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Raw: A bad night for the Authority forces Triple H to Plan C for SummerSlam
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


Triple H makes a deal with Brock Lesnar as Paul Heyman looks on. Photo by Bill Otten, B&B Productions.


Hey I heard you were a wild one! Sorry, can't help it. Raw is in Miami tonight, Flo Rida will be performing, and since we're past Battleground by one whole day, we're going to be heading full speed to SummerSlam. Show me how you do, WWE, as we go live on USA.

We’ve seen a lot of sides of Triple H over the years, but we rarely see the sarcastic Triple H. After John Cena’s victory in the Fatal Four-Way Match at Battleground, he says he’s going to take to social media to express his displeasure. Or, he can just relax and wait, knowing that in the end, he always wins. The Game guaran-damn-tees that Cena won’t be the World Heavyweight Champion after SummerSlam, the question is who will be? Randy Orton wants a solo shot, saying he guarantees he’d win it. Triple H calls Randy the front-runner, but says he’ll give everyone on the roster a chance to impress him tonight. Surely, Orton asks, he’s not considering Kane, right? The Devil’s favorite demon says he hopes he is being considered, because he’s confident he could bring the titles back to the Authority as long as he’s done babysitting Orton. My six-year old says it’s just like last night and that everyone in the title match is coming out, and he’s right, as Roman Reigns comes out of the crowd. He thinks his name belongs in the conversation, because nobody wants to see Cena fight Kane or Orton again. Everyone wants to see Cena versus Reigns. Believe that! In response to Reigns’ sneak attack on Kane, The Game says he believes there’s going to be a match right now, and he believes it’ll be Reigns taking on Kane and Orton.

Match 1 - Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton and Kane

Reigns starts out strong during the commercial break, but Kane and Orton are able to coexist enough to claim the momentum. The announcers bicker over whether Reigns could do anything to convince Trips he deserves the shot; no prize for figuring out which side of the argument JBL is taking. And … there’s another break for ads. Now Reigns is in some trouble, forced to kick out of one pinfall attempt after another. Reigns rallies and actually manages to drop Kane and position him for his jumping kick from the floor. That doesn’t save him from a Kane big boot back in the ring, but Orton refuses to tag back in, and the enmity between the heels leaves Kane open for a spear that wins Roman the match. Orton teases a post-match confrontation with Reigns, but as you might expect, he backs down and slithers away.

Stephanie McMahon rallies the Divas for a four-on-one handicap match against Nikki Bella. They all seem pretty excited about it.


Match 2 - Rosa Mendes, Cameron, Eva Marie and Alicia Fox vs. Nikki Bella

Brie Bella is in the front row, so at least she saved up enough of her money to buy a good ticket. Stephanie comes out to address “the quitter,” ripping her for going from a famous Diva to being just another face in the crowd. Brie calls Stephanie a bitch, there’s a brief confrontation, and Bella ends up getting hauled off by security. Ring the bell! The foursome of heels piles on Nikki and ends up pinning her in seconds.Steph decides to gloat about it and promises that Nikki will eventually quit just like her sister did.


Lebron James, er, Damien Sandow returns to Miami.
Match 3 - Bo Dallas vs. Damien Sandow

Today’s gimmick for Sandow is LeBron James, because why not? Sandow does well enough to set up for the Elbow of Disdain, but Dallas rolls away and hits the Bo-Dog to win the match. A victory lap ensues.

Chris Jericho is supposed to have Bray Wyatt as his guest on the Highlight Reel. Alas, Jericho got jumped by the Wyatt Family backstage, so though Wyatt and his minions are on their way out, there may not be a host to greet them. Where could Jericho be? Possibly still on the floor of his locker room after Wyatt gave him the Sister Abigail into a locker. Wyatt says the loss of a battle means nothing to him because winning the war is what counts, and war is the Wyatts’ game. There’s more to the promo, but I can’t do it justice. Meanwhile, Kofi Kingston and some officials check on a bloody Jericho.


The Wyatts run the Highlight Reel without Chris Jericho.

Match 4 - The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler

I’m not crazy about Miz’s new gimmick, but I do like the little things he does to sell it; things like covering his face while Dolph is dropping elbows on his midsection. Ziggler gets dropped face-first on the post, leading us out to commercials. Miz has taken control when we return, but he runs into the post while charging into the corner, and Dolph fires his way through a series of moves. Both men get close to winning, and a series of counters leads to a big DDT that forces a last-second kick out from the Miz. The champ’s own DDT doesn’t work either, so he works over Ziggler’s leg and finally gets the Figure Four applied. Dolph strains to make the ropes before getting another two count. Though he’s still limping around on one leg, Dolph manages to hit the Zig Zag and finally get the three count.


The Miz is the Intercontinental champion, and pretty proud of it.
Triple H tries to explain to Seth Rollins why it doesn’t make much sense for him to face Cena at SummerSlam. Cesaro drops in and announces that he’s no longer a Heyman guy since he wants to be an Authority guy. Trips says if Cesaro can solve the "Ambrose problem," he'll consider bringing him aboard the team.

Match 5 - Paige and AJ Lee vs. Natalya and Emma

I have no idea where this angle with Paige and AJ is going, and I kind of like that. Natalya almost gets Paige to tap out to a Sharpshooter, but AJ manages to tag herself in, hit a shining wizard and submit Nattie with the Black Widow. The winning Divas celebrate together after the match, but it’s all a set-up: Paige drags AJ down by the hair and launches into a vicious assault on the champ. AJ is left needing medical attention while Paige mocks her by skipping up the ramp.

Match 6 - Fandango vs. Zack Ryder

There are a lot of amusing things going on here: Fandango saying he’s a shoe-in to be Triple H’s pick to face Cena, Fandango’s former women coming out with Ryder, the fact that Ryder is suddenly back on TV every week, etc. Zack hits the Rough Ryder, and when Fandango tries putting his leg on the ropes to escape the count, Layla knocks it off (not in time, but the ref rolls with it).

Flo Rida tells Renee Young that he’s hoping his performance tonight will be impressive enough that he’ll get the title shot against Cena. Heath Slater steps to him, and it ends badly … for Slater. Flo Rida’s performance is after the break.


Stephanie McMahon is arrested.
I … don’t really know how to recap this. And apparently cops are out talking to Stephanie? Oh yeah, because she “assaulted” Brie. I get it. With Trips nowhere to be found, Steph gets cuffed and led away. Ah, there’s Triple H. He tries playing the politician to the end, asking the cops if they’re sure they want to go through with it. And … she’s gone.

When it’s brought to Triple H’s attention that he still has to make the decision on who’s facing Cena, he initially says family comes first. Then you can see the gears spinning, and he realizes it will take some time for Steph to get printed, processed, etc. He orders the car to be put on stand-by so he can leave right after he announces who’s getting the title shot.

Match 7 - Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel

Yeah, I could get behind Big E and Kofi as a permanent tag team. Still, it’s hard to see them climbing the tag team ladder, short as it might be, after Ryback manages to pin Kofi. Xavier Woods comes out after the bell and lectures Kofi and E about how it is now time for them to find focus, order and purpose. Nation of Domination v. 2.0?

Match 8 - Rusev vs. The Great Khali

So Rusev supposedly still has an injured leg or ankle, but he’s still going to triumph here, right? Right. The Accolade is applied and the tapout comes right after that.

The Dust Brothers are still searching for the cosmic key. Also, Stardust references the boat tunnel scene from Willy Wonka, which scared the crap out of me as a young lad.

Match 9 - Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro


Cesaro works on Dean Ambrose's broken body.
This one started while Renee Young was playing courthouse reporter, telling us that Steph will be arraigned tonight on battery charges and could be getting a resisting arrest charge as well. The two men in the actual match brawl all the way into a commercial break, to no one’s surprise. Cesaro is working over Ambrose’s injured shoulder as Triple H, Orton and Rollins watch backstage. A missile dropkick scores for Ambrose as the fans try to get behind him. He hits a tornado DDT and floats over for a two count, then drops Cesaro’s face on the turnbuckle before rolling him up for another near fall. Ambrose uses his bounce-off-the-ropes clothesline for yet another two before Cesaro finally responds with a clothesline of his own -- JBL approves. Ambrose tries going up top but gets flipped and stuck in the tree of woe, yet he’s somehow able to pivot and send Cesaro into the post three consecutive times. Dean grabs a chair and connects to Cesaro’s head, getting disqualified in the process. He throws a bunch of chairs into the ring as Cesaro heads out of the ring in a hurry.

Renee Young asks Triple H if he should be with his wife. No comment.

The Game is ready to reveal Cena’s opponent, and it’s … Orton? No, no, see, none of this adds up! Reigns pops up out of nowhere and assaults Orton, fighting him into the crowd. Paul Heyman comes out to offer a plan C, and there is a C in Brock. Lesnar stomps down the ramp, much to the delight of at least part of the crowd. Are we about to see some “enemy of my enemy is my friend” stuff go down? It appears so, but not before Heyman acknowledges the split reaction that Cena gets. Got to get those crowd reaction shots in from the breaking of The Streak too. There’s more, as this turns into the longest challenge of all time. Trips isn’t even around by the end of it, presumably because he left to see to Steph. But I think we’ve got our SummerSlam main event at least. See you in seven!

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