As Monday Night Raw visited the O2 Arena in London, Bray Wyatt started proceedings with a rendition of “He’s got the whole world in his hands”, and was joined enthusiastically by the UK audience.
He delivered yet another creepy and eerie speech in the darkened arena, before discussing all things John Cena, and how Luke Harper would take him out later in the evening with a match on the cards.
Cena’s music then erupted, causing Harper and Rowan to head towards the stage entrance to defend their leader against any sort of attack. But they were tricked and Cena gained the upper hand, appearing behind Wyatt in the ring and hitting him with an Attitude Adjustment.
Moving on from an exciting start, Cesaro then appeared in-ring with Paul Heyman ahead of a match against United States Champion Sheamus. Despite being close to home, the crowd booed the Irish superstar as he headed to the ring, suggesting a huge slip in popularity.
The match was fairly slow-paced, and didn’t do too much to excite the raucous crowd throughout. Cesaro eventually won the bout via the help of Heyman, who distracted Sheamus long enough for his client to grab the win via a German Suplex.
Moving on from this was the announcement of a series of a ‘Beat the Clock’ matches that would be on Raw to decide who would face Bad News Barrett at Payback for his Intercontinental Championship. Whichever superstar completed their match the fastest would be rewarded with the match, and first up was former champion Big E Langston taking on the ‘Big Guy’ Ryback.
The two behemoth superstars battled hard to try and complete the match as quick as possible, but due to their resilient natures, it took five minutes and two seconds for the match to be decided, with Langston grabbing the victory with a huge Big Ending.
This was soon followed by planned mixed tag-team action, but an interruption before it could even start prevented it from happening. R-Truth entered the ring with the Funkadactyls as he looked to take on Fandango and Layla, but the appearance of Summer Rae threw a spanner into the works.
Fandango kissed Layla, prompting her appearance, and she retaliated by grabbing Fandango and kissing him, before clashing with Layla.
The No! Movement
With news that Daniel Bryan would be at home recovering from neck surgery, it came as a surprise when his music hit in London on Raw. It was soon apparent, however, that Bryan wouldn’t be making an appearance.
It was in fact, Stephanie McMahon, who to a chorus of ‘No!’ from the WWE Universe, walked down to the ring mocking Bryan’s entrance.
She discussed the possibility of Bryan being stripped of his WWE World Heavyweight Championship due to his inactivity during his recovery, much to the distaste of the crowd. While she goaded the crowd into believing she would strip Bryan of his belts, she revealed it wasn’t her intention, instead expecting Bryan to show up next week on Raw and surrender his belts.
With his neck injury looking to keep Bryan out of action for a few months, it will be interesting to see where this storyline goes, and whether or not he will appear on Raw next week.
Next to appear on Raw was 3MB, who, dressed in Union Jack attire, came out as Heath Slater looked to take on the rampageous Rusev. The Bulgarian Brute took minimal time to finish the match, once against claiming victory via the Accolade. If only he was involved in a ‘Beat the Clock’ match, he’d of set a record time.
Two superstars that would have a ‘Beat the Clock’ match, however, were Rob Van Dam and Alberto Del Rio, who faced off looking to grab a win quicker than the time set by Big E Langston earlier in the evening. This feat was achieved, with Van Dam setting a new time of four minutes and 15 seconds after a hard-fought battle against his opponent.
The Architect and the Animal
Raw exploded into life as Seth Rollins took on Batista next up on Raw, with COO and Evolution member Triple H banning uninvolved members from being at ringside. He soon went against his own word however, by announcing himself ‘special guest announcer’ for the match with Randy Orton as timekeeper.
This would see all three members of Evolution having some involvement in the match while Rollins stood alone. This would also not last long, with the architect of the Shield, Rollins announcing some news of his own, introducing Ambrose and Reigns as ‘special guest commentators’.
This evened the odds, and the match soon began as intended. The Animal dominated for much of the match, exerting his power without the help of his fellow members of Evolution. Rollins eventually grew into the match, and picked up the pace as he tried to gain the advantage, but a brawl soon ensued outside the ring after Triple H got involved by pushing Rollins from the top rope.
This prompted anarchy outside the ring, with Ambrose and Reigns brawling with Triple H and Orton. The match ended in DQ due to Triple H’s involvement, but the action didn’t end and the Shield stood taller after the encounter. Ambrose avoided a pedigree from Triple H, and Reigns hit Batista with a huge spear to force Evolution to flee.
Alicia Fox was next in action, as she took on the Divas Champion Paige. It was a homecoming for Paige, but the English diva would leave disappointed as her emotionally unstable opponent seized the win.
After this somewhat surprise victory, Raw saw the final ‘Beat the Clock’ match of the evening take place, with Mark Henry squaring up against Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler looked like he’d grab the pin with seconds left, but ran out of time, meaning Rob Van Dam would be victorious on the night, giving him a match at Payback against Barrett.
The hugely popular Englishman then appeared to attack Van Dam, who came out in celebration, and told his home-crowd that he wouldn’t be losing to ‘a yank’.
Adam Rose and his horde of followers entered the ring next to be interviewed by Renee Young, and amid dancing and chanting from the audience, Real Americans Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter chose to interrupt. Party time soon turned to fight time, and while Swagger started the attack, Rose retaliated and threw him out of the ring, once again gaining the upper hand.
After Bray Wyatt promising that Luke Harper would take out Cena earlier in the evening, the main event would see Harper and Cena square off.
Cena, knowing the numbers advantage usually plays a part when the Wyatt Family are involved, enlisted the help of tag-team champions, The Usos, to stand in his corner going into the match.
Both superstars put on a thrilling spectacle, trading blows throughout and prompting “this is awesome” chants from the WWE universe, but the match was ended by DQ when Wyatt and Rowan decided to get involved. After dealing with the Usos, The Wyatt Family launched a brutal assault on the helpless Cena, dragging him up the stage and delivering a series of attacks onto the steel area.
Bray Wyatt wrapped up the evening with a Sister Abigail, before ending how he started the night, with song.