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Raw: After Extreme Rules, Evolution just getting started with The Shield
By MATTHEW ASHER - SLAM! Wrestling


Last night’s Extreme Rules has come and gone. Daniel Bryan is still the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, the Shield bested Evolution and a new Intercontinental Champion was crowned. What’s in store for the WWE Universe tonight as Raw comes to us live from the Times Union Center in Albany, New York.

Match 1: 20-Man Battle Royale for the United States Championship

Rather than start off the night showing highlights from yesterday’s PPV, we get right into the action. Dean Ambrose, followed by Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, makes his way to the ring. It turns out that Hunter wasn’t too happy with Evolution losing to the Hounds of Justice last night so Ambrose must put his US title on the line in a 20-man battle royale. We’re told that Dean has held the title now for 351 days straight.

Xavier Woods is the first one out, compliments of the Big Show. Then goes Zack Ryder, R-Truth and Titus O’Neil in order. Big Show military presses and tosses Sin Cara out of the ring next to cut the field down to 15.

We go to commercial and when we return, the superstars are focusing on the two biggest men in the match: Big Show and Mark Henry. Both Show and Henry outmuscle their would-be eliminators and we get to see the two big men go at it with BIg Show chokeslamming Henry, but once he hits that move the rest of the superstars gang up on Show and are able to toss him out of the ring. Everyone now turns their attention to Henry and succeed in eliminating the two biggest threats in the match.

After Santino is eliminated by Rybaxel, we’re down to five: Rybaxel, Sheamus, Swagger and Ambrose. Rybaxel tries to double-team Ambrose but the US champ is able to turn the tables and eliminate both men. Swagger then gives it his best effort but Dean again survives. As soon as Dean eliminates Swagger, Sheamus nails the Brogue Kick on the champ and then tosses him over the ropes and that’s the end of Dean’s historic run with the US title.

Winner and NEW United States Champion...Sheamus!

Sheamus leaves the arena then Hunter’s music hits and here comes the COO. Hunter says the Shield was extremely lucky last night and says that the Hounds of Justice will be in a six-man tag match tonight against the Wyatt’s. Hunter says their (Shield) luck is about to run out.

After the commercial break we go backstage with Renee Young set to interview the new US Champ. The crowd isn’t happy about the new champ and you can hear the boos. Sheamus admits that since he came back from injury he’s been spinning his wheels, but he’s been waiting for his chance at a return to glory and tonight was the night. When Renee asks if he had any words for the former champ Ambrose, Sheamus simply responds, “No hard feelings, fella.”

We’re shown screenshots of last night’s main event match and then go backstage to see Bryan with his wife. Stephanie comes up to the couple and says congrats to Bryan. However, Steph says all Bryan really did was delay the inevitable because he just angered Kane. Steph also says that in order to guarantee Bryan’s safety tonight, she suggests he not leave the locker room until his match. Bryan thanks her for the advice but when Steph closes the door, Kane’s mask (or one that looks like it) is hanging on the door.

Match 2: Singles- Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro (w/ Paul Heyman)

If you saw Extreme Rules last night, you know that RVD got busted open at the end of his match. The good news is that he seems to be fine. You can see his left eye is a little swollen, but he appears to be no worse for the wear.

Heyman comes out and yet again reminds us about Brock Lesnar conquering the Undertaker’s streak at ‘Mania. Cue the sirens and here comes the Swiss Superman. Near the end, Van Dam goes to the top rope but Cesaro kicks his legs out from under him.

The problem is that Van Dam’s left leg gets caught in the turnbuckle and while Van Dam tries to free himself, Cesaro won’t give him the chance. Cesaro goes to the outside and starts punching Van Dam. The ref tells Cesaro to stop but he won’t forcing the ref to end the match.

Winner by disqualification...Rob Van Dam

Cesaro isn’t done. He continues to unload on Van Dam and finally Paul intervenes and tells Cesaro to stop because if he doesn’t, he’ll get suspended. Van Dam now looks bad his eye is cut open again and the trainers attend to him.

We return from commercials with Bray, Eric and Luke all inside the ring. Bray talks about his sister Abigail, saying that she told him he would change the world. However, everyone else considered Bray nothing more than a nobody. Because of those haters (my words, not his) Bray is happy because last night be became somebody. We’re shown the end of the cage match with Little Johnny making his grand entrance.

Bray says that Cena is right that he (Bray) IS a monster and that he DOES want to watch the world burn.But Bray doesn’t just want destruction, he wants the world to burn so it can be reborn in his image. Bray says he doesn’t do this simply to stroke his own ego, he’s doing it for those the world has spurned.

Bray gives a great speech explaining his reasons, even by Bray Wyatt standards. If you didn’t see it, I strongly suggest you go back and watch it.

Match 3: Singles- Ryback (w/ Curtis Axel) vs. Cody Rhodes (w/ Goldust)

During the battle royale to start the show tonight, Rybaxel eliminated both Rhodes Boys so this match already has a little something added to it. Michael Cole tells us that Cody’s outbursts over the last few weeks were because Cody hates losing, not because he’s frustrated with his brother.

At the end of the match, Curtis tries to run interference while Cody is on the top rope. Goldust intervenes but Cody loses his footing because of it and Ryback is able to turn Cody’s slip into a modified Shell Shock for the win.

Winner by pinfall...Ryback

Cody is frustrated by the loss, but doesn’t take his aggression out on his brother, realizing it was one of those "wrong place at the wrong time" instances. Backstage in the locker room Daniel and his wife are still doing what Steph suggested. The lights go out and we see Kane’s mask light up. Daniel and Brie hightail it out of the locker room and see Stephanie in the hall. Steph offers to have their car brought up and we go to commercials.

When we return, Los Matadores and El Torito are in the ring, decked out to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. This includes having El Torito tossing candy to the fans. One of the bullfighter’s can’t say WWE Universe properly, referring to it phonetically as the WWE "Jew-ni-verse". 3MB decides to show up and gives an ultimatum: accept their offer of peace or 3MB will crash the party. El Torito hands Hornswoggle a piece of candy but Hornswoggle spits it out and all 7 men start brawling. Very quickly Los Matadores dispatches of 3MB and the celebration continues.

Match 4: Singles- Kofi Kingston vs. Alexander Rusev (w/ Lana)

I might be wrong, but I think this is the third straight time, including last night, that Lana has worn the same blue outfit. I’m not complaining though. Just like last night, Lana speaks about Vladimir Putin, which infuriates the crowd. She also talks about Edward Snowden, referring to him as a "patriot", being given asylum in Russia. Rusev comes out and we all know how this one is going to end.

Winner by submission...Rusev

Backstage again Daniel and Brie get into their car. Bryan is very careful when he enters the car. Kane doesn’t show up, but Stephanie does. She tells him that his match is next and if he doesn’t compete, she will be forced to strip Daniel of his title because it would be considered a breach of his contract. The couple exits the car and we go to commercials.

Match 5: Singles- Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan (w/ Brie Bella)

Didn’t see ADR as the opponent. Nice little swerve. ADR starts off in control but Bryan is able to battle back. Bryan seems little off his game as he’s unable to do moves we’ve seen him to countless times. The best example is Bryan’s backflip using the top rope to push off. He does the flip, but can’t land on his feet.

When we return from the commercial break, ADR is still in control. Del Rio decides to go high risk but this backfires and Bryan gets in some offense. The two go back and forth and Del Rio has a great chance to come out with a win following a nice enziguri that Bryan kicks out of. Del Rio goes for his cross armbreaker but Bryan is able to slap on the YES! Lock for the win.

Winner by submission...Daniel Bryan

Kane’s music hits and Bryan and Bella get to stepping. They run to the car but for some reason it won’t start. Daniel pops the hood to see what’s wrong. Once Bryan figures out the problem he drops the hood, only to see Kane in the backseat of the car. Brie “musters” the girliest slap offense I have ever seen, but it gives Daniel enough time to get Kane out of the car. Bryan starts the car with Kane on the roof and momentarily speeds away.

Kane is quickly knocked off the car and Bryan stops to see Kane lying on the floor. Kane finally gets up but Daniel gets back in the car and drives off. Kane starts to smile as we go to commercials.

Match 6: Singles for the Intercontinental Championship- Big E vs. Bad News Barrett (c)

Looks like Big E is going to invoke his rematch clause. Of course, Barrett has some bad news for us: the fans in attendance are going to need some serious cosmetic surgery in order to be worthy of being in the presence of the new champion. Okay…

It looks like Big E is adding the spear the opponent outside the ring to his regular moveset. I’m liking that added bit of arsenal. This takes a lot out of both men. Big E gets a couple of belly-to-belly suplexes before the straps come down. Big E can’t land the Big Ending and Barrett hits the Bullhammer to retain his newly won title.

Winner by pinfall and STILL Intercontinental Champion...Bad News Barrett

We come back from commercials and with Mother’s Day this Sunday, we have a clip of Mr. T during his HOF acceptance speech talk about the love he has for his mother. So with that, an early Happy Mother’s Day wish to you and yours.

Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter make their way to the ring, Zeb has some new signage that reads “Zeb’s deportation list” on the back it lists not only most of the foreign WWE talent, but also has Heyman listed. I think Zeb is still hurt by Cesaro (who is on the list) jumping ship. Of course, Zeb decides to speak about today’s “holiday” Cinco de Mayo. According to Zeb, only people who want to get “dog drunk and vomit on themselves” celebrate today as a holiday.

Zeb decides to talk about the list he’s compiled. While Zeb continues his rant, Adam Rose’s entourage shows up and it looks like the Exotic Express has finally arrived on Monday Night Raw. Zeb doesn’t know what to make of Adam Rose. Swagger tries to rush Rose but he gets tossed out of the ring. The Rosebuds overtake the ring, start dancing and that’s our official introduction to Adam Rose. While we don’t get to see Rose compete in a match, we’re reminded that next will be the Wyatt/Shield match is next.

Main Event: Six-Man Tag - The Wyatt Family vs. The Shield

Before this match starts, we’re told that Sheamus will defend his title on Smackdown this week. If you’ve seen any of the recent matches between these two factions, you know what to expect: a match definitely worthy of main event status.

Towards the end Roman nails Bray with a Superman punch. The Shield prepares their triple powerbomb but Evolution’s music hits and here comes Hunter, Randy and Big Dave. Ambrose and Rollins each hit a suicide dive on top of Harper, Rowan, Orton and Batista. Hunter steps into the ring but eats a Superman punch of his own. This gives Bray time to recover who hits Roman with Sister Abigail for the three count.

Winners by pinfall...The Wyatt Family

Evolution comes into the ring and proceeds to unload on the Hounds of Justice. Roman counters Hunter’s Pedigree but gets an RKO for his efforts. Giving the Shield a taste of their own medicine, Batista plays the part of Roman as he nails Reigns with a triple powerbomb of his own. Roman is spitting up blood after this move. When it’s all said and done, Evolution is standing tall and the Shield is laid out. Clearly this war isn’t over yet.

Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist currently living in Atlanta. He wonders why Lana wasn't on Zeb's list of people to deport but is glad Zeb is allowing her to stay. Email him your thoughts.