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In his younger and more vulnerable years (read: 2011), Chris Jericho dabbled in the art of dance on “Dancing With the Stars” and proved himself to be a pretty adept rug-cutter. For those keeping score, that makes two extracurriculars Y2J is aces at (he's also great at musical chairs and "The Price is Right"). But dance with the devil in the pale moonlight and you’re likely to get decked from behind, as Y2J – flanked by former “Stars” competitor Edyta Sliwinska – learned during his tango with Fandango on Monday Night Raw..
The friendly-ish exercise in rhythmic rivalry had the WWE Universe shivering with anticipation, but Fandango’s initiating dance was cut short by an apparent injury to Summer Rae’s ankle. When Jericho gentlemanly moved to check on the injured dancer, Fandango struck from behind and did a number of his own on Y2J, kicking him in the face and bashing Jericho in the head with a piece of the hardwood floor. Summer Rae proved herself to be far from a beautiful little fool as well, later revealing her tweaked ankle as subterfuge to trap Jericho into her man’s attack. Sly devils, but the next time they meet, Fandango may not be so lucky.
Add some Long Island Iced-Z to the movable feast that is Ryback’s opponent list, as the No. 1 contender to the WWE Champion devoured Zack Ryder in a brutish bout on Monday Night Raw. The former U.S. Champion has been in the midst of a self-initiated reinvention, but Ryder’s gift of infinite hope brought him no amnesty against the “Human Wrecking Machine” in their first-ever rumble between the ropes. Ryder took it to his monstrous foe as best he could, but the endeavor ended in catastrophe all the same when Ryback cut Ryder down with Shell Shocked, an ominous dismantling of John Cena’s buddy that The Champ surely took notice of.
It’s been a while since we heard from The Prime Time Players, but the braggadocio-filled brawlers made their big-time return on Raw with a roaring victory over Tons of Funk. It looked like a lost cause for the Players at the outset, as Brodus Clay & Tensai handily dismantled the tag-team stalwarts for the better part of the bout. D. Young proved to be the difference maker, striking Brodus with his Afro pick at the moment of truth and leaving "The Big Deal" to roll The Funkasaurus up for an illicit three-count. The job finished, Titus and D. Young then retreated back into their money and vast carelessness, leaving The Funkadactyls to clean up the mess.
Damien Sandow may yet find a second calling as a singer should he ever decide his time in the ring has run its course, but the man in the cool pink tights opted to act "contrary to popular demand" for his bout against U.S. Champion Kofi Kingston just six days before Extreme Rules. With Kofi prepping for a vicious challenger to his hard-won title at the year's most extreme event, The Dreadlocked Dynamo needed a strong showing to carry him into the pay-per-view and he delivered just that, knocking off The Enlightened One in a fast and brutish bout in Tulsa.
Sandow certainly put up a fight against the U.S. Champion, felling Kingston with an early Elbow of Disdain, but Kofi ultimately played a tune of his own on “The Duke of Decency,” when he clocked Sandow with a Trouble in Paradise. The kick to Sandow’s immaculately-kept coif was sufficient to keep the brainy brawler down for the three-count.
Sheamus is as jolly a brawler as the WWE Universe is ever likely to see, but the former World Heavyweight Champion was far from smiling last week when Mark Henry left him a welted mess courtesy of a beatdown with a belt. Happily, Sheamus ain’t exactly Mr. Nobody from Nowhere, and The Celtic Warrior dished out a little payback on The World’s Strongest Man when Henry challenged him to come down to the ring for aa confrontation before their Extreme Rules strap scrap on Monday Night Raw.
Henry (who took a moment to demonstrate the Strap Match rules on poor unfortunate Josh Mathews) surely thought he’d make mincemeat of the Irishman with the strap once again, but but while it takes two to make an accident, it just takes one to make a whupping. Sheamus had planned ahead and stored a strap of his own beneath the ring, and the sudden evening of the odds clearly took Henry aback. The Celtic Warrior quickly gained the upper hand, going to town on the truck-towing titan and driving The World’s Strongest Man out of the ring, putting off his Hall of Pain induction for at least one more week.
Antonio Cesaro boldly proclaimed himself last week as the Superstar who puts the “W” in WWE, but for the second time in a week The Swiss Superman found himself coming up short against the Superstar who has proved to be his personal foil: Randy Orton. Following their slugfest on WWE Main Event last Wednesday, Cesaro came to Raw looking to de-fang The Viper in a bid for retaliation, but the elusive victory over Orton continued to evade his grasp.
The loss didn’t come for lack of trying, as Cesaro attacked Orton with ruthless aggression and seemed hell beat on putting The Viper out to pasture, countering Orton's hanging DDT with a rollup pin that nearly sent The Apex Predator to the showers. But The Swiss Superman ultimately found himself putting the “KO” in RKO when Orton lashed out with his feared finisher to cut Cesaro's night short.
Guess who’s back? Last seeing reclaiming the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 29 (no need to mention the next night), The Miz returned to the WWE Universe for the first time in a month with his attitude high and spoiling for a fight. That he got, though surprisingly not from Wade Barrett, with whom he so recently brawled over championship gold.
Instead, The Awesome One got his hands on Heath Slater and certainly made the most of the opportunity, earning a roaring victory over the 3MB frontman and kicking his return off in style. Slater got his licks in on Miz, with 3MB rushing to their bandmate’s aid at the first possible opportunity. But the former WWE Champion was quick to react, softening Slater’s legs up before plying the Figure-Four Leglock en route to a submission victory.
Good news and bad news: The good news is, The Shield have finally been defeated. The bad news is, not only did it take a technicality for the NXT alums to suffer their first loss in a Six-Man setting, but they seemed to have willingly taken the defeat for the sake of decimating John Cena. The men in black’s opponents for the night were the same as a couple of weeks ago – Cena & Team Hell No – but there was one twist to their latest bout: the match would be contested under elimination rules.
The twist seemed likely to even the odds better, but it was Cena & Co who found themselves at a disadvantage when their numbers thinned before The Shield’s did. Cena nearly rallied to win the match after Bryan & Kane were tossed, trapping Dean Amrbose in the STF before he was swarmed into the Triple Powerbomb. The attack came after Tag Title challengers Rollins & Reigns had already been eliminated and technically cost The Shield the match, but the NXT alums seemed more than willing to pay the price. Cena’s night went from bad to worse in quick measure afterwards when Ryback emerged from the locker room, striking The Champ in his injured foot to give himself one final leg up (literally) on Cena before Extreme Rules.
Thanks to Teddy Long’s earlier edict, Big E Langston’s opponent would be decided by the WWE Universe via the WWE App, and they chose the man Dolph Ziggler’s heavy was slated to face last Friday on SmackDown before things went south: Jack Swagger. And with his mentor laid up at home, Big E certainly took great relish in the opportunity to pound the "Real American" within an inch of his own consciousness, unloading on Swagger with fists that shook Tulsa to its core.
Langston's enthusiasm ultimately got the better of him when the bout spilled to the outside and Swagger tossed the charging behemoth into the WWE Universe itself, scampering back into the ring before the count of 10 and leaving Big E to suffer a loss as a result. Things took a turn for the worse yet again after that, as Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez stormed down to the ring and mixed it up with Swagger. Big E attempted to intervene and got a couple shots to the head for his trouble, leaving the two "I Quit" contestants to fight it out one final time before they meet at Extreme Rules.
Natalya may carry the pedigree of Bret Hart in her veins, but AJ Lee seems to have subscribed to the philosophy of Ric Flair, wheeling and dealing her way to an upset victory over the dynamic Diva just six days before Extreme Rules. The feisty No. 1 contender to the Divas Title felt Natalya’s wrath for the majority of the match, suffering a severe beating at the Hart descendant’s hands to the point where she seemed to be out on her feet.
But AJ was saving her biggest surprise for last, ensnaring Natalya in an Octopus hold she dubbed the “Black Widow” and forcing the submission-trained Diva to tap out in the process. Clearly, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, as Kaitlyn would be wise to heed as she prepares for her inevitable title defense against her former best friend.
More than one year since Brock Lesnar first split his arm like a twig, Triple H stood in a ring surrounded by a steel cage and spoke of finality. He spoke of the war between the two of them, the battles, the blood, but most of all, he spoke about the hate that had brewed between them. So it was with hate in his heart that Triple H beckoned his monstrous foe to join him in his “home,” and lo and behold, The Anomaly answered with Paul Heyman at his side.
And for once, the silver tongue of the mad scientist was not enough to keep “The Beast Incarnate” in check. Although Heyman initially dispelled Brock from the notion of fighting The King of Kings without a proper payday, The Game’s mind games won out in the end and Lesnar entered the cage, battering Triple H about before The Game found his second wind, hauling Lesnar through the cage door and apparently satisfying him for the time being. With a sneer on his face, Lesnar lifted Heyman to his feet and made his exit. Make no mistake, the hate within him beat on. But in Tulsa, that hate was a boat against the current, overwhelmed by the apparent caution that bore the beast ceaselessly (if not easily) back into the locker room one final time.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Ryback defeated Zack Ryder (1:04)
- The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O'Neil) defeated Tons of Funk (Tensai & Brodus Clay) (w/ The Funkadactyls) (1.36)
- Kofi Kingston defeated Damien Sandow (2:30)
- Randy Orton defeated Antonio Cesaro (3:10)
- The Miz defeated Heath Slater (w/ Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal) (4:13)
- John Cena & Team Hell No (Kane & Daniel Bryan) defeated The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) in an Elimination match (23:18)
- Kane eliminated by DQ (12:05)
- Daniel Bryan eliminated by Dean Ambrose via pinfall (19:55)
- Seth Rollins eliminated by John Cena via pinfall (21:52)
- Roman Reigns eliminated by DQ (22:12)
- Dean Ambrose eliminated by DQ (23:18)
- Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) defeated Big E. Langston (w/ AJ Lee) by Countout (10:08)
- AJ Lee defeated Natalya (w/ The Great Khali & Hornswoggle) (3:11)
Other on-screen talent