Stephanie McMahon opened the show and apparently didn’t want her hubby to wrestle Curtis Axel. But when did Triple H ever act like the perfect husband? It apparently didn’t matter that Vince McMahon himself told fans that Triple H wasn’t going to wrestle either.
The Game had a score to settle with Curtis Axel.
But alas, it was all too good to be true. After an argument with his wife, Triple H decided to go home. There was no match. As a result, there was no drama either.
Luckily, Daniel Bryan stole the show with some of his best in-ring work in the WWE to date and none of the miscues mattered. Add in a beefy card, another Wyatt Family vignette and the intrigue of the Chris Jericho/CM Punk match and this episode of RAW was salvageable, but it was still far from perfect.
United States Champion Dean Ambrose and Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan and Kane: Naturally The Shield was dominant in the early going, but surprisingly it was Randy Orton who had some of the cooler spots in the match. After a double DDT from the second rope, Orton had the crowd going bananas. None of it mattered though as The Shield continued to use their superior communication skills to bail each other out. After Orton sold for a bit, Bryan got the hot tag and again, cleaned house. Bryan continues to prove he is a one of a kind worker with some awesome work. Talk about cleaning house. With kicks, high-flying maneuvers and submissions, Bryan once again stole the show. Reigns evened things up with a Spear, but Orton hit the RKO on Rollins. Just when it appeared Bryan had the match in the palm of his hands, Reigns forced Orton and Bryan to collide, allowing Ambrose to hit his sick Front Diving Bulldog for the win.
Jimmy and Jey Uso vs. Darren Young and Titus O’Neill: A new paint job and some pyro did wonders for the Usos this week on RAW. Although The Primetime Players had their way in the early going, using quick tags and some power moves from O’Neill, behind speed and a beautiful Super Fly Splash finisher, the Usos banged out a win.
Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Big E. Langston w/AJ Lee: Langston is quickly forging a reputation as a powerhouse. Super strong, he’s fun to watch, even in this green state. With Del Rio setting a fast pace, these two continue to surprise. Del Rio worked a proficient match, using a wicked German Suplex before winning with a modified rollup after he couldn’t get Langston to submit with the Arm Bar.
Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes w/Damien Sandow: Rhodes was solid throughout, but when Sheamus got pissed, the match changed entirely. Sheamus eventually got too confident though and Rhodes began to counter and gain near falls. With Rhodes now gaining swagger of his own, he missed a Moonsault, which opened the door for Sheamus to land The White Noise and ultimatelyThe Brogue Kick for the win. After the match, Sheamus took out Sandow as well.
The Great Khali w/Natalya Neidhart vs. Fandango w/Summer Rae: Khali can barely move and Fandango is speedy, hence the lack of chemistry. For some reason, Fandango is petrified of Khali. This makes zero sense. After Fandango walked out on the match, Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett knocked out The Miz with the Bullhammer Elbow on the ramp.
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett vs. The Miz: Barrett was in control after the shenanigans before the match. Miz made a nice face comeback, but Barrett countered with his signature offense. Ironically, Fandango returned after he ran away from Khali, distracting Barrett into a disgusting version of the Figure-Four for the submission victory.
Nikki and Brie Bella and AJ Lee vs. Naomi, Cameron and Divas Champion Kaitlyn: Lee had problems with Kaitlyn and the Bellas couldn’t keep pace with Naomi and Cameron. After Lee refused to get tagged in, Kaityln hit the Spear on one of the Bellas for the win.
Daniel Bryan vs. Ryback: You knew what was coming, but Bryan made you think otherwise in the early moments of the match and even towards the end. Strong with kicks, punches, submissions and energy, Bryan legitimately had Ryback on the ropes. Although it sounds like hyperbole at this point, Bryan is amazing. The crowd was in his debt after a beautiful Diving Head Butt that nearly got him the win and even later when he applied the Crossface. But we all knew it was coming. After Bryan missed the Suicide Dive, Ryback worked on Bryan on the outside and then hit the Powerbomb through the table. While Bryan got the win via DQ, Ryback got the last laugh. When it appeared Ryback was going to put Bryan through another table, John Cena hit the ring and made the save.
No DQ: WWE Champion John Cena vs. Curtis Axel: Cena used the chair to get the advantage and then worked over Axel on the outside. Why the referee was counting the competitors out in a No DQ match kind of ruined the fun though. What saved the match were Axel’s counters on what are usually no fail manuevers from Cena. Using his speed and smarts, Axel made the match interesting. But just when it appeared Cena had the match in hand, Ryback returned and put Cena through a table he set up earlier. Axel won the match by count-out as a result.