WARNING: This article is auto-tagged for potentially containing spoilers. If you are looking for spoiler free content turn back now! Last chance!
Welcome to WWE Monday Night Raw. This week Raw comes to us from Memphis, Tennessee and we kick things off with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon coming out to the ring. Stephanie takes the mic and says this Sunday marks WWE’s most grueling PPV Hell In A Cell. We will see the return of John Cena, we will see AJ defend the diva’s title against Brie Bella and we will see CM Punk take on Ryback and Paul Heyman inside the cell structure and we will see Daniel Bryan take on Randy Orton for the vacant WWE Title with the special guest referee that the WWE Universe chose, the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. Triple H says he trusts Shawn Michaels because he respects Shawn Michaels more than any other man in WWE. Big Show appears on the big screen and says how dare Triple H use the word respect when he and Stephanie treat everyone in the WWE with disdain. Triple H says he treats Big Show with disdain because he’s amounted to nothing and he’s always looking for a handout and the free ride is over. Show asked if he's mad because he's suing him for the millions of dollars left on his contract. Or maybe for unfulfilled promises. Show added a dig at Stephanie, who shouted back to shut up. Show told Stephanie to shut up. "You shut your mouth!" he said. Stephanie counted Show down from five to zero and the video screen cut out with Show mid-sentence. Hunter said there is the man with the once great career. "So long," he said. "But, you can't grieve forever. So, on with the show." Hunter then introduced U.S. champion Dean Ambrose. But, Daniel Bryan's music played instead, further slapping The Authority in the face.
Daniel Bryan vs Dean Ambrose
Bryan unloads with kicks on Ambrose. An irish whip to Ambrose and a kneelift from Bryan. Bryan working over Ambrose’s wrist. Ambrose gets to his feet and delivers an elbow to the side of the head. Bryan with a dropkick. Waistlock by Ambrose and Bryan escapes and lands more kicks. Bryan back to work on the arm takes Ambrose over. Bryan has Ambrose in the corner unloading with kicks. Irish whip by Bryan and Ambrose holds onto the ropes as Bryan goes for the dropkick but misses. Clothesline by Ambrose. Ambrose working over the neck. Ambrose stomps on Bryan’s hand. Suplex by Ambrose. Yes Kicks unloaded on Ambrose and a suplex sends Ambrose to the mat. Bryan goes to the top rope but Ambrose slides out of the ring. Bryan with a baseball slide. Bryan jumps off the apron onto Ambrose. Ambrose with a clothesline
Ambrose with a chinlock on Bryan. Bryan fights out of it and Ambrose with a knee to Bryan. Ambrose has Bryan on the ropes, big boot to Bryan. Ambrose has Bryan’s arm locked up as he goes back to the chinlock. Surfboard by Ambrose and Bryan tries turning things around but Ambrose with a back suplex. Ambrose with a headscissors on Bryan. Bryan gets out of it and applies the surfboard on Ambrose. Ambrose with a rake of the eyes to break out of the hold. Ambroe with a punch and kicks to Bryan. Bryan fights back. Bryan on the top rope but Ambrose catches him with a right hand. Superplex off the top rope by Ambrose. Ambrose back to the chinlock. Neckbreaker by Ambrose countered by Bryan into a pin attempt. Mid-ring collision as both Bryan and Ambrose are laid out. Irish whip by Ambrose. Clothesline by Bryan. Bryan with the running dropkick in the corner. Hurricanrana from the top rope by Bryan. Irish whip by Bryan reversed by Ambrose. Ambrose runs into an elbow. Spinebuster by Ambrose. Ambrose off the ropes as Bryan sends him over the ropes to the floor. Suicide dive through the ropes by Bryan. Bryan and Ambrose back in the ring. Bryan with a missile dropkick. Yes Kicks to Bryan. Bryan misses with the big kick and goes for a pin attempt but Bryan counters into the Yes Lock! for the submission
The winner of the match by submission: Daniel Bryan
Back live in the arena, Justin Roberts introduced C.M. Punk to the live audience. Cult of Personality played to bring out Punk on-stage dressed in a black hoodie sweatshirt, black basketball shorts, and black boots. Punk played to the crowd on-stage before beginning a promo.
Punk said this Sunday, Ryback and Paul Heyman will be locked inside the HIAC structure with him. And the thing about the structure is it's not just about settling scores, but it ends careers or defines legacies. Punk said his legacy will be defined by what he does to Heyman when he gets his hands on him.
But, Heyman thinks Ryback can save him from the beating he deserves. Only, once the Cell is locked, that's not the case. Punk said his plan isn't to win or lose, but the plan is to incapacitate Ryback, put him to sleep, and then watch Heyman wiggle around like a big worm. Punk vowed to smash his face into every inch of steel the structure has to offer because that is what he deserves. Punk said Heyman might think he knows "extreme," but he has no idea what's coming on Sunday. Punk closed by vowing to be the only man who walks out the Cell under his own power.
Backstage: Triple H talked to Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero about "handling the little stuff" tonight and not screwing up replacing Brad Maddox. Hunter and Steph then walked into their office to find Shawn Michaels, who embraced Hunter. Michaels noted Hunter doesn't seem too happy to see him. Hunter said there's just a lot going on tonight. HBK said he gets it that Hunter has all the power suit, tie, and underwear, then asked about Daniel Bryan. Hunter said he thinks Bryan can win the WWE Title, but they don't want him as the Face of WWE. Michaels said he gets it that Bryan isn't ideal, but they said the same thing about him...and Hunter. Hunter acted contemplative, then Stephanie interrupted to note no one can figure out how Big Show crashed the show. Michaels dumped water on the angle by saying it's no big deal since they used to do this all the time in DX, especially to Steph's dad (Mr. McMahon). Michaels dejectedly said he didn't want to think that things had changed, but now he knows it. HBK bucked up and said he's going to have some fun since he's the only one who hasn't grown up.
Santino's music played to bring out Santino dressed as Elvis and Hornswoggle and Great Khali dressed in long sideburns...since they're in Memphis. Jerry Lawler was shown laughing ringside as the trio made their way to the ring.
Santino Marella vs Heath Slater
Slater with a kneelift to Marella. Shoulder tackles in the corner by Slater. Waistlock by Slater and Marella with a hiptoss. Kick by Slater and more shoulder tackles in the corner. Slater charges and hits the ringpost shoulder first. Marella with punches. Slater misses with a right hand. Overhead throw by Marella and the diving headbutt. Slater counters the Cobra and knocks Marella down. Slater off the second rope and Marella strikes with the Cobra for the three count
The winner of the match: Santino Marella
Post Match: Santino Marella stands on the broadcast table and says everyone knows there’s only one king in Memphis and that’s Jerry “The King” Lawler. Lawler stands up and on the broadcast table and waves to the crowd as Marella dances
Randy Orton vs Dolph Ziggler
Orton dominated early on as the announcers talked about the Hunter-HBK relationship. Lawler said he was concerned about the dynamic of their relationship, but their backstage segment put his mind at ease. That was a quick judgment. Ziggler made a comeback, but Orton came back with a t-bone suplex dropping Ziggler on the back of his head. Ziggler sold being limp, setting up Orton to deliver a second-rope DDT. Orton got That Look in his eyes before contemplating his next move. Orton mocked the audience before teasing the RKO, drawing shrieks from the female crowd. But, Ziggler came out of nowhere with a kick to the face for a close nearfall. Ziggler tried to follow with a Zig-Zag, but Orton clutched the ropes, turned around, and snapped off an RKO. Orton pinned Ziggler for the win,
The winner of the match: Randy Orton
The Bella Twins vs AJ & Tamina Snuka
Tamina with a waistlock takedown on Brie. Hammerlock by Tamina. Brie tags Nikki and Nikki takes out Tamina at the knees. Tamina sends Nikki to the outside. Tamina pulls Nikki up on the apron and a headbutt to Nikki. Suplex by Tamina. Necklock by Tamina on Nikki. Tamina with a cheap shot to Brie and she has Nikki on the ropes. Slam to Nikki. A second slam to Nikki AJ covers Nikki for the pin but gets a 2 count only. Chinlock by AJ on Nikki. Nikki gets to her feet and backs up in the corner. A kick by AJ. Brie with a series of clotheslines to AJ. AJ runs into an elbow. Brie with a dropkick from the second rope. AJ with a shot to midsection. AJ goes for a pin, Brie reversesinto a half crab. Tamina knocked to the floor. AJ tied in the ropes, Brie with a running knee, catches Tamina, Brie with the facebuster on AJ for the three count
The winners of the match: The Bella Twins
Backstage: Renee Paquette was standing by in the hallway to get a word with Paul Heyman. Before that, though, WWE replayed events from Smackdown when Big E. Langston took out Curtis Axel and Ryback after Heyman insulted him.
Back to Renee, who welcomed in Heyman, Ryback, and Axel. Heyman gleefully mocked Punk's earlier promo by saying "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday," there will be an execution at Hell in a Cell. Heyman said Punk wants to drive him away from WWE forever, but... WHEN THIS VOLCANO FINALLY ERUPTS AND THE LAVA DRIPS DOWN THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN - I AM OUT OF CONTROL - VILLAGERS! MELTING! "Run for your lives." "THEY ARE THE ONES WHO LOVE AND WORSHIP CM PUNK!" Heyman calmed down and said he is not out of control like Punk, but in control of the situation and he is manipulating Punk. Heyman said Punk cannot get past his monster, Ryback, which means Punk cannot get his hands on him. Heyman said that on Sunday, he is not locked in a Cell with Punk, but Punk is locked in a Cell with him.
Big E. Langston then barged in and asked whose a marginal talent now. "Yeah, rookie," Axel said. Langston huffed and puffed as Heyman booked a match before calming down Axel.
The Wyatt Family vs Miz & Kofi Kingston
Back from break, Kofi Kingston's music was playing. Kofi and The Miz were in the ring anticipating tag action, which started with Miz low-bridging Rowan, sending him flying over the top rope to the outside. Miz then stared down Bray, but Rowan blasted Miz from behind.
Harper entered and worked on Miz, rolling Miz around the ring with a rolling headlock. Kofi, who was apparently mic'ed for sound, called for a tag, but Miz continued to struggle with Harper. Miz finally kicked free and brought in Kofi, who kicked Harper in the face. Kofi with high-flying to knock Harper off his feet, but Rowan broke up a pin. Chaos. Kofi dumped Rowan over the top rope to the floor, then Kofi rolled up Rowan for a nearfall. Kofi popped Rowan with Trouble in Paradise when Rowan re-emerged on the ring apron, then Kofi turned around and ate a Clothesline from Hell from Harper. As JBL popped, Harper pinned Kofi for the win.
The winners of the match: The Wyatt Family
Post-Match: The announcers wondered aloud who will stop the Wyatts before the victors tried to inflict more punishment to Kofi. Miz tried to make the save, but the Wyatts took out Miz. After Kofi was discarded to the outside, Bray entered the ring to examine Miz after the winners hung Miz up in the ropes. As Miz writhed in the ropes, Bray noted he knows Miz all too well. Bray asked "friend" if he believes in the Creator and life after death. "I do," he said. Bray said he's not here to convince Miz that hell is real, but to lead Miz to the gates. "Follow the buzzards," he said before chuckling. The "feed cut out" to end the segment.
Big E. Langston vs Curtis Axel -never got started
Ryback and Curtis Axel with a 2 on 1 attack on Big E. Langston and Langston dumps both over the top rope and the attack continues as Paul Heyman looks on. Langston drives Axel spine first into the barricade. Ryback driven into the ring apron. Heyman with a kendo shot on Langston and Langston turns his attention to Heyman. Punk runs out and clears house as Langston and Punk stand tall in the ring. Vickie then comes out and says the original match of Langston vs Axel will now be restarted as a tag team match
Big E. Langston & CM Punk vs Ryback & Curtis Axel
The match was joined in-progress with a clip from the App of what occurred during the break. As for the real-time action, Heyman's heels worked on Punk and kept him grounded while the announcers debated Heyman's ugliness. Leading to the top of the hour, there was an interesting camera shot of Heyman shouting instructions from the outside and Cole in the background pointing to his watch to someone off-camera. At the top of the hour, Cole reset the show before Langston hot-tagged. Langston dropped the strap in Memphis, then powerlifted Axel into the air to deliver the Big Ending. Langston pinned the IC champion for the win, drawing a dejected head-shake from Heyman ringside.
The winners of the match: CM Punk & Big E. Langston
The Real Americans vs Tons Of Funk
Swagger unloads with knee strikes on Tensai but Tensai turns it around. Monkey flip by Tensai. A right hand to Swagger. Cesaro sent flying over the ropes onto the apron. Cesaro back in unloading on Tensai. Swagger with a series of punches. Swagger ties Tensai up in the corner. Back suplex by Swagger. Sleeperhold by Cesaro on Tensai. Brodus Clay with a series of clotheslines. Elbow to Swagger. Cesaro knocks Clay down and sets up for the swinging pendulum. Swagger with the Patriot Lock on Clay for the submission
The winners of the match: The Real Americans
Post Match: Zeb Colter takes the mic and introduces everyone to his new little friend and pulls out a bullwhip. Colter cracks the whip and says "And that's no bull"
We see a video package highlighting John Cena's career followed by comments from Alberto Del Rio this past Friday on Smackdown
The Shield vs The Usos
As the bell sounded, Cole decided this was the hill he wanted to stand on and be mad at The Authority for. His reasoning was The Usos won a #1 contender match a few weeks ago and shouldn't have to beat The Shield to get a Tag Title shot. But, Shield is in-line for a Tag Title re-match, anyways, after dropping the titles last week. As the match unfolded, JBL picked on soft-toned Cody Rhodes, angered by Cody talking from a babyface perspective. Cody then got bold saying their brotherly duo is "definitely better than the Briscoes." Leading to break, Shield took control by bumping Uso off the ring apron into the announce table.
Back from break, Shield retained control of the match over Uso while Ambrose picked up a conversation with the Rhodes Bros. ringside. Hot tag to Uso, who cleaned house before measuring Reigns for a corner butt bomb, but Reigns popped out of the corner and exploded on Uso with a clothesline. All four in the ring with the action breaking down. Uso with a Samoan Drop to Rollins, but Reigns dumped him to the outside. Reigns with a powerslam, but Reigns missed a corner attack. Uso then climbed to the top rope for a Superfly Splash, but Reigns got his knees up to block. Meanwhile, Cody had enough of Dean Ambrose ringside. A brawl broke out ringside as the action continued in the ring. Suddenly, the Usos came flying into the ringside action, followed by the other Shield members. The ref eventually just threw out the match.
The winners of the match: No Contest
Post Match: Shield beat down Goldust in the ring until Cody made the save. Wild action that spilled in and out of the ring before The Usos clotheslined Rollins over the top rope to the outside. "Who's the #1 contender?" JBL asked. As the dust settled, Rhodes Bros. and The Usos stood tall in the ring as The Usos's music played while Shield bailed through the crowd.
Triple H and Stephanie come out and Randy Orton is introduced followed by Daniel Bryan. Triple H then introduces the special guest referee for Hell In A Cell, the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. Stephanie tells Randy Orton as the face of WWE he has the floor. Orton says he has to give credit where credit is due. Every week he beats Bryan down physically and emotionally and he keeps getting right back up. This Sunday however, after the beating Orton gives him, Bryan will not be getting up. Orton says he’s survived with the Undertaker at Hell In A Cell and beaten both Sheamus and John Cena at Hell In A Cell and Bryan has no idea what he’s getting himself into and this Sunday Orton will make sure this Hell In A Cell is Bryan’s last. Orton signs the contract and Bryan says he expects nothing less than threats like that. Orton is a 10 time World Champion and has pushed him to the limit every time and if it weren’t for The Shield, and Triple H he’d be standing in the ring as WWE Champion right now and they both know Bryan is more than capable of smashing in that face of WWE. Bryan thanks Orton for allowing him to be a B+ player, exposing Orton as a corporate patsy and for exposing Triple H and Stephanie for the narcissistic spoiled brats they are. Triple H says he’s seen guys like Bryan come and go a million times. Jericho, Edge, RVD. All talented guys, really popular. But they were never the one. If any one of those guys had been the face of WWE back in the day, they’d all be working for Ted Turner right now. And Bryan will never amount to anything more than a B+ player.Bryan says Triple H talks pretty big hiding behind his suit and challenges him to trade in his suit for his wrestling gear. Triple H says he wouldn’t waste his time fighting a B+ player. He only fights A+ stars because they want to fight him. Triple H says Michaels shound’t have wasted his time training Bryan and Michaels says he didn’t waste his time. Bryan is good and definitely worth the time. Michaels asks Triple H what happened to him. What happened to the guy who drove a tank into WCW? What happened to the guy who played strip poker with him on Raw? Michaels says he doesn’t care if Triple H is the COO, or that he trained Bryan. What he cares about is the people who voted for him and guarantees a new WWE Champion this Sunday and that’s exactly what he’s going to give tem. Orton tells Triple H that Michaels has an agenda and Triple H says no he doesn’t have an agenda. At the end of the day, Shawn will do what’s right. Michaels says the only thing he’s going to do is what’s best for the business he loves, and the business the fans love and asks what Triple H has against Daniel Bryan? Is it because he’s smaller than Triple H, is it because he a grotesquely large beard? Or is it because he marches to the beat of a different drum. Or is it because after everything Triple H has thrown at him and put him through, it’s turned out that Bryan proved him wrong? Orton says Bryan can’t beat him and this Sunday he’s taking this A+ player straight to hell. Bryan moved the table out of the way and got in Orton’s face. On the big screen, a rig is pulling into the backstage area and making its way into the arena and it’s Big Show behind the wheel. Show beeps the horn and then steps out of the rig as Triple H, Stephanie and Orton are momentarily distracted. Big Show tells them to turn around and Orton does as Bryan lays him out with a running dropkick. Bryan jumps out of the ring and starts chanting “YES!!” as he walks up the ramp to the rig and stands on top of it. Bryan and Show are chanting “YES!” as Stephanie and Triple H look on