John Cena has a problem, and that problem goes by the name of Brock Lesnar. With The Beast Incarnate named the No. 1 contender to Cena’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship and The Champ is staring down “the beating of a lifetime," Cena broke his silence to the WWE Universe and addressed the seriousness of the coming match, though he promised to defeat The Anomaly when all was said and done.
Paul Heyman, of course, was not about to let the opportunity to one-up Cena pass by, but the mad scientist’s mouth seemed set to get him into some hot water before long. Enter Cesaro. Despite no longer being a Paul Heyman Guy, The Swiss Superman took issue with Cena’s treatment of his “friend” and challenged The Champ on behalf of his former advocate, who accepted the gesture with grace and … friendship? Who knew.
He probably shouldn’t have insulted the shoes. Cesaro’s strong words for John Cena turned to fighting words in Raw’s opening moments, and The Champ wasted no time disproving Cesaro’s claim that he couldn’t wrestle, breaking out a pair of hip tosses, a headlock, a hurricanrana and a monkey flip for the sold-out Toyota Center crowd in the first five minutes of their match.
Cesaro took pointed advantage of Cena’s unusual display of showmanship in the rematch of their instant classic from February, using his own grappling to force The Champ into Ruthless Aggression mode. The King of Swing stayed alive with pure strength, unleashing a 10-rotation Cesaro Swing and clobbering The Champ with the Very European Uppercut, but a last burst of energy won The Champ the day when he jettisoned Cesaro off the top turnbuckle for a super-Attitude Adjustment and 1-2-3.
Last week on Raw, Paige turned the, well, page on AJ Lee by attacking her “frenemy” moments after the present and former Divas Champions scored an unlikely tag team victory. This week, The Diva of Tomorrow attempted to take back that burst of aggression via public apology, and AJ was having none of it. Still, the reigning Divas Champion didn’t seem too set on physicality until Paige made the time-honored mistake of questioning AJ’s sanity. From then on, all bets were off and The Black Widow showed her fangs, lacing into her former “frenemy,” who, we suppose, is now just her enemy.
And the hits just keep on coming for The Authority. Not only was Stephanie McMahon dragged through the mud last week after Brie Bella finagled her arrest on Raw, but the corporate power’s attempt at diplomacy by inviting the Bella Twin to the ring was spoiled by none other than Chris Jericho. And The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla was all smiles, babayy, tearing into Stephanie before demanding The Authority grant him another match with Bray Wyatt in response to the beating he received last week.
He got what he wanted – Triple H made the match for SummerSlam – but Y2J dipped a bit too far into his Attitude-Era nicknames for the queen bee to get away clean. Not only did he catch a sneak attack from Seth Rollins, he found himself scheduled to face Mr. Money in the Bank himself later in the evening.
The Miz’s Ray-Bans certainly give The Moneymaker a layer of protection. Unfortunately, they didn’t prevent the Intercontinental Champion from his second consecutive embarrassment at the hands of Dolph Ziggler, who teamed with WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos to best The Awesome One & RybAxel in a six-man clash on Raw. The fan favorites beat the bullying trio into the defensive during the first half of the match, but Axel and Miz managed to turn the tide against Jimmy Uso while Ziggler stewed on the apron.
Jimmy reached Ziggler at the 11th hour and The Showoff all but set fire to the competition, battling Ryback so ferociously that a pier-six brawl ensued. Miz attempted to get the last word, distracting Ziggler while Ryback recuperated. Alas, it was to no avail: Dolph countered The Big Guy’s powerbomb into the Zig Zag and that was that, though with Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E watching at ringside, smart money says neither of these trios is out of the woods just yet.
The streak is "Bo-ver." Bo Dallas’ immaculate run on the main roster came to its unceremonious end thanks to none other than R-Truth, who didn’t take the former NXT Champion’s backhanded jab at his win-loss record too kindly. In fact, Truth seemed to take it as a challenge and responded accordingly. The former U.S. Champion conquered the streak by rolling Bo up during his premature victory lap, though Truth caught a decidedly unsportsmanlike beating for his efforts after the match.
Do you wanna start a war? Well, Rusev and Lana already did by provoking Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter into action, and a pair of indecisive victories by each party hasn’t led to the slightest bit of resolution. In fact, the Russian coalition’s latest missive prompted the return of The Real American, who stormed the ring at Zeb's command and sent Rusev scurrying yet again. Might a final battle be on the horizon?
Damien Sandow’s theft of Adam Rose’s spaceman outfit did little to stop the party animal from bringing the esteemed Superstar back down to earth. As thematically appropriate as Sandow’s latest impersonation was (he was in Houston and all), his problem was jumping Rose before the match even started. Unfortunately for Sandow, he perhaps misjudged how easily he’d be able to move in the suit, and Rose capitalized with a Party Foul within seconds once the match started. Flawless victory.
The T-shirt doesn’t lie:It really is one against all for Roman Reigns, who targeted Randy Orton – costing The Viper a title match in the process – and was forced to contend with Triple H’s resident demon for his impudence. Orton had other ideas, however, jumping The “Big Dog” before the match began. Reigns briefly gained the upper hand in the ensuing brawl, though once Kane chokeslammed Reigns and left him to Orton’s mercy, he became little more than The Viper’s plaything.
Having been promised he’d never get a title shot until Reigns was taken care of, The Apex Predator did his best to accomplish just that. He pulverized Reigns with kicks to the face and threw him into the steel steps before finishing him off with a hanging DDT off the barricade, an RKO atop the commentary table and – since the first one failed to shatter the desk – another that finally put Reigns through to the concrete.
Yet again, Summer Rae & Layla have danced a tango all over Fandango’s wounded heart. Though the devious Divas ditched Zack Ryder’s short-lived company, The Ultimate Broski’s loss was Diego’s gain; El Matador came out with Fandango’s former flames as company and, of course, the fleet-footed Superstar was no match for Diego and his pair of mamacitas. The “Slayers’” latest attempt to unman their former beefcake worked like a charm. Despite an aggressive burst that set Diego up for the top rope leg drop, El Torito and and the ladies provided a distraction at the opposite end and set Fandango up for a springboard sunset flip that put him down for a three-count.
Naomi is no longer a Funkadactyl, but she hasn’t lost her groove. Teaming with Natalya against Alicia Fox and her former partner in funkitude, Cameron, the “Total Divas” star showed her mettle in tag action with a new partner on Raw. Not only did she capitalize on Natalya’s setup against Alicia Fox and take the fight to the former Divas Champion, she both kicked out of Fox's scissor kick and tapped Cameron out with a brand-new submission hold for some well-earned retribution after WWE Battleground.
He’s still got it: Not only did Chris Jericho go move for move with the younger, nimbler Seth Rollins, the former Undisputed Champion may well have knocked off Mr. Money in the Bank if not for an unwelcome intrusion at the end of their first-ever collision. Though the veteran Jericho kept Rollins at bay in the opening moments, a well-timed dodge saw Y2J run headlong into the turnbuckle and left loopy for a lengthy beating by Rollins.
The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla repaid the favor, though, back-body dropping Rollins off the top turnbuckle and setting up an offensive run of his own that ended with The Aerialist unwittingly springboarding into the business end of a Codebreaker. The lights cut out at the moment of truth, however, and revealed The Wyatt Family in the ring moments later. Rowan & Harper wasted no time in attacking Y2J, feeding him to Bray Wyatt for a Sister Abigail that may well be a harbinger of things to come in their newly forged clash at SummerSlam.
Having dropped all charges against Stephanie McMahon save for aggravated battery, Brie Bella was surely going to make one of WWE’s principal owners pony up to expunge that final, lingering legal matter. When it came to choosing her destiny, Brie’s demands for the queen were simple: A raise for Nikki, a reinstatement for herself, and one-on-one match at SummerSlam. Despite some lengthy pleas for the former Divas Champion to reconsider, Stephanie finally relented in a flood of tears – crocodile tears, it turned out. Stephanie slapped Brie across the face, vowed to make Brie “her b***h” and entered into an all-out brawl that required Triple H, plus WWE officials Finlay, Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble to be broken up. Somewhere, Daniel Bryan is smiling.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- John Cena defeated Cesaro (13:58)
- The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) & Dolph Ziggler defeated RybAxel (Curtis Axel & Ryback) & The Miz (10:02)
- R-Truth defeated Bo Dallas (0:33)
- Adam Rose defeated Damien Sandow
- Diego (w/ El Torito, Summer Rae, & Layla) defeated Fandango (1:20)
- Natalya & Naomi defeated Cameron & Alicia Fox (2:41)
- Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho ended in a no contest. (13:00)
- Dark match: Dean Ambrose & The Big Show defeated Bray Wyatt & Seth Rollins
Other on-screen talent