After an electrifying night of action on Payback, the WWE returned to action with Monday Night Raw, as events from Sunday’s pay-per-view were re-visited.
Following another loss to the Shield, Evolution appeared first, sporting the scars as a result of a brutal match against the Hounds of Justice, with Triple H in particular looking worse for wear with a blackened left eye.
Tension was evident within Evolution, with the COO determined to keep going until they end the Shield but Batista desperate for a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He was told he would need to wait, which led to the Animal announcing he would be quitting, prompting him to walk away.
Moving on from this, the Intercontinental and US Champion were in action, with Wade Barrett partnering with Cesaro to take on Sheamus and Rob Van Dam. All four superstars were involved at Payback, with Sheamus overcoming Cesaro via a small package pin and Barrett defeating Van Dam with a Bull-hammer.
With Paul Heyman on commentary, it seemed likely he would impose himself on the action at some point, which eventually led to a victory for Van Dam and Sheamus.
Sheamus attempted a Brogue Kick on the King of Swing, who was saved by Heyman, who pulled him away from danger. At this point, Cesaro embraced Heyman and they walked away, leaving Barrett alone. Van Dam grabbed his revenge as a result, winning the match with a Five-Star Frog Splash.
This was followed by the appearance of Damien Sandow, who bizarrely entered pretending to be a member of the NBA side the Indiana Pacers, in an attempt to annoy the Indianapolis crowd. Thankfully for everyone watching, the Big Show came out and knocked Sandow out.
Normal service soon resumed, with Kofi Kingston taking on Bo Dallas after their match at Payback couldn’t start as a result of Kane’s intervention. The Big Red Monster appeared and attacked Kingston, meaning the match would never get underway.
The ‘inspirational’ Bo Dallas may not have everyone in the WWE Universe ‘Bo-lieving’ in him, but the former NXT Champion picked up yet another victory, ending the clash with a ‘Running Bo-Dog’.
No! time to surrender
Stephanie McMahon made it clear backstage that she had an announcement to make on Raw, regarding the state of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
At Payback, Daniel Bryan had to decide whether he would surrender his titles during his period of inactivity due to injury or see his wife, Brie Bella, be sacked. Events played out slightly different, however, with Brie slapping Stephanie McMahon and announcing she would be quitting.
Stephanie announced that Daniel Bryan would have to put his belts on the line at Money at the Bank against Kane in a stretcher match if he was fit to compete, but if he wasn’t, the ladder match at the pay-per-view would be for vacated belts as opposed to a briefcase.
She was then interrupted, by John Cena, who appeared to discuss the state of belts. He berated Stephanie, saying that her personal hatred of Daniel Bryan has clouded her own judgement in terms of making the best decisions. She reacted, ordering that he would be in action next, taking on Kane.
Cena, who wasn’t 100 percent after a gruelling Last Man Standing victory at Payback against Bray Wyatt, was dominated in the early exchanges with the Big Red Machine. Kane continued his assault, but as a result of going too far was disqualified, gifting Cena with a victory.
The attack wouldn’t end there, however, and Cena was subjected to the wrath of Kane, who assaulted him with steel steps. Cena survived and retaliated in a similar manner, turning the steel steps on Kane before leaving the ring.
Los Matadores took on Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre of 3MB next, amid an on-going rivalry between Hornswoggle and El Torito that saw the former lose his hair at Payback as a result of losing.
Los Matadores won the match, taking advantage of Heath Slater, who was distracted by Hornswoggle’s wig problems. This was followed by a handicap Divas match, with Aksana and Alicia Fox taking on Nikki Bella, who stood alone as a result of her sister Brie quitting the WWE at Payback. She lost as a result, with Alicia Fox grabbing the pin.
Adam Rose and the Exotic Express came out next, as Rose looked to grab another victory over Real American Jack Swagger. He was successful, defeating Swagger with an impressive ‘Party Foul’ finishing manoeuvre.
They’re here, but He’s not
With it being announced that Wyatt Family members Luke Harper and Erick Rowan would be in action on Raw, they prepared to face the Usos without their leader, Bray Wyatt, who suffered at the hands of John Cena at Payback.
Harper and Rowan appeared backstage earlier in the evening in a familiar Wyatt manner, but behind an empty rocking chair, as it would seem that Bray Wyatt would not be making an appearance.
The Wyatt’s dominated for much of the match, showcasing their powerful offence, taking advantage of their opponent’s injuries from their involvement in the Wyatt-Cena match the night before. The tag-team champions did everything they could to build momentum, but could not overcome their opponents, with Erick Rowan pinning Jey Uso.
A ‘Money in the Bank’ qualifying match would follow, with Dolph Ziggler squaring off with Alberto Del Rio. The winner would be guaranteed a chance to challenge in the ladder match at the next pay-per-view, and a Cross Armbreaker from Del Rio secured his place.
Before a main event that would see Randy Orton take on Roman Reigns, Rybaxel were in action fresh from their Payback victory over Goldust and Cody Rhodes. As a result of this, Cody declared that Goldust ‘needed a better partner’ and on Raw, Goldust teamed up with a superstar that his brother had handpicked to work with him; Sin Cara.
The move didn’t pay off, and Curtis Axel pinned him for the win.
After an odd ceremony to celebrate Rusev’s Russian Legacy took place on Raw, Roman Reigns appeared with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins ahead of his match with Randy Orton.
With a man down, Orton was accompanied by Triple H, who was carrying a sledgehammer. The Shield responded, with Rollins grabbing chairs as he prepared for a brawl.
But it was Rollins who would then cause pandemonium, shocking everyone with a moment of madness that looks to change to course of the WWE. He struck Reigns with a chair, before launching an attack on a flabbergasted Ambrose.
A night that started with Evolution losing a member, ended with The Shield breaking.