teammates win the match, the former gets the last laugh by diving to the outside and landing on 3MB. Fear the bull!

Stephanie McMahon calls Kane’s attack on Bryan last week a senseless tragedy and offers to make it up to the WWE champ if he’ll come out now. Accompanied by his wife, Bryan hits the stage with a wary look on his face. There’s some talk about emotions before Steph continues her claim that she was just trying to motivate Kane, not push him to go as far as he did. Bryan isn’t buying it, going so far as to call McMahon a liar. He promises that even if Kane takes him out on Sunday, he’ll take Kane down with him -- straight to hell. To prove her sincerity, Stephanie offers Brie a Divas title shot and says Bryan can accompany her to the ring. And that match is up next. And … oh crap, the mask is gone from the case!

Match 7 - Brie Bella (challenger) vs. Paige (champion) - Divas Championship Match

Paige gets out to a strong start, punctuating her offense with a bunch of screams. Brie tries going up top, but Paige meets her there and delivers a superplex. The action halts when Kane’s music hits, and Kane tears his way through the right mat to grab Brie. Bryan rushes to the rescue, but he’s quickly sent flying to the floor. Kane attempt to drag Brie away again, but Bryan returns and clocks him in the face with a monkey wrench. That only stops the attack for a moment, as Kane sits up and nails Bryan with a choke slam. Brie barely manages to escape from Kane’s clutches, leaving the Big Red Monster laughing as medical personnel attend to Bryan on the ramp.

Bryan gets checked out by the doctor and Steph gives yet another insincere apology. Brie calls her a bitch and yells for her to get out.

We see the Wyatt segment for the third time, finally getting Cena to comment. He thought maybe the WWE Universe had turned its back on him and discusses the plans he has for Wyatt on Sunday. Hint: they involve a donkey.

Match 8 - Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam - Intercontinental Championship Number One Contender Tournament - Final Match

Van Dam has held the IC belt six times in the past. That’s a lot. The first few minutes of this match are evenly wrestled, but Barrett grabs the upper hand right before we break for commercials. The relatively slow pace favors Barrett, and he gets a close near fall with a neckbreaker. Rob rallies with clotheslines, but Cesaro appears on the apron. Swagger comes down to fight him, but Cesaro escapes to ruin RVD’s chance to launch into the Five Star Frog Splash. Barrett connects with the Bull Hammer, and Big E knows he’ll have a dose of bad news headed his way. After the bell, Cesaro lays into RVD until Swagger enters the ring and attacks both of them. Van Dam deals with him and delivers the Five Star Frog Splash to Cesaro.

The hounds of justice are ready to chew up and spit out Evolution on Sunday. I think I believe in them.

Evolution comes to the ring together, and Triple H says he’s impressed that the Shield took out 11 guys last week. The problem is that the Shield wants to be the new Evolution when the old one is still here. HHH says the Shield will have to adapt on Sunday, or he promises it will perish.

Main Event - Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns

Woooooo! Ric Flair comes to the ring before the match starts, hugging the members of Evolution. But he also pulls a swerve when he talks about knowing dominance when he sees it, and he now recognizes it in the Shield. And with that, Flair leaves and the match begins. Only there’s not much time left in the broadcast, as it’s already after 11. It becomes a three-on-three deal in short order as the rest of Evolution and the Shield begins a brawl on the outside. Reigns hits the superman punch on Orton and heads to the floor, giving the ref no choice but to call for the bell. The old guard looks like it’s going to end the night with a victory in this showdown, as the Shield members all take a beating. But wait -- the rally by the youngsters is successful, though Triple H manages to avoid suffering through a triple power bomb. The show finally comes to a close with the Shield standing tall and Evolution licking its wounds. See you in seven!