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   November 27, 2014



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Raw: Money in the Bank title match gets its last two participants
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


Cleveland rocks! Or at least the WWE is going to rock Cleveland tonight. Now that Daniel Bryan has been officially relieved of his titles, there's going to be a handful of superstars vying to replace him at Money in the Bank. But who will the final two entrants be? We'll learn that and more tonight as Raw goes live on USA.

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon call out the entire roster so that they can rap a bit about what the WWE World Heavyweight Championship means, and also to apologize a bit for having them all represented by a B-plus player like Daniel Bryan. Since the Authority is all about opportunity, they are looking for people to join Randy Orton, Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus and Bray Wyatt in the Ladder Match to determine the new champ. There will be a battle royal to pick the last man, but Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and John Cena won’t be invited. Cena will still get a chance to win his way in, but only if he wins a Stretcher Match against Kane. To emphasize the peril of that one, Kane comes out and stares at the stretcher.

Match 1 - Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins

The turncoat of the Shield goes up against a superstar who’s been pretty critical of his change of heart. Rollins seizes control and keeps it through the commercial break, though the fans try to will Ziggler back into it. Dolph fires back with a big clothesline but soon eats a dropkick in return. A Ziggler DDT gets him a very close near fall, so he just jumps on Rollins and peppers him with right hands. He gets another two count and jumps on Rollins’ back for a sleeper. A series of counters leads to the Famouser, but that’s still not enough to get Dolph the win. After yet another near fall, Ziggler gets power bombed into the turnbuckles -- not once, but twice. The Curb Stomp follows, but an invading Ambrose prevents his former teammate from getting the pin. That’s the end of the match, but it’s far from the end of what Ambrose has planned for Rollins. Triple H appears on the big screen to tell Dean to calm down. The Game also has some bad news for him, and you know what that means.

Match 2 - Dean Ambrose vs. Bad News Barrett

Ambrose wastes no time taking the fight to the IC champ, though attacking BNB head-on kind of plays right into his hands. Dean manages to clothesline Bad News out to the floor as the announcers engage in an extended discussion of his mental health. Ambrose tries going up top but gets knocked all the way down to the floor, landing hard on his already injured shoulder. He’s still hurting as we head out to commercials. Barrett still has the upper hand after the break, but Ambrose fights back and uses a big DDT out of the corner to earn a near fall. Hey look, it’s Rollins again. Ambrose dives to the floor to land on both Barrett and Rollins, and the former Shield members battle into the crowd. BNB returns to the ring to win the match by count out, though that doesn’t save him from Ambrose assailing him from behind and planting him with Dirty Deeds.

Reigns tries asking Vickie Guerrero for some help getting into the battle royal. Also, it appears he’s going to sabotage the Authority’s iced coffees. Yep.

Bray Wyatt waxes philosophical about power, and how it’s going to be the downfall of all mankind as we know it, man.

(That last “man” was his, not mine, by the way.)

He points to the titles hanging above the ring and says that in the WWE Universe, those belts represent all the power he will ever need. Wyatt also claims his brothers will destroy the Usos at Money in the Bank and take all their power too. This is starting to get a Highlander feel to it.

Match 3 - Bray Wyatt vs. Sheamus

{Note: My cable went out here, probably because of the ridiculous thunderstorms in my area. I'll pick back up as soon as it's back ...}

Still clutching her drink, Stephanie McMahon talks to Renee Young about the battle royal. Wait, is something starting to bother her? She rushes out of there, allowing Paul Heyman to sneak in and snatch the rest of the interview time.

Match 4 - Heath Slater vs. Rusev

The Super Athlete is now an officially decorated Russian hero with a medal and everything. Lana tells the fans to shut up, but they keep the “USA” chants going. Hey, they put Russian faces on Mount Rushmore! How dare they! Slater actually has something to say before he gets squashed. He gets the fans fired up with patriotism, but that bravado only lasts until he gets kicked in the face and locked in the Accolade. Sorry Heath, but you’re a one-man band now, and not a very good one.

Stephanie is having some issues with the coffee, and Triple H makes Vickie go in and check on her. And … there’s some vomit on you Vickie. Just a tad on the front. Um, that’s kind of gross. Trips leaves Vickie in charge but tells her to take a shower. And right on cue, there’s the trademark shriek.

Reigns visits Guerrero and says that while she’s probably going to be fired next week, she can still do something to stand up to the Authority now: put him in the battle royal. Fine, you’re in!

Kevin Hart tries plugging his new movie, and he gets the thumbs up from Adam Rose. Well, sort of, anyway. Why are you such a lemon, Kevin? Hart joins the announcers for guest commentary after a commercial break.

Match 5 - Fandango and Layla vs. Adam Rose and Summer Rae

Hart appears to be befuddled by Fandango’s gimmick and his pants. Summer chases Layla up the ramp while the men compete, and Hart gives his blessing to dumping people on Twitter. Oh, and Rose wins the match with the Party Foul. Kevin has a change of, um, heart and does the trust fall with Rose and the Exotic Express.

Match 6 - Battle Royal

The prize here is a big one: a spot in the Ladder Match that will determine a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Pretty much everyone who wasn’t explicitly named in the show’s opening segment is a participant here, including guys who have already wrestled tonight. Also Bo Dallas. Kofi Kingston pulls off the coolest elimination, using his legs to take care of Jack Swagger, right before a commercial break. Kingston is sent out while we are away with Ziggler following in short order. The numbers start to dwindle as Dallas eliminates Rob Van Dam, and Bo is able to skin the cat to avoid his own dismissal by Barrett. All of a sudden we’re down to just Reigns, Rusev and Dallas, and pretty quickly it’s just the two powerhouses. Reigns shrugs off a jumping kick and a corner charge to put Rusev in trouble on the apron, and the teetering Super Athlete finally goes down thanks to a superman punch. Through a combination of trickery and muscle, Reigns has earned his way into the title match.

Young asks Cena for his opinion on what he just saw, and he loves it. His hand has a hidden message for the Authority. It’s not the middle finger though. PG, remember?

Match 7 - Cameron vs. Paige

There’s a lot of screaming in this match. A lot of the action takes place on the mat, and as she’s been doing lately, Paige proves resilient. She takes a lot of the early abuse but is able to maneuver Cameron into the PTO, where she taps out.

Goldust has a new tag team partner. We’ll have to wait just a few minutes to find out who it is.

Match 8 - Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. Goldust and ?

And Goldust’s tag team partner is … Stardust! And I’m not sure Rybaxel knows what to make of this revelation. In case you were wondering, it’s Cody Rhodes with his own fancy outfit and a new moveset. It works though, as he’s able to pin Axel in short order.

Main Event - John Cena vs. Kane - Stretcher Match

No pinfalls, submissions, count outs or disqualifications in this one. It doesn’t take long for the two men to battle to the floor, and Kane tries using the stretcher already. That’s not going to work Mr. Big Red Monster. They fight toward the ramp, then back to the ring as we step away for one last ad break. Cena is in trouble a few minutes later, taking a chokeslam. Kane throws the steel steps into the ring, looking to put Cena out. But the crafty Cena uses a low kick to knock the monster down and smash his head off the steps. As they head back out to the floor, Cena looks like he’s in peril again, but he rallies and sends Kane through the announce table with an Attitude Adjustment. Now for the hard part: getting Kane to the stretcher. He finally does it, but here come Rollins and Orton. An RKO finds the mark, and Rollins comes in with a steel chair. Ambrose runs to the rescue clearing the ring, but Kane comes to and dispatches him with a chokeslam. Cena ends up literally throwing the steel steps at Kane before grabbing the stretcher. Kane sits up one last time before the stretcher makes it the whole way up the ramp, but Cena uses an Attitude Adjustment onto the gurney to finish the job. Both Reigns and Cena are now in the Ladder Match, making it seven heavy hitters going for the gold in Boston in two weeks. See you in seven!