The show started as footage from last week was shown where Randy Orton and Seth Rollins had to go through different matches to add their desired stipulations for their match at Extreme Rules. In the first match, Randy Orton def. WWE Tag Team Champion Cesaro via Disqualification. The last time Randy Orton squared off against Cesaro, one was a champion and one was a rising force destined for greater and greater things. One year later, the roles were slightly reversed, with Cesaro holding one half of the WWE Tag Titles and Orton on the path to WWE World Heavyweight Title No. 13. Battling for the right to determine his stipulation against Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules, Orton came out swinging against The Swiss Superman, but never got a chance to kick it into second gear, as Tyson Kidd tripped The Viper on the apron in full view of the ref. A disqualification ruling followed, but Kane was quick to reshuffle the deck, using his power as Director of Operations to arrange an on-the-spot Handicap Match between Orton and Cesaro & Kidd to ensure a fair, decisive, conclusion.
Randy Orton had to go through one more match as Randy Orton def. WWE Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Tyson Kidd in his second match. Rebounding nicely from the shenanigans that landed him on the wrong end of a 2-on-1 beating, Randy Orton survived the WWE Tag Team Champions to earn his pick of stipulation in the WWE World Heavyweight Title Match at Extreme Rules. This despite some fantastic tandem chicanery by Cesaro & Tyson Kidd that tested the limits of both the rules and Orton’s endurance, but the champs seemed to have underestimated Orton’s abilities. Cesaro rushed the ring while Kidd was on the ropes and ate a powerslam in response, and when Kidd springboarded off the ropes to catch Orton from behind, he caught an RKO outta nowhere instead. Boom.
In the second game WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Kane. Call it the Chokeslam of Doom. Despite some strong words from his old hug buddy Daniel Bryan, Kane did exactly what Seth Rollins told him to do and laid down for The Architect, ensuring he’d get a pick of his own for the stipulation of the WWE World Heavyweight Title Match at Extreme Rules. It looked, for a moment, however, like it was going to go the other way, with the Director of Operations systematically removing his suit as Rollins looked on in horror, shoving J&J Security aside and walloping Rollins in the face. And even though he planted Rollins with a Chokeslam, he stopped short of a Tombstone, electing, after much debate, to lie down next to an unconscious Rollins instead and drape the champion’s lifeless arm over himself to lose the fall as commanded.
Randy Orton promised to RKO WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins
In six days at Extreme Rules, Randy Orton will not be allowed to use his signature RKO when he challenges Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. So that means Orton’s got to hit Rollins with the move while he still can. Having missed his chance to do so last week (poor Joey Mercury was not so lucky), The Apex Predator opened Raw by promising his prey he’d be the recipient of obliteration from outta nowhere before the night’s end. And he’d target anybody else who happened to get in his way.
Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper ended in a No Contest
Let’s be honest here. There was no way, after being brutalized over the last month by Luke Harper, that Dean Ambrose had any intention of putting their beef to bed by pinning him in a wrestling match. No, The Lunatic Fringe’s only goal on Raw was inflicting pain, which is probably why Harper and Ambrose spilled out into the WWE Universe after about two minutes of in-ring action. The ref threw the match out in lieu of trying to wrangle them into control (can you blame him?). But the fight ended without proper resolution, as Ambrose avoided yet another Harper powerbomb off the stage, allowing the former Intercontinental Champion to make his escape. Sunday, however, is another story.
The New Day def. The Lucha Dragons via Count-out to become No. 1 contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championships
A new look for The New Day? The increasingly ironically clap-happy trio cemented themselves as No. 1 contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championships, though it took more than a little deception from Xavier Woods to upset The Lucha Dragons. Sin Cara caught the brunt of Woods’ trickery when the PhD candidate baited him into some jaw-jacking on the outside, at which point legal man Kofi Kingston struck with a kick and Big E (previously frustrated by Kalisto in the early goings) tagged in to feast on the bones.
A battered Sin Cara reached Kalisto to turn the tide, but the energy cost the Dragons in the long run when, after a double moonsault took out every active competitor, Woods prevented his opponents from beating the referee’s 10-count, handing New Day the win. Comeuppance was quick to rear its head, however, when Randy Orton struck with a pair of RKOs to Woods and Kingston, with Big E choosing a hasty retreat rather than squaring off with The Viper.
Fandango def. Curtis Axel
Don’t change the channel, because Fandango is back and better than ever. And Curtis Axel, despite a rather inspiring display of self-confidence, got danced all over by the ’Dango in a bout that smacked strongly of redemption for both men following Fandango’s change of heart and Axel’s recent losses to Neville. But Fandango got the better end of the exchange, which veered into perfectly weird territory when Axel used his ripped #AxelMania T-shirt as part of a dance routine of his own. Fandango was clearly having none of that, and felled Axel with a Michinoku Driver and the Last Dance to claim the win. Daa-da…
Kane interrupted Triple H’s ‘WWE Tough Enough’ announcement
What should have been a watershed moment for the WWE COO went up in figurative (and almost literal) flames when Kane gate-crashed Triple H’s announcement that the new season of WWE Tough Enough, returning live June 23 on USA Network, was now accepting applications through its official website. Kane had more recent matters on his mind to discuss, handing in his two-week notice as Director of Operations following Seth Rollins’ insolence toward him the previous week.
The King of Kings attempted to cool his lieutenant’s temper, but further disrespect from Rollins did little more than to stoke the fire and nearly caused The Devil’s Favorite Demon to erupt in his face. In an attempt to keep the peace and remind Rollins of where Kane’s loyalties lie, The Game appointed Kane as gatekeeper of the steel cage at Extreme Rules. The gesture led to a halfhearted handshake from Rollins, and an order from The King of Kings that the champion get on the same page as his protector in short order.
Naomi def. Brie Bella
She took out Paige already; is Nikki Bella next? Now that Naomi’s beaten Paige so bad that her doctors have advised her against competition, the former Funkadactyl made an example of Brie Bella, with Nikki at commentary, as a further display of her increasing dominance within the Divas division. What started as a mat-wrestling head-to-head quickly turned into an elbow-trading brawl and back again, one that Brie briefly gained the upper hand in following the “Brie Mode” dropkick from the turnbuckle. And even though Naomi whiffed on a crossbody through the air, she rallied nicely with a full-on slap to Brie’s face, and a leaping Rear View to seal it.
Bo Dallas interrupted Roman Reigns
Oh, Bo Dallas. The WWE Universe has certainly missed your unwavering optimism, but you could pick your spots a bit better. The former NXT Champion made his return three weeks ago on WWE Network when he offered a pick-me-up to Sting, and followed that ill-advised affair up by offering the same advice to Roman Reigns following last week’s Big Show–induced beating. Whether Reigns took offense to Bo’s audacity, rankled at Dallas’ assertion that “Episode I” was the best “Star Wars” movie, or that he simply didn’t Bo-lieve, Reigns cut the inspirational one’s spiel off with a Superman Punch. He followed with a Spear and a final warning to Big Show that he would be the Last Man Standing. Bo-lieve that.
Sheamus def. Zack Ryder via Disqualification
Add Zack Ryder to the list of fallen Superstars left in Sheamus’ wake as The Celtic Warrior continues his quest to decimate any and all favorites of the WWE Universe. Long Island Iced-Z barely even made it into the squared circle before Sheamus Brogue Kicked the product out of his hair. Rather than pin Ryder, Sheamus beat him about the building in a display of dominance, prompting Dolph Ziggler to hit the ring in defense of his beleaguered broski. Before tending to Ryder, however, The Showoff pounced on Sheamus with the Zig Zag to put him flat on his arse in a moment he better enjoy while he can. It’s only six days before he may well have to kiss it.
U.S. Champion John Cena def. Kane
Kane may yet have a demon lurking inside him, but The Devil’s Favorite Director of Operations’ hellfire and brimstone fizzled out against John Cena during the latest installment of the U.S. Open Challenge, which Kane only entered to prove to his handlers that he hadn’t lost his bite. Taking the spot Heath Slater originally claimed before Randy Orton RKO’d him in catering, Kane opened strong against The Champ and looked, for a stretch, like he would add the Stars and Stripes to The Authority’s trophy case before all was said and done.
He did not. Cena once again made good on his Never-Give-Up mantra by kicking out of a Chokeslam and escaping a Tombstone to secure a three-count, much to the amusement of Seth Rollins and J&J Security and the continued frustration of Kane. Cena didn’t get away quite without incident, however: During The Champ’s post-match interview with Byron Saxton, Rusev attacked from behind with the Russian chain, trapping Cena in a steel-assisted Accolade that nearly turned The Champ’s face into mush.
The Miz def. Damien Mizdow to secure the rights to the ‘Miz brand’
There can only be one. And that one is The Miz. Dispatching Damien Mizdow to claim the rights to his own brand once and for all, The Miz ensured that his former stunt double had no further claim to The Awesome One’s identity. He had a little help from his “Marine 4” co-star, of course. Summer Rae, who has spent the last two weeks on Mizdow’s arm, threw her lot in with her fellow “Marine” and cost Mizdow what would have been the win that validated all his misery over the last few months. She raked Mizdow’s eyes after he hit Miz with every single one of his own moves, from the backbreaker/neckbreaker combo and the kneeling DDT. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on the blinded Mizdow for the win that turned him back into Damien Sandow with three counts of the ref’s hand, but Randy Orton crashed his post-match celebration with the fourth RKO outta nowhere, sending Miz sprawling into the mat.
Ryback def. Adam Rose
Who’s tough enough? Well, once upon a time, Ryback was. As a well-documented veteran of the reality show’s training, The Big Guy was called upon to display his skills as the newest season of Tough Enough prepares to launch. The unlucky recipient of the beating was Adam Rose, who attempted to stall Ryback with a sleeper hold, only to be put on his butt with the rarely seen Boulder Holder, and then on his back by Shell Shocked. Two Rosebuds, a banana and a hot dog, rushed the ring to help their ringmaster, and The Big Guy responded with an old-school double Shell Shocked to the overmatched foodstuffs. It allowed Rosa Mendes to rush to Rose’s side and tend to the fallen party animal. Next up for Ryback? Rusev on SmackDown.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler
Seth Rollins was promised an RKO, and an RKO he got. Before that could happen, however, he had to go through Dolph Ziggler in the main event of Raw, and he did that as well. But he owes credit to a whole bevy of distractions that saved him from being shown up by The Showoff. First, there was Sheamus, who popped in right after Ziggler gave Rollins an impromptu rhinoplasty-via-superkick, to taunt The Showoff from the apron.
The Irishman’s interference left Ziggler vulnerable to a pinfall from Rollins, but the champion’s post-match, passive aggressive bashing of Kane — to whom he had ostensibly dedicated the match as an olive branch — caused the Director of Operations to make his entrance. Rollins tried to cut the big man off by demanding the steel cage be lowered, but the intra-office scuffle among The Authority gave Randy Orton the opportunity to slither into the cage before it hit the ground. You can probably guess what happened next.