The Horror Show at WWE Extreme Rules was met with mixed reviews with many disappointed that the in-ring action did not live up to the “on-paper” potential of the card, something especially true as WWE bungled the finishes of several of the pay-per-view’s biggest matches. The follow-up edition of Raw on Monday night, however, provided some of the best open-to-close in-ring action in recent memory with four outstanding matches and the set-up for some big Extreme Rules rematches.
In the night’s main event, Randy Orton clashed with The Big Show in an unsanctioned match set up one week ago on Raw. Without Ric Flair in his corner, Orton was able to overcome an early charge from Big Show to win after two RKOs. Of course, Orton, who is on one of the best runs in his incredible career, wasn’t willing to accept a simple victory. Instead, the newly reminted Legend Killer delivered a post-match punt to the head of Big Show, leaving him down and out as just another victim as the show came to a close.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Monday providing updates and highlights. Read on for a recap of all the night’s action, including some outstanding wrestling action.
WWE Raw results, grades
Seth Rollins def. Aleister Black via pinfall: Prior to the match, Rollins opened the show with a promo about taking the eye of Rey Mysterio at Extreme Rules. After stating no one is left to stand in his way, Black interrupted and ran through Murphy to chase off Rollins. The match started during a commercial after the opening confrontation, with Rollins in control as the show returned from break. Rollins cut off a Black comeback attempt with a slingblade before working over Black’s arm. Black made a quick comeback while selling the injured arm, hitting Rollins with Black Mass. Before Black could go for the pin, Murphy ran in to make the save but ended up eating a knee and Black Mass as the match continued after Rollins rolled from the ring to avoid the pin. As Black knocked Rollins off the top rope, Rollins pulled the injured arm across the top rope, setting up a sequence that ended with Rollins hitting Black with a stomp to score the pinfall.
As Rollins and Black were leaving the ring, Rollins stopped and demanded Murphy go with him to the ring to continue the attack on Black. After Murphy threw Black into the ringside barricade multiple times, Rollins smashed Black’s arm into the ring post and drove his shoulder into the ground. Rollins finished the assault by asking Black who was there to save him before hitting a stomp onto Black’s arm as it was draped over a portion of the announce table. Rollins and Black have proven time and again that they have good chemistry, but the early arm work mattering in the long term, allowing Rollins to use damage to the arm to set up the finishing stomp was simple pro wrestling in the best sense. And the post-match attack continued to establish Rollins as someone completely disconnected from his own humanity in pursuit of his position as Raw’s savior. Grade: A-
24/7 Championship — Shelton Benjamin def. R-Truth (c) via pinfall to win the title: Ron Simmons was backstage, where he told MVP and Bobby Lashley to think about the way they are doing things and said that there is a better way. MVP then called over R-Truth, who told MVP his belt wasn’t the real title, since Apollo Crews is the actual United States champion. MVP and Lashley invited the 24/7 champion to join them in the ring, but it was all a distraction as Truth was attacked by Shelton Benjamin, who pinned him to win the title.
Mustafa Ali, Cedric Alexander & Ricochet def. Bobby Lashley, MVP & Shelton Benjamin via pinfall: MVP again claimed he won the United States championship at Extreme Rules because Apollo Crews proved to not be a fighting champion as he claimed, failing to show up to the pay-per-view. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander then interrupted and MVP told them to pick any two members of The Hurt Business to take on, since they didn’t have a third. Ricochet and Alexander then said they had a friend to team with them and welcomed Mustafa Ali back to work to set up the six-man tag. The Hurt Business punished Alexander early, with Lashley especially putting a beating on him and spearing him into the turnbuckles before tagging in MVP for a big boot in the corner. The faces finally got things back on track by taking out Benjamin. Ricochet was next man up to take a beating, with MVP taking out his already-injured knee before Lashley brought the hurt. Ali finally got things going a bit, putting MVP down before Lashley made the save and tried to take out Ricochet and Alexander before Ali hit a suicide dive. Things broke down to MVP and Ali before Ali hit a neckbreaker and went up top and hit the 450 splash for the win. This was a fantastic six-man tag with a lot of interesting physical dynamics and a great way to bring back Ali and potentially set up an Ali vs. MVP program. Grade: B+
Ruby Riott def. Peyton Royce via pinfall: Riott and Bianca Belair cut a promo before the match — mostly Belair playing up her “EST” gimmick — that was interrupted by Royce. In the match, Royce tried for a cheap pin while holding the ropes but was caught by the referee. Moments later, Riott hit the Riott Kick to score a pinfall victory. The win was Riott’s first televised singles victory in nearly a year and a half, but there wasn’t much to the match itself. Grade: C
The Street Profits (c) def. Andrade & Angel Garza via pinfall in a non-title match: Earlier in the night, Andrade and Garza were being interviewed backstage when the Profits jumped them. Zelina Vega again swore that her team was, and had always been, on the same page. The Profits had a good early run, spurred on by explosive offense from Montez Ford. Andrade and Garza eventually made a strong comeback by isolating Ford. Ford got the hot tag to Angelo Dawkins after an enziguri, allowing Dawkins to clear house with power offense culminating in a bulldog for a two count. Ford hit a massive frog splash, turning 180 degrees in the air as he crashed down on Garza and scored the pin. Again, the in-ring action on the show delivered, a theme running strong through the night. After the loss, Vega ran down Garza and Andrade, seemingly snapping them right back into line as they seemed on the same page again. Grade: B+
Stephanie McMahon clarified the situation with the Raw women’s championship after Extreme Rules: Banks said she knows people have been talking about her and claiming she stole the Raw women’s championship, but those people have short term memory and didn’t realize she fought for her championship. Banks said that Asuka made the decision to spit her mist and blind the referee, leaving no one to officiate the match and making it necessary for Bayley to take the referee’s shirt and make the split-second decision to make the count. Asuka and Sane entered with Asuka calling Banks a thief. McMahon interrupted on the TitanTron and stated that the Extreme Rules match with Asuka had no ending and thus Banks and Asuka would rematch for the Raw women’s title next week with the title changing via pinfall, submission, disqualification, count out or interference.
Kairi Sane def. Bayley (c) via pinfall in a non-title match: Sane got off to a blazing start, hitting a dropkick and a flurry of chops on Bayley until the SmackDown women’s champ ducked through the ropes for safety. Bayley came back with power offense against the smaller Sane. Sane hit a huge diving stomp onto the back of Bayley as she was draped over the top rope. In the middle of the match, Shayna Baszler was interviewed backstage, saying no one deserves the spotlight more than her, so she has a vested interest in the match the same way a shark has a vested interest when it sees prey in the water. Sane hit another diving double stomp later in the match, this time as Bayley was suspended on the bottom rope, leading to a two count.
Sane hit a huge spinning back fist and went up top to land an Insane Elbow, but damage suffered to her right arm through the match led to enough of a delay that Bayley got her foot on the bottom rope to break the eventual pin. Bayley came back with a big knee to the face and a belly to back suplex before going up top and landing her own elbow drop for a two count. A frustrated Bayley went for the Bayley-To-Belly, but Sane countered into a roll-up for the pin and the huge victory. I can’t speak highly enough of the quality of wrestling on this show. Every match has clicked and been given time to tell a story and build to something meaningful. Sane getting the win is also a great twist on the road to SummerSlam. Grade: B+
Drew McIntyre gets a solid deal for a rematch with Dolph Ziggler: McIntyre said it was time to move onward and upward after beating Ziggler at Extreme Rules. As he said it was time for a worthy opponent at SummerSlam, Ziggler interrupted. Ziggler said he saw something in McIntyre he hadn’t seen in a long time: fear. McIntyre said he beat Ziggler less than 24 hours prior, even with Ziggler picking the stipulation. McIntyre then dropped Ziggler with a headbutt before starting to walk off. Ziggler told him not to walk away and begged McIntyre for another match, telling him to name the time and stipulation. McIntyre said Ziggler presented a compelling case and changed his mind, accepting the challenge since he gets to pick the stipulation. Ziggler asked what the stipulation would be, but McIntyre said he doesn’t know yet, but was going to do exactly what Ziggler did and not say the stipulation until the bell rings. You’ll get no complaints from me on a rematch between these two after their excellent match at Extreme Rules, but I’m not anticipating it to live up to those heights with McIntyre getting to pick the stipulation. Grade: B-
Randy Orton def. Big Show via pinfall (Unsanctioned Match): Big Show quickly took the fight to Orton with big punches and then a massive spear after throwing Orton off the ropes. As Show was firmly in control of the match, he was attacked by Andrade and Angel Garza, who threw him into the ring steps. Andrade and Garza held Show for a punt but The Viking Raiders ran in to make the save. Back to one-on-one, Show continued the assault, but Orton took out Show’s knee. Orton tried to capitalize with a punt, but ran directly into a chokeslam for a two count. Show tried for a Vader Bomb onto Orton as he was laid out on a table in the corner of the ring, but Orton rolled out of the way, causing Show to crash through the table.
Orton pounced with an RKO but Show kicked out at two, shocking Orton. Orton then took a steel chair to the back of Show. After the assault with the chair, Orton dragged Show for a draping DDT. Orton hit another RKO for the three count and the victory. After the match, Show was struggling back to his feet when Orton backed off and ran in for a punt, down and out as Orton said, “I told you. Just like all the others. One more legend down.” It was unlikely this match hit the wrestling highs of the rest of the card, but the structure of the match did a good job of making Show a threat in a way that made Orton’s win valuable and earned. And, of course, the punt was a necessary exclamation point as Orton continues one of the best years of his legendary career. Grade: B