The Champ, as you may have heard, is here, and John Cena’s triumphant return to the mountaintop at WWE Hell in a Cell left the now 14-time World Champion on Cloud Nine. Cena’s euphoria carried over into Raw where, 24 hours after his blockbuster victory, the freshly-crowned titleholder addressed his vanquished foe Alberto Del Rio and promised to continue his recovery even as he defended his prestigious prize.
But every party must have its gatecrasher, and Damien Sandow wasn’t about to let this celebration pass without getting his licks in. Sensing his time had come, Mr. Money in the Bank attacked Cena’s surgically mended arm with merciless abandon and called for a referee to cash in his contract on the vulnerable World Champion.
Hold the hallelujahs: The “Uncrowned World Heavyweight Champion” Damien Sandow’s reign ended before it even began when his Money in the Bank cash-in attempt fell short against John Cena, denying The Enlightened One of his promised glory. The win was a squeaker by any measure, though. Sandow’s pre-match mauling of the Cenation leader took its toll in a big way; his steel chair strikes reduced The Champ, to, for all intents and purposes, a one-armed man, and Sandow capitalized from the get-go.
The Champ fought back from the brink with a surprise Attitude Adjustment, though WWE physician Dr. Michael Sampson seemed ready to stop the bout due to injury. The reeling Cena stayed in the match, yet he couldn’t seal the deal with a one-armed STF. The Enlightened One struck back with both Terminus and “You’re Welcome,” but it still wasn't enough: Despite tweaking his knee on an attempted cross body, Cena muscled out of an attempted Piledriver and sent Sandow home empty-handed with a sudden Attitude Adjustment for a historic victory.
For the second night in a row, Dean Ambrose proved to be the luckiest Hound in the kennel despite losing a U.S. Title Match to Big E Langston. Whereas Ambrose's defense at WWE Hell in a Cell ended in a Count-out loss, the pair's rematch on Raw concluded in a Disqualification, awarding Langston the win but keeping Old Glory firmly in The Shield's camp.
Langston, still bearing the marks of his previous collision with Ambrose, had been picking up steam when Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns ran interference to stop the match. The former Tag Champions’ presence was quickly neutralized, though, by the arrival of The Usos. As chaos began to break loose, recently recuperated Raw GM Brad Maddox arrived on the scene and corralled the brawling Superstars into a Six-Man Tag Team Match.
No moral victories were necessary when The Shield joined forces against Big E Langston & The Usos. Despite Dean Ambrose retaining his U.S. Title by default against the former NXT Champion, the three Hounds of Justice triumphed the old-fashioned way when they joined against Langston & The Usos, pinning their foes for the 1-2-3.
Isolating Jimmy Uso from his teammates, the men in black hacked away at the tag specialist's defenses until Jimmy took Ambrose out with a kick to the head and tagged in his brother. Jey Uso brought his team to the edge of victory, yet Rollins blocked his Superfly Splash and tagged in Reigns while Ambrose and Langston brawled at ringside. After a brief double-team on The Shield by the twin marvels, Roman Reigns blasted both Usos with a spear and made the cover on Jey, as The Shield rode the former Tag Team Champion's brutal signature maneuver to victory.
It stands to reason that Shawn Michaels owes Daniel Bryan an explanation, if not necessarily an apology, for costing his former student the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell. HBK certainly thought as much, and offered to meet Bryan face-to-face and clarify himself. But it was what happened after HBK's ill-received mea culpa that really threw the WWE Universe for a loop.
The Showstopper attempted to justify the Superkick that sent Bryan down for the count as a reaction to Bryan's attack of Triple H inside the Cell and not a preordained plan. Bryan, however, was having none of it. Despite HBK's increasing hostility and arrogance towards his student, Bryan not only refused Michaels’ demand of a handshake, but he trapped his increasingly agitated mentor in the “Yes!” Lock and squeezed and squeezed until Michaels tapped for mercy.
Whatever problems Bryan had with HBK, though, were quickly replaced when The Wyatt Family attacked him backstage, brutalizing the submission master before turning him over to Bray Wyatt himself. Claiming "The Devil made me do it," The Eater of Worlds sent Bryan into a chain-link fence with Sister Abigail and rammed a production crate into the former champion's prone torso to cap off an attack that sent the submission master to a local medical facility.
Despite Los Matadores’ recent troubles with The Real Americans, it's 3MB who have held the longest grudge against the mysterious migrants, yet not even the combined forces of Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre in a Handicap Match were enough to stop the Madadores’ winning streak. Despite a strong opening to the match, 3MB somewhat surprisingly turned their attention on El Torito when Heath Slater attempted to snag the “beast” with a giant net.
Their Wile E. Coyote-inspired plan failed rather miserably, however, when El Torito blasted Slater with a fire extinguisher and the Matadores themselves struck a distracted Drew McIntyre down for the three-count. Slater then received his comeuppance in full when the Matadores trapped him in the net and fed him to El Torito for a stunning top-rope gore. Fear the bull indeed.
AJ Lee's reign of dominance continues over the Divas division, her latest victory coming after the Divas Champion joined forces with Tamina Snuka to defeat the upstart Bella Twins in tag team action. The Bellas have been taking issue with the champion and her heavy in recent weeks, but Twin Magic was in sadly short supply thanks to the combination of Tamina's power and AJ's cunning.
AJ & Tamina targeted Brie immediately, capitalizing on the former champion's fragile state following The Wyatts’ attack of her fiancé Daniel Bryan. Nikki briefly evened things up, though that went sour when Tamina used her as a human battering ram to knock Brie off the apron. After Samoan Dropping Nikki onto the mat, Tamina put the bout to bed by gifting Nikki to AJ, who tapped the Bella Twin into defeat with the Black Widow.
Following Kane's ominous reappearance and attack of The Miz at Hell in a Cell, The Devil's Favorite Demon not only confirmed a change of heart in the time since Bray Wyatt forced him into exile, but submitted himself to the control of The Authority after dispatching Miz in a singles contest.
The former World Heavyweight Champion made relatively quick work of Miz, cutting off The Awesome One's building momentum with a Chokeslam for the victory. It was then that Kane called out Stephanie McMahon. Instead of attacking Stephanie, though, Kane seemingly endorsed her manipulative tactics, claiming that "In this day and age, it is what's best for business." Approaching Stephanie on the entrace ramp, The Big Red Monster removed his mask and presented it to her as a token of his obedience, telling her that “the monster is yours to unleash.”
CM Punk finally got his hands on Paul Heyman inside (well, technically on top of) Hell in a Cell, and The Straight Edge Superstar followed that up on Raw with another victory over Heyman's resident muscle, Ryback. Under Street Fight rules determined by a WWE App vote, the longtime rivals battled with fists and implements in equal measure, Punk striking first with a Kendo stick and Ryback (fighting without the absent Heyman) retaliating with a big spinebuster. “The Big Guy” set up a table for the coup de grace, yet Punk struck back and planted The Human Wrecking Ball with a flying elbow through the wood, following up by Anaconda Vise-ing Ryback into submission.
Punk's celebration was over in the blink of an eye, however, before he suffered the same fate as Daniel Bryan earlier in the night when The Wyatt Family emerged from the shadows to take the former WWE Champion down. The buzzards, clearly, are circling. The question is why.
Even the power of brotherly love isn't enough to defeat American muscle. Coming off their astounding defense of the WWE Tag Team Titles at Hell in a Cell, Cody Rhodes & Goldust were sent packing by The Real Americans in a hellacious tag team match on Raw. The brothers boldly targeted Cesaro in the early goings and made the famous powerhouse pay, riding an early burst from the ageless Goldust before unmanning the former U.S. Champion and sending the Americans into retreat.
Jack Swagger got the ball rolling and set the table for Cesaro to take Cody out, and although Cody avoided the Cesaro Swing, it took a last-second save by Goldust to keep the brothers alive. The Bizarre One and Swagger tagged in to battle for control, and Cody's repeated attempts to break Swagger's momentum were thwarted by Cesaro. Ultimately a pair of Patriot Locks to the stranded Goldust proved too much to bear, and the former Intercontinental Champion was forced to submit for the Rhodes’ first loss as champs.
Alberto Del Rio is not impressed. Still fuming from his loss at WWE Hell in a Cell, The Essence of Excellence didn't mince words in the slightest when he promised a world of hurt for The Champ in their coming rematch. “I’m gonna make you pay,” said the seething Del Rio. “I’m gonna hurt you and I’m gonna hurt you bad … The World Heavyweight Title belongs to me, Alberto Del Rio.”
Looks like Summer Rae's pin of Natalya at Hell in a Cell has been repaid: Fandango's companion fell victim to The Queen of Harts on Raw after their second clash in 24 hours. Summer showed off some submission smarts in the match, trapping Natalya in a stump pullover and Indian deathlock in quick succession. Yet Natalya proved the victor when she capitalized on Summer's distraction from a ringside brawl between Fandango, Hornswoggle and The Great Khali, plying the Sharpshooter to Summer and notching the submission victory in the process.
Raw began with a party-crashing and it ended with a party-crashing. But whereas World Heavyweight Champion John Cena made it out of his own interruption in one piece, The Authority didn't fare so well when Big Show made his presence known during Randy Orton's WWE Championship coronation.
The ceremony was less a “coronation” than a parade, with the WWE roster forced to observe Orton's championship victory speech. The Viper didn't get quite too far, though, before Big Show's music hit and the giant thundered down to the ring in blatant violation of The Authority's restraining order. Though The Shield ran interference, the Rhodes brothers and Usos cleared the way for Show, who vowed vengeance against Triple H & Stephanie for their vendetta against him.
Orton attempted to get the jump on the giant with the WWE Title as a weapon, but Show caught wise and blasted The Viper with a KO Punch while Triple H looked on in horror, unable or unwilling to fight back. That's a black mark – at best – for The Authority, and a black eye for certain on The Face of WWE.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- John Cena (c) defeated Damien Sandow to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (13:14)
- Big E. Langston defeated Dean Ambrose (c) by Disqualification in a WWE United States Championship Match (1:40)
- The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns defeated The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) & Big E. Langston (5:28)
- Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) (w/ El Torito) defeated 3MB (Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal & Heath Slater in a 3 on 2 handicap match (3:40)
- AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka defeated The Bella Twins (Brie Bella & Nikki Bella) (3:35)
- Kane defeated The Miz (1:13)
- CM Punk defeated Ryback in a Street Fight (4:27)
- The Real Americans (Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro) (w/ Zeb Colter) defeated Cody Rhodes & Goldust (12:17)
- Natalya (w/ The Great Khali & Hornswoggle) defeated Summer Rae (w/ Fandango) (5:19)
Other on-screen talent