March 18, 2013 from CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA
The Monday Night Raw opening video airs, the voice of Michael Cole welcoming everyone to the show from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield. No pyrotechnics as the cameras are heading straight to the ring tonight.
Standing in the ring is Paul Heyman, introduced to the crowd by Justin Roberts as he looks around at the booing Pittsburgh fans. "You really want to boo me?" He asks. "Just because you're not Philadelphia - the city that Paul Heyman built - doesn't mean you have to have it out for me." The audience continues their boos as Heyman says that isn't the reason he is out here, however, he is out here because there is important business to discuss. He explains that one of his clients - Brock Lesnar - had been challenged week after week by Sheamus to a match at WrestleMania and week after week, Lesnar declined. Now, Sheamus has decided to change his tone and has called for Lesnar himself to make the challenge for the match if he wants it. "Look, Sheamus, Brock Lesnar does what Brock Lesnar wants. He doesn't give in to mind games and he doesn't like to waste his time. He has many better things he could be doing than give in to your demands. If he doesn't want a match with you, he doesn't want a match with you. And no matter how you twist it, Mr. 'Celtic Warrior', we know that you want that match at WrestleMania. We know that you need that opportunity to cement yourself as one of the top guys in WWE by getting your chance to knock off the biggest and the baddest... Brock Lesnar doesn't need this. You do."
Heyman shrugs his shoulders and tells Sheamus he hates to deliver the bad news, but clearly he isn't going to be getting his match. As Heyman prepares to leave the ring, however, Brock Lesnar's music hits. Heyman looks shocked as his client arrives from the back, eyes locked on the ring. Lesnar then makes his way down and hops right in, standing up close to Heyman and having some words for him off the microphone. He then takes the mike away from Heyman and puts his hand out in front. "Paul, you never asked me if I wanted this match." Heyman seems to get defensive real quick, Lesnar wagging his finger and telling Heyman that he never asked his opinion, he just assumed. "Don't ever do it again." He warns, prompting a series of apologies from Heyman. Lesnar tells Heyman it's okay, but he now has business to handle. "Sheamus," He says while looking to the camera. "You want me to challenge you? Okay, pal. You've got it. WrestleMania, I'll be more than happy to kick your sorry Irish ass." He pushes the microphone back in Heyman's chest and jogs in place, the crowd beginning to grow louder and louder as sliding in to the ring behind the two is Sheamus himself! Lesnar and Heyman have some words, Brock then turning around and being wiped out with the Brogue Kick! The CONSOL Energy Center erupts as Sheamus stands over Lesnar's body, then approaching Heyman in the corner - grabbing his wrist and forcing him to bring the microphone up to him. "When he wakes up... let him know that I gladly accept." He smiles from ear to ear and leaves the ring, Heyman dropping down at Lesnar's side and checking on his fallen client.
Footage from before the break is shown, the commentary team mentioning that it has been made official by Raw General Manager Vickie Guerrero: At WrestleMania 29 it will be Brock Lesnar versus Sheamus!
A clip from The Shield is then shown, as they sent out a message earlier via Tout challenging any three superstars to a six man tag team match. Back live, the trio of Brodus Clay, R-Truth and Santino Marella stand in the ring together as they have banded together in an effort to try and take down one of the most dominant trios the WWE has perhaps ever seen.
1. The Shield def. Brodus Clay, R-Truth and Santino Marella (w/Cameron and Naomi) as after running right through Truth and Marella respectively, Clay is tagged in and he calls for a fight. Ambrose charges and actually gets knocked back a little but Rollins comes in off the top rope with a flying knee. With Truth and Marella completely out of the match, Clay is left to be Speared by Reigns, The Shield then proceeding to lift the big man up off of the mat and plant him with the Triple Powerbomb, leading to Ambrose covering for the three count.
Standing tall together in the center of the ring, Ambrose pats Reigns and Rollins on the chest before demanding a microphone from ringside. The trio kick Clay's body under the bottom rope and Ambrose begins to speak. "You know what the point of this was? Do you, Hunter? Randy?" He laughs and explains that this just shows that it doesn't matter who you line up in front of them, it doesn't matter how much time they have to prepare - there is no one that can band together and stop The Shield. "At WrestleMania, you'll find out." Rollins adds on, with Reigns saying lastly that they'll be waiting to find out who they've got - and they'll be prepared to give them a very warm welcome. "Believe that... and believe in The Shield." He then tosses the microphone aside and the three leave the ring together with a statement made and a message sent!
The theme music of The Miz is playing following the break as the ring is set up for MizTV with the host already standing in the ring, microphone in hand. He gives his usual welcoming to the show and says that tonight, his guest is somebody he has had recent problems with and he wants to clear the air. Without further ado, he welcomes the Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett. The Pittsburgh fans boo as Barrett comes down and in to the ring, taking a seat across from Miz and cutting him off before he can even begin. "Let me get this straight. You get involved in my business and get in my face and you expect me to be a guest of yours?" Miz smiles and tells Barrett that is exactly right, perhaps the first time that Barrett has ever been right about anything in his career or even his life. "Listen, Wade, clearly you and myself don't see eye to eye. I've had a problem with you for a long time and it has come even more to light recently. It all began when you bullied that poor kid Bo Dallas and made him feel like he didn't belong despite the fact that he was getting one up on you multiple times." Miz says that kid reminded him of himself, because nobody ever thought he would be anyone more than Michael Mizanin. "They all laughed at me when I called myself The Miz, they all laughed at me when I was on The Real World and they all laughed at me when I showed up to train in the WWE but you know what I did, Wade? I overcame all of that. Meanwhile, you made it a mission to stop a kid like Bo with all the dreams to become a WWE superstar and you accomplished that and I think you feel great about it. But I don't." Miz says that he had his time at the top and he had his time looking down on everyone else but as time has moved on, he has realized that he should be a role model for everyone that got laughed at. "Because anyone can make it. Just ask me. It's guys like you, Wade, that come in here with it all and because you've got that total package, you don't have to actually work for a damn thing."
Barrett chuckles and asks Miz if he is finished. "Because as a guest of yours, I don't think it is right to have me out here and talk all of that nonsense. But if that's how you want to play it, so be it. It's my turn." Barrett stands up and tells Miz that maybe he is right, a guy like him had to work a little harder - but that's not his fault. "Sure, I was blessed with being 6 foot 7, devilishly handsome and able to kick the crap out of anyone. But this is just me putting it to good use. This business was made for men like me, not boys like you and Bo Dallas. And Bo Dallas, why don't you just drop the whole thing, huh? He's long gone and it's partially your fault!" Miz looks off to the side as Barrett says that Miz needs to realize it's just between them now and he should quit sulking about being called not good enough and start accepting that is still the reality today. "You don't belong here, Miz. So why don't you do me and the entire WWE Universe a favor and just leave?" Miz slowly stands up and tells Barrett he doesn't think so. As a matter of fact, he wants to prove Barrett wrong. "I want to prove you wrong on the biggest stage there is, Wade. I want to face you at WrestleMania... for the Intercontinental Championship." Barrett scoffs and tells Miz that he is making a big mistake. "But if you want to be embarrassed at my hand in front of the biggest audience on the biggest pay-per-view and the biggest stage then so be it. I'll face you at WrestleMania." Barrett grins, places his microphone down and raises the Intercontinental Championship belt up over himself and Miz as they keep their eyes locked on one another.
Seen walking in the back is John Cena, the thirteen-time World Champion set for action against 'The World's Strongest Man' Mark Henry just three weeks away from his WWE Championship battle at WrestleMania - next.
2. John Cena def. Mark Henry in a rematch from what we saw a little over a month ago in the lead up to Elimination Chamber, 'The World's Strongest Man' doing all he can to overpower Cena and stop him from being in motion. After a spark of momentum for Cena begins and his signature moves are delivered, Cena prepares coming off of the Five Knuckle Shuffle for an Attitude Adjustment attempt but Henry keeps himself grounded with some elbows to the head. After shoving Cena in to the corner, he looks for the World's Strongest Slam but Cena manages to slip himself free, showing off all of his own strength by then lifting Henry off the mat and on to his shoulders for the AA in the center of the ring! He then hooks the far leg and gets the pinfall.
Cena begins to celebrate the win, ascending to the second rope and holding his hands up to the fans. They begin to buzz, however, as CM Punk comes sliding in to the ring, catching Cena as he comes down from the ropes with the Go To Sleep! Punk stands over Cena's body and looks out to the Pittsburgh crowd, pointing to the outside and demanding a microphone. Once he receives it, Punk kneels down next to Cena's body and asks how he is feeling. "Y'know, I don't know when Dwayne is ever going to show up around here. But there is one thing about you John that I know and, believe it or not, respect you for: You'll be here night in and night out just like me." He says that while The Rock wouldn't man up and face him on Raw last week, he has a challenge for Cena. "Next week, right here on Monday Night Raw, John, I want to face you one-on-one and I want you at your absolute best. I want you to put it all on the table, John, so I can show you and the entire world just like I will at WrestleMania that I am better than you, I am better than Dwayne, I am better than everyone else and I am the best in the world." Punk then places the microphone next to Cena's head and leaves the ring, head held high as he returns to the back.
Seen walking in the back after the break is CM Punk when he is approached by Paul Heyman, questioning if he is sure about challenging John Cena to a match next week. "Of course I'm sure, Paul. I know exactly what I am doing." Up to the two then comes Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox, the prior questioning Punk as to who makes the decision around here. "It seems like everyone forgets that I am the Raw Managing Supervisor!" Guerrero says with a scowl, telling Punk that she doesn't have to approve of his match with Cena next week. Maddox intervenes and asks Guerrero if she realizes how big of a main event that would be. "I mean, differences aside, CM Punk versus John Cena live on free TV? You can't get much better than that." Punk smiles at Guerrero and says to listen to the 'boy wonder' because it seems like he actually knows what he is talking about. While Guerrero prepares to blow up on Punk, Maddox insists she be impartial and think about what is best for the company, what is best for the show. "Fine," She mutters. "If John Cena accepts your challenge - which I'm sure he will - next week right here on Raw it will be John Cena versus CM Punk." She then storms off, Maddox giving two thumbs up to Punk and Heyman before following after Guerrero.
Back inside of the arena, Alberto Del Rio's music hits and he makes his way down to the ring while his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez does the introduction. Once inside the squared circle, Del Rio is handed the microphone and he looks around the arena. "Tonight, I am issuing a challenge to somebody that has been bothering me for over a month now. At first, I thought it was just a coincidence. But now, I know it is very, very intentional. Now, Fandango... I don't know what your problem is with me, but I want to settle it right now! So come on out here, perro, and face me... Alberto Del Rio." He turns toward the stage and after a little bit of waiting, out comes Fandango and his dance partner. After they shuffle across the ramp a bit, they back up to the top of the stage where Fandango gestures down to the ring while holding a microphone in his other hand. "You want to have the honor of facing yours truly... in my very first match?" Del Rio says that is exactly what he wants because he knows Fandango has been trying to mess with him since Elimination Chamber. "Sh, sh sh," Fandango replies while shaking his head. "I have come out here to inform you, Alberto... that I am declining your challenge." The crowd boos as Del Rio asks Fandango what his problem is, questioning if he is afraid that in his debut match he will be embarrassed. "Well, Fandango, maybe you shouldn't have messed with me!" Fandango waves his hand and gives Del Rio multiple 'no's, saying that it has nothing to do with fear or risk of embarrassment or anything like that, but because Del Rio fails to do one thing correctly: "Pronounce my name." Del Rio and Rodriguez both look confused, Fandango cutting Del Rio off as he tries to say his name again. "No, no, no! You have got it all wrong, Alberto. It isn't Fan-dang-oh, it's Fahn-dahn-go! With gusto! Try it!" Alberto says he isn't playing these games, ordering the dancer to come down to the ring and have this match already. "If you aren't going to get my name right, Alberto, then I am not going to face you. Simple as that. Congratulations, though, on letting all of these people down... on letting them miss out on the world wide in-ring premiere of Fahn... dahn... go!" He swivels his hips and twirls his dance partner on the way back through the curtains, leaving Del Rio frustrated and venting his anger out to Rodriguez.
3. Handicap Match: Big Show and Ryback def. 3MB as Show and Ryback are reluctant to team with each other initially, but begin taking turns laying out each member of 3MB. A Chokeslam and a Shell Shocked to each member, wrapping up with Slater, leads to Show tagging himself back in and dropping Heath with the Knockout Punch! He then makes the cover and gets the three count as Ryback watches on begrudgingly.
As Show gets back up, Ryback steps right in to his face and they stare each other down. While some words go back and forth, the referee tries to step in between them but gets shoved aside by Show. Ryback looks down to the official on the mat and the look away gives Show enough time to plant him with the Knockout Punch! 'The World's Largest Athlete' stands tall over Ryback's downed body, mouthing off to him in the process. "You think you're big, bad and tough, huh? I'm The Big Show! Nobody is more dominant than me! Nobody!" He then leaves the ring, both 3MB and Ryback left laid to waste.
Seen backstage and walking through the halls is Daniel Bryan, as he will be coming to the ring to address his WrestleMania opponent, The Undertaker, after the break.
As expected following the break, Daniel Bryan makes his way out to 'Yes!' chants from the crowd, which he seems to be hesitant to at first but ends up joining in as he makes his way down and in to the ring. A microphone in hand, he says that last week he decided to separate business from the real world and he let things simmer down in memory of the legendary Paul Bearer. "But my mind and my focus has not changed any. I still have the same plans for WrestleMania that I did when I challenged The Undertaker two weeks ago." Bryan says that his WWE career has been an incredible journey thus far, but he feels like he has yet to reach that next level. "And that is why I challenged The Undertaker. I want to go to the biggest stage against it's biggest star... take on one of the absolute very best this business has ever seen... and take him down." Bryan explains that he has the utmost respect for 'The Dead Man' but he knows that when it comes to this industry, to get to the top you have to go through the top and there is hardly more to even consider at the top than The Undertaker at WrestleMania. "So, 'Dead Man', with all due respect - I am going to give it my absolute all on April 7th. I am going to go in to that ring and expect the best of you but you should expect the best of me. You may be bigger, you may have more experience and you may be one of the greatest of all time... but I promise you one thing: Once that night is over, you and everyone else will know how seriously you should take Daniel Bryan!"
While the Pittsburgh crowd breaks out in 'Yes!' chants, the stage is hit by a big pyro as Kane arrives from the back. 'The Big Red Machine' and Bryan's Team Hell No partner proceeds to come down and in to the ring, standing in front of Bryan and taking a deep breath. "Daniel, I know you think you want this... but believe me, you don't." Kane says that he knows his brother better than anybody else and he has even faced him at WrestleMania twice. He warns that you never want to face The Undertaker and you really don't want to face him on the grandest stage of them all. "Daniel, you still have three weeks until WrestleMania. You can still make the right decision and not do this." Bryan looks around the CONSOL Energy Center as the fans start chanting 'no!' to the suggestion. Daniel then looks back up to Kane and tells him there is no way that is going to happen. "Why do you not want me to do this so bad, Kane? Is it because you're worried about me? Or is it because you're worried about the possibility of me doing what you could never do?" Bryan shrugs his shoulders as the crowd gives a sharp 'ooh' to the words, Daniel telling Kane that he doesn't care what he wants him to do - it's what he wants himself to do. "And what I want to do is end the streak." Bryan then passes by Kane and leaves the ring, heading to the back and leaving his former fellow Tag Team Champion left standing by himself.
Backstage, Matt Striker is standing by with Antonio Cesaro as he asks the United States Champion about defending his title against Chris Jericho tonight and if he is at all worried considering the storied career Jericho has had. "Not in the slightest," Cesaro replies. "As a matter of fact, I see this as a golden opportunity for me. I see this as proof that I deserve to be competing for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania!" He says that once he beats Jericho, he'll prove he deserves that opportunity and perhaps it should even be considered that he gets that spot. "But the fact will remain - regardless - that Antonio Cesaro will continue to be your greatest United States Champion of all time." He then walks off as his title defense is moments away.
4. United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro def. Chris Jericho in a very competitive rematch from last week but, obviously, with bigger implications. The two have a ton of back and forth and after a missed lionsault from Jericho, Cesaro takes control. A springboard uppercut - after being costly last week - seems to put Cesaro in prime position. He goes for the Neutralizer but Jericho sweeps out the legs and goes for the Walls of Jericho. Cesaro swivels his hips and flips Jericho off of him but then charges right in to the Codebreaker! Dolph Ziggler then comes racing down to the ring, the World Heavyweight Champion putting the foot of Cesaro on the bottom rope just as Jericho is about to get the three count upon his cover! Jericho is livid as he gets to his feet and tries to go after Ziggler only to be held back by the official. Being distracted just enough, Cesaro rolls him up from behind and gets his feet on the second rope over the head of the referee for the three count!
Jericho sits up immediately as Cesaro rolls under the bottom rope with Ziggler laughing. Requesting a microphone, the World Heavyweight Champion and one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions points at Jericho in mockery. "Once again, Chris! Once again you have failed! Once again you have not been able to win the big one! You can't do it in the spotlight anymore, Chris... and at WrestleMania... you will fail again when I beat you." Ziggler lets out a laugh and heads up the ramp holding up all of his gold alongside Cesaro as Jericho watches on angrily from in the ring.
Following the break, the commentary team mentions that during the commercial break, Dolph Ziggler was ready to leave the arena but there was a hold up. They then go to the footage during the time away of Ziggler walking up to AJ Lee and Big E Langston in the back, mocking Chris Jericho after having cost him his match when up to them approached Vickie Guerrero, the Raw Managing Supervisor telling the group that their night was not done yet because they're going to turn around and go right back out because Big E Langston will be going one-on-one with Jimmy Uso. "And if Jimmy wins, The Usos will face the two of you this Friday on Smackdown for the WWE Tag Team Championship once again - in a match type of their choice!"
5. Jimmy Uso (w/Jey Uso) def. WWE Tag Team Champion Big E Langston (w/World Heavyweight and WWE Tag Team Champion Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee) as Langston overpowers throughout the match but Jimmy stays in it with some quick breakaways and some fast offense of his own. A big superkick that stuns Langston leads to Ziggler trying to get involved, Big E taking advantage and crushing Jimmy in the corner with a splash. As Langston seems prepared to put things away, Chris Jericho rushes down to ringside and tackles Ziggler on to the floor! Langston heads over to the ropes to try and help but Jimmy grabs him from behind and launches him shoulder first in to the ring post, then rolling him up for the one, two, three!
Jericho and Ziggler continue to go at it on the outside after the bell sounds, The Usos rushing out there to try and pull Jericho back as Langston tries to get involved. Multiple referees and officials come down to attempt and break things up also, Jericho and Ziggler having plenty of words exchanged in the mix of things! Eventually, the two sides are fully pulled apart from each other as we head to a break.
A promo video airs for WrestleMania 29 taking place in 20 days on April 7th.
At ringside, the commentary team brings up how we are indeed just three weeks away from the biggest event of the year. Cole says that before we get to the grandest stage of them all, however, we have some more things to get to, including next week right here on Raw a big time main event when CM Punk faces John Cena one-on-one. Plus, they have just learned that The Undertaker will be live here next week to respond to Daniel Bryan! And, before we can even get to next week's Raw, we have Smackdown this Friday night where The Usos will get one more shot at Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston's WWE Tag Team Championship and Matt Striker is about to find out what the stipulation for that match will be.
In the back, Striker stands by with The Usos and congratulates them on earning another shot at the WWE Tag Team Championship and says, obviously, the question at hand is what type of match it will be. "We had a few ideas, Matt," Jey says. "We've been bouncing them back and forth but I think uce and myself... we've got it figured out." Jimmy adds that they thought of maybe putting the belts high up above the ring in a ladder match, but they decided against that. They also thought about a tables match, but that wasn't for them either. "Then we thought: How can we get the WWE Tag Team Championship... and not have somebody like AJ cheat us out of the gold? You lock Dolph and Big E up with us! You lock 'em up in a steel cage!" The brothers both grow big smiles on their faces, Jey saying that this Friday they finally get the tag team titles in their possession!
Seen elsewhere in the back is Team Rhodes Scholars and The Bella Twins, Sandow asking Nikki if she is nervous. "Because it's okay to be! It's your first match back, after all!" Nikki says she is a little bit, prompting Rhodes to tell her to quit it. "You've got to be locked in and focused and you have to beat Natalya here tonight! Your sister, myself and Damien have got our eyes on the outside but you just look across from that ring and you show Natalya who she's messing with!" Brie then tells her sister that she has all the faith in the world in her and knows she will show the whole world who the best Divas in the WWE are. The four then head off together, Nikki Bella versus Natalya coming up next.
6. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella and Team Rhodes Scholars) def. Natalya (w/Divas Champion Kaitlyn, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara) in a match up controlled on the mat a lot by Natalya. A series of ejections on the outside leaves just the women at ringside, however, the two mens teams arguing all the way to the back. A sharpshooter attempt from Natalya is reversed with Nikki slinging her between the ropes. Brie tries to come over but Kaitlyn cuts her off with a Spear! Nikki crawls back in to the ring and Natalya once again goes for the Sharpshooter but as she is holding the legs out, she is pulled down in to a small package for the three count!
Nikki rolls out of the ring as Kaitlyn is shocked at the win, The Bella Twins gathering together with Brie holding her mid-section as they back up the ramp together. While Natalya and Kaitlyn watch on, Sandow and Rhodes come back out to the stage and take a cocky bow along with Nikki and Brie.
Seen walking in the back is Randy Orton, heading down the halls when he stops and up from the side approaches Triple H. The two share a look and give a nod before heading off together as they will address The Shield and, as all signs point towards, announce their partner for WrestleMania.
Out from the back following the break as expected is Triple H and Randy Orton, the two proceeding to make their way down to the ring together, each with a microphone in their hand. "Everybody has been wondering since we laid down the challenge to The Shield at WrestleMania who our partner will be," Orton says. "But we weren't just going to find anybody. We weren't going to go searching in the locker room and finding just anyone that had a problem with The Shield. We wanted to find somebody that would stand up with Hunter and myself and have our backs no matter what." HHH steps forward and explains that this isn't just a battle because of how dominant The Shield is, this is a battle because of what they have done. "They preach justice but all I've seen from them is the exact opposite of that. From ruining main event matches, to taking over Raw and Smackdown, to beating the holy hell out of anyone they please... and putting my father-in-law in the hospital..." He shakes his head and says to watch a 67 year old man barely able to move in a hospital bed with his wife and his children at his side wondering if he'll ever be the same rips at him each and every day. "And I could pray and I could plead that The Shield stops doing things like that and hope that it doesn't happen to anyone else but I'm not that kind of guy... I'm the kind of guy that is going to take care of business himself... with my brothers... with those that will stand up for me just as I will stand up for them... Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns... your day of reckoning is coming at WrestleMania."
The theme music of The Shield then hits throughout the arena as the trio make their way through the crowd for a second time tonight. Once they hop the barricade, they surround the ring, each holding a microphone as HHH and Orton look around at all of them. "Did we hurt your feelings?" Rollins asks with a laugh. "You think we give a damn about hurting you, Hunter? Or, more importantly, hurting Mr. McMahon?" Ambrose adds on that they show no remorse, what they perceive as justice may be different than what HHH and Orton do, but justice it is. Reigns says they will not apologize for what they do, just only warn the repercussions of crossing The Shield. "So, we're going to give whoever this supposed partner of yours is one last warning..." Ambrose says with a smile as he hops on to the apron, Reigns and Rollins following on other sides. "If they dare stand at your side... they're going down just like the two of you. So think carefully whoever you are! Think very... very... carefully..." He then drops his microphone, the three members of The Shield then beginning to step through the ropes. The Pittsburgh audience then erupts as "I Walk Alone" by Saliva hits over the PA as out from the back comes Batista! "Oh my!" Cole shouts out. "He's back! 'The Animal' is back! Three years later, Batista is back!" The Shield even seem stunned by the arrival, HHH and Orton throwing strikes at Rollins and Ambrose, Reigns getting involved until Batista slides in to the ring and catches Reigns on the turn with a spinebuster! Ambrose charges forward and eats a clothesline, Rollins then flying off the top rope but being clubbed right in the stomach. Orton then flies in with the RKO on Reigns as he tries to Spear Batista! Ambrose then staggers back up and walks right in to the Pedigree from HHH, Batista lastly standing over Rollins as he is on all fours. Positioning him for the Batista Bomb, the thumbs are put up and then down - 'The Animal' delivering his signature powerbomb right in the center of the ring! The CONSOL Energy Center rampant, Batista gets back up and steps to the ropes, shaking them and stomping his feet before coming back to the center of the ring to a smiling HHH and Orton. The three then embrace one another to applause, raising their arms up afterward as they look out to the three members of The Shield piled up together on the outside. "They're back!" Lawler says. "Evolution! Evolution is back!" The re-united trio stands tall in the middle of the squared circle as Raw comes to an end!
Not far from WrestleMania now. March 18 RAW was your basic gist of a build for the Grandaddy of Them All. I like the feud between Brock Lesnar and Sheamus, I do sort of wish they had more time to build this though. Perhaps a rematch could happen distantly down the line. I’ve sensed a pattern in the Shield opening RAW on the in-ring side of things, and it’s understandable - they’re a strong act to put on first. But that said, I hope it’s not too repetitively done. Let’s give them some more main events, or first hour main events. Let’s build the suspense to show them what Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are all about. Anyway, it was your basic squash. Very thrown together team, but they are each fun loving babyfaces after all. The Miz and Wade Barrett ala real life just makes sense, hopefully they aren’t demoted to the Kickoff Show. See, I would have probably switched John Cena beating Mark Henry with the six-man tag team opener. CM Punk or not - I just think that way you undoubtedly have two back-to-back hot segments. Big main event scheduled for RAW, two weeks out from WrestleMania. I love the dynamic of Fandango challenging Albert Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez to pronounce his name properly. I’d like to see you make Fandango into even more of a narcissist. I think you could give his character an entirely fresh coat of paint. 3MB never stood a chance. Big Show and Ryback make strange bedfellows, yet I could see them as WWE Tag Team Championship contenders come spring. Tension with Team Hell No. I’d like to hear more from Kane during this weird situation with Daniel Bryan and the Undertaker. Did Antonio Cesaro and Chris Jericho ever work a proper match? I bet it would have been a good one. Dolph Ziggler involving himself just makes sense. I maybe wouldn’t have put the WWE United States Championship at stake though, given Jericho will be challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship. I also probably would have let this show-long story breathe. Two back to back segments with interference in each. I feel like the Usos becoming challengers for the titles could have been built up more, but I am a sucker for a tag team steel-cage match. It’s a strong hook for SmackDown, too. Divas in the death slot in hour three. I’d like to see them start getting more first hour opportunities. It served its purpose, I forget how despisable the Bella Twins truly were as heels - or maybe that’s just because I hated them at the time. Natalya, Kaitlyn alongside Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara is a very oddball combination. And we finally have the big six-man tag team encounter set for WrestleMania. The Shield opening the show in-ring makes sense now. Batista is here, Evolution is back together. A real strong show-closing segment, leading to my one and only question…where the f*ck is Mark Jindrak?
Post by underjohngrohs on Aug 15, 2020 4:40:05 GMT -5
I am glad to see that my predictions have come true about Daniel Bryan fighting The Undertaker. But i'm not sure if he can break the streak, Punk/Cena and The Rock should be one hell of a main event, i'm glad that Evolution is back to take on the Shield in a 6-Man Tag Team Match at WrestleMania 29. Brock and Sheamus needs to have a match, you can't let the two fight in a regular match, it's gotta be No Holds Barred, Anything Goes and that should be match of the night in my eyes. Speaking of another match of the night in my eyes, the World Heavyweight Championship between Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler. It's too close to call, but I think Ziggler honestly needs to retain against Jericho, he can't be a transitional champion just like in real life. Ziggler lost the belt 2 months after winning it, hopefully you'll have Ziggler be a long-term World Heavyweight Champion, I can definitely see Ziggler stay World Champion in the middle and by the end of 2013, But he doesn't need Big E and AJ to fight his battles. But please please ohhh please, do not introduce the Authority in this storyline. And while you're at it, check out the 1997 Diary for WWF bro.
March 22, 2013 from U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH
The cameras come inside of the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio after the opening Smackdown video with the voice of Josh Mathews giving the welcome to the show alongside John Bradshaw Layfield. Tonight, the WWE Tag Team Championship is on the line when Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston defend against The Usos in a Steel Cage Match! Plus, Daniel Bryan will be in action against Mark Henry and much more right here on Smackdown!
The theme music of Big Show hits to begin the show this week, 'The World's Largest Athlete' emerging from the back and making his way down to the ring. Once there, he holds a microphone in his hand and says that about fourteen years ago he made his debut in the WWE. "And ever since then I have made a career out of every single time someone said I wasn't who I am... destroying everyone in my path." He explains that he has been mocked, he has been challenged and he has been made a joke and for some reason, it continues to happen and that is when problems begin for everyone else. "And right now? A problem has begun for Ryback. He thinks he can walk in here and be a dominant machine and take my place. He thinks he can one up me. He thinks he is stronger. He thinks he is better. But it is time to prove everyone who I am once again and that I am not going anywhere! So Ryback, get your ass out here!"
After a few moments, Ryback does arrive and he marches down the ramp and in to the ring - staring right at Big Show. "Who do you think you are?" Show questions. "Or can you even answer that question? Can you elaborate a sentence more than just 'feed me more'?" Ryback snickers, pulling his microphone up and telling Show there is plenty he could say, he just prefers actions over words - but if it's words Show wants, he'll give him some. "You're right. For years and years you have been 'The Big Guy'... but not anymore... it's time for you to step aside for Ryback! Feed! Me! More!" Show scoffs and tells Ryback he'll feed him plenty, but only through a straw with his mouth wired shut. Show says that for weeks he has been a thorn in his side and he doesn't want that anymore. "So at WrestleMania, I'm challenging you to a match, Ryback." A bit of chuckling, Ryback doesn't hesitate to accept the challenge - then offering Show to not wait until then and to go at it right here, right now! Show stares back at the offer while the Cincinnati fans cheer the suggestion. Show then removes his jacket and leans it across the ropes, rolling up his sleeves but stopping himself once Ryback motions him in. Show steps over the top rope with his jacket back over his shoulder, pointing to the WrestleMania sign. "You'll get yours then." He warns to Ryback before going down the steps and heading up the ramp.
After the break, The Miz is seen arriving at ringside and taking a seat at the commentary desk. He will be joining in for the upcoming match featuring his WrestleMania opponent.
1. Non-Title Match: Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett def. Brodus Clay (w/Cameron and Naomi) as a battle between different types of strength, Barrett comes out hard hitting while Clay delivers some big slams. After removing turnbuckle padding in the corner, Barrett avoids a splash from Clay and causes him to go chest first in to the exposed steel. A slam of the face in to it afterward, Barrett bounces back off the ropes a bit and returns with the Bull Hammer Elbow, dropping Clay down and out for the three count.
Barrett gets back up with a smile and a chuckle, looking over to the referee and demanding his Intercontinental Championship belt. However, as the official goes to retrieve it, The Miz takes the other side of it from the outside. He pulls it away from the referee and looks up to Barrett, whom orders Miz to hand it over. After looking down at the title, Miz walks up the steps and enters the ring - staring at Barrett as he continues to call for the belt to be placed in his hand. Miz then puts the gold out and Barrett goes to reach for it but Miz drives the title in to the face of the champion! "What a cheap shot!" Says an outraged JBL. Miz then drops the belt at Barrett's side and leaves the ring, a grin from ear-to-ear as he makes his way up the ramp and to the back.
Seen in the back is AJ Lee, the girlfriend of World Heavyweight and WWE Tag Team Champion Dolph Ziggler when she is approached by Chris Jericho. "What do you want?" Lee asks with a look and tone of disgust, Jericho shrugging his shoulders and smiling as he explains to her he doesn't want much other than for her to deliver a message. "Obviously your boyfriend and his... whatever... have their hands full tonight inside of a Steel Cage with The Usos. Now, as much as I wish the the best of luck, I want to extend an offer for this Monday on Raw to Big E Langston." Lee questions what that would be and Jericho says he simply wants a match with Langston. AJ looks him up and down and says she'll make sure to let him know. "But be careful what you wish for, Chris. I wouldn't want you to make things any easier for my Ziggy at WrestleMania." She laughs to herself and walks away.
2. Non-Title Match: Divas Champion Kaitlyn (w/Natalya, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara) def. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella and Team Rhodes Scholars) in a match that, similar to Raw, has a lot of outside chaos. After Sandow trips Kaitlyn from the outside and acts obvious to it, Mysterio and Cara charge at him and begin to brawl with him and Rhodes. The official is forced to put a stop to things by ejecting them from ringside, even taking the opportunity to send Nikki and Natalya out as well! With just Kaitlyn and Brie left, a suplex attempt from the Divas Champion is blocked with Brie then raking the eyes. Running off to the ropes, however, Brie comes right back in to the Spear! The cover is then made and the legs are hooked for the one, two, three.
Kaitlyn gets back to her feet and is presented with her Divas Championship belt, which she holds up above her head in celebration as she has evened things up this week after Brie managed to defeat Natalya on Raw.
Following the commercial break, the cameras come to ringside to Mathews and JBL as they mention that this past Monday on Raw, we found out who will be the partner of Triple H and Randy Orton against The Shield at WrestleMania. They then transition to footage of Batista making his return to the WWE for the first time in three years, helping clear the ring of The Shield and standing tall with HHH and Orton as Evolution has been re-united!
Cutting to somewhere in the back, The Shield are seen holding a handheld camera with Ambrose muttering under his breath. "The band is back together, huh?" He says with a cackle. "Evolution! Back together! Perhaps one of the most dominant factions in WWE history... but you are no Shield..." Reigns says that they are not afraid of HHH, Orton or Batista and at WrestleMania they will put down that 'so-called great' faction. Rollins adds on that he thinks the addition of Batista, quite frankly, is great. "Because it will be just that much more satisfying when we defeat the three of you..." Reigns then says that he heard that this Monday on Raw he has a match with Orton. "Bring your boys with you... so they can see first hand just one third of what they're dealing with at WrestleMania... believe that... and believe in The Shield." They then place the camera on the ground and walk away from it.
Seen elsewhere in the back is Matt Striker, standing by with Daniel Bryan and asking him about facing one of The Undertaker's former WrestleMania opponents tonight in Mark Henry. "You act like I haven't been in the ring with Mark Henry before, Matt," Bryan says with a smile. "But, yes. Mark has been in the ring with The Undertaker and been in the ring with The Undertaker at WrestleMania... and he is 'The World's Strongest Man'... but like I've said, I've been underestimated my entire career. I've been underestimated time and time again and I know I am being underestimated at WrestleMania and I'm probably being underestimated by Mark Henry. But I will continue to prove everyone wrong... including The Undertaker." Bryan then heads off with that match coming up next.
3. Daniel Bryan def. Mark Henry in a competitive battle between former rivals, 'The World's Strongest Man' trying to overcome the slump he has been in since his return last month and displaying a lot of his power against Bryan. Chipping away at Henry with his hard strikes, Bryan fails to get him off the mat until delivering a top rope dropkick. Escaping from a World's Strongest Slam attempt, Bryan swings his body to the side with a hook of Henry's head - pulling him down with a DDT that he transitions right in to the Yes! Lock! The Cincinnati fans are loud with the 'Yes!' chants even, Henry fighting in the hold for quite a while but eventually tapping out.
The WWE Universe keeps going with the 'Yes!' chants as Bryan rises to his feet and points his fingers to the sky to go along with the fans. He keeps it going around the ring and ascends the turnbuckles, slowing his pace down some as his eyes are drawn to the WrestleMania logo hanging in the rafters.
Seen elsewhere backstage is Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio is visibly frustrated as he tells Rodriguez that on Raw, Fandango backed down from him. "Because I didn't pronounce his name right?!" Rodriguez tries to reason with Del Rio, but 'The Mexican Aristocrat' says that since Fandango doesn't want to face him, he went and asked Booker T for a match tonight and he has one coming up with Tensai. "I'm not happy, Ricardo... and one day... I will get my hands on Fandango... or however you want to pronounce it."
Talking to each other in the back following the break are The Usos, Jimmy and Jey hyping each other up and saying how this is the biggest opportunity they've got. "This is our chance to become WWE Tag Team Champions, uce!" Jimmy says. "We got Ziggler and Big E locked up in a cage - nobody able to help them tonight!" They push each other back and forth a few times and leave the room as that match is still to come later.
4. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) def. Tensai as Tensai tries to come out full steam but Del Rio is ready for it. Targeting the arm and hitting Tensai with some hard kicks in between, the Rolling Cross Armbreaker ends up being locked in after Del Rio pulls Tensai down while on his shoulders, forcing the quick submission.
Del Rio continues to pull back on the arm despite the bell continuing to ring, Rodriguez getting in to the ring quickly and convincing Alberto to let go. Getting back up and breathing heavily, he demands Ricardo bring him a microphone. "Fandango! Fan-din-go, Fahn-den-go, Fin-dan-go, however you pronounce it... how about you quit hiding from me, perro? How about you man up and you face me?" Continuing to call out the dancing superstar, Fandango and his dance partner eventually come out to the stage, Fandango wagging his finger after wrapping up his dance and telling Del Rio that he really needs to learn to do this right. "If you are ever going to be blessed with facing me in my first match... you will learn to pronounce my name... Fahn... dahn... go! Come on, say it with me, Alberto! Fahn... dahn... g-" Del Rio cuts him off and says that he doesn't care how it is pronounced or even what it is, he has had enough of Fandango getting involved in his business. "Well then, Alberto... this dance of ours then... is not meant to be." Fandango then twirls his dance partner around and they return to the back, a frustrated Del Rio having to be held back and reasoned with by Rodriguez!
A promo video airs for WrestleMania 29 taking place in 16 days on April 7th.
Following the promo video, the commentary team mentions what is to come this Monday on Raw. In the main event we will see John Cena versus CM Punk one-on-one. Plus, two more matches that have been confirmed tonight: Randy Orton will face Roman Reigns and Chris Jericho will take on Big E Langston! Plus, The Undertaker will be live to address Daniel Bryan just two weeks ahead of their WrestleMania match!
In the back, Sheamus is seen with Matt Striker at his side, mentioning that Sheamus requested this time. "That's right, Matty. Because this past Monday on Raw, Brock gave me the challenge to a match at WrestleMania. I gladly accepted. However, after giving it some thought, I think I'd like to take things up a notch, y'know?" He says that a match with Lesnar sounds good, but a fight sounds even better. "I want to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania not in a match... but in a Street Fight. So, Brock, Paul... whichever one of you wants to speak on Brock's behalf, I'll be waiting for an answer." He grins and walks away as an interesting proposition has been made.
Seen elsewhere is the WWE Tag Team Champions, World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston. Up to the two of them comes Ziggler's girlfriend AJ Lee, sharing a kiss with her boyfriend as she asks the two if they are ready for their match. "More than ready, babe." Ziggler replies. "Big E and myself? We're going to run right through The Usos! Who cares if there is a cage around us? I overcome it all and I beat everyone that gets in my way... tonight, it's The Usos... at WrestleMania, it's Chris Jericho. After that? Anybody else that dares step in front of me." He gives a nod to Langston and the two head off together as the main event is coming up next.
5. Steel Cage Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston (w/AJ Lee) def. The Usos in what is a long, back-and-forth main event with bot sides using the cage as a weapon against each other and neither side able to find a way to escape. After Jimmy side-steps a dive between the ropes by Langston, Ziggler drills him with a superkick and then ascends the cage wall and slips over the top and to the floor below! Jumping in celebration, he then realizes Langston is on his own. The Usos then begin to double team Big E and after a double suplex, they point toward the door and look to leave together. Ziggler runs up to the door and tries to hold it shut, but ends up having it swung back with him hanging on to it. AJ tries to help and pushes the door back and in to the shoulder of Jey, allowing Langston to run through him with a clothesline. Jimmy hits a superkick on Big E and falls back between the ropes, crawling out to the floor! Ziggler again goes to close the door but Jimmy begins to tee off on him, the two going back and forth with strikes on the outside. Back inside of the ring, Jey pulls himself to the top of the cage and looks back to Langston getting on all fours. After looking around the arena to cheers, Jey pulls himself to a standing position on top of the cage and dives off to Langston with a crossbody! The U.S. Bank Arena erupts as Jey recovers off of the move and starts to crawl to the door, the official opening it from the outside only for Ziggler to throw Jimmy in to the door and slam it in to his own brother's face! Langston then gets back to his feet and catches Jey staggering back up, planting him with the Big Ending! Big E then rolls himself out of the cage and brings an end to the battle!
The boos come down from the crowd as Ziggler, Langston and Lee stagger away from the cage and up the ramp. The referee brings over their title belts while The Usos are left laying and watching on as the WWE Tag Team Champions stand tall atop the stage with smiles on their faces, raising the belts up high in celebration until from behind Chris Jericho drops Ziggler! Langston turns around and runs at 'Y2J' but a clothesline is ducked and Jericho hits Big E with a Codebreaker! The Cincinnati fan's boos go to cheers as Jericho stands back up with a smile, waving to an enraged AJ as he backs up to and through the curtains as Smackdown draws to an end.
March 25, 2013 from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
Following the opening Monday Night Raw video, the cameras come inside of the Wells Fargo Center from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the stage lit by pyros as Michael Cole's voice welcomes everyone to the show alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield as we are less than two weeks from WrestleMania!
The theme music of CM Punk hits to a loud reaction from the fans - both boos and cheers. 'The Best in the World' then steps through the curtains with Paul Heyman at his side, the two making their way down the ramp and in to the ring. A microphone in Punk's hand, he taps it against his temple and then gazes out to the fans. "Let's first mention that this city was built by this genius of a man right here." He says while gesturing to Heyman, drawing some cheers. "But you people don't deserve to cheer him. You don't deserve to be in his presence and just as much you don't deserve to be in mine." Garnering the heat of the WWE Universe, Punk explains that he was the WWE Champion for 456 days. He says that while John Cena and The Rock may have more overall reigns with the WWE Championship, he is the one that held it for that long. "It also means I haven't lost as many times as those two have. You cheer them like they are heroes yet they fail when it matters most... I don't... and you boo me? Why? Because I'm better than you? Because I'm 'The Best in the World'? Because I've beaten The Rock and I've beaten John Cena and I'll beat them again at WrestleMania and I'll beat John Cena right here tonight?"
Punk chuckles to himself and says he has plenty of time to deal with Cena tonight when he beats him in the middle of this ring, but since he has this time to speak he wants to talk about the WWE Champion. "So-called WWE Champion, that is. Because The Rock, for one, shouldn't be holding my championship. Second, he decides to show up whenever he wants and apparently tonight is not one of those nights. What's the matter, Rocky? Are you not for the millions... and millions... anymore? Oh, that's right - it's not the millions of The Rock's fans anymore it's the millions of dollars in Dwayne's pocket from his God awful movies!" Punk says that Rock spits in the face of this business, he spits in the face of the WWE Championship and he spits in the face of all of these people. "You know who else does? John Cena. Except John Cena does it in front of you each and every week. I'll always have more respect for John for being here every week like myself but he pulls the wool over your eyes time and time again! I'm here telling the truth! I'm here telling it how it is and I'm not just talking the talk, I'm walking the walk! And you people don't have to like it but you have to accept it!" He adds that tonight he goes one-on-one with Cena and he will win and in just under two weeks at WrestleMania, he'll be facing both Cena and The Rock in the main event for the WWE Championship. "And when I win that as well, all will be right in the world! And if you thought 456 days was a long time... just you wait." He drops the microphone and leaves the ring with Heyman in tow, the two heading to the back with Punk versus Cena still to come in tonight's main event.
Seen walking backstage is Chris Jericho, the winner of this year's Royal Rumble match and number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship. He faces Big E Langston following the break!
1. Chris Jericho def. WWE Tag Team Champion Big E Langston (w/World Heavyweight and WWE Tag Team Champion Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee) in a competitive bout, Langston's power proving to be a difference maker as he manages to manhandle the veteran. An enzuigiri that sends Big E to the outside is followed by a crossbody over the top rope, the match lasting through a break afterward. Continued back and forth after the time after, Jericho nails the lionsault and gets a near fall. AJ gets on the apron and provides a distraction, Langston back up and putting Jericho over his shoulder for the Big Ending, yet 'Y2J' manages to slide down and shove Langston in to AJ - knocking her off the apron and on to Ziggler! Langston then turns around and right in to the Codebreaker, Jericho then hooking the far leg for the one, two, three!
Jericho gets to his feet with a big grin on his face as Langston rolls under the bottom rope at the feet of an enraged Ziggler. AJ holds her boyfriend back as Jericho requests a microphone from ringside. "You keep hiding behind your girlfriend and your glorified bodyguard, Dolph," He says with a laugh while leaning across the ropes. "So before you lose the World Heavyweight Championship to me at WrestleMania, how about we make things a little interesting this Friday on Smackdown? How about I find myself a partner, we face you for the WWE Tag Team Championship and we take those titles away?" Ziggler seems reluctant to the idea, instead just telling Jericho to watch himself. He, AJ and Langston all then head off together as Jericho is left standing tall and watching.
Following the break, the commentary team reveals that after the challenge made by Chris Jericho moments ago, the match has been officially set for this Friday on Smackdown: Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston will defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against Chris Jericho and a partner of his choice!
Meanwhile, back in the ring stands United States Champion Antonio Cesaro. A microphone in his hand, he explains that when he defeated Chris Jericho - the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship - last week on Raw, he proved himself once again. "And that is why I've come out here tonight to challenge anyone in the back to a non-title match against me where I will defeat them!" A smile on his face, he hands the microphone back to the outside and awaits his opponent, eventually having Kofi Kingston answer the call.
2. Non-Title Match: United States Champion Antonio Cesaro def. Kofi Kingston as the match is very quick paced and back and forth, Kingston with a ton of aerial maneuvers that put the United States Champion down for near falls. An SOS nearly puts Cesaro away, an uppercut in the corner to avoid being splashed leading to positioning for the Neutralizer. Kingston kicks his feet while up, however, and pulls himself back down to the mat. A Trouble in Paradise is ducked underneath and Cesaro rolls Kingston up - a hand on the middle rope over the head of the official to pull off the cheap victory!
The crowd boos as Cesaro rolls right out of the ring, Kingston furious over the cheating as he complains to the referee about it. Cesaro retrieves his United States Championship belt and holds it proudly above his head, having some choice cocky words for Kingston as he passes by him on his way around the ring.
The lights go out and the signature gong of The Undertaker hits following the break, the Philadelphia fans rising on to their feet as 'The Dead Man' makes his long and daunting entrance. Once standing in the center of the ring, he pulls a microphone up slowly. "Over the past few weeks I've had time to think... time to reflect on the life of the one and only Paul Bearer... and while tribute was paid in his memory, it is time to move forward," He then tilts his head toward the WrestleMania sign in the rafters. "And moving forward I am entering WrestleMania for the twenty first time against a man considered one of the best in-ring technicians. A man that brings the masses together behind a single word... a man that has overcome insurmountable odds time and time again throughout his entire career..." He says that this time around, however, luck will not be on the side of Daniel Bryan. "Because it is going to take a lot more than luck to end the streak... there is many of reason that I have walked in to the ring at WrestleMania twenty times before... and twenty times walked out victorious."
Before Taker can say anything more, Daniel Bryan's music interrupts. The 'Yes!' chants ringing out loud behind him, he actually takes his time coming down and in to the ring. Once there, he and Taker stare each other down. "I appreciate the recognition, Undertaker. But I'm not stupid." He says while looking up in to the eyes of the legend. "I am well aware that luck isn't going to be enough to take you down on the grandest stage of them all. As a matter of fact, I've never needed luck. What I have needed is my ability, my heart and my determination. And at WrestleMania, it will be my ability that will wear you down, my heart that will keep me in it as you bring your best and, most importantly, it will be my determination that leads to me being the one in twenty and one." Taker moves one step forward and asks Bryan if he is aware of how long he has been hearing about being taken down. "You have no idea what you're stepping in to at WrestleMania, little man. As good as you are, it's not going to be enough. You may have a long and successful career ahead of you... but at WrestleMania... against me... you will rest... in... peace..." Bryan looks around the arena and goes to respond but the lights go back out in the building, coming back on moments later with The Undertaker nowhere to be found. Bryan is left looking frustrated as the warning has been sent and the mind games have begun from 'The Dead Man'.
Daniel Bryan is seen walking backstage after the break shaking his head when Kane approaches him. "What did I tell you?" He asks his former Team Hell No partner, Bryan waving his hands out in front of him and telling Kane that he isn't backing out of this match because of a little disappearing act. "That's just a small taste of it, Daniel. I know my brother better than anyone else and I've told you that. I've faced him time after time and I've teamed with him, too... and I still couldn't beat him at WrestleMania. What makes you think you can?" Bryan laughs to himself while looking at the floor and then looks back up to Kane, saying that maybe he should give him a chance to pick his brain. "Last week on Smackdown, I faced one of your brother's former WrestleMania opponents - Mark Henry. Maybe this Friday... I go one-on-one with you." Kane at first doesn't seem interested in the challenge, but Bryan insists. "How about this: If you beat me... I'll back out of my match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania." Kane scoffs and tells Bryan if he's that confident, then he'll see him in the ring on Smackdown! 'The Big Red Monster' then heads down the hall, allowing Bryan to continue on his way.
3. Damien Sandow and Nikki Bella (w/Cody Rhodes and Brie Bella) def. Sin Cara and Natalya (w/Rey Mysterio and Divas Champion Kaitlyn) with the mixed tag action leading to initial control by Sandow being responded in kind by Cara's high flying taking him down a notch. A desperation tag to Nikki forces Natalya to come in to the match where they have some back and forth, Brie trying to switch places with her sister but being caught by Kaitlyn in the process. Sandow makes a blind tag while Cara, Mysterio, Kaitlyn argue with the opposing side and official over it - Cara coming over to see what is going on before being caught from behind and laid out with the You're Welcome, giving Sandow the pinfall victory.
Sandow rises to his feet with a smile, taking a bow over Cara's body and having some words for him before Mysterio tries to come in after him - Sandow quick to escape from the ring. "We're smarter and better than you!" Rhodes shouts while backing down with Sandow and The Bella Twins, the other four left standing together in the ring and trying to urge them back in for a four-on-four fight but to no avail.
Seen walking in the halls backstage is Sheamus as while he awaits an answer to his challenge to Brock Lesnar to make their WrestleMania match a Street Fight, he will be in action following the break!
A promo video airs for WrestleMania 29 taking place in 13 days on April 7th.
4. Sheamus def. Tensai in a battle of big, tough competitors but only 'The Celtic Warrior' able to come out on top as despite some brief offense from Tensai, getting caught in the ropes leads to the signature Ten Beats of the Bodhran across the chest and the Brogue Kick, putting Tensai down for the three count.
Sheamus stands back up and pounds his own chest before raising his fists over his head in celebration, that time to enjoy the win not lasting too long, however, as Brock Lesnar slides in to the ring from behind, scoops him up off of the mat and delivers the F-5! Lesnar stands over his WrestleMania opponent but isn't done there, tossing him to the outside and following after. A toss in to the steel steps is followed by one against the announce desk. As he watches Sheamus crawl toward the ring, Paul Heyman walks down with a smile on his face, giving Lesnar a nod before Brock delivers another F-5 in to the ring post! As Sheamus writhes in pain on the floor, Heyman steps next to Lesnar with a microphone in hand and kneels beside him. "It was bad enough to get in to a match with Brock Lesnar... but you want a fight? A street fight? Well, congratulations, Sheamus because you've got it!" Lesnar's music then hits as Heyman raises his client's arm up as the two then walk away together.
Following the break, the commentary team discusses what we just saw moments ago with Brock Lesnar and Sheamus, with the confirmation that their match at WrestleMania being a Street Fight!
The music of John Cena then hits throughout the building and down to the ring comes the twelve-time World Champion. He looks around at the mixed responding crowd, saying unlike his adversary CM Punk earlier on, he is going to make things short, sweet and simple. "In thirteen days I walk in to MetLife Stadium in front of 75,000 plus... in the main event... against two of the absolute best I've ever faced in my career... not only that, the WWE Championship is on the line." He says that the plan at WrestleMania is just this: Win. While he understands that is easier said than done, it is all he has on his mind, just like there is tonight. "Rock may not be here, but CM Punk is... and in this ring a little bit later it will be myself versus Punk one-on-one. We've faced many times before but this one feels just a little bit bigger than normal because we are so close to WrestleMania. Punk wants to run his mouth and talk a big game while he needs to step up because I'm putting my foot on the gas and I'm not letting up on that throttle until I walk out of WrestleMania the WWE Champion! So you're on the tracks tonight, Punk, and the John Cena train is coming." He then prepares to leave the ring but stops himself, walking back and wagging his finger. "But one last thing... to my friend The Rock: If there is anything I agree with CM Punk on it's time - you're the WWE Champion, we're on the road to WrestleMania and where have you been? I hope you're watching tonight, man. Because I know Punk hasn't forgotten you took the WWE Championship from him at Elimination Chamber and I damn sure haven't forgotten about what happened at WrestleMania last year. I'll see you soon, jack." He then tosses the microphone off to the side and leaves the ring, as he'll be back later on for his match with Punk.
Standing in the back and getting prepared for his upcoming match is Randy Orton when up to him approaches Triple H. They don't exchange any words but simply stare and nod to one another, then looking off to the side as Batista arrives on to the scene. The crowd roars from inside of the building as Batista asks Orton if he's ready. "Isn't that my line?" HHH asks with a laugh, saying he's glad to have the band back together. "I appreciate you guys having my back," Hunter adds. "The Shield don't know what they've got coming to them at WrestleMania. But tonight, Randy, Roman Reigns is going to find out just who 'The Viper' is." Orton says that is the plan and if Ambrose and Rollins feel like getting involved, they'll get a little taste of Evolution. The three then head off together with that match coming up next.
5. Randy Orton (w/Batista and Triple H) def. Roman Reigns (w/Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins) via disqualification as the two men come out hitting hard and being relentless with one another. Things slow down through a commercial break with Reigns' power controlling things. A comeback from Orton leads to a few knock downs and after avoiding a Spear in the corner, he swings Reigns through the ropes and drops him with the rope hung DDT. Ambrose leaps on to the apron but eats a punch to the face, Rollins getting on the other side with HHH ripping him down by the legs. Setting up for the RKO, Orton waits for Reigns to rise but ends up being hit from behind with a clothesline from Ambrose - causing the disqualification.
Ambrose is then met with a clothesline from Batista, 'The Animal' then turning in to a flying knee from Rollins off the top rope. HHH comes in to the ring and lays Rollins out with a Pedigree but takes a Spear from Reigns! Roman stands back up and turns right in to a face-to-face with Batista. The crowd begins to buzz as the two big men have some words back and forth before throwing rights and lefts at one another. After a Superman Punch, Roman backs up in to the corner and sets up for the Spear but Orton ends up blindsiding him in the middle of it with the RKO! 'The Apex Predator' stands back up with some words for Reigns as he rolls under the bottom rope, the three Evolution brethren then standing tall together as they have once again managed to thwart The Shield!
After the time away, Fandango's music hits and down from the back comes the dancer with his partner as he is announced for action. Once in the ring, he takes a dramatic pause after bringing a microphone above his head before finally speaking. "Tonight, you people will witness history... history as the one and only Fahn... danh... go... will debut in this ring." He says that the world has been waiting for this moment for far too long and now, it is time for the big reveal. As he prepares to continue on, however, Alberto Del Rio's music interrupts and along with Ricardo Rodriguez, he steps out to the stage and says that is enough of the talking. "Nobody wants to hear you speak. They want to see Alberto Del Rio kick Fandango's behind!" He then begins to make his way down the ramp, stepping on to the apron and in to the ring and telling the referee to ring the bell but Fandango puts his hand out and says that this is the problem. "Alberto, you once again show no respect for my name. You... you fail to pronounce it correctly and don't seem to care whether you learn to or not... and that is why everyone was deprived of my debut last week... and why they will continue to be deprived tonight!"
The audience boos as Fandango goes to step through the ropes only for Rodriguez to tell him to wait. "What do you want? What do we need to do?" Del Rio tries to stop Rodriguez but he says that all he hears about is how much he wants to get his hands on Fandango, but he continues to not do what he needs to do. Fandango steps forward and looks around the building before smiling to the two men. "Here's my proposition: You become my personal ring announcer, Ricardo... and I'll face Alberto Del Rio right here, right now." Rodriguez looks to Del Rio, whom shakes his head and stops him from even answering that. "That's not how this is going to work, Fandango! Ricardo is my personal ring announcer - not yours! And more than that, he is my friend. I will not allow him to degrade himself like that." Fandango shrugs his shoulders and tells Del Rio to have it his way, because if he doesn't want to compromise and doesn't want to learn the proper way of conducting himself, they shall never tango in the ring. He then takes his dance partner by the hand and escorts her through the ropes, heading up the ramp and toward the back as Rodriguez tries to reason with Del Rio, but gets nothing in response.
In the back is The Miz when he walks past The Prime Time Players, O'Neil and Young laughing as they talk up Miz calling himself 'The A-Lister' and being a big time star. "You know what, man? I actually saw Wade Barrett's new movie Dead Man Down... pretty good." O'Neil says, with Young throwing out that even without saying really anything in it, it was easily a hundred times better performance than anything Miz has ever done! Miz laughs along with them and then suddenly stops, asking if Barrett put them up to this. "Even if he didn't, I don't care. How about instead of talking about movie performances right now, we talk about in-ring performances? Because I think the two of you have won as many matches this year as times I've been WWE Champion: Maybe once?" While The Prime Time Players take offense to the comment, Miz suggests that they do something about it by facing him in the ring. He then continues on his way with O'Neil and Young left to talk it over.
Seen in her office following the break is Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero talking on the phone when in to the room frantically comes her assistant, Brad Maddox. Guerrero wraps up her conversation and asks Maddox what he wants. "Did you get my coffee?!" She questions before he can explain things, handing Guerrero her coffee and telling her that he just received some big news. Guerrero spits out her first sip of her drink in disgust, telling Maddox that he didn't get it right! "I'm sorry, Vickie, but I just got told that The Rock i-" She stops him and says that she doesn't care and to go and get her coffee and do it right this time. "But, Vickie, The Rock! H-" She stops him again and gives a stern look, Maddox then lowering his head and leaving the room.
6. The Miz def. Titus O'Neil (w/Darren Young) as while the commentary team speculates what Maddox's news was involving The Rock, Miz and O'Neil have a relatively quick contest. After initial power control via slams from O'Neil, Miz comes back with big left hands and even nails his signature corner clothesline. After a missed boot to Miz from O'Neil wipes out Young, Titus ends up grabbed from behind and planted with the Skull Crushing Finale and Miz gets the pinfall.
Miz stands back up and exchanges some words with Young on the outside when Wade Barrett's music hits and he steps out to the stage, Intercontinental Championship proudly around his waist. "Congratulations, Miz! On a well earned, hard fought victory! But don't get used to it because in just under two weeks at WrestleMania, you will do what you were destined to do: Fail! You stand no chance against me because you simply are not cut out for this business... and I will expose you just for that." Barrett lets out an evil laugh, Miz going to step forward but being dropped from behind by O'Neil and Young! The Prime Time Players put the boots to him, dragging him back up and both throwing him shoulder first between the turnbuckles and in to the ring post. Miz drops to the floor in pain as Barrett watches on happily from atop the stage while O'Neil and Young raise their arms up together to boos from the Philadelphia fans.
Making his way down to the ring following the break is Ryback, the crowd cheering and chanting 'Feed me more!' along with him as he stands in the center of the squared circle with a microphone in hand, saying that this past Friday on Smackdown, he was challenged to a match at WrestleMania by Big Show. "And I accepted that challenge," He says with a nod. "But after accepting that challenge, I wanted a fight with Show right then and there and what did he do? He backed down and told me I was going to wait for WrestleMania... well, Show, the way that sounds to me... it seems like you're a coward... where I come from, if you want to run your mouth and you want to blindside people and you want to act like you're so great... you don't run from a fight ever." Ryback adds that he wants to give Show a chance to make things up by coming down here right now and having that fight.
After a brief amount of waiting, Big Show's music hits and - donning dress clothes - he comes out to the stage with a smile. "The set on you, huh, boy?" He asks. "You may have a lot of guts, but not a lot of brains. Me on the other hand? I've got a lot of both. That's why I'm picking my battles. And, hey, do I look dressed for the occasion anyway?" Ryback takes a few steps forward in the ring and shakes his head, telling Show that he used to look up to him before he was a WWE Superstar, being the biggest and baddest guy in the room. "But at the same time, Show, you've spent a lot of time as a joke around here... and I had looked past all of that... but right now? You remind me a lot of that joke. Seven feet, four hundred plus pounds of chicken sh*t!" The crowd gives a loud reaction for the strong words, Show taking quite the offense to it as he removes his jacket and throws it on the ground. "Really? Really?" He questions while rolling up his sleeves. He then starts to head down the ramp but stops himself at the bottom of it. "That's not going to work on me." He then says before turning around and returning toward the back to boos, stopping himself to pick up his jacket and return his attention back to Ryback. "As good as you think you are and as tough as you think you are... you'll learn your lesson at WrestleMania." The fans continue booing as Ryback is left shaking his head in frustration as Show walks through the curtains.
Seen in the back is Matt Striker as he introduces Paul Heyman as his guest at this time. Striker mentions that Heyman has already had quite a night after Brock Lesnar and Sheamus' situation earlier and now he has CM Punk about to face off with John Cena in the main event. "You're right, Matt. For once, you are right. This has already been a tremendous night for one of Paul Heyman's clients. Brock Lesnar destroyed Sheamus to the surprise of no one just like he will at WrestleMania and in just a few moments, CM Punk will run circles around John Cena to the surprise of... you guessed it: No one." Up to Heyman's side then comes CM Punk, patting him on the shoulder and asking if he's ready. Heyman then checks Punk's imaginary watch and says 'it's clobbering time'. The two then prepare to head off but Brad Maddox runs up to them, saying he has been looking all over the place for them. He tries to say something about The Rock but Punk puts his hand up and tells Maddox to save it. "Every time you've gotten involved in our business, it hasn't ended in anything but a mess. So, if you don't mind, stay out of our way and out of our personal affairs, huh, kid?" He pats Maddox on the side of the face before leaving along with Heyman as the main event is coming up next.
7. CM Punk (w/Paul Heyman) def. John Cena in an incredible main event that lasts through a commercial break, each man going the extra mile to try and knock off the other. From a top rope leg drop and STF from Cena to a rare piledriver and Anaconda Vice from Punk, neither man is able to put the other away. An Attitude Adjustment attempt from Cena leads to Punk landing on his feet and nailing a kick to the back of the head and the Go To Sleep only for Cena to get his foot on the bottom rope. Some further back and forth and Punk ends up going to the top rope in an attempt for the elbow drop but Cena races up and catches him up there, nailing a super Attitude Adjustment that leads to Punk flopping across the ring and under the bottom rope before Cena is able to catch his body and make the cover. Cena follows him to the outside and with Heyman coming over and looking to check on Punk having Cena back him off with a raised fist. As he goes back to Punk, however, he is pulled down by the shorts face first in to the steel steps! Punk immediately pushes Cena back in to the ring and follows after him, the GTS being executed and leading to the one, two, three!
The Wells Fargo Center gives a thunderous response with both boos and cheers mixed in as Punk gets to his knees and raises his hands out proudly. Heyman comes in to the ring applauding with a smile and the two end up embracing over the body of Cena, Heyman then raising Punk's arm up and pointing to him - the happiness on Punk's face suddenly turning to a look of shock as The Rock's signature catch phrase is heard throughout the building - bringing the already energetic crowd to their feet! The WWE Champion ends up walking out from the back and staring down to the ring. "The Rock is here!" Cole shouts. "Is this what Brad Maddox was trying to say about him tonight?!" After gazing over the fans, Rock makes his way down and in to the ring and locks eyes with Punk, the two then having a few words before Punk sends a sudden kick toward the head that 'The Brahma Bull' ducks under, catching Punk on the spin with the Rock Bottom! Some more words are given in Punk's direction with Heyman on the apron getting a few jabs in from Rock as well. Rock then turns back around and comes face-to-face with Cena, a much more silent stare down taking place between them. Rock cracks a smile and points toward the WrestleMania side, tapping his temple afterward as if to tell Cena to remember last year. Cena then responds by swooping down in to Rock's lower body, hoisting him on to his shoulders but eating a series of elbows to the side of the head. Rock then catches him with a spinebuster and stands over his body, looking around the building before flying off the ropes and returning with The People's Elbow on to Cena! Lifting his WWE Championship up off of the mat, Rock then makes his way to the turnbuckles and climbs to the second one with the belt held proudly over his head. Punk lays at Heyman's feet on the outside as Cena remains down on his side in the center of the ring as a surprise arrival from The Rock has led to him standing tall to end this week's edition of Raw!
Footage from earlier on of Chris Jericho arriving in the arena is shown as he is approached by Matt Striker, asking 'Y2J' about who his tag team partner is for his WWE Tag Team Championship match tonight. "Well, Matt, if I told you that then it wouldn't be a mystery would it? Therefore, it wouldn't be a surprise! Not for you, not for the WWE Universe and especially not for Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston. You'll find out when everyone else does." A smile on his face, Jericho would continue on his way through the parking lot with his bag.
The Smackdown opening video airs afterward with the cameras then entering the Giant Center from Hershey, Pennsylvania with Josh Mathews and John Bradshaw Layfield on commentary as tonight we do indeed have the WWE Tag Team Championship on the line once again as Chris Jericho and a mystery partner take on the champions Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston. Plus, former tag team partners will collide as Daniel Bryan and Kane face off - and if Bryan loses, his match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania is canceled! But right now, we have a special guest to kick things off tonight!
The theme music of Batista hits throughout the arena, the Pennsylvania fans rising to their feet as 'The Animal' makes his way out from the back! "For the first time in over three years, Batista is live on Smackdown!" Says Mathews. Taking a little extra time to come down and in to the ring and admire the audience, a chant of Batista's name rings out as he stands in the center of the squared circle with a microphone in hand. "It's great to see you, too." He says to a loud, positive response. "You know, I had no plans on getting back in to the ring when I left a couple of years ago. I knew that it was possible, but I really didn't think it was going to happen... and then I saw what happened to Mr. McMahon a couple of months ago... and I saw my best friend Triple H... and I saw the anger in his eyes as he sought revenge against The Shield... and I saw the man that is like a brother to me, Randy Orton, stand up for the man responsible for our success... and then I saw one of the greatest of all time, one of my biggest mentors, 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair surrounded by those three men... and all of that lit a fire underneath me." He says that The Shield have been running roughshod over the WWE since November and they have risen to the ranks one of the most dominant trios this business has ever seen, but they have taken things way too far and who knows what else they could do. "And that's why Evolution is back together! That's why at WrestleMania, Evolution takes one more stand together to go against The Shield and put a stop to this!" He says that brings him to why he is here tonight, though, because before they go in to WrestleMania, he has his eyes set on this Monday. "Because this Monday, Raw is taking place in my hometown of Washington D.C. Just six days before WrestleMania. It's perfect. Before I walk down the ramp on the grandest stage of them all... I want a match... and I don't just want any match with any one, I want a match with one of the members of The Shield!"
As the audience loves the sound of that challenge, before Batista can continue on, The Shield's music hits. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are spotted in the crowd, staring down to the ring and then making their way down the steps and to the barricade, hopping over it as they keep their eyes locked on 'The Animal', whom doesn't back down. "You want a match with one of us, huh?" Ambrose asks with a snicker. "You don't know what you're getting yourself in to, Dave! Just like you and your boys don't know what you're getting yourselves in to at WrestleMania." Rollins adds that individually, they are forces to be reckoned with but together they are unstoppable. "Either way, you don't stand a chance." Reigns tacks on, the three then each getting on to the ring apron as Batista look around at all of them. Despite the anticipation, his charge at Rollins stepping through the ropes just leads to Reigns and Ambrose jumping on him from behind. The boots are put to him, Reigns and Rollins then hooking a hold of the arms and pinning them back while Ambrose picks his microphone back up. "Real big mistake coming here by yourself, Davey boy," He says while leaning in. "You want a match with one of us on Raw? Alright, I'll give you your match... but before that... we just want to remind you just who you're dealing with..." They then continue their assault before setting Batista up in the middle of the ring and putting him down with the Triple Powerbomb! The three then put their fists together over his body, looking out proudly to the booing crowd as they do so.
1. Rey Mysterio and Divas Champion Kaitlyn (w/Sin Cara and Natalya) def. Cody Rhodes and Brie Bella (w/Damien Sandow and Nikki Bella) as this eight person rivalry rages on, switching things up from Raw's pairings. Mysterio and Rhodes, former WrestleMania opponents from two years ago, have an extensive back and forth with Rey eyeing the 619 but having Brie tag herself in to put a stop to it. After she and the Divas Champion Kaitlyn exchange some hard knock downs, Rhodes tags himself back in just as Kaitlyn nails the Spear. A brief grab of Mysterio's leg allows Rhodes to hit the Disaster Kick with Rey on the apron, leading to a near fall. With Sandow and Cara going at it on the outside and leading to Natalya and Nikki getting involved, Cody is distracted just enough while eyeing Cross Rhodes and ends up having Mysterio reverse things in to a hurricanrana between the ropes, leading to the 619 and a springboard seated senton with the legs hooked for the pinfall.
The Hershey fans cheer for Mysterio as he gets back up with his arm raised as the winner, but he ends up having to go to the outside to try and break things up between the others. Sandow sees this as an opportunity and ends up striking Mysterio in the back of the head from behind! He, along with The Bella Twins and a staggering Rhodes, then hurry up the ramp and toward the back - escaping any harm done back to them for the cheap shot!
Walking through the halls backstage is Ryback when he is approached by Matt Striker, asking about Big Show still not wanting to fight him until WrestleMania despite the harsh words for him on Raw. "I told Big Show what I thought of him. It was the truth. But clearly, he has no intentions of facing me like a man until WrestleMania. And even then? I'm not too sure if he wants to do that." He says that for tonight, he got a match scheduled to keep him busy, but he hopes Show is watching because his appetite won't be fulfilled until he gets his hands on 'The World's Largest Athlete'. "Feed. Me. More." He says before continuing on with his match coming up next.
A promo video airs for WrestleMania 29 taking place in 9 days on April 7th.
2. Ryback def. David Otunga in a totally one sided contest that doesn't last very long, 'The Big Guy' catching Otunga off the second rope with a spinebuster after his brief amount of offense. A Meat Hook Clothesline then follows, Shell Shocked just moments after leading to the easy one, two, three.
His head nodding once to his feet, Ryback leads the crowd in 'Feed me more!' chants until Big Show appears on the titantron yelling out Ryback's name. "I know you're upset that we didn't throw down this past Monday on Raw. And I know you'd like to mix things up before WrestleMania. It's not going to happen... but maybe on Raw this Monday... how about a little friendly competition?" He shrugs his shoulders and says that if Ryback wants some competition, he suggests they meet in the parking lot this Monday on Raw. Ryback laughs from in the ring as he steps to the ropes. "You and me in the parking lot? Sounds like fun to me... I'll see you then..." He then throws the microphone between the ropes and leaves the ring.
Following the commercial break, the announce team discusses that while we still have a lot to get to tonight, this Monday on Raw is shaping up to be quite the show itself. Batista will return to the ring to face Dean Ambrose, Ryback and Big Show will apparently have a fight in the parking lot and, as they've just learned, The Rock, CM Punk and John Cena will be face-to-face-to-face just six days before they battle in the main event of WrestleMania for the WWE Championship!
The music of World Heavyweight and WWE Tag Team Champion Dolph Ziggler hits as he makes his way out from the back along with his partner and fellow tag champion Big E Langston and girlfriend AJ Lee. The trio head down to the ring as Ziggler twirls a microphone in his hand. "We're only nine days away from WrestleMania and what does Chris Jericho do? Decides to go ahead and embarrass himself ahead of time." Ziggler says that he and Langston, since becoming WWE Tag Team Champions, have overcome each challenge - even a Steel Cage Match last week! "And now tonight, before I destroy him once and for all on the biggest stage possible, he wants to be humiliated. Not just himself, either, but some 'mystery' partner!" Ziggler shakes his head and tells Jericho to have it his way, but to also come on out here right now, reveal his partner and get this match started.
After a little bit of time, Chris Jericho makes his way out to the stage and stares down to the three in the ring. 'Y2J' takes a few steps back and forth and tells Ziggler that this all began last summer and, yet, somehow Ziggler continues to be blinded by his own ego. "And it's going to catch up with you, Dolph. It's going to catch up with you in the biggest way possible! Because at WrestleMania, you hypocritical, parasitic sycophant..." His grin fades upon the old catch phrase before snapping back in to a smile. "You will lose the World Heavyweight Championship to 'Y2J', baybay!" Ziggler says he thinks Jericho has totally lost it, but Jericho says the only thing being lost tonight is the WWE Tag Team Championship to him and his tag team partner! He then gestures his hand out to the entrance as the theme song of Evan Bourne hits! "Evan Bourne?!" Questions Mathews. "We haven't seen Evan Bourne in over a year! Surely Dolph and Big E weren't expecting this!" Jericho gives a nod to Bourne and they shake hands before heading toward the ring together, Ziggler and Langston stepping to the outside to try and figure things out before the match can get started!
The boos ring out from the crowd as Ziggler is helped to his feet by Langston, the referee presenting them with their title belts. As they head out and celebrate along with AJ, Jericho comes back in to the ring to a still downed Bourne, whom apologizes to Jericho as he is assisted back to his feet. "You're a failure, Chris!" Ziggler says while pointing back at the ring, being held up by Langston and AJ while Jericho simply stares back in response.
Making his way out following the break is Fandango with his dance partner, the two twirling and shuffling all the way down the ramp and in to the ring. Handed a microphone from his partner, Fandango saying that tonight could be the night that they are all graced with his in-ring debut, but that is up to one man. "That is up to one man and one man alone... Alberto... Del... Rio..." Fandango says that he finds it highly confusing, however, that the people continue to cheer for Del Rio despite the fact that he deprives them of this match time after time. He explains that it was very simple to just respect his name, but he did not do that. Then it was to make Ricardo Rodriguez his personal ring announcer, but he did not do that either. "So what even is the point of trying with you, Alberto? You don't seem truly interested in tangoing with Fahn... dahn... go."
Alberto Del Rio's music hits and he makes his way down to the ring with Ricardo Rodriguez, the personal ring announcer giving some encouragement for Del Rio to speak up. "Alright, alright... you're lucky Ricardo has talked me in to this..." Alberto runs his hand across his face and then looks to Ricardo, asking him if he is sure. Rodriguez nods in agreement and a frustrated Del Rio turns back to Fandango. "Fine. Ricardo will be your personal ring announcer tonight for our match." Fandango smiles and looks over to Rodriguez, asking if he will be so kind to do the honors. He then offers up his microphone, Rodriguez slowly taking it away while assuring Del Rio it's okay. "Damas y caballeros, me enorgullece presentarles al suave maestro de baile en persona... Faaaaaahhhnnn... dahhhnnnnn... go!" Del Rio looks disgusted from the corner as Fandango's eyebrows raise from the other side of the ring, nodding as he steps up to Rodriguez and says that was good, but he doesn't speak Spanish. "Just... say my name again." Rodriguez then gives the introduction of Fandango's name once again, the dancing superstar holding his hands out proudly and then taking the microphone back from Ricardo. "That... that was an introduction... but I am not going to agree to this match, Alberto, until you get my name right." Del Rio is livid as he steps forward and tells Fandango that wasn't part of their deal. "I let you use Ricardo and now we're having a match right here, right now!" Fandango waves his hand in front of his face and says he doesn't think so. "Once again, Alberto... you've taken away my in-ring debut from these people." He then steps out of the ring as Del Rio charges at the ropes, Rodriguez holding him back as Fandango and his dance partner walk off together!
Standing by in the back is new broadcast colleague Renee Young as she introduces her guest at this time to be 'The Big Red Monster' Kane. Seeming a little bit nervous, Young talks about the main event tonight and asks if it is more about protecting his brother The Undertaker, his former tag team partner Daniel Bryan or himself. "This... is a match... that shouldn't happen..." He shakes his head and says that this has been a tumultuous month since Bryan and Undertaker agreed to a match at WrestleMania and he just knows it would be in everyone's best interest if this didn't happen. "So, as much as I wish it didn't come to this... I will defeat Daniel Bryan tonight and put a stop to this... once and for all." He then turns around and walks away as the main is event is still to come.
4. The Miz def. Darren Young (w/Titus O'Neil) as Miz looks to put away the second member of The Prime Time Players in a week, Young giving him quite the hard time as he hits some effective moves despite moving relatively slow, a few slams and neckbreakers garnering near falls. A lift on to the shoulders leads to Miz sliding down, however, pushing Young in to the corner chest first. Backing up, Miz sets up for his signature clothesline but O'Neil gets on the apron and eats a left hand for his troubles. Young then charges but is put face first in to the turnbuckles with a drop toe hold, Miz then nailing the Skull Crushing Finale to get himself the pinfall.
Miz barely gets an opportunity to celebrate the victory, however, as Wade Barrett ends up coming in to the ring from behind with his Intercontinental Championship in hand - driving it right in to the back of Miz's head! The Hershey fans boo loud as he stands over Miz's body with the title held over his head, pointing down and having some words for his WrestleMania challenger. "You never belonged, Michael! You never belonged!" He then steps through the ropes and cockily makes his way up the ramp as he returns to the back.
Following the commercial break, the commentary team highlights what we saw to open the show earlier on with Batista challenging a member of The Shield to a match on Raw, the trio then attacking him with Ambrose accepting the challenge before they'd leave 'The Animal' laying following the triple powerbomb.
Transitoning backstage, Chris Jericho is seen walking when Evan Bourne approaches him and apologizes to him. "I'm really, really sorry that we didn't get it done tonight, Chris..." Jericho smiles and tells Bourne not to worry about it, they did good out there and, after all, it was Bourne's first match in over a year. "Look, Evan, I've seen a lot in you for a long time now. After I beat Dolph Ziggler at WrestleMania and become the new World Heavyweight Champion... I want to give you the first shot at the title." Bourne says he really appreciates that, also telling Jericho he just went to Booker T and he called up Vickie Guerrero and this Monday on Raw, he's going to be facing Big E Langston one-on-one. Jericho wishes him luck on that one, mentioning that he also has plans for Raw this Monday - hosting The Highlight Reel with Ziggler. "And trust me, Evan, once I bring him down to size he will never... ever... be the same... again."
Matt Striker is standing by in another part of the back and his guest at this time is Daniel Bryan, mentioning to Daniel the obvious - if he loses tonight, his match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania is off. "That's right, Matt. Look, Kane and I have had a... strange relationship to say the least... and whether he likes it or not, I need this match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Me challenging him to this match tonight may be my only way to get him off my case and even then? I'm not sure if that will work." Bryan shakes his head and says at first he thought this was about protecting him or protecting The Undertaker, but he has started to think that it's all about protecting Kane and who he is behind that mask and in whatever is left of his heart. "Bottom line is... I'm going out there tonight and doing what I have to do so I can go on to WrestleMania... and prove to myself that I can do anything in this business... even if that anything is ending The Undertaker's streak." Bryan then walks away as the main event is coming up next!
5. If Bryan Loses, His Match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania is Canceled: Daniel Bryan defeats Kane in a match where each man initially seems hesitant to really go after the other, but Bryan ends up going off with hard strikes. A series of dropkicks eventually knocks Kane back but he ends up catching Bryan in the corner by the throat and launching him over the top rope and down to the floor below on the outside. The match runs through a break with Kane overpowering, Bryan chipping away at coming back. After a suicide dive, he brings Kane back in to the ring and delivers a top rope dropkick for a near fall. Fired up as he tees off on kicks to the chest, the crowd with 'Yes!' chants upon each connection. He then heads to the top rope and dives off again but this time ends up being grabbed by the throat and hoisted for the Chokeslam, but Bryan manages to slip free with a hold of the arm, looking to pull Kane down in to Yes! Lock. While Kane fights away from it, Bryan ends up transitioning in to an inside cradle and pulls off the sudden three count on his former tag team partner!
The crowd cheers for Bryan as he scoots back against the ropes, looking surprised about pulling off the win. Kane looks shocked as well as Daniel stands up and has his arm raised as the winner. He then slowly steps through the ropes and begins to back up the ramp, looking around the arena while starting up 'Yes!' chants with the audience. Kane watches as Bryan makes his way to the top of the stage when the lights in the arena suddenly go out! The crowd begins to buzz as the signature 'gong' is heard, the lights then coming back up with The Undertaker standing in the ring behind his brother Kane! Bryan's eyes widen as Kane turns around, being grabbed by the throat by 'The Phenom' before being swooped off of the mat, tilted upside down and planted with the Tombstone Piledriver in the middle of the ring! "He just Tombstoned his own brother!" Shouts JBL. 'The Dead Man' stands back up and stares at Bryan atop the stage, performing his slit throat taunt while rolling his eyes back as his music echoes throughout the arena, Bryan left in awe as Smackdown comes to an end!
April 1, 2013 from Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
The opening Monday Night Raw video airs with the cameras coming inside of the Verizon Center from the nation's capital, Washington D.C., afterward. The voice of Michael Cole welcomes everyone to the show just six nights away from WWE's biggest night of the year: WrestleMania! He sits alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield as tonight, we have The Rock, CM Punk and John Cena in a face-to-face-to-face, the in-ring return of Batista in his hometown and The Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho's guest - his opponent for Sunday, Dolph Ziggler. But right now, we await the arrival of the man that looks to end the 20-0 streak of The Undertaker!
The music of Daniel Bryan hits, the Washington D.C. fan with 'Yes!' chants upon his arrival. Bryan, however, doesn't lead the chant as he comes down to the ring looking very focused. A microphone in his hand, he looks up to the WrestleMania logo in the rafters. "This Sunday at WrestleMania I am entering the biggest match of my entire career... and I've heard ever since my match with The Undertaker was made that I am entering a whole new level. I figured I knew what that meant, I figured I would be able to just deal with whatever 'The Dead Man' threw at me but last Friday on Smackdown, well, I'll admit he caught me off guard." He then gestures up to the titantron, showing the footage of him narrowly defeating his former tag team partner and Undertaker's brother Kane in the main event before the lights would go out and 'The Phenom' would appear in the ring, laying out his own brother with a Tombstone Piledriver. Back in the arena live, Bryan shakes his head at the clip and says that he most certainly didn't see that coming. "The Undertaker is one if not the best of all time. He isn't undefeated at WrestleMania for no reason. This past Friday on Smackdown he showed just how cold he is and how he doesn't care what he has to do to maintain that undefeated streak... and I think I know why... because it's all he has." Bryan looks out to the crowd and says that Undertaker isn't like all of them or like him, he lives in the shadows and keeps everything private to himself and nobody truly knows who Undertaker is, but when he walks through those curtains questions don't need to be asked. "Because when he walks through those curtains and he makes his way down to this ring... in that moment... everyone knows that he is The Undertaker. But when he finishes his business here and he walks back up that ramp and back through those curtains... what is he then out there? And if he doesn't have that streak at WrestleMania anymore... what is he then... in here?"
The lights in the building suddenly go out, the crowd buzzing as the signature gong soon follows, with the music of The Undertaker then coming in. Stepping out through the back, he glares down to Bryan from atop the stage before making that long, haunting entrance. Once he raises the lights up inside of the ring, he locks his eyes on his WrestleMania opponent. Things remain quiet between the two of them for a minute before 'The Dead Man' finally speaks. "You believe you have it all figured it out, don't you, Daniel?" He asks. "You may be an in-ring technician and one of the best, but you clearly don't have your mind prepared for this battle you are entering at WrestleMania." He explains to Bryan that he needs to not worry about what happens in the back, he needs to be worried about what happens standing in this squared circle. "Why?" Bryan responds. "Because you don't mind trying to get in to someone else's head... but when someone gets in to yours... it spells disaster, doesn't it?" Bryan steps a little closer and says he may not know everything he needs to know going in to this Sunday, but it wouldn't be a challenge without that and there is a reason why Taker is 20-0 at WrestleMania. "But I know that I can overcome you, Undertaker. I know that I can overcome you and your mind games and get the job done on the biggest stage there is and I can prove to myself that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to... and that's who I am in this ring, that's who I am when I walk in to the back and that's who I am when I go back home. You? All you've got left is that streak... and as much as I respect you... I'm taking it away from you... Mark." A scowl comes across the face of Taker as he suddenly levels Bryan with a punch that sends him down! A series of rights and lefts follow in the corner, 'The Dead Man' then coming off the ropes but Bryan avoiding a clothesline, then ducking a big boot as he comes off the ropes full speed with a dropkick that wobbles Taker. Another one follows and drops him to a knee, Bryan to the top rope as he flies off with a top rope dropkick! Taker finally down, Bryan looks around the arena and starts to pump his fingers in to the air to 'Yes!' chants, Taker bringing himself to a knee and being hit with kick after kick to the chest. Bryan then puts him down with his tenth kick to the chest and leaves 'The Dead Man' laying. Bryan then points up to the WrestleMania sign and nods down at Taker's body, preparing to leave the ring only for the crowd to come alive as Taker sits right back up! Bryan then comes back and sends a huge kick to the back of the head! Bryan stands over Taker and runs his hands through his hair, watching for a while to make sure he is down before once again heading to the ropes - this time fully exiting the ring with Taker still down. As Bryan makes his way up the ramp, however, Taker sits up once again in the ring, turning his head suddenly in Bryan's direction as a lightning bolt strikes down on the stage behind him! Daniel falls backwards on to his hands, looking in shock at what just happened. He then returns his focus to in the ring to see Taker standing against the ropes, running his hand across his throat in his signature slitting motion, tongue hanging out as a warning has been sent just six days ahead of their battle at WrestleMania!
Back from the break at ringside, the commentary team talk about what we just saw moments ago between The Undertaker and Daniel Bryan, Cole stating that Bryan wanted to get in to the head of 'The Dead Man' and, perhaps, he did just that. "I've known The Undertaker for God knows how long," JBL says. "And from my experience trying to get in to his head is damn near impossible but I think Daniel Bryan just got under his skin!"
1. Non-Title Match: Intercontinental Championship Wade Barrett def. Santino Marella in a one sided affair, Barrett toying with Marella as he mostly dominates the match. After a Bull Hammer Elbow, he has the match in the bag but decides to pull Santino's head and shoulders up at a count of two. An evil laugh from Barrett, he looks poised to do further damage when The Miz comes down the ramp. Distracted by the arrival of his WrestleMania opponent, Barrett ends up being rolled up by Marella from behind for a very close near fall! Both men get back up and after a surprising clothesline from Marella takes Barrett down, he pulls out his signature Cobra! However, once he has it set up, he turns right in to second Bull Hammer Elbow - leaving him down for the count.
Barrett is unable to get any time to celebrate as Miz ends up jumping right on his back and pummeling him with strikes. The fight spills to the outside and Barrett rakes the eyes, trying to grab his Intercontinental Championship from the timekeeper's area, Miz grabbing him from behind and nailing the Skull Crushing Finale on to the floor! Miz then slowly stands back up, picking up the title belt from off the floor and slowly raising it above his head as the Verizon Center cheers the suggestion of Miz becoming the new Intercontinental Champion this Sunday!
Cutting backstage, Big Show is seen standing in the parking lot with his fist being pounded in to his palm. He challenged Ryback to meet him there this past Friday on Smackdown and we'll see if Ryback answers the call - next!
Following the break, Ryback is shown marching through the back, eventually arriving to the parking lot where Big Show is standing and waiting for him. "Glad you could make it!" Show says, with Ryback asking if he's ready to do this. Show says he is, then gestures his hand out to show two giant tires sitting beside him. "What is this?" Ryback asks as he is confused, Show saying he's ready for some competition. He explains that him and Ryback are going to race to flip these tires across the parking lot and prove who is the strongest. "Are you kidding me? I came here for a fight, Show!" Show shakes his head and tells Ryback they'll have their match at WrestleMania, but either he accepts this challenge right now or they just wait until Sunday. Albeit none too pleased with this idea, Ryback tells Show he's on. With a referee off to the side, he explains the first to get their tire from one line to the other wins. Both men get ready and the official counts down from three, giving a 'go!' and the challenge is on. Show is off to an early lead but Ryback quickly catches up, eventually taking a big lead! As Ryback appears to be on the verge of getting the win, however, Show stops himself and grabs Ryback from behind, spinning him around and delivering a Knockout Punch! "Oh, give me a break!" Cole exclaims from commentary. Show stands over Ryback's downed body, barking at the official as he tries to come toward him. "You think you're so much better than me, huh?" Show asks as he drag Ryback back up by his head, yelling in his face before taking him by the throat and delivering a Chokeslam on to the windshield of a nearby car! Show stares down at Ryback's body and chuckles to himself. "I'll see you Sunday, 'Big Guy'..." He then walks away proudly as Ryback is left groaning in pain while being checked on by the official, whom calls for some help off to the side.
Cutting back to ringside, Cole and Lawler speak of how outraged they are over Big Show's actions, while JBL says that Ryback asked for that himself - he wanted a fight and he got it! Footage on the titantron then interrupts their discussion as appearing holding a handheld camera are the three members of The Shield: Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. "Is everyone excited for the homecoming of their hero, Dave Batista?!" Ambrose asks to cheers from the Washington D.C. fans. "Don't get too excited, now, because it will not be a pleasant one!" Rollins adds that in six days at WrestleMania, Evolution will go down at their hand - but tonight, Batista will return to the ring and fall flat on his face on his own. Reigns says that this is their turf now, it's time to get out with the old and in with the new. "Believe that... and believe in The Shield." They put their fist together and place the camera down, walking off together as Dean Ambrose takes on Batista after the break!
2. Batista (w/Triple H and Randy Orton) def. Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) with 'The Animal's hometown crowd loud for him in his first match in three years, coming out of the blocks strong as he lifts Ambrose right off of the mat and slams him in to the corner, delivering shoulders to the mid-section. The power of Batista keeps his hot start going but a thumb to the eye and a second rope bulldog turns the tide for Ambrose, whom works to keep Batista grounded. As HHH and Orton keep their eye on Reigns and Rollins on the outside, the only interference comes when Batista is looking for a finish, Rollins getting on the apron and the official having to stop things from getting out of hand on the outside very quickly. Ambrose hits a low blow in that opening and then makes his way to the top rope slowly, diving off but being caught in mid-air and planted with a spinebuster! Batista shakes off the pain from the low blow, giving the signature thumbs up then down before hitting Ambrose with a ring-rattling Batista Bomb for the one, two, three!
The Verizon Center rises up with cheers, Batista getting to his feet in celebration but very quickly having to try and fend off Reigns and Rollins as they come in to the ring! HHH and Orton quickly follow suit as a brawl ensues! The fight spills in to three different one-on-ones, HHH and Reigns in the ring, Batista and Ambrose against the announce table, Orton and Rollins at the bottom of the ramp. As all three brawls end up reaching near each other outside of the ring, officials, referees and security come running down from the back to try and break things up. The two sides eventually get broken up enough, both trios yelling at the other as they continue to be pulled apart!
Following the break in Vickie Guerrero's office is her and Brad Maddox, the latter discussing how he tried to tell her about The Rock last week - Guerrero not wanting to hear any of it, claiming she already knew way before he did. The door then opens off to the side as in walks Sheamus, 'The Celtic Warrior' giving a stare to the two as they ask what they can do for him. "I know Paul Heyman's here tonight... but what about Brock Lesnar?" Guerrero says she doesn't know so Sheamus turns to Maddox, questioning if he has any idea. "You knew about The Rock last week. How about Lesnar, huh? Because I don't want him blindsiding me like a coward tonight. I want him to fight me like a man." Maddox says he honestly has no clue, to which Guerrero quickly points out that she does know somebody that is here tonight for sure and asks Sheamus how he feels about being in a match. "Against someone you know very well, 'The World's Strongest Man' Mark Henry." Sheamus looks to Guerrero and laughs, asking if that is supposed to intimidate him or something. "I don't back down from a fight. Make it happen." He then turns and leaves the room, the commentary team questioning from ringside whether that is a smart idea just six days away from his match with Lesnar!
Back inside of the arena, Ricardo Rodriguez stands in the ring as he introduces Alberto Del Rio. A very serious looking Del Rio then makes his way down from the back, coming in to the ring and being handed off the microphone from Rodriguez. "Alright, Fandango... you win... it's time to put this all to rest and to have our match. Whatever you need... I'm ready to give for the opportunity to beat you, perro!" He paces back and forth a bit, waiting for a brief while before Fandango's music hits, the dancer arriving to the top of the stage with his dance partner with a big smile on his face. "It appears you have finally come to your senses, Alberto." He says while twirling the microphone in his hand. "Yeah, yeah, what do you want?!" Del Rio questions, to which Fandango says he doesn't appreciate the hostility. He says that while the introduction Rodriguez gave him on Smackdown was 'muy bueno', he needs to hear his name come out of Del Rio's mouth - properly. "Perhaps, Ricardo could coach you?" Del Rio puts his hand up to Rodriguez and steps to the ropes, clarifying with Fandango that if he does this - they will have their match. Fandango nods and, despite being very reluctant, Del Rio goes on: "Fan-dane-go." Fandango wags his finger and says that isn't right, clarifying to Alberto how to say it and asking this is a joke to him. "Alright, alright," Del Rio says with a scowl as he mutters under his breath. "Fahn... dahn... go!" Fandango's eyes light up as he tells Del Rio that was much better, he pronounced it right but he needs more gusto. Angered, Del Rio has to be reasoned with by Rodriguez, so he takes a deep breath and pronounces Fandago's name properly and with plenty of pizzazz. "Very, very good, Alberto." Fandango replies with a grin. "It seems like you are finally respecting me and are prepared to be my dance partner for my in-ring premiere... but not tonight." Del Rio shakes his head and points his finger up the ramp, demanding that Fandango come down here right now and face him! Fandango says that he will face Del Rio, but his premiere, he feels, deserve a much bigger stage. "So, Alberto... this Sunday at WrestleMania... you can have the honor of being my first opponent." He then twirls his dance partner around and returns to the back, Rodriguez trying to calm Del Rio by telling him that at least he got his match.
A promo video airs for WrestleMania 29 taking place this Sunday, April 7th.
Standing in the ring after the video is United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, whom has a microphone in his hand as he says that this Sunday as a part of the WrestleMania pre-show, he is going to prove why he is the most fierce, dominant and ravishing United States Champion of all time. "I was just informed there will be an over the top rope battle royal as part of the pre-show and I will be entering. I may speak five different languages, but I promise all of you I will eliminate more than just five fellow superstars!" A cocky smile on his face, he says that he is now going to decimate his competition tonight!
3. Non-Title Match: United States Champion Antonio Cesaro def. Zack Ryder in a fairly one sided match for the United States Champion. Cesaro's over confidence costs him in the corner, however, as Ryder ends up sweeping his legs out and dropping Antonio face first in to the turnbuckles. After a big running forearm, the Broski Boot is nailed but Cesaro kicks out at a count of two. Zack then looks for the Rough Ryder but Cesaro catches him on the leap and flips it in to a huge uppercut! The Neutralizer follows afterward and leads to the pinfall.
Cesaro stands back over Ryder's body, cracking his neck before being presented with his title belt. He pumps his fists in the air and holds the championship above his head as he continues to impress.
Following the break, the ring is set up for The Highlight Reel as the music of Chris Jericho hits. A smile on his face as he comes down for the show, welcoming everyone to 'Raw is Jericho'! He says that this is the end of the world as we know it and after WrestleMania this Sunday things will never, ever be the same again. "Now that we have gone through the past hits, we have one more coming in just six nights when I become the new World Heavyweight Champion!" Looking out to the approving audience, Jericho then says before they get to that, however, he has a special guest for tonight's Highlight Reel - his opponent for WrestleMania, one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions and World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler! The boos come from the audience as he makes his way out from the back along with Big E Langston and AJ Lee. The three stare down at the ring before heading to it together, Jericho pointing out there are three seats, knowing Ziggler would bring his posse along.
"My posse?" Ziggler asks while slowly taking a seat. "I've got my friend and tag team partner and my very, very sexy girlfriend. I knew you were jealous of my World Heavyweight Championship... my WWE Tag Team Championship... but I didn't realize you were so jealous of my entire life, Chris." Jericho grins back to Ziggler and moves forward, saying that obviously he is a guest on the show tonight, so he wants to try and keep this as civil as possible and asks Ziggler what makes him think he is going to win at WrestleMania this Sunday. "You know damn well, Chris. I've beaten you before and I'll beat you again. The fact of the matter is that I am better than you ever were, ever will be and certainly better than you are right now. You've tried time and time again to knock me down since you declared you were going to face me at WrestleMania and time and time again I've thwarted you... that won't change on the biggest stage where you, I and everyone else knows you aren't capable of getting the job done!" Jericho raises his eyebrows and says that brings him to his next question, asking Ziggler what happens when he has to eat crow and the new World Heavyweight Champion come next Monday on Raw is Chris Jericho. "That's not going to happen..." Ziggler replies, to which Jericho says it is very possible, because just as Ziggler has beaten him in the past, he has beaten Ziggler as well. 'The Show Off' starts to look annoyed as Jericho says he has overcome much bigger odds plenty of times in his career, so if Ziggler thinks having his heavy and his lady in his corner is going to help him - he clearly hasn't done his homework. "See, Dolph, this is what I wanted all along. I'm the reason you're the World Heavyweight Champion, after all. After I won the Royal Rumble, I laid out Alberto Del Rio and served him up on a silver platter for you to cash in your Money in the Bank... and you fell right in to my trap. Sure, you had to do a few things on your own to stay champion going forward but I set you up for this success just so I could take you down. You tried to end my career last summer but I came back better than ever and that is why at WrestleMania, Dolph I will do everything you think I'm not capable of, baby! I will become World... Heavyweight... Champion..." Ziggler stands up from is seat and Jericho responds in kind, the two getting in each other's faces and having some words back and forth. Langston then stands up and pulls Ziggler back, getting in 'Y2J's face himself. "You know, I'd love to beat you like I did last week, Big E. But a friend of mine already has that opportunity." The theme song of Evan Bourne then hits, having returned last week on Smackdown as Jericho's mystery tag team partner! Having gotten himself with Langston planned for tonight, it appears that match is going to be taking place after the commercial break!
4. Evan Bourne (w/Chris Jericho) def. WWE Tag Team Champion Big E Langston (w/World Heavyweight and WWE Tag Team Champion Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee) as the match is under way after the break, Langston dominating while Ziggler mouths off to Jericho on the outside telling him to watch closely. Bourne ends up making a comeback with top rope double knees, almost knocking off Langston in the process. Ziggler ends up tripping Bourne up, prompting Jericho to run over and throw fists with the World Heavyweight Champion! Langston ends up going for the Big Ending as that is going on but Bourne ends up sliding down the back shoulder, hitting a leaping kick to the back of the head before going to the top rope and nailing Air Bourne! The cover is made and the legs are hooked for the one, two, three!
As Bourne gets to his feet in celebration, Jericho and Ziggler continue fighting as they make their way up the ramp throwing punches. After launching Jericho in to the staging face first, Ziggler drops on all fours and crawls toward the center of the stage where AJ ends up meeting up with him. She then begins to yell for him to look out - Ziggler then turning right in to the Codebreaker! The crowd cheers as Jericho stands back up and over Ziggler's body, smirking from ear to ear while motioning for the World Heavyweight Championship around his waist while AJ kneels down at her boyfriend's side, looking angrily up at the number one contender.
5. Sheamus def. Mark Henry via disqualification as the two former rivals pound on each other from the get go, Henry using his obvious strength to power Sheamus a bit. After a World's Strongest Slam attempt is thwarted, however, as Sheamus elbows him in the head repeatedly. After a top rope shoulder block knocks Henry down, Sheamus throws his arms out to the cheering crowd and begins to pound his chest while backing in to the corner for the Brogue Kick. However, as he is just about ready to deliver it, the crowd begins to grow louder as taking Sheamus' leg from behind is Brock Lesnar - pulling him under the bottom rope and hurling him in to the steel steps and causing the disqualification!
Lesnar unleashes with knees to the mid-section of Sheamus afterward as he drags him around and toward the announce table, hoisting him up and dropping him face first on it. "You sure you want to fight me, boy?" He questions before mounting over 'The Celtic Warrior' with forearms to the face. Laughing as he stands back up, Lesnar look around the arena and then turns back to Sheamus as he gets up only to end up being side-stepped and hurled face first in to the ring post! Lesnar is stunned as he staggers a bit, turning right in to a Brogue Kick! Fired up, Sheamus backs up to the barricade and motions for Lesnar to get back up again, pounding his chest and leading the audience in 'Brogue!' chants. Lesnar pulls himself back up via the announce table, bleeding from his forehead! He then turns right in to a second Brogue Kick, Sheamus towering over him afterward. Arms held out and a yell to the crowd, Sheamus pounds his chest as he has left his WrestleMania opponent downed and bloodied!
After the break at ringside, the commentary team talks about what we just saw moments ago between Sheamus and Brock Lesnar, saying that they are in for one hell of a fight at WrestleMania this Sunday. They then proceed to run down the card for the show this weekend, including Sheamus versus Brock Lesnar in a Street Fight; for the World Heavyweight Champion: Dolph Ziggler defends against Chris Jericho; Big Show battles Ryback; Fandango makes is in-ring debut against Alberto Del Rio; a person battle between two dangerous groups from two different eras as The Shield faces Evolution; Wade Barrett defends the Intercontinental Championship against The Miz; then, the 20-0 streak is on the line when The Undertaker faces Daniel Bryan; and in the main event, a triple threat match for the WWE Championship as it is the champion The Rock versus CM Punk versus John Cena!
6. Team Rhodes Scholars (w/The Bella Twins) def. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara (w/Divas Champion Kaitlyn and Natalya) in a back and forth battle between two teams that have grown to flat out not like one another. As Rhodes and Sandow work well together to keep Cara cut off from one side of the ring, Mysterio ends up getting brought in and he lights both members of Team Rhodes Scholars up. Kicks and high flying manuevers galore, a 619 attempt on Rhodes is thwarted when Nikki helps push him out of the way! With Mysterio distracted, Sandow plows through him with a clothesline. Cara comes running over and dives in to Sandow to take him down to the floor below. With the women now arguing, Mysterio staggers back up in the ring in to the Disaster Kick from Rhodes, which manages to keep him down for the pinfall.
Cara slides back in to the ring just as the bell rings, Rhodes rolling to the outside and heading beside Sandow. As Kaitlyn and Natalya also join Mysterio and Cara in the ring, Team Rhodes Scholars and The Bella Twins laugh from atop the stage. "We are smarter than you!" Sandow says. "We always will be!" Rhodes tacks on as the four raise their arms together to the disapproval of the audience and the four in the ring.
The cameras then pick up backstage to show the locker rooms for John Cena, CM Punk and WWE Champion The Rock. They have been kept apart all night long but after the break - they will have their final face-to-face-to-face before their triple threat match this Sunday!
"If ya smell!" Is heard coming out of the break, the crowd rising to their feet and loud for the arrival of the WWE Champion The Rock! 'The Great One' walks across each side of the stage to look out to the crowd before marching down the ramp and in to the ring. 'Rocky' chants ring out from the D.C. fans as Rock takes his time bringing his microphone up. He mentions that, of course, this Sunday is WrestleMania 29. "Two years ago, WrestleMania took place in Atlanta, Georgia. At that event, yours truly was the host... thinking to have a great time and live it up one more time! But that turned out to not be enough... The Rock needed more, The Rock had that itch and The Rock couldn't help but scratch it! That one event led to the return to the ring and it eventually led to the main event of last year's WrestleMania down in Miami against John Cena in one of the biggest matches this business has ever seen and you know that The Rock whooped that candy ass!" Smiling, he says that before he gets to this Sunday, he needs to talk about today where he was taking a stroll around town before the show and he happened to pass by a house - the White House - and he thought what it would be like for him to be the WWE Champion and the next President of the United States, going from Barack to The Rock. "Then each and every day The Rock could wake up and say finally The Rock has come back to Washington D.C.!" The fans work up another chant of his name with Rock then saying that brings him to this Sunday in New York - WrestleMania 29.
Before Rock can go any further, John Cena's music interrupts. The twelve-time World Champion looking to begin his thirteenth reign on Sunday enters the ring and has a stare down with his long time rival. "I wanted to come out here before you went any further, Rock, because I wanted to talk a little bit about the last couple of years. Last year against you at WrestleMania was the biggest loss of my career... and ever since then I have been scratching, clawing and working my ass off to get back to the top and who stands in my path? You." Cena says that it means everything to him to become the WWE Champion this Sunday at WrestleMania. "I understand that you have the millions and millions of your fans, Rock, but as great as you may be and as electrifying as you are, your heart isn't in this one hundred percent and it does nothing but piss me off to see you standing here holding that championship!" Rock glares back at Cena and says that he wants to make things perfectly clear. Crystal clear, even. "Do I have other obligations in my life? Yes, I do. Do I have another career outside of this business? Yes, I do. But without this business, John, I don't have that career, I don't have those opportunities and I'm not The Rock... so, to make things clear, when I walk through those curtains and I come down to this ring, you're right: I am not in this one hundred percent, I'm in this one hundred and ten percent and come this Sunday, John, whether you like it or not... the WWE Champion going in to WrestleMania and walking out of Wrestling will be Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson."
The static of CM Punk's music then interrupts things, the former WWE Champion of 456 days arriving alongside Paul Heyman. He calls for his music to stop as he is walking down the ramp, shaking his head with a scoff. "I'm sorry but I can't help but feel like - not that I'm surprised - I'm like the third wheel in this." He looks to Heyman, whom gives him a nod in agreement, saying he's not wrong. "See, it's funny to me how I'm viewed as the third wheel because while the two of you have been bitching about each other's movies and what color T-shirt you like to wear, I've been coming in here day in and day out and been the absolute best in the world! It's not just a nickname, it's a fact!" He walks up the steps and enters the ring, moving closer to Rock and Cena as he looks back and forth between them. "You know what? Maybe it's a good thing you're overlooking me. Because while the two of you are at each other's throats this Sunday, letting me sit back and pick my spots so I can find the perfect time to come in and take what is rightfully mine! Because the fact of the matter is nobody deserves to be WWE Champion other than me! Hell, I flat out deserve a one-on-one match with Rock because I never got that rematch but do I complain about how unfair and unjust that is? No, because I know that I can beat you and I can beat you and I can beat both of you on the same night at the same time because I am CM Punk and I am 'The Best in the World'!" Cena asks Punk if he is finished, asking if he thinks that he and Rock are that stupid to forget about him. "Yes, we'd love it if you didn't exist but I don't mean it like that. Rock and I know first hand just how good you are and you and I both know first hand how good he is. Whether you admit it or not is a different story." Cena says that yes, he has a bone to pick with The Rock because he has never been able to beat him and he hopes that changes on Sunday, but he'll be damned if Punk is going to be any reason he doesn't walk out of WrestleMania as the WWE Champion. "You are one of the best damn opponents I've ever had, Punk. But next Monday night on Raw I plan on the clock striking 8 and my theme music hitting and having me come down to this ring to say to the entire world: The champ is here!"
Rock takes a step forward from the ropes and looks back and forth at Cena and Punk. "This is one of the biggest main events the WWE has ever seen. The three of us may not like each other and that's fine... but Punk, The Rock is well aware of the fight ahead of him at WrestleMania. It's not just John Cena, it's CM Punk too... two of the very best, two of the toughest opponents The Rock has ever had. But as hard as the two of you are gunning to become WWE Champion, The Rock is working twice as hard to stay WWE Champion... bring everything and the kitchen sink, too, because you're gonna need it... IF YA SMELL... WHAT THE ROCK... IS... COOKIN'!" He tosses his microphone aside and raises the WWE Championship high above his head, Punk and Cena each looking up at the belt as that is what it is all about in six nights! With that, the show comes to an end.
April 5, 2013 from Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
Following the Smackdown opening video, Josh Mathews and Jerry 'The King' Lawler are at ringside to welcome everyone to the show, Mathews mentioning that Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield are already at WrestleMania Axxess! They cut to the two of them, as they are at the Izod Center just across the street from MetLife Stadium, as they will be showing the sights and sounds of Axxess throughout tonight's show.
1. The Bella Twins (w/Team Rhodes Scholars) def. Divas Champion Kaitlyn and Natalya (w/Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara) in a competitive contest between the Divas, Kaitlyn and Natalya controlling most of the match until some 'twin magic' from Nikki and Brie after a distraction via Team Rhodes Scholars. While Mysterio and Cara try to notify the official about it, having not seen it it goes unpunished. The swap leads to success for The Bella Twins, however, as Brie ends up tripping Natalya face first in to the middle turnbuckle and then rolled up for the one, two, three!
Brie rolls out of the ring and at the side of Nikki, backing up the ramp with Sandow and Rhodes as they have had quite the successful week against their respective rivals. However, as they are celebrating and the other four are standing in the ring, Smackdown General Manager Booker T's music hits. He steps out from the back with a microphone in hand, saying that he has an announcement to make. "It's never too late to make the biggest show of the year even bigger! So, this Sunday at WrestleMania, we're going to have ourselves an eight person tag team match: The Bella Twins and Team Rhodes Scholars versus Kaitlyn, Natalya, Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio! Now can you dig that, sucka?!" He then flashes a smile and returns to the back with the two sides seeming receptive to the decision.
At WrestleMania Axxess with Cole and JBL, the two spend the next hour going through some of the events taking place at the Izod Center, as well as taking a look at some of the matches to come at WrestleMania this Sunday and interviewing some of the superstars on their matches such as Alberto Del Rio and Wade Barrett.
2. Non-Title Match: World Heavyweight and WWE Tag Team Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/WWE Tag Team Champion Big E Langston and AJ Lee) def. Kofi Kingston in a contest Ziggler takes lightly at first only to pay the price when Kingston comes at him aggressively with big kicks and leaping take downs. The SOS gets him a two count. As Kingston continues to come at Dolph, the World Heavyweight Champion responds with a thumb to the eye, doing enough to leave an opening for the Zig Zag and the pinfall.
Lee and Langston join in the ring and present Ziggler with both his title belts, which he holds high above his head. "You're going down at WrestleMania, Chris!" He shouts to the camera toward Chris Jericho. "You can't get the job done! You're nothing!" His celebration with his girlfriend and tag team partner continues on afterward, as he now looks ahead to WrestleMania this Sunday as the final edition of Smackdown ahead of the pay-per-view concludes.
Post by †hê Jå§ðñ Wïllïåm§ on Sept 6, 2020 1:08:26 GMT -5
-The Rock is going over CM Punk and John Cena. He's the biggest star in this match and Cena and Punk don't need the win to become bigger names. Hopefully The Rock holds onto the title until you want to build a big star fast, that can beat up The Rock and take his title.
-Chris Jericho is going over because there's no need for Dolph to have 2 championships. Let Chris Jericho get a run with the world championship while you can build to the eventual breakup of Ziggler and Big E, with Langston taking AJ Lee along with him after they lose their tag titles.
-The Undertaker is of course going to win this match. Daniel Bryan is a B+ player and last year lost to Sheamus at Wrestelmania in 18 seconds. It's been just over a year, but that loss still shows that Daniel Bryan doesn't have what it takes to beat The Undertaker at Mania.
-So this one is a toss up, because you have the returning Batista coming to join Triple H and Randy Orton against the brand new Shield. With the Shield being undefeated in a 3v3 match, I think it's time to give them an L, and the safest bet is against the reformed Evolution. Just wish Mark Jindrak could have gotten the pinfall.
-This one is super easy. Brock Lesnar is the beast but Sheamus is the Celtic Warrior. Warriors tend to defeat beasts, as beasts just roam the wild and warriors have to go hunt. So I'm picking Sheamus.
-We've got Wade Barrett vs The Miz. Currently The Miz is considered the greatest IC champion of all time, so why not change history and never have him win the title again. I see you doing that, because Wade Barrett is a star in the making. Maybe later on he can cash in his IC title for a shot at The Rock, where we can see the coronation of Barrett as the new face of the WWE and the People's Champion.
-Big Show vs Ryback? Well I know Ryback can lift up two men at once, but I don't think he can lift one 500 lb man in The Big Show. I say Big Show takes this match in a 55 minute 2 star classic.
-Well if memory serves me right, Fandango made his in ring debut at Wrestlemania 29 with a bunch of dancers, so I hope that you continue with the same that happened in the history books. What I think should change though, which I see you doing, is having Ricardo Rodriguez being one of the dancers and attacking Fandango pre-match, allowing Alberto Del Rio to get the quick submission victory.
-Mysterio/Cara/Kaitlyn/Natayla vs Rhode Scholars and the Bella Twins will be pulled from the card due to time restraints from the 55 minute classic of Big Show vs Ryback. This match won't even happen on the Raw after Wrestlemania. This match will never come to fruition and will never be thought of again.
April 7, 2013 from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ
A video package airs, clips of the New York and New Jersey area being shown before transitioning to footage of The Rock, John Cena and CM Punk each seen during respective recent reigns as WWE Champion. "Tonight, on the biggest stage of them all," A voice over says upon their images being displayed. "These three titans battle for the biggest prize in sports entertainment: The WWE Championship." Transitioning to shots of the formation of The Shield and Evolution and their recent initial confrontation stemming from The Shield's attack on WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon. "Tonight, these two dominant factions collide in a personal battle with the goal in mind to put an end to the other." Chris Jericho winning the Royal Rumble match and Dolph Ziggler cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase to become World Heavyweight Champion are focused upon next. "Tonight, a rivalry dating back to last summer reaches it's biggest height yet with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line." The rise of the 'Yes!' chants for Daniel Bryan and The Undertaker returning at Old School Raw, the two coming face-to-face is next looked upon. "Tonight, the undefeated streak of a legend is at stake against perhaps the best in-ring superstar and a rising fan favorite." The promo shuffles through the other battles set to take place tonight on the grandest stage of them all, finishing on a shot of The Rock holding the WWE Championship over his head with CM Punk and John Cena standing in front of him and looking up at the gold. "Tonight... is WrestleMania!"
With Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton's "Can't Hold Us", the official WrestleMania theme song, in the background, the cameras come inside of MetLife Stadium as Michael Cole welcomes everyone to the show from ringside, joined by Jerry 'The King' Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield, saying this is what we wait all year for: The grandeur, the magnificence, the beauty and the brilliance of the greatest live event in all of entertainment. "Welcome to WrestleMania!"
The bell rings as the two charge right at each other and exchange headlocks, Barrett with a push to the ropes with Miz sliding under the legs on the return only to stand up to a boot to the stomach. An elbow across the back and a series of punches to the face, Barrett throws Miz in to the corner and slaps him across the face. "What'd I tell you, huh?" He asks with a laugh to the booing crowd. "You don't belong in this ring!" Miz responds with a slap right back, Barrett taking a few shots to the face before attempting a back suplex, Miz flipping back and landing on his feet, being caught by the neck and launched over the rope but landing on the apron. Barrett angrily storms toward Miz again but takes a shoulder to the stomach, Miz then pulling himself under the bottom rope and bringing Barrett down in a roll through pin attempt but only getting a two count. Miz stays on the attack, Barrett responding with a whip in to the corner where Miz tries to lift himself up and launch his legs back only to eat a kick right to the stomach from the Intercontinental Champion. Barrett takes his time throwing hard right hands to the face before taking Miz up in to the corner again, laying him across the top rope and clubbing the back repeatedly until the referee reaches a count of four and forces him to back off. A huge running knee to the mid-section follows with Miz collapsing back in to the ring and getting his shoulder up at two on a cover. Barrett keeps throwing punches and knees to the ribs, even tying Miz up in to the ropes at one point but being hit with a boot to the face on a charge. Miz starts to make a comeback as he hits a series of knock down forearms, a running knee to the face followed by his signature backbreaker neckbreaker combination that gives him another near fall on the cover. Getting back up and seeming pretty fired up, stomping on Barrett a few times. "I belong!" He shouts, Wade responding in kind with a rake of the eyes. Getting back up, Barrett hoists Miz on to his shoulders for the Wasteland but Miz pulls himself free, attempting the Skull Crushing Finale but being dragged over to break it. Barrett misses a clothesline in the corner but catches a running Miz with a big spinning side slam that almost puts him away! Barrett grows a bit frustrated, getting back up and turning his elbow padding inside out as he winds up for the Bull Hammer Elbow. Miz ducks underneath it, however, sweeping out both legs and applying the Figure Four Leglock! A big 'Woo!' from the crowd, Barrett scrambles to get out of it quickly to no avail, having to try and dig his way toward the ropes. Eventually, Barrett manages to get himself over - forcing Miz to let go of the hold. As Barrett pulls himself up via the ropes, Miz tries to come at him so the referee gets in the middle to hold him back. Barrett delivers a cheap shot over the shoulder of the official and then runs up, lifting Miz off of the mat and nailing the Wasteland! The cover is made and the legs are hooked, Barrett figuring he has it won only to have Miz kick out just before the referee's hand hits the mat a third time! Eyes widened, Barrett can't believe it as he yells at the official that it was three! Enraged, Barrett stomps around the ring and begins to wind his arm up again in the corner, letting Miz get up before running at him for the Bull Hammer Elbow once again only for Miz to duck the shot, hook a hold of Barrett from behind and execute the Skull Crushing Finale! He covers quickly, hooks both legs up and scores the pinfall! The Miz def. Wade Barrett to become the new Intercontinental Champion!
The crowd cheers for Miz as he hops back to his feet, holding hid mid-section while going to the ropes and putting a foot on the second one in celebration, the referee presenting him with the Intercontinental Championship as he holds it close to his face before holding it above his head. "For the second time, The Miz is Intercontinental Champion!" Says Cole. He takes the time to go to each side of the ring and hold the belt up to each section of the crowd before stepping to the ropes to stare Barrett down on the outside. "I told you I belong! I told you!" He shouts before holding the championship above his head one more time.
A video package airs, focusing on CM Punk's career and rise to the top, truly beginning with his famous 'pipe bomb' speech two years ago. For 456 days he reigned as WWE Champion before losing it to The Rock at Elimination Chamber, tonight he plans on beginning another long reign at the expense of Rock and John Cena.
Ryback, taped ribs and all, steps up to Show before the match can even begin, causing the referee to pull him back while 'The World's Largest Athlete' laughs. The bell is then signaled for and Ryback runs forward with punch after punch, Show responding with a big knee to the injured mid-section. "Big Show bait-and-switched Ryback in to the parking lot this past Monday on Raw," Cole reminds everyone. "And Chokeslammed him on the windshield - hence the injured ribs!" Show continues to target the injury, pushing Ryback in to the corner and delivering a big slap across the chest, pushing him right back up and lowering the target for the ribs. A couple heavy knees drop Ryback on all fours, Show holding his hands out proudly while the audience boos him. Show then places a boot on the back of Ryback and pins him down to the mat, then stepping on him with both feet while holding the ropes down! The referee gets to a four count as Ryback rolls to the outside in pain. Show shortly thereafter follows and pulls Ryback up against the barricade, pushing his body back and proceeding to rip the tape off! With the ribs exposed, Show continues to attack with knees and punches that keep Ryback from getting any offense in. "I don't think we've ever seen Ryback manhandled like this." JBL comments. As Show tosses him back in to the ring, however, Ryback finds an opening as he meets Show getting on the apron with a few big strikes to the face. He then attempts to suplex Show over the ropes but can't get him up. Instead, Show lifts Ryback himself and launches him face and stomach first on to the mat. The crowd boos as Show steps over the ropes and raises his hand up in the air, taking Ryback as he gets back up and delivering the Chokeslam! The cover is made and the leg is hooked but Ryback kicks out at two and a half! Show seems relatively surprised by the kick out, standing back up and running his hand across his face. "Alright, tough guy!" He says while allowing Ryback to stand back up. Grabbing the throat of Ryback again, Show looks poised for another Chokeslam but Ryback instead grabs a hold of the wrist and begins to pull it away slowly! Strength on full display, he eventually pushes the arm away completely and dives in to the knee of Show to drop him down to the other. Ryback stands back up and hits a series of big strikes to the head and chest, bouncing off of the ropes and returning with a Thesz press that puts Show down. Ryback then takes a hold of the neck and pounds Show's head in to the back of the mat multiple times, standing back up and moving in to the corner where he gets to the second rope, diving off as Show gets to a knee with a double axe handle across the head. Show wobbles a bit on his feet, Ryback then stepping in to him and delivering a spinebuster! A cover is made but Show kicks out at two. Rolling to the ropes and slowly pulling himself back up, Ryback nurses his ribs some as Show gets on all fours. He heads over to the giant and throws a few clubs across the back, bouncing back in to the ropes and returning right in to a sidewalk slam! Show covers for another two count and lets out an angry grunt over it. Pushing himself back to his feet, Show pulls down the straps of his singlet and raises his fist to the booing crowd. Clenching the fist tight to his side, he motions for Ryback to stand back up, swinging the fist once he does but having it be ducked underneath. Ryback then comes off the ropes with a dive in to the legs that flips Show up and over! Ryback then staggers in to the corner and nods his head to the crowd, returning his attention to Show getting on all fours and preparing his arm, MetLife Stadium with 'Feed me more!' chants, Ryback then charging as Show gets to a knee and nailing the Meat Hook Clothesline! "Finish it!" He then yells out, holding the bad ribs as he steps up to Show as he struggles back up via the ropes, fighting through the pain to lift Show up off of the mat and on to his shoulders! "No way Ryback can do this!" Lawler shouts. The crowd rises in awe as Ryback then steps forward and hits Shell Shocked! Still holding the ribs and wincing in pain, Ryback lays back on Show and hooks the far leg for the three count! Ryback def. Big Show!
The WWE Universe cheers Ryback on as he is announced the winner, struggling to get back to his feet as he is obviously still in pain. He, however, manages to get himself up and raise his arms as the winner. The commentary team, still stunned by the Shell Shocked, goes through replays of the move being delivered to Show. Back live, Ryback leads the audience in 'Feed me more!' chants once again as he has pulled off quite the feat and victory tonight!
Following the match up, we go to footage of WWE being announced as sponsoring the 2014 Special Olympics. People involved in the games include Stephanie McMahon, as well as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Having taken a long time with his entrance, Fandango decides to start the match by halting Del Rio and continuing to dance. ADR is very unimpressed by it and interrupts with a kick to the stomach. A few kicks to the legs and he goes for one to the face but Fandango just barely avoids and rolls under the bottom rope. "This is the in-ring premiere of Fandango!" JBL says. "He's going to regroup and get this performance just right!" Del Rio doesn't seem interested in letting Fandango get any chance to gather himself, however, as he heads to the outside and throws the dancer face first in to the announce desk. "I don't care what your name is! You messed with Alberto Del Rio!" He then hurls Fandango back in to the ring and follows after him but ends up getting his leg wrapped by Fandango's and tripped in to the ropes. After a reverse whip in to the corner, Fandango pulls himself in the air and lands behind Del Rio, catching his leg and nailing a spinning wheel kick in response. A cover for a two count and Fandango stands back up, dancing a little bit before stepping up to ADR in the corner and hitting a few shots to the mid-section but being kicked in the side with Del Rio throwing him over the top rope in response. Fandango holds on just barely to stay on the apron, standing back up as Del Rio nails him with an enzuigiri that once again drops him to the outside. Fandango's dance partner comes to his aid, Alberto waving his hands to the crowd to try and get them going. A charge off the ropes and he runs across for a baseball slide but Fandango pulls himself out of the way, kicking Del Rio's legs out from underneath him and then taking a hold of them. Looking behind him, Fandango then falls backwards and launches 'The Mexican Aristocrat' face first in to the ring post! Back to his feet once again, Fandango swivels his hips and points in Ricardo Rodriguez's direction, the personal ring announcer for Del Rio, before dragging Alberto back up and throwing him in to the ring. Fandango gets some words from Rodriguez and it leads to them getting in to a bit of a spat. Del Rio ends up breaking it up, however, as he swings himself between the ropes with a dropkick to Fandango that slams him in to the barricade! Del Rio follows and takes a hold of the arm, working away at it by wrapping it across the barricade, announce table and ring post. Bringing Fandango in to the ring again, a few stomps and a couple of knees on that arm continue to potentially set things up for his signature armbreaker. As he goes to grab the arm again, Fandango throws a knee in to the back of the head! ADR falls on all fours, stunned by the shot, as Fandango covers for a two count - getting a bit more aggressive off of that as he throws punches relentlessly to the head. Taking a deep breath as he stands back up, Fandango poses over the body of Del Rio. He then reaches down for the neck but ends up having his arm grabbed - being yanked down and placed in the Cross Armbreaker! Fandango kicks his legs wildly and reaches out with his free hand, trying to find a way out of the hold! He can't get toward the ropes as they're in the middle of the ring, but Fandango pulls himself to his side and reverse the armbreaker in to a cover which forces Del Rio to let go in order to prevent being pinned. Fandango gets back up in the corner tending to his arm, Del Rio getting back up but running in to a boot to the face. Fandango then sits on the top rope but Alberto runs up the ropes and catches him with a hard enzuigiri! Fandango falls backwards - laying all the way across the top turnbuckle and ring post. Del Rio then heads up to the second rope and pulls Fandango toward him, throwing a few punches to the face and hooking hold of the neck. Fandango throws a couple of shots to the back, however, and ends up reversing things in his favor as he proceeds to plant Del Rio down to the mat with a forward suplex. With Alberto down, Fandango stands up straight on the top rope and leaps off with a big time leg drop! The cover is then made and both legs are hooked for the pinfall! Fandango def. Alberto Del Rio!
An impressive and successful debut, Fandango stands back up with his arm raised as the winner. He assists his dance partner in to the ring and he twirls her around a bit before posing with her behind Del Rio's body as he lays holding his neck still against the ropes, as it appears Fandango is to be taken seriously!
The commentary team then mentions what we have coming up next: The six man tag team match between The Shield and the re-united Evolution! A video package shows the debut of The Shield and their dominance since, running through whomever they please. An attack on Chairman Mr. McMahon, however, would end up leading to the return of Triple H as the group went to attack McMahon a second time, only to end up being beat down and laid out at their hand. Randy Orton would then step up to the trio, saying that he has sat by and watched as they have mercilessly attacked anyone they wanted, including McMahon, and then the man he says he respects more than anyone in this business in Triple H. He, too, would fall victim to the trio. With an attempted attack on Ric Flair, HHH and Orton would step up to The Shield together, then challenging them to a match at WrestleMania. Needing a third partner, they would surprise Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns by revealing the returning Batista as their partner, thus re-uniting Evolution. The video package then highlights Evolution's dominance a decade ago, with HHH, Orton and Batista also going on to incredibly successful singles careers as well. With a personal vendetta on HHH's mind and his partners, the group would vow to be the ones to put a stop to The Shield!
Transitioning backstage, a handheld camera is seen on the ground when three pairs of feet walk up to it. The camera is picked up but it's not The Shield with the camera, yet Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton: Evolution. "Weren't expecting us, were you?" Asks Batista with a smile. "Just like you weren't expecting us to get back together?" Orton adds that this one night reunion of Evolution is to put an end to The Shield before they can go any further. He commends them for being as dominant as they have been but tonight it is the end of the road. "Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns, this is personal... and while the three of you are out for the glory... we're out for blood... so, if you wake up tomorrow and you're laying in a hospital bed and you're all beat up and you're wondering to yourself 'what in the hell happened?', then there is just one answer for you: Evolution has just passed you by." He then places the camera back down on the ground and the three head off for the match.
The two sides stand in the ring staring one another down, having some words back and forth as the referee calls for them to get to their respective corners. They eventually do so with Triple H and Rollins starting things off, 'The Game' coming forward with big strikes that rock Rollins in to the corner. The beat down continues in the corner with HHH eventually backing off and throwing his arms out in signature from to the crowd as he is fired up. Rollins respond with a big running dropkick, charging at HHH in the corner after with a forearm and then a clothesline over the top rope and to the floor below. Rollins then runs across the ropes and returns with a big suicide dive that slams HHH against the barricade! He pounds his chest to the booing crowd and gets back in to the ring, Reigns and Ambrose taking the opportunity to jump down and get their licks on HHH before tossing him back in to Rollins, whom makes the first cover of the match for a short two count. Pulling 'The King of Kings' up in to a seated position, Rollins applies a chinlock and forces Hunter to look at his partners. "You wanna tag them in? Huh?! Too bad!" He throws HHH back down by the face and drags him in to the corner where Ambrose is tagged in, coming in and double teaming with stomps. Ambrose tags out to Reigns and he comes in to put the boots to HHH as well as The Shield rotates in and out each guy, non stop with the attack. Finally, Ambrose pulls HHH back to his feet and whips him off the ropes, a knee to the face in order to reverse a back drop attempt. A series of punches and a whip off of the ropes, Ambrose comes back to a big spinebuster! Instead of going for the pin, however, Hunter mounts on top and rains down with punches to the head until the referee breaks it up. He then turns to his corner and points to Orton, drawing cheers from the crowd as 'The Viper' is tagged in. He catches Ambrose by the vest as he tries to come to the corner and instead brings Dean back against the ropes for some hard punches. Lifting Ambrose off the mat he drops him across the ropes and then delivers a hard uppercut that sends him down to the floor below. "Give 'em a taste of his own medicine!" Orton shouts, HHH and Batista dropping down from the apron and slinging Ambrose in to the barricade before returning him to Orton, whom methodically stomps around the entire body. A crank of the neck and he brings Ambrose back to a knee, eating a few elbows to the gut as Ambrose fights back. A big kick to the stomach and a launch in to his own corner shoulder first, he then drags Orton's head between the ropes and pulls him back over the top one while barking in his face. "You shouldn't have messed with The Shield, Randy! None of you should have!" A tag is then made to Reigns, whom comes in with heavy strikes to Orton, pinning him in a corner and throwing hard shoulders to the gut. A whip across to the opposing turnbuckles and a charging clothesline follows and drops Orton to the mat. Reigns places a boot in the throat against the ropes and has some words for Batista and HHH as he pulls away at the referee's count of four. Another set of shoulders to the stomach come in the corner before Reigns back up again, holding his fist up for HHH and Batista before running at Orton for a Superman Punch only to be caught in mid-jump with the RKO out of nowhere!
With the East Rutherford crowd buzzing over the move, Orton eventually starts to crawl his way to his corner. Reigns rolls toward his as well, both men making a tag as in comes Batista and Rollins - Seth trying to springboard off the ropes but being caught in the air with a spinebuster! Batista is fired up as Ambrose tries to come in to the ring but ends up tossed over the top rope for his troubles, Rollins struggling to get up in the corner and taking some shoulders and punches followed by a huge whip across the ring that slams him chest first in to the turnbuckles, turning around to a second spinebuster from 'The Animal'. Getting back up to loud cheers, Batista steps to the ropes and shakes them with a few stomps before putting both thumbs in the air, then putting them down as he grabs Rollins by the hair and positions him for the Batista Bomb. Before he is able to pull Rollins off of the mat, however, Reigns comes back in and nails a Superman Punch! Standing over Batista and having some words for him, HHH comes in from behind and drops Reigns with a shot to the back of the head. Ambrose responds by coming in with a chop block to the back of the knee, mounting over Hunter after with punches until Orton comes in and hurls Ambrose to the outside - following after him as they trade wild strikes back and forth. The other four end up brawling to the outside as well while the referee struggles to get some control. As things finally seem to be settling down and Batista gets his partners to return to the corner, he walks back toward Rollins and is blindsided by a Spear by Reigns on to the hard floor! While the official holds the other two members of Evolution back as they have just returned to their corner, Batista is thrown back in to the ring for Rollins to make a cover, yelling for the referee to come over only to have Batista kick out just in the nick of time! Surprised by it, Rollins questions the official before mounting over Batista and pummeling him with shots to the face before tagging out to Ambrose, whom comes in and does more of the same. After being picked up and slammed in to the corner, however, he has to respond with a knee to the face followed by a second rope bulldog for another two count. Ambrose then looks back to his corner and points to Reigns - giving a nod before tagging him in. "Now we're in for a fight!" JBL says with a laugh. Reigns paces back and forth, motioning for Batista to stand back up. A few big punches to the face from Reigns, but Batista responds with a big shot of his own. The two then begin to go back and forth with cheers and boos respectively coming from the audience, growing louder with the cheers as Batista ends up taking control, whipping Reigns off of the ropes and catching him with a Spear on the return! He makes the cover but Rollins flies in to the ring to break up the count at two! HHH and Orton respond by coming in to the ring yet again, Ambrose joining in to things as they begin to brawl once more! After tossing Rollins and Reigns to the outside, HHH and Orton seem to have an idea as they look to Batista and give him some instruction before dragging Reigns back up, lifting him off of the mat and placing him on to the shoulders of 'The Animal'! The crowd rises up as they then proceed to hit the signature triple powerbomb of The Shield on Reigns! The cover is made and the legs are hooked but just as the referee's hand is about to hit the mat a third time, he is yanked under the bottom rope by Ambrose to stop it! "You've got to me kidding me!" Cole shouts angrily. Ambrose puts his hands up to the official, HHH sliding to the outside and having an argument with Dean over the shoulder of the referee. As they are spatting, Rollins ends up flying over the top rope with a flip right on to HHH!
Back inside of the ring, Batista leans in to the corner and awaits Reigns to stand up again, charging at him with another Spear attempt as he does but being side-stepped, Roman showcasing his strength with a big Samoan drop afterward. Both men are down off of it as Orton begins to stomp his foot on the steel steps, waiting for the tag. Both men dig toward their corner as both Orton and Ambrose end up getting tagged in and charging right at each other, Orton getting the upper hand as he ends up tossing Dean between the ropes and hooking a hold of his neck. Rollins tries to get up on the apron to try and stop it but ends up taking a boot to the stomach, being pulled in by the head as well as Orton drops them both with the rope hung DDT! Throwing his hands up to the crowd, he looks back to his corner at HHH pulling himself on to the apron. "You want to finish this?" Orton asks with 'The Game' responding by putting his hand out. Orton points to him and draws cheers from the crowd, so he makes the tag. He turns back around in the ring, however, and eats a Spear from Reigns! HHH responds with heavy punches to Roman as he ends up whipping him off the ropes and nailing his signature spinebuster, then catching Ambrose with a kick to the stomach as he hooks a hold of him for the Pedigree. Rollins ends up leaping off the top rope though and catches HHH with a knee to the face! He ends up walking straight in to a boot from Batista coming in, however, as he ends up clotheslined over the top rope. Ambrose responds by taking Batista from behind and throwing him shoulder first in to the ring post, dropping him to the floor on the outside. With Ambrose leaning across the ropes and having some mocking words for Batista, he has HHH standing up behind him and looking prepared. Another kick to the stomach and another hook of the arms, the Pedigree is nailed in the center of the ring! The cover is made but Reigns ends up breaking it up! "There's a reason The Shield have never lost a match together!" Lawler says. "Even Evolution can't put them away!" HHH gets back to his feet and trades some shots with Reigns but Ambrose and Rollins end up jumping on his back from behind, leading to a three-on-one beat down. Batista tries to slide back in to the ring but Rollins notices and catches him with a Curb Stomp! Orton tries to get on the apron but takes the Superman Punch from Reigns! With HHH on all fours and The Shield surrounding him, he tries to pull himself up via Reigns' vest, getting up in his face. "Game over." Roman says while looking him in the eyes, Rollins and Ambrose then lifting him up on to Reigns' shoulders as they deliver the Triple Powerbomb! Ambrose, the legal man, then makes the cover for the one, two, three!
The Shield def. Evolution!
Dominant, and victorious yet again, The Shield get to their feet together and look out to the MetLife Stadium crowd. "Together, I think these three men are unstoppable." Cole says. "Still, yet to be beaten in six man tag team action and I shudder at the thought of what this will do to their already inflated egos." After highlighting some of the footage from the match, we come back live to the trio making their way back through the crowd, stopping and taking a look back at the ring where HHH, Batista and Orton are still left strewn about. Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns then put their fists together in signature form.
A video package airs, focusing on John Cena's career, coming up from his initial debut, to becoming a fan favorite to capturing his first of twelve World Championships. His career would reach a crossroads with big losses over the past two years between CM Punk and The Rock, as he aims for retribution and a thirteenth World Championship reign with a win in the main event tonight against two of his greatest rivals.
Moving forward to the upcoming Street Fight between Sheamus and Brock Lesnar, out to the stage to interrupt things is Paul Heyman. "Ladies and gentlemen!" He announces loudly. "My name is Paul Heyman and the contest you are about to see may be scheduled for one fall but I would far from call it a match! See, my client's opponent wanted this to be a Street Fight! He wanted this to be a full on brawl! And, boy, oh, boy, is he going to get that brawl, he is going to get that fight with the ultimate fighter! And after he busted open my client on Raw... he was seeing red both literally and figuratively... so, without further ado, I give to you... Brock Lesnar!" Bandage on his forehead, Lesnar steps out from the back looking angry and determined!
Lesnar charges right at Sheamus as the bell rings and lifts him in to the corner, the bell sounding as the shoulders to the stomach and fists come flying. Lesnar backs up and turns around to let out a yell to the crowd, turning back around in to a Brogue Kick! "Is Sheamus going to win in 18 seconds for the second year in a row?!" Asks Cole. Lesnar, however, kicks out just barely on the pin attempt! Sheamus gets to a knee with a smile, knowing he almost pulled off a sudden shock win two years in a row at WrestleMania. Lesnar stumbles back to his feet against the ropes with his fists held up, Sheamus stepping up to him but having his waist hooked - being launched up and over the top rope and to the floor below. Lesnar tries to shake the cobwebs from the Brogue Kick and makes his way out after Sheamus, clubbing his back a few times before delivering a German suplex on the outside floor! A sickening thud as Sheamus hits the ground, Lesnar gets up proudly with Heyman grinning over him. "Just remember: You asked for this!" He says. Lesnar pulls Sheamus back up by his hair and brings him up in to a bear hug - running in to the ring post and driving 'The Celtic Warrior's spine in to the steel. Lesnar then takes a walk along the outside, heading to the timekeeper's area, Justin Roberts quick to move out of the way as Brock grabs a steel chair. Walking back over to Sheamus, he wallops him across the back with a big shot via the chair. Another one follows and then a third before Lesnar chucks the chair in to the ring. Dragging Sheamus to his feet, he hurls him under the bottom rope and follows after. Stepping on the chair as Sheamus tries to grab it, Lesnar laughs until he ends up being drilled with a low blow! Sheamus then picks the chair up as Lesnar staggers backwards - delivering a huge shot across the back! Another one comes after and then a few more that causes Lesnar to fall through the ropes and on to the apron. Sheamus raises the chair up to the crowd with a yell before tossing it away, stepping forward and holding Lesnar back by the chin before clubbing away at his chest with the signature Ten Beats of Bodrhan! He then shoves Lesnar down to the floor afterward, stepping out to the apron and diving off with a clothesline. Clearing the announce table, he grabs one of the monitors and swings it right in to the head of Brock! Heyman looks on now in horror as Sheamus tosses the monitor aside and clears the Spanish announce table as well, pulling Lesnar back up again with a hook of the neck as, with the bandage now off, blood begins to trickle from the wound that was formed on Monday. He drags Lesnar on to the table and forces Cole, JBL and Lawler to back away. Using all of his strength, Sheamus pulls Lesnar up and in position for White Noise - taking a few steps forward and dropping both of them through the Spanish team's desk!
The crowd breaks out in 'Holy sh*t!' chants as after a while down, Sheamus pulls himself up with the assistance of the barricade. He throws his arms out to cheers from the fans as he then drags Lesnar's body toward the ring and pushes him back in, going and making a cover but having Lesnar kick out at two. Sheamus stands back up, a smile as he nods, motioning Lesnar back up. A charge at Brock but he ends up swept up off of the mat and planted with the F-5! Bloodied and in a daze, Lesnar doesn't go for the cover as Heyman slaps the ring apron and gives him some instruction. Lesnar pulls himself back up and looks down at Sheamus using the ropes to get on all fours. "You want a fight, huh?" Brock questions as he begins to remove his gloves. "Huh?" He throws a slap to the back of the head, then throwing a few fists to the side of the head. Sheamus drops to the mat and Lesnar mounts over him and keeps the hard punches coming, a few elbows in the mix as well. He then drags Sheamus to the outside of the ring again, hurling him in to the steel steps. Brock then takes a few steps forward, picking the top half of the steps up. Sheamus stumbles back to his feet and walks in to a shot to the face with the stairs! Lesnar then decides to slide the steps in to the ring and bring Sheamus back in, throwing him across the steps and coming down with fists and elbows once again. He then goes and retrieves the steel chair from off to the side and raises it over his head - swinging it down toward Sheamus only for 'The Great White' to get out of the way and for the chair to connect with the steps! Lesnar drops the chair as his hands are obviously hurt by it, Sheamus picks that chair up and swings it wildly as Lesnar's head only to have it ducked underneath. Brock then aims for a second F-5 but Sheamus elbows his way free, backing in to the corner and then charging for the Brogue Kick only to be caught in mid-boot, lifted on to the shoulders and dropped with the F-5 on to the steel steps face and body first! Lesnar then decides to make the cover, hooking both legs up for the three count from the referee.
Brock Lesnar def. Sheamus!
While the audience boos, Heyman joyfully gets in to the ring along with his bloodied client, whom stands back up with a scowl on his face. "One word: Unstoppable!" He shouts to the downed Sheamus as he raises his client's arm up. "I hate to admit it," Lawler says. "But I think Paul Heyman may be right about that one..." The two then leave the ring together, Sheamus left laying and being checked on by the official.
After a promo video for WWEShop.com, we come back to ringside where the commentary team talks briefly about the war we just saw with The Shield taking down one of the all time great factions in Evolution. They then mention how we got things kicked off earlier on with tonight's pre-show seen on WWE.com, YouTube and the WWE App where we had a 25-man over the top rope battle royal (featuring United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, Brodus Clay, Camacho, Curt Hawkins, Darren Young, David Otunga, Drew McIntyre, Epico, Evan Bourne, The Great Khali, Heath Slater, Hunico, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Jinder Mahal, JTG, Justin Gabriel, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Primo, Santino Marella, Tensai, Titus O'Neil, Yoshi Tatsu and Zack Ryder). The match would be dominated by Cesaro and Henry, coming down to them with Bourne and Kingston in the final with Kingston trying to pull Henry over the top rope with a headscissors only for Cesaro to come up from behind dump both of them out. Celebrating too earlier, however, Bourne would end up sending Cesaro over the top rope with a dropkick, as just under two weeks after making his return - Bourne with a big victory on the WrestleMania pre-show.
A promo video proceeds to air for the World Heavyweight Championship match between Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho, starting with Ziggler defeating Jericho on the August 20, 2012 edition of Raw last year and thus resulting in the termination of 'Y2J's contract. "You can't win the big one anymore!" Is heard echoing in the background of the video from Ziggler. At the Royal Rumble, Jericho would make a shocking return as the second entrant with the two making it all the way to the end with Jericho coming out victorious. The following night, Ziggler would hit then-World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio with a Codebreaker, leading to Ziggler cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase and walking out the new champion. Stated by Jericho later on, it was all a part of his plan, however, as after winning the Royal Rumble, he wanted Ziggler to become World Heavyweight Champion so that he could face him at WrestleMania and win the big one and shut the mouth of 'The Show Off'. Ziggler, with his fellow WWE Tag Team Champion Big E Langston and girlfriend AJ Lee in his corner, doesn't back down from the fact that Jericho, however, is in the twilight of his career and can't get the job done.
The bell sounds as the two men stare one another down, circling around the ring slowly as Jericho keeps an eye on Langston and AJ on the outside before stepping to the middle and locking up with Ziggler, whom gets the quick upper hand as he hooks a hold of the waist and drops Jericho on to the mat. Running his hands through his hair, the cocky World Heavyweight Champion backs to the ropes and calls AJ on to the apron, receiving a kiss on the cheek from her. 'Y2J' smiles from a knee and gets back up, motioning for Ziggler to come back to him. They lock up again, this time Jericho sweeping out the legs and perhaps looking for the Walls of Jericho, only for Ziggler to pull his legs away and roll under the bottom rope as he was caught off guard by that. "Come on, baby!" Jericho shouts to the crowd while pumping his arm, waiting as Ziggler takes his time on the outside. At a count of eight, Dolph re-enters the ring and the two once again tie up in the middle, Ziggler with a quick take down and then being brought up and whipped off the ropes, leapfrogging Jericho but being rolled up for a two count. Dolph then runs in to another pin attempt, this time getting back up after kicking out and aiming for a superkick only for Jericho to duck underneath it and go for a backslide for another count of two. A big chop to the chest sits Ziggler back down, Jericho with a kick to the chest before letting Dolph back up just to chop him in the chest again and send him right back down. A series of strikes in the corner, Ziggler ends up shoving Jericho away and taking him down with a big clothesline followed by a leaping elbow drop for a two count of his own. Ziggler then works on the neck and head as he wrenches away while transitioning between a headlock and chinlock. Jericho struggles in the hold for a while but ends up pulling himself back up with some willing on from the crowd, elbowing himself out of Ziggler's grasp and then coming at him with some more chops. A reversed Irish whip, Jericho returns with a slide under Ziggler's legs and then catches him while against the ropes with a big toss over the ropes only to have 'The Show Off' land on his feet below, hopping back on to the apron only to end up eating a springboard dropkick that sends him down on his back. Jericho takes a moment before going after Ziggler on the outside, pulling him back to his feet only to be shoved lower back first in to the ring apron. A few punches to the head and a slam of the face off the apron and Ziggler rolls Jericho back in, following and covering for a two count. A blatant choke follows after that as Ziggler yells in Jericho's face that he can't get the job done. At a count of four, he lets go of the hold and slaps Jericho in the face, backing up to the other side of the ring as Jericho brings himself up in the corner, Dolph then running full steam for a splash only to have Chris move out of the way! Holding his chest from the impact, Ziggler then turns in to a step-up enzuigiri from Jericho, whom makes another cover with both legs hooked but it doesn't bring forth the finish.
Jericho gets back up and after stomping on Ziggler a few times, he brings him back up and does some more work in the corner. After a couple of big chops, Jericho gets to the second rope and starts to come down with the ten punches with the crowd counting along. After the eighth one, however, Ziggler pulls him off from the corner in a powerbomb position - Jericho managing to roll down the back and sunset flip Dolph for a near fall. Both men get back up and Jericho ducks a wild punch, instead coming back at Ziggler with a bulldog. 'Y2J' jumps right back up and pounds his chest, looking over to the ropes and looking to springboard off of them only to have Langston pull them out of the way and cause him to crash to the floor on the outside! "Give me a break!" Cole shouts. "Hey, ref, wanna do something about that?!" With the official not having noticed, Langston acts completely innocent as he stands with his arms crossed. Ziggler stirs from all fours to his two feet, looking out to Jericho holding his back on the outside, going after him and ramming the veteran in to the announce table and then the barricade before driving him in to the ring apron a second time. A toss back in to the ring and Ziggler follows, hitting a big corner splash followed by a neckbreaker for yet another two count. Slapping the mat out of frustration, Ziggler stands up and argues with the referee - getting in his face in the corner even. He then turns to Jericho getting back up and runs and nails a Famouser, pointing at the official and telling him to count faster. He then makes the cover but once again Jericho is able to kick out in time! AJ gets on the apron and starts to scream at the referee herself, providing a distraction as Ziggler tosses Jericho to the outside and lets him get ran over by Langston with a clothesline! The crowd boos as Ziggler laughs on his way after Jericho once again, pulling him up by the hair. "What's the matter, Chris? Did that hurt? Are you okay?!" He then drills Jericho with a superkick! A bit of playing up to the disapproving crowd and Ziggler tosses Jericho back in to the ring, getting back on the apron and running his hand through his hair before going to the top rope. Before he can leap off, however, Jericho gets himself up with Dolph and drills him with a couple of punches before leaping up in the air and delivering a hurricanrana from off the top! Both men are down off of it as the East Rutherford fans begin a 'Y2J' chant, getting behind Jericho as he uses the ropes to drag himself back up. Ziggler charges after and goes for his a leaping splash but Jericho avoids it - charging and nailing the Codebreaker instead! He drapes the arm over Ziggler and just as his hand is about to hit the mat for the three count Ziggler throws his arm up high for the kick out!
Both superstars remain laying, eventually getting to opposite sides of the ring and dragging themselves up. Jericho steps up and eats a kick to the stomach, Ziggler then bouncing off the ropes but missing on a leaping clothesline, Jericho aiming for another Codebreaker only for Ziggler to catch his legs and instead send the challenger back first in to the corner, following it up with a big jumping DDT! Another pinfall attempt and another close count of two! Very frustrated now, Dolph gets back up and starts to delivering leaping elbow after leaping elbow, kneeling over Jericho after while pulling his head up by the hair. "Give up, Chris! Give up! You can't do this!" Jericho then suddenly takes Ziggler by his hair and pulls him down in to an inside cradle for an incredibly close near fall! Both men shoot back to their feet and Ziggler eats a kick to the stomach followed by a double underhook backbreaker! 'Y2J' decides against going for the pin, however, as he instead scans the outside before springboarding off the ropes away from Langston and nails the lionsault! Now the cover is made but Ziggler once more finds it in himself to kick out. Jericho, on his knees, looks exhausted as he tries to think of what his next move will be. He then takes Ziggler by the legs and gets the crowd buzzing until Langston gets on the apron, Jericho charging at him and knocking him off with a shot to the face. The Zig Zag is then attempted but Jericho holds on to the ropes! He turns and catches Ziggler getting back up, sweeping out the legs and transitioning right in to the Walls of Jericho! Ziggler looks to be in big trouble as he is in the middle of the ring, but after struggling a bit he starts to claw his way toward the ropes. As soon as the champion's fingers begin to touch the ropes, however, he is dragged back to the center of the ring where Jericho turns the move in to the Liontamer - knee in the back of the neck and all! "Jericho beat Ziggler with this move at Summerslam last year!" JBL is quick to point out. AJ gets in to the ring and the referee has to restrain her from getting involved! With his back turned and AJ kicking and screaming, Ziggler begins to tap out! Before the official can see it, however, Langston charges in to the ring and goes after Jericho but the veteran realizes to let go of the submission hold and duck under the clothesline attempt of Big E - catching him with the Codebreaker as he turns back around! Kicking Langston under the bottom rope, Jericho is then caught from behind with the Zig Zag! Dolph then quickly hooks both legs up and scores the pinfall to keep his championship! Dolph Ziggler def. Chris Jericho to retain the World Heavyweight Championship!
Ziggler rolls back to the middle of the ring as he is announced the winner, the referee retrieving the World Heavyweight Championship and presenting it to him - a mixed response for Ziggler as he stands up and holds the title above his head. "Dolph Ziggler tapped out," Cole says. "And if it wasn't for AJ and Big E, Chris Jericho would be the World Champion right now!" After showing replays of Ziggler's submission and the distractions leading to the finish, we come back live to a dazed Langston and a joyful AJ leading Ziggler up the ramp as he continues to celebrate with the championship above his head as a visibly angered Jericho watches on from the ring.
A video package airs highlighting the career of The Rock, having been one of the top stars in the company during his first run, before leaving the business to pursue what has become a very successful career in Hollywood. Making his return as the host of WrestleMania XXVII two years ago, he would ignite a feud with John Cena that would lead to their match at last year's WrestleMania where Rock would be victorious. Returning to the ring at the Royal Rumble this year, he would begin a feud with CM Punk that would ultimately lead to him becoming WWE Champion at Elimination Chamber. Despite his film career, Rock plans on remaining champion going forward.
Seen in the back is Daniel Bryan as he is finishing putting tape on his wrists when Kane walks up and stands over him. Bryan gets up from the bench he is on and looks to his former tag team partner. "I guess there is no going back now." Kane says, which Bryan nods in agreement - saying he wants to apologize to Kane for this coming between them and he hopes they can still remain friends after tonight. "Because I will not apologize for going out there and ending the streak of The Undertaker." He then walks past Kane and heads off for the upcoming match.
Transitioning to a promo video, it goes back to the debut of The Undertaker in 1990, then moving forward to his first WrestleMania match with future Hall of Famer Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka. The video then showcases the continued dominance of 'The Dead Man' over the years at WrestleMania, with last year leading to him having his undefeated streak of 20-0. Moving forward to Old School Raw this year, Undertaker would return, proclaiming that last year marked the end of an era and this year will be the beginning of the next, but questioned whose soul he would reap come April 7th. Daniel Bryan would answer the call, the WWE Universe immediately responding with 'Yes!' chants to the challenge. Despite the brother of Undertaker and former tag team partner of Bryan in Kane trying to reason with Daniel to not go through with this, Bryan would proclaim that he needs this to prove that he can be taken seriously and that he can overcome anything. Coming face-to-face this past Monday, Bryan would make things a bit more personal by claiming that Undertaker had nothing in his life besides the streak and that he was going to take it from him, prompting an attack from the legend as Bryan continued to dig deep. Despite multiple knock downs from Bryan, Taker would continue to sit up, even surprising his WrestleMania challenger with a strike of lightning behind him atop the stage as a final warning.
As the match gets started, Undertaker and Bryan stare one another down from opposite corners. They both slowly step up to the middle of the ring where Daniel looks out to the crowd as they are bellowing out with 'Yes!' chants. He then looks back up to Taker and begins to raise his fingers in the air to the chant, Taker with a simple nod as he backs up. The two then circle around a bit before coming to the middle of the ring, Bryan with a series of kicks to the leg and a few chops to the chest being met with a big knee to the gut followed by a series of punches. Taker takes control of things in the corner but Bryan ends up pulling himself on to the second rope after a kick to the knee and performs a sunset flip for a short two count. Getting right back up ahead of Taker, Bryan catches him with a low dropkick and covers for another two. Staying on the attack, Bryan keeps teeing off with strikes before running off the ropes only to return to a toss over the top rope and to the floor below. Taker adjusts his singlet and paces a little bit, leaning in a bit as he motions for Bryan to come back in. Daniel obliges, charging and firing away with forearms to the face, bouncing off the ropes but once again being launched over the top on the rebound - this time, however, managing to land on the apron. He races to the top rope as Taker has his back turned, then diving off with a dropkick as soon as Taker sees him. Another pin attempt and another two count, Bryan gets to a knee and nods in apparent acceptance that what he has done hasn't been nearly enough. A few stomps from Bryan and Taker brings himself back up, catching a big kick to the side and taking Bryan by the throat before tossing him in to the corner and teeing off with his deadly strikes to the face and body. A hard whip across the ropes and he then catches Bryan with a big boot on the return. A slam of Bryan's head in to the corner and then a lift on to the shoulder, Taker nails snake eyes and then a sidewalk slam. Bryan rolls out to floor and Taker follows, lifting Bryan in to a bear hug before charging in to the ring post with him. Laying Daniel under the bottom rope afterward, Taker makes his way back on to the apron and hits his signature leg drop. Walking along the outside, Taker comes back in after Bryan but ends up having his legs swept out from underneath him as Bryan transfers in to a heel hook. As Taker rolls to try and get out of the hold, Bryan releases and instead goes for the arm of 'The Dead Man' and goes from a hammerlock to an armbar and then a chicken wing. Taker gets his feet underneath him, however, and pulls himself and Bryan back up - lifting Bryan up off of the mat by leaning over and having Daniel roll down on to his feet. As soon as Bryan turns around though he is grabbed by the throat, lifted high off of the mat and dropped with a Chokeslam - leading to a near fall!
Taker stands back up slowly and drags Bryan up by the hair, avoiding some punches that don't reach. He responds with a headbutt and sends Bryan stumbling back in to the corner, the arm then being taken with Taker twisting it, ascending the turnbuckles and walking across the ropes before executing Old School! Another raise of the hand as Taker looks prepared for another Chokeslam, lifting Bryan as he gets to his feet but Daniel manages to push off, bouncing off of the ropes but being grabbed and thrown toward the corner - Bryan running up then turnbuckles and backflipping over Taker, catching him with a big clothesline from off of the ropes after that sends Taker back a few steps. A low dropkick to the knees and then a big one to the face sends Taker back through the ropes and to the outside. Bryan stands back up shaking his fists some, looking around the building before bouncing off of the ropes and running back to the other side with a suicide dive right in to 'The Phenom'! With Taker down against the barricade, Bryan stands back up and starts up 'Yes!' chants with the crowd again, getting on to the apron and waiting for Taker to stand before hitting him with a diving knee strike to the face. Having to muster up the strength to pull Taker up again himself this time, Bryan manages to get Taker back under the bottom rope. Getting on the apron again, Bryan heads to the top rope as Taker has rolled more to the center of the ring. Standing up straight, Bryan then leaps off with the diving headbutt! The cover is made and the inside leg is hooked but Taker kicks out at two. Bryan sits up and shakes his head, confirming with the referee that it was just a two count. He then turns his attention back to Taker but ends up being suddenly taken a hold of and placed in Hell's Gate! "Undertaker has it locked it! Undertaker has Daniel Bryan in Hell's Gate!" Yells out Cole. Bryan's legs flail as he kicks them high in the air, searching for a way out. He fails to reach the ropes and seems to be on the verge of having to submit, but he instead kicks his legs up high again and forces Taker to loosen the hold up as Bryan flips it in to a cover that almost pulls off the sudden win but Taker kicks out ahead of the three count. Bryan stands back up and Taker gets to a knee, kicks to the chest coming as the 'Yes!' chants once again ring out with each connection. As Bryan delivers one big shot to the head, he falls back against the ropes from the amount of force behind it. Catching his breath, he then steps back toward Taker but is met with a sit up and glare! Bryan's eyes widened, he aims for another kick but has his leg caught, 'The Dead Man' standing back up and pushing Bryan back before delivering a boot to the mid-section followed by the Last Ride Powerbomb! Taker throws himself over Bryan's body for the cover but just as the official's hand is about to hit the mat for the third time, Bryan manages to kick out to the shock of The Undertaker!
A slow rise back to his feet, Taker shakes his head at the downed body of Bryan. Dragging him back up via the hair, Taker loads up and throws a big punch that sends Daniel right back down. Again pulling him up via the hair, Taker pushes Bryan in to the corner but takes a boot to the face. Bryan then leaps up and hooks a hold of the head as he applies a guillotine choke! Pulling back on the hold, Taker ends up dropping to a knee in the grasp. He eventually pushes back up and charges Bryan in to the corner, then running off of the ropes and coming back with a leaping clothesline! To his feet and giving the throat slash motion, he lets Bryan get to his feet again, scooping him up and nailing the Tombstone Piledriver! A bit slowed, it takes a few seconds before the cover can be made but Bryan ends up placing his foot on the bottom rope just as it appears that it's going to be over! Taker shakes his head as he comes to realization of the break, taking the ropes to pull himself up again. He looks around the stadium and then back to Bryan, slowly pulling the straps of his singlet down. As Bryan struggles to even get on his side, he staggers back up and turns in to another lift on to the shoulder but manages to slide down and push Taker chest first in to the turnbuckles. Falling to the other corner, Bryan charges full speed forward and hits a big corner suplex! A second one follows and then Bryan takes a hold of the arm, twisting it and heading to the top rope! "Is Daniel Bryan going for Old School?!" Lawler asks in confusion. Instead of doing the elbow across the back as Taker would do, however, Bryan ends up leaping off with a bulldog to take Taker down and place him in to the Yes! Lock! Taker, stuck in the middle of the ring, looks to be in big trouble as the WWE Universe is loud, the chants picking up yet again but Taker refuses to submit. Reaching out for the ropes, Bryan swings his boot out and stomps the free hand of the legend! Taker closes his fist and even raises his hand as if he is going to submit, but instead pushes it down in to the mat, pushing his knees to get himself up to one, Bryan still hugging the arm as Taker stands back up. Backing in to the corner hard, Bryan doesn't let go of the hold, thus Taker does it again, but it requires a third time to finally force the release. Taker stumbles to the corner, Bryan pulling himself up on the other side of the ring. He then runs forward and takes a big boot right to the face! Taker then places Bryan in position for the Last Ride but Daniel lands on his feet behind 'The Phenom', having his arm grabbed on the turnaround and whipped toward the corner, Bryan running up the turnbuckles and backflipping off of them for a second time only for Taker to catch him mid-air on his shoulder! The audience rises to their feet as the Tombstone Piledriver is delivered! The hands are then folded across the chest, tongue out and eyes rolled back as the referee counts the one, two, three! The Undertaker def. Daniel Bryan!
MetLife Stadium lets out a big ovation as the bell sounds, Taker falling over and laying on his back despite being victorious. "Daniel Bryan may not have not won the match," Cole says. "But as a critic of his in the past, I think he just silenced all of them with his efforts tonight." Taker eventually pulls himself to his feet, leaning back across the ropes as he looks down at Bryan still laid out. 'The Dead Man' then takes a few steps forward, reaching his hand down toward Bryan, whom weakly takes hold of it. Aiding Bryan back to his feet and holding him steady, Taker seems to have some words for him before patting him on the back. Bryan gives a nod and then exits the ring, leaving Taker to look around the stadium before dropping down to a knee, holding his hand out in signature form as the lights come down upon, his WrestleMania undefeated streak having extended to 21-0!
Cole then says from a future Hall of Famer to those that were enshrined twenty four hours ago, we go to footage from last night's WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Clips from each speech are shown before we come back live inside of MetLife Stadium, fellow Hall of Famer Howard Finkel standing in the ring as he proceeds to introduce the Class of 2013 as they stand atop the stage: Mick Foley, Booker T, Trish Stratus, Bob Backlund, Donald Trump and Bruno Sammartino! They give a wave to the crowd as Finkel once again gives a congratulations to this years Hall of Fame Class of 2013.
After a video featuring WWE's partnership with the National Guard, we come back to a shot of the crowd as Justin Roberts' voice is heard from ringside announcing that tonight, a new attendance record has been set for MetLife Stadium with a total of 80,676!
Starting the match off is the Divas Champion Kaitlyn and Nikki Bella, the latter with a cheap shot to the face after an early distraction from Brie. Mounting on top of Kaitlyn's back, Nikki hits her with repeated strikes to the back before Kaitlyn gets up in the corner, Nikki with her hands up before slapping Kaitlyn in the face! The Divas Champion responds with a dive in to the legs and slams Nikki on to the mat, unleashing with punches! Nikki crawls away and makes a desperate tag to her sister, whom comes in and is also taken down and pummeled on. After a suplex, Natalya is tagged in and she enters with a couple of knee and elbow drops. She then works the legs a little before applying the sharpshooter! The hold doesn't last long, however, as Nikki ends up coming in and saving her sister with a forearm to the back of Natalya's head. The referee keeps Mysterio and Cara from getting in the ring, Brie then crawling to her corner and making a tag to Rhodes, whom comes in against Cara as they exchange punches with a pull down of the mask allowing Rhodes to hit a few hard strikes to the face and a suplex. After hanging Cara across the ropes, Rhodes hits a signature kick to the abdomen and then tags Sandow in, whom comes in and delivers a hard knee in the corner. After a swinging neckbreaker leads to a two count, Sandow brings Cara in to the corner as he and Rhodes make frequent tags in and out as they trade boots to the chest, avoiding being disqualified as they break it off at a count of four to bring the other in. After Rhodes pushes it a bit, however, he has to be pulled back by the official and it leads to The Bella Twins each coming in and also getting some shots in! Rhodes then heads back over and drags Cara to his feet, positioning him for a DDT but taking time to look at Mysterio, Kaitlyn and Natalya, Cara responding by reversing the hold in to an arm drag and a big dropkick. After Sandow comes back in to try and aid Rhodes, Cara hits a springboard moonsault and takes both of them down. Mysterio is then given the tag and he springboards with a seated senton on Sandow but ends up being blasted with a Disaster Kick from Rhodes when Brie hangs him up on the top rope! Kaitlyn and Natalya storm across the ring and take out the sisters to the floor with a Spear each through the ropes, Cody setting the stage for Cross Rhodes on Mysterio but instead having Mysterio nail him with a couple of boots to the face. Ducking a clothesline, Mysterio then catches Sandow with a baseball slide as he has a hold of Cara on the outside. Rhodes charges forward but Cara gets on the apron and nails him with a kick over the top rope to the back of the head - Mysterio following with a dropkick to the back that places Rhodes in between the ropes and in perfect position for the 619! He then follows it up with a springboard splash and gets the pinfall for his team! Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Divas Champion Kaitlyn and Natalya def. Team Rhodes Scholars and The Bella Twins!
Mysterio pops back to his feet with his fists raised in the air, Cole pointing out on commentary how two years ago on this stage, Rhodes was the one that pinned Mysterio and now the tables have turned in this eight person tag team match. Cara, Kaitlyn and Natalya join him in the ring and they hold their arms up together as, meanwhile, Sandow blames The Bella Twins for the loss as he assists Rhodes away from them in a huff.
A video airs highlighting the history of WrestleMania locations and next year, for the first time ever, it travels down to New Orleans from the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome! WrestleMania XXX on April 6, 2014!
Back at ringside, the commentary team talks about how much they're looking forward to next year's WrestleMania event, but they still have one more bit of business to attend to tonight: The WWE Championship match. A video package plays, highlighting the intertwined rivalry between The Rock, John Cena and CM Punk: Punk having beaten Cena at Money in the Bank 2011, Rock defeating Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII, Rock becoming WWE Champion against Punk at Elimination Chamber this year and Cena winning an opportunity at the championship by winning an Elimination Chamber match. "Let The Sparkys Fly" by Thousand Foot Krutch, one of the official theme songs for WrestleMania 29, plays as footage of the triple threat match being made is shown and the coming weeks of insults from Punk and Cena directed at Rock for not being committed to the company, but also still having it out for the other, with a match between the two to try and settle old scores, Punk managing to come out victorious only for Rock to show up and lay Punk out with a Rock Bottom and Cena with the People's Elbow. In their final face-to-face-to-face, Rock and Cena would go back and forth with Rock reminding Cena that he beat him last year and Cena saying he needed to defeat Rock to redeem himself. Punk would interrupt and claim he was the third wheel in this, but they're overlooking 'The Best in the World'. Cena would vow to walk in to Raw the night after WrestleMania saying 'the champ is here!' and Rock stated that as much as the two of them are gunning to be WWE Champion, he is working twice as hard to stay WWE Champion. The video package comes to an end with a still shot of Rock holding the gold above his head with Cena and Punk looking up at it.
The referee holds up the WWE Championship after the introductions of each superstar, then calls for the bell as they are all ready to go. Punk steps up to the middle and looks to his opponents. "I am 'The Best in the World'! You know it, you know it and all of them know it! I'm giving you one chance! One chance to lay down and accept that I am better than you!" Rock and Cena then look to one another and each send a punch to Punk that sends him down and rolling to the outside. Looking for an early finish, Cena then hoists Rock on to his shoulders in an attempt at the Attitude Adjustment but Rock holds on to the ropes and elbows himself free - catching Cena with big right hand after right hand after landing on the mat. A whip in to the corner and he charges in to a leaping boot to the face. Cena then steps forward and whiffs on a clothesline, Rock instead catching him with a big one of his own coming off of the ropes. Punk then comes in to the ring and spins Rock around, hoisting him on to his shoulders now only to meet a similar fate as Rock lands on his feet and tees off. Bouncing off of the ropes this time, however, Rock runs right in to a kick to the stomach. Punk then takes him in to the corner with a shove and hits some measured shots to the mid-section. "Come on, Rocky! Hit me!" Punk says with confidence as he holds out his chin, Rock not hesitating to take him up on the offer! Backing Punk in to the ropes, Rock's whip across the ring is reversed but after Punk leapfrogs, he turns straight in to a spinebuster! Cena then comes in from behind and plants Rock with a sitout slam right next to Punk's body. Raising a hand in the air, Cena sees the opportunity and raises his second one. A double dose of 'You can't see me' and he bounces off the ropes looking for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, Punk managing to roll out of the way as Rock takes the fist to the face. Punk stands back up and he catches Cena charging at him and launches him over the top rope and to the floor below next to Rock. Punk then proceeds to launch himself over the top with a crossbody on to both of his opponents. "You are the best!" Paul Heyman says with encouragement for his friend and client. "You are the best!" Punk holds his hands out proudly to the crowd and then begins to clear off the announce table, pointing to the fallen apart Spanish one next to it and saying to give it a minute it will look the same. He then takes Rock and looks to put him on the table but ends up getting shoved back and met with rapid rights. A boot to the stomach and a hard DDT is delivered on to the floor! Rock has some words directed at Punk as he stands back up but turns right in to a diving shoulder block from Cena. The twelve time World Champion tosses Rock back in to the ring and follows after him, lifting Rock on to his shoulders and nailing the Attitude Adjustment this time! The cover is made and the legs are hooked but Rock powers out at a count of two!
Cena claps his hands together as he sits and looks back at Rock, thinking things over before going out to the apron. Heading toward the top rope, Cena seems poised for a leg drop but Punk ends up coming up beside him and shoving him down face first in to the barricade. Punk instead gets on to the top rope and he dives off on a rising Rock with a clothesline. A cover is made and another two count from the referee, Punk deciding to go a different route as he hooks a hold of the neck and holds 'The Great One' down on his side. Rock eventually forces himself in to a seated position, digging back to his feet but having Punk kick his leg out from behind and continue to keep him grounded. Suddenly, however, Punk has his own leg taken from behind as Cena brings him down on to the mat and applies the STF! Rock stumbles over from the ropes and kicks Cena in the face to break things up. Meeting Cena as he gets back to his feet, Rock pummels him with punches, Cena coming back with some of his own. As Cena ends up with the upper hand, he ends up clotheslining Rock over the top rope and to the floor below. Punk then rolls Cena up from behind for a two count, Cena responding with an inside cradle of his own for another two. Punk then misses on a kick so Cena lifts him up from behind, Punk managing to roll over the shoulder and land out on the apron. A knee in between the ropes and Punk hooks a hold of Cena's neck, looking to suplex him to the outside! Cena instead shoves Punk down to the floor, Rock catching Punk in position for the Rock Bottom but having Punk elbow his way free quickly. A swinging kick to the back of the head sends Rock falling backwards on to the table, Punk leaning in to the ring apron and being yanked back on to it by Cena with force, with another back suplex attempt in to the ring but Punk landing on his feet yet again. He catches Cena on the spin with a lift on to the shoulders and the Go To Sleep! Instead of going for the pin, Punk looks to the outside at Rock. He takes another look back at Cena and, despite Heyman calling for him to go for the cover, Punk heads to the top rope and faces Rock! Fingers pointed to the sky, Punk then leaps off and delivers an elbow drop right on to Rock and through the announce table! The crowd is loud as Heyman rushes over to Punk to check on him. "But did CM Punk made the right decision?" JBL questions. "He may have taken out The Rock but he had his chance to try and pin John Cena after the GTS!" Heyman takes Punk by the wrist and helps drag him out of the rubble, assisting him to his feet and pointing at Cena's body. Punk nods as he realizes the situation, getting up on to the apron and pulling himself on to the top rope once again. Taking a moment to gather himself, Punk stands up straight on the top rope with his fingers once again pointed to the sky - leaping off for the elbow drop again but Cena rolls out of the way! Punk writhes in pain holding his arm, using the ropes to pull himself back up as Cena staggers over, lifts him up on to his shoulders and delivers the Attitude Adjustment to Punk! A hook of the legs and just as it appears Cena is going to get the three count he is dived on by none other than Heyman!
After throwing the fists desperately in to the back of Cena, Heyman perhaps realizes the mistake he has made as John stands up with his hands on his hips. Pleading very quickly, Heyman backs in to the corner where Cena walks up to him and grabs the ropes on either side. As Heyman continues to beg for mercy, Cena seems to be willing to give it to him. Pulling his hands away from the ropes, Cena nods before dropping Heyman with a right hand! "About time Heyman got what was coming to him!" Cole shouts. Cena, however, ends up turning right in to a running knee from Punk against the turnbuckles! A hook of the neck afterward and Punk charges with a bulldog to the center of the ring that he quickly transfers over in to the Anaconda Vice! Cena reaches out and tries to pull Punk's arms off of him to no avail. Punk pulls back on the hold and yells for him to tap, pulling back for nearly a minute before having his legs taken by a returning Rock, whom places Punk in the sharpshooter! Punk's fists pound the mat as he tries to pull himself to the ropes, eventually reaching them but with no rope break, he ends up having to instead yank himself to the outside and drop to the floor below. On a knee now, Rock then steps up to Cena and drops him with the Rock Bottom! Still feeling the effects of the elbow through the table, he takes a while to crawl over and make the cover, the far leg hooked with Cena kicking out at two and a half! With all three men laid out, it leads to Rock being the first one to get up. Cena shortly thereafter gets up as well and after missing on a punch, he is caught with a spinebuster in the center of the ring! The WWE Universe rises to their feet as Rock stands over Cena and looks out to the 80,000 in attendance. Removing his elbow pad, he tosses it in to the sea of people and waves his arms, bouncing off of one side of the ropes as he aims for the People's Elbow. As he comes off the other side, however, he ends up blindsided by a Punk leaping clothesline in almost a mirror image of what happened last year on Raw 1000! Rock stumbles back to his feet and walks right in to Punk and the Go To Sleep! The cover is made, the legs are hooked but Cena throws himself on to the cover to break it up just barely! The audience is electric as all three men have come so close to walking out with the WWE Championship!
Punk and Cena each get back up on opposite sides of the ring and then come to the middle where they begin to trade punches back and forth to loud, mixed reactions each. They continue to go back and forth until Rock brings himself in to the mix, wobbly legs and all as he gets in on the punches. All three men begin to go in a row at one another until Punk decides to throw a low blow kick to Cena! He then hooks a hold of Rock for what looks like a Rock Bottom but he is shoved backwards and caught with the actual Rock Bottom as he comes running back! Cena then shoots the leg of Rock from behind and pulls him down on to the mat, applying the STF! Refusing to submit, Cena is forced to keep pulling back on the hold until Rock appears to be on the verge of passing out. 'The Brahma Bull', however, refuses to give in as he instead manages to pull himself forward and grab on to the ropes, leading to Cena letting go of the hold and attempting to bring Rock back to the center of the ring only to be kicked backwards in to the corner. Rock pulls himself back up and turns to Punk springboarding himself off the ropes, ducking underneath it with Punk instead hitting Cena with the clothesline! Punk then stands back up and turns right in to a spinebuster, Rock once again finding himself in prime position for the People's Elbow. Removing his second pad and tossing it in to the crowd, he flies off of both sets of ropes and lands the elbow in to the heart of Punk! Before Rock can make the cover, however, Punk rolls himself away. As Rock slowly brings himself to all fours, Cena comes flying off of the top rope out of nowhere with a leg drop! "Where did Cena come from?!" Lawler asks. Cena decides against going for the pin though as he instead gets back to his feet and raises his hand in the air. He then stops and looks at his hand, smiling to himself as he taps his temple. He kicks Rock's shoulders in and then waves his hands like 'The Great One' would, as he then bounces off of the ropes as he looks to do what he couldn't do at last year's WrestleMania and put Rock away with his own People's Elbow. As he comes off the ropes, however, it isn't Rock who stops him but Punk with a lift on to the shoulders! A smile on his face, he then turns in to a kick to the stomach from Rock, forcing Cena to be dropped to the side. Another hook of Punk's arm and yet another Rock Bottom, Cena storms in before a cover can be made as he forces Rock up on to his shoulders - putting him down with the Attitude Adjustment! Both legs are hooked as the cover is made with Cena getting the three count to end it! John Cena def. The Rock and CM Punk to become the new WWE Champion!
80,000-plus strong, the WWE Universe gets to their feet with a loud response at the match's conclusion! Cena has a look of shock across his face as he sits in the corner looking across the ring at the downed bodies of both Rock and Punk. "John Cena has done it! John Cena has done it!" Cole exclaims. "John Cena is once again WWE Champion and he pinned The Rock to do it!" The referee walks over to Cena and kneels in front of him, WWE Championship held out. Cena takes it slowly, almost as if he truly can't believe it. He then pulls himself to his feet and looks out to MetLife Stadium still abuzz, stepping up to the ropes and raising the WWE Championship belt high over his head as fireworks are shot off around the stadium. As Punk sits against the barricade on the outside next to Heyman looking defeated, Rock watches from the bottom of the ramp much like Cena did last year, except he has a smile on his face. Cena gives one last raise of the belt up to the crowd with a celebratory yell of 'the champ is here!' as WrestleMania 29 comes to an end!
April 8, 2013 from Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ
A series of still shots from WrestleMania 29 last night are shown, concluding with John Cena ending the night as the new WWE Champion. The Monday Night Raw opening video then airs with the cameras panning inside of the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey with the stage lit up by pyrotechnics. The voice of Michael Cole at ringside welcomes everyone to the show alongside Jerry 'The King' Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield as, now that WrestleMania is in the rear view mirror, a new chapter is upon us! Tonight, we will hear from all three participants in last night's main event in John Cena, CM Punk and The Rock. Plus, Daniel Bryan will address his loss to The Undertaker, we will have two championship matches - the Intercontinental and United States gold on the line - and much more here tonight on Monday Night Raw!
The theme music of John Cena hits, the crowd to their feet with loud cheers and boos combined together as the new WWE Champion bursts out from the curtains with the gold around his waist. Playing up to the crowd and cupping his ear for the boos, he welcomes it as he heads down to the ring. A microphone in hand, he keeps waving his hands up and down to keep drawing some noise. "Boo me or cheer me, I love every minute of it because I can stand here tonight and say to all of you once again... the champ is here!" He says that the last two years have been a crazy journey and a year ago tonight, he was feeling pretty low and kept feeling lower the more time went on. "Then things changed at the Elimination Chamber this year when I punched my ticket to WrestleMania... and well it wasn't easy... I did what I set out to do and that's walk out as WWE Champion." He gets a mixed reaction for that reminder, bringing up how last night to regain the WWE Championship he had to go through two of his biggest rivals and slay some of his biggest demons. "And I know that CM Punk and The Rock are here tonight and each got some things to say but before they do I just want to let them know that regardless of our differences... I have the utmost respect for the two of you."
Before Cena has the opportunity to go any further, Dolph Ziggler's music interrupts things. The World Heavyweight Champion and one half of the Tag Team Champions, alongside partner Big E Langston and girlfriend AJ Lee, makes his way out with a microphone in hand a smile on his face. The trio come down to the ring as Cena questions to what he owes this honor. "Wow, John! Congratulations! You're once again WWE Champion but... you know what? You don't have two belts like me, buddy." Cena says that Ziggler is right about that, to which 'The Show Off' says he knows that he is right - just like he is right that Cena is talking about facing two of his biggest rivals and slaying past demons. "But you know what you haven't done, John? You haven't really made up for me beating you back at TLC in December! Remember? My Money in the Bank briefcase was on the line and what happened? Huh? You thought my girlfriend AJ was going to help you beat me." Ziggler shakes his head and says Cena was, like usual, oblivious to reality. Ziggler says that Cena may think he's back at the top but it'd be real easy to take him back down. "You know, John, you might think that carrying around this gold would be a lot on me but... maybe, just maybe... I could carry around another." He pats the WWE Championship over Cena's shoulder with a big smirk, Cena looking down at the belt and then smiling back. "You're awfully greedy, aren't you?" He asks. "But hey, I love knocking an ego down a notch or two so why don't you step up right here, right now?!" The Izod Center cheers the suggestion, as Ziggler hypes up the crowd to the idea. "You want to face me right now, huh? World Champion versus WWE Champion? One half of the WWE Tag Team Champions versus WWE Champion? 'The Show Off' versus 'The Leader of the Cenation'? The night after WrestleMania?!" He steps forward and shakes his head wit ha 'nah', telling Cena they aren't going to be doing things his way. "You know whose way we should try, John? Big E Langston's." Cena then turns right in to a clothesline from Langston! Standing over Cena's body, Ziggler and AJ laugh and give Langston a nod of approval, which leads to him dragging Cena back to his feet and laying him out in the middle of the ring with the Big Ending! "Oh, that had to hurt!" Ziggler says with a chuckle, patting Langston on the back as he then stands over Cena himself, holding both of his championship belts in Cena's face and then over his head for the entire arena to see.
Back from the break at ringside, the commentary team talks about what we just saw between John Cena and Dolph Ziggler moments ago in a face-to-face between WWE and World Heavyweight Champion. They then talk about last night at WrestleMania while both of those men were successful, on the pre-show battle royal we saw the United States Champion Antonio Cesaro fall just short as he was eliminated by the recently returned Evan Bourne! Now, after that has transpired, we have ourselves a match for the United States Championship!
The Izod Center cheers as Bourne stumbles back to his feet with a stunned look across his face. The referee retrieves the United States Championship and presents it over to him, Bourne dropping to a knee and kissing the belt. "Evan Bourne has just won his first singles championship in the WWE!" Says Cole. Bourne then races his way to the corner and ascends the turnbuckles in order to hold the belt up high in celebration!
Seen walking in the back after the break is the trio of Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston and AJ Lee when they are walked up to by Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero and assistant Brad Maddox. "You sure are quite full of yourself, aren't you, Dolph?" Vickie asks, Ziggler responding with a smirk and saying that she's just upset that ever since he kicked her to the curb he has been nothing but successful. "And, hell, Vick, if I wanted to become WWE Champion on top of WWE Tag Team Champion and World Heavyweight Champion I could so, yeah, I guess you could say I'm a little bit full of myself because I am that damn good!" Guerrero says in his dreams, but she just wanted to stop by and let them know that next week Big E Langston is going to be in action against the WWE Champion, John Cena. "Oh, by the way," Maddox adds as Guerrero leaves. "I talked to Booker T about this Friday on Smackdown and Dolph, you're going to be in action against the brand new United States Champion Evan Bourne!" He then heads off after Guerrero, leaving the three to talk among themselves about everything they were just informed.
2. Fandango def. R-Truth as after making a successful in-ring debut last night, the crowd is loud continuing to sing Fandango's theme song after his entrance. Toying with Truth and continuing to dance to the fans humming his music, Fandango ends up knocked down by a spinning forearm from Truth. A missed Axe Kick, however, Fandango pushes Truth in to the corner and follows it up with a leaping side kick. Ascending to the top rope afterward, Fandango nails a big leg drop and covers Truth after for the pinfall.
Standing back up, Fandango is announced as the winner and continues to sway his hips to his music. He looks down at Truth on the mat and then makes his way back to the corner and to the top rope again. "Fandango is looking to make an impact!" Says JBL while his fellow commentators argue how unnecessary this is. As Truth gets on all fours, Fandango leaps off with another leg drop - this time across the back of the neck! Fandango is then joined by his dance partner in the ring as the two share a short routine around the ring before taking a bow over Truth's downed body.
Making his way out after the time away is CM Punk to a big reaction from the crowd. Hood up over his head, he has Paul Heyman in tow. They come down and in to the ring together, Punk being handed a microphone by Heyman but struggling to get things started. After some consulting with his friend and manager, Punk steps up to the center of the ring and out to the New Jersey fans. "Y'know, for 456 days... I was the WWE Champion." He begins while running his hand across his face. "And for 456 days, I kept trying to raise the bar for myself, I kept trying to up the challenge and then I came across The Rock." He says that losing the WWE Championship to one of the greatest of all time was nothing to be ashamed of but he set it out in his mind that he was going to go out there and get it back. He explains that next challenge came in the form of not just The Rock, but John Cena and that challenge came last night in the main event of WrestleMania and clearly, he stands here tonight without the WWE Championship. "See, in my mind, I'm still 'The Best in the World' but I'm... I'm burned out and I'm not in the right place mentally... my next challenge isn't in this ring and, honestly, I don't even know if it's back home but that's where I'm going." Heyman looks on solemnly from the side as Punk then turns to him and explains to the WWE Universe that Heyman and himself had a long talk this morning and they had some differing opinions. "Paul wants me to stay and he wants to see me succeed and that is why I love this man but... I just need to take some time... Paul, I'm sorry." He then steps over to Heyman, arms held out as he is told repeatedly 'it's okay' and 'I understand' as Heyman embraces him tight in the center of the ring.
'Sierra. Hotel. India. Echo. Lima. Delta. Shield.' The crowd rises to their feet as The Shield's music bellows out throughout the arena, Punk and Heyman slowly pulling apart from each other in the ring as Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins make their way down through the crowd and over the barricade. "The Shield have had a relationship with CM Punk since arriving last year at Survivor Series," Cole points out. "They helped him retain the WWE Championship more than once." Just one night removed from their monumental victory over Evolution, the trio step in to the ring and walk up to Punk, shaking his hand one by one. As Punk has some things to say to them off the microphone, he is suddenly kicked below the belt by Ambrose! "Oh my G-" Heyman yells with his hands on the sides of his face. "What are you doing?! What are you do-" He gets shoved down on to the mat by Rollins as The Shield then begins to put the boots to Punk on the mat! As Heyman looks on in horror from the corner, he watches as Punk ends up being lifted up off of the mat and on to the shoulders of Reigns where he is planted with the Triple Powerbomb! "I can't believe The Shield... attacked CM Punk of all people." Lawler says in disbelief. The three then place their fists together in signature form over Punk's body as Heyman continues to look on from a distance in shock over what just happened.
3. Non-Title Match: Divas Champion Kaitlyn (w/Natalya) def. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) as, prior to the match, footage from backstage earlier showed The Bella Twins breaking off their arrangement with Team Rhodes Scholars, thus leading to them going their separate ways. Despite attempted involvement from Brie, the tricks of the sisters prove to be not enough as Kaitlyn and Natalya both hit a Spear on the outside to Nikki and Brie. Kaitlyn then tosses Nikki back in to the ring where she hits a Fireman's carry gutbuster for the win.
Back to her feet, Kaitlyn has her arm raised as the winner with Natalya then entering the ring with the Divas Championship in her hand. She presents it toward Kaitlyn but hesitates to hand it over, giving a slight smile as she eventually lets go. A shrug of the shoulders from Natalya, she then raises Kaitlyn's arm up herself while the Divas Champion gives a look, knowing what Natalya might be thinking right now.
Standing by backstage is Matt Striker as he introduces his guest at this time, Daniel Bryan. Striker waits a moment as the Izod Center lets out big 'Yes!' chants from inside of the arena, Matt then telling Daniel that he put up a valiant effort last night against The Undertaker. "Yes, but I didn't win." Bryan replies with a sigh. "And maybe... maybe everyone has been right about me all along, y'know? Maybe I can't be taken seriously. Maybe I'm not as good as I think... maybe I don't really deserve to be here..." Up to him then comes Kane, 'The Big Red Monster' with his hands out, Bryan telling Kane he doesn't need to hear the 'I told you so's, but Kane says he isn't here for that. "You may have not won last night, but you gave my brother one hell of a fight. You should be proud of yourself, Daniel. I know I am." Bryan keeps his head down but Kane tells him he wanted to ask him something. "How about right here tonight you and I reform Team Hell No?" Bryan says he isn't sure, but Kane persists, telling Bryan that if they don't win - they'll never team ever again. "But if we do... who knows? Maybe we can get back to the top of the tag team division and become the WWE Tag Team Champions again?" Bryan smiles and asks Kane if he means he can become Tag Team Champions again. "No, we become the Tag Team Champions!" Kane shouts back. "No, I become the Tag Team Champions!" Bryan yells in response, Kane then asking if Bryan's in, to which he gets a series of 'Yes!'s, the crowd chanting in the background as it appears Team Hell No will re-unite tonight!
Seen in her office following the break is General Manager Vickie Guerrero, talking on her phone about tonight's show when in to the room comes her assistant, Brad Maddox. He attempts to rush her off the phone but Guerrero doesn't seem to want to end the conversation. "Vickie, I've got big news!" He says while waving his hands. Guerrero rolls her eyes and tells the other line that she'll call them back, then asking Maddox what it is. "The Chairman, Mr. McMahon, is on his way here right now." Guerrero scoffs and doesn't seem to believe Maddox, but Brad assures her that it's true. "Yeah, okay, Brad. You know what, how about you go get me some coffee and do it right this time?" Maddox urges Guerrero to listen to him, prompting her to respond in a shrill voice that he needs to listen to her as her assistant! "Or do you want to be back out on the streets?" Maddox sighs and leaves the room, Guerrero pulling her phone back out, dialing and seeming to return to her previous conversation.
4. Kofi Kingston vs Drew McIntyre (w/Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal) goes to a no contest in a bit of a back and forth starting match with Kingston grabbing the upper hand after leapfrogging McIntyre in the corner and catching him with a leaping clothesline. As he starts to get things going after the Boom Drop, Slater and Mahal are suddenly dropped from behind on the outside! "Who the?" Cole questions. Looking up from behind blonde hair covering his eyes on the outside is Jack Swagger, an older gentlemen standing behind him as he looks in to the ring. "Jack Swagger?! We haven't seen Jack Swagger in about seven months!" Swagger then steps in to the ring, McIntyre running him but being caught and tossed through the ropes and on to the outside. Kingston then charges right in to a clothesline - the referee having no choice but to throw the match out.
Swagger drags Kingston up by the hair and pushes him in to the corner - driving shoulders in to the stomach repeatedly before tossing him halfway across the ring by the hair. He then charges right after Kingston and picks the leg as he applies an ankle lock! Kingston tries to crawl to the ropes but Swagger drags him right back to the middle of the ring. On the outside, the older man looks to 3MB and gives them the opportunity to walk away. They do so as Kingston yells out in pain from in the ring, Swagger continuing to twist until Kingston begins to tap out. He lets Kofi go and he rolls under the bottom rope, the unknown man then stepping in to the ring with a microphone as he stands at Swagger's side. "Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Zeb Colter. This man at my side? You may know his name, but you don't know him. Jack Swagger is a real American! That's right, a real American! He knows what is right, he knows what is wrong, he knows who is to be trusted and who is not. He knows who follows the law, he knows who does not." Colter then says that Swagger is back and going to provide a true role model for everyone in the WWE to look up to and he will put away those who disagree! "Now, we place our hands over our hearts and proudly say: We the people!" The two give a nod and then leave the ring together, Kingston left watching from the corner while still holding his ankle as everyone has been caught off guard by this return.
5. Team Hell No def. Team Rhodes Scholars as, re-uniting against old rivals, Kane and Daniel Bryan don't seem like they've lost a step since appearing to split up a little over a month ago. Rhodes and Sandow, looking to get back on track after their loss last night, manage to get some offense in but without The Bella Twins to aid them in distractions, perhaps, they are unable to overcome the odd couple. A Chokeslam from Kane to Rhodes leaves Sandow to charge in to a big boot and for Bryan to apply the Yes! Lock and eventually force the tap out.
Getting back to his feet, Bryan looks right to Kane. A shrug of the shoulders from 'The Big Red Machine', he then holds his arms out. Hands on his hips, Bryan seem a bit hesitant but ends up accepting the offer of a hug to 'Yes!' chants from the crowd, to which he plays up afterward with his finger pointing to the sky.
The cameras then pick up to the parking lot where a limousine is seen arriving. "Wait a minute," JBL says. "Could that be the boss?! Was Brad Maddox right?!" The driver steps out and walks to the back of the car, waiting outside of the door as it appears we'll find out who has arrived after the break!
Seen rushing down to the ring after the time away is Brad Maddox, a microphone in hand as he stands in the middle of the squared circle. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a very, very special guest this evening!" He says while trying to catch his breath. "Please welcome the Chairman of WWE, Mr. McMahon!" The New Jersey fans rise to their feet as the boss struts out to the stage, hands held out as he plays up to the excited crowd some. He then comes down and in to the ring and shakes hands with Maddox, being handed over the microphone as well. "Are all of you enjoying Monday Night Raw?!" He asks to a loud response. "What about last night at WrestleMania 29?!" Another big reaction as McMahon continues on to say that things are pretty exciting as of right now, but that doesn't mean that he isn't always looking to the future. He says that we have a lot of potential on this roster as he has seen and even felt first hand, but he has noticed that there is something that needs to be brought back in the name of opportunity. "Over the last couple of years, we have slowly moved away from two separate rosters between Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown. While that has had it's benefits, it has had equal downsides and, mainly, that being opportunity." He says that he has been talking to the Board of Directors and the respective television networks for Raw and Smackdown over the past couple of weeks and they've made a decision.
Before McMahon can go on to explain that decision, an 'excuse me!' is heard as Vickie Guerrero comes out from the back with a smile on her face, a little speed in her walk as she comes down and in to the ring. Extending her hand to McMahon, she says it is such a pleasure to see him. "To what do we owe this honor?" She asks, to which McMahon chuckles and says he was trying to get to that - then looking to Maddox before asking Vickie where she was when he got here. She tries to explain but he doesn't want to hear it. "Correct me if I'm wrong, Vickie, but you are the Raw Managing Supervisor, correct? And this young man here... he's your assistant?" Guerrero says that is right, McMahon then saying he sees a lot of potential in this 'simple' assistant. He gives a big smile to Maddox and then says that before he was rudely interrupted, he was going to explain how the decision has been made that the night after Extreme Rules, we are returning to two separate brands. "The night after Extreme Rules in six weeks we will have a draft right here on Raw to determine two unique brands for Raw and Smackdown. The General Managers of those brands will be making the selections and, in due time, we will have more information on rules, eligibility and so on. This is an exciting time in WWE and we are looking forward to freshening things up." Guerrero says that this is tremendous news and she cannot wait to get things going as the General Manager of Raw. McMahon puts his hand in his pocket and looks around a bit before telling Guerrero that he wouldn't get too excited if he were her. "See, Vickie - and this goes for Booker T on Smackdown as well - we haven't officially set in stone who will be in charge of each brand come the time for the draft. Now, that doesn't mean you won't be heavily considered and you will have a chance to prove yourself some over the next few weeks but don't think that you are guaranteed the job." He says that at the same time, so will others and his eyes will be peeled. "For right now, however, Vickie. Continue doing... whatever it is you do..." His music then hits and he leaves the room, Guerrero trying to get his attention to no avail, Maddox left having to assure her everything will be fine!
6. Ryback def. Mark Henry via count out as one night after defeating 'The World's Largest Athlete', Ryback looks to defeat 'The World's Strongest Man'. Getting quite the challenge from Henry, the match eventually ends up going to the outside where Ryback ends up avoiding Henry charging at him near the ring steps and Mark goes flipping over them after driving knees first. In obvious pain, Henry struggles back to his feet with the referee trying to check on him. Ryback then runs in with a Meat Hook Clothesline! The official steps in between and tells Ryback to back off, 'The Big Guy' rolling back in to the ring and leaning across the ropes. The referee eventually comes back in to the ring and begins a count, continuing to hold Ryback away from going after Henry, whom remains down holding his knee. A ten count is eventually reached, giving Ryback the win by count out.
Despite not winning in the fashion he had hoped for, Ryback leads the crowd in 'Feed me more!' chants as the referee goes back to check on Henry on the outside as he remains laying, frustrated and in a ton of pain.
Transitioning backstage to the newest broadcast colleague to WWE, Renee Young, as she stands by with her guest at this time - the new Intercontinental Champion, The Miz. Thanking him for the time, she congratulates him on the win but mentions that with Barrett instituting his rematch clause tonight it could potentially be short lived. "That's quite possible, Renee," Miz replies. "But I've worked so hard to get to a point of being respected at least a little bit around here, something you'll learn you'll have to do as well. Wade Barrett still didn't respect me when our issues began and he definitely didn't respect me when we stepped in to the ring last night but guess what that resulted in? Me becoming Intercontinental Champion. So, unless Wade decides to finally show me some respect tonight... he doesn't stand a chance. Because I'm The Miz and I'm... awesome." He pats the belt over his shoulder and heads off as that match is just moments away.
At ringside following the break, the commentary team talks about how big of an event WrestleMania was last night and while it was a pinnacle of some superstars' careers, for others it was quite a different situation, including Sheamus in his match with Brock Lesnar. Cole says that while Sheamus asked for a fight, he got one hell of a one from Lesnar. While Sheamus held his own and was no slouch, he was also injured as a result of the battle. Lesnar's stiff punches to the head and an F-5 on the ring steps resulted in a concussion for 'The Celtic Warrior' and, due to that, WWE doctors have obviously not cleared him. He will be out of action until further notice.
Successfully defeating Barrett a second night in a row, Miz gets to his feet with a smile as he is presented with the Intercontinental Championship that he has retained. He climbs to the second rope and raises the belt up over his head to cheers from the WWE Universe as he hopes this is just the beginning of a lengthy reign.
The cameras then pan backstage to show the locker room door of The Rock! After losing the WWE Championship last night, questions have been raised about what is next for Rock - if anything - and he'll be here live to address those questions next!
The signature catch phrase of The Rock echoes throughout the Izod Center as the WWE Universe gets to their feet for the arrival of 'The Great One'. After looking around the building from atop the stage and in the ring he states that he has finally come back to New Jersey. "Last night... WrestleMania... The Rock, CM Punk and John Cena for the WWE Championship. A great one versus a great one versus the great one!" Rock shrugs a little and says that unfortunately for him, however, it was one of the other greats that walked out as WWE Champion, as we saw Cena earlier tonight with the hardware. "First off, The Rock wants to say to CM Punk that you are one hell of a fighter and we all saw what happened earlier and heard what you had to say... The Rock says get whatever it is you need to get together, come back stronger than ever and kick some ass because everyone knows you can and will!" The crowd cheers in agreement as Rock continues on. "Second, The Rock would like to commend John Cena for the kind words of respect and, well, John, it's mutual here. For the last two years it has been a hell of a battle between the two of us whether that be on social media, on this microphone or in this ring in the main event of WrestleMania. Two of the biggest battles of my career and, hey, we're tied one to one, John. It was once in a lifetime, last night was a little different but we still shared this ring and you still got the better of The Rock. So, maybe... just maybe... it could be a third time we share this ring at WrestleMania next year down in New Orleans!"
The smile on Rock's face slowly fades away as, to the surprise of everyone in the arena, Brock Lesnar's music hits! "What is Brock Lesnar doing out here?!" Lawler asks. He steps out to the stage and jogs in place while staring down at the ring, the crowd buzzing as he begins to make his way down toward the ring. As he leaps on to the apron, Paul Heyman comes trailing down from the back - calling out Brock's name to try and get his attention. Lesnar doesn't seem to want to listen, however, as he steps through the ropes and keeps his eyes locked on Rock. "Brock, please! What are you doing?!" Heyman shouts on the outside. Rock straightens up a bit as Lesnar steps forward and grows a smile, beginning to chuckle even. Rock laughs in response and pats Lesnar on the shoulder, which leads right to Brock ducking in to Rock and lifting him off of the mat and on to his shoulders! "Oh my God, no!" Cole shouts. Lesnar then proceeds to plant Rock with the F-5! Right back on his feet, Brock paces around Rock as he holds his mid-section in pain. "Brock! Brock! Enough!" Heyman pleads from the outside, but Lesnar doesn't feel like that's enough as he drags Rock up by the neck, looking him in the eyes with a twisted grin. A pat on the shoulder just as Rock had given him, Lesnar then brings Rock up again and delivers a second F-5! Appearing very pleased with what he has done, Lesnar walks over to the ropes and laughs back in Rock's direction. Leaving the ring, a shocked Heyman tries to get answers but Lesnar just keeps on walking. Heyman follows with his hands over his head, Rock left struggling to breath as he watches them up the ramp while on his side. Lesnar gives one more look back to the ring, that twisted grin still on his face as the show goes off the air.