WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 5

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterMay 5, 2014

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 5

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The May 5 edition of WWE Raw continued much of the bad blood from Extreme Rules.

    Two championship matches, hard-hitting action and familiar matches highlighted Monday's Raw. Both the United States and intercontinental titles were up for grabs. Cesaro took on Rob Van Dam once again, and The Shield and The Wyatt Family delivered another chapter of their great rivalry.

    It was not a night full of surprises or big plot developments, but instead one built around stellar in-ring work.

    How well did the Superstars perform? Who looks to be headed for a showdown at Payback?

    The following is a look at those questions and the show's highlights, complete with letter grades for the matches and segments.

United States Championship Battle Royal

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    Dean Ambrose defended his U.S. title against 19 Superstars in a Battle Royal. Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Mark Henry and Kofi Kingston were among the men entered in the bout.

    Big Show sent Xavier Woods over the top rope for the match's first elimination. 

    The wrestlers slugged it out in the chaos. Ziggler hung desperately on to the ropes, close to elimination several times. Big Show did much of the thinning of the field.

    Several Superstars tried to gang up on Big Show, but the giant kicked them away.

    That led to Henry and Big Show squaring off, Sheamus hitting The World's Largest Athlete with a Brogue Kick and most of the competitors working together to oust Big Show. They did the same to Henry.

    The eliminations came much faster then, the Rhodes brothers and Ziggler soon hitting the floor.

    Ryback and Curtis Axel took out Santino Marella. The tag team then attacked Sheamus. It failed to toss Ambrose over, the champ letting both Ryback and Axel's momentum send them out of the match.

    When it was just Sheamus and Ambrose, The Celtic Warrior knocked Ambrose out with his trademark kick and tossed him over the top rope for the win.

    Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins tried to comfort their partner, but Triple H came out to say that The Shield just got lucky at Extreme Rules and that the trio would face The Wyatt Family on Raw's main event.



    Sheamus wins the Battle Royal.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "He shouldn't have done that on Cinco de Mayo."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield on Big Show eliminating Sin Cara.

    Big Show chokeslams Henry.

    Ryback turns a Brogue Kick attempt into a powerbomb.

    The crowd boos Santino after he eliminates Ziggler.






    Weaving Ambrose's title reign into the rivalry with The Authority is an excellent move. Not only did the U.S. title get much-needed attention, but Ambrose also came out of it looking tougher, more resilient and harder to beat than he has for most of his turn as champ.

    As with most Battle Royals, the beginning was bogged down with a crowded ring. 

    Once the pace quickened, the stories began to emerge. Ryback and Axel's teamwork, Big Show's power and Ziggler's refusal to lose all highlighted the action.

    Putting the strap on Sheamus boosts the title's prestige. He's a far bigger star now than he was when he last held it.

    A feud with Alexander Rusev for the championship is a fantastic option going forward.

Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro

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    Rob Van Dam, his left eye swollen and discolored from Extreme Rules, battled the man who beat him at that event—Cesaro.

    Paul Heyman reminded fans about Brock Lesnar breaking Undertaker's undefeated streak before introducing The King of Swing. Their match began slowly, Cesaro outwrestling Van Dam.

    Mr. Monday Night soon used his kicks and speed to gain the advantage. A Van Dam flurry sent Cesaro to the outside to regroup. 

    Van Dam stayed on the attack, pulling out his trademark high-flying moves. Cesaro countered with brute strength, pegging his foe with hard strikes.

    The Swiss powerhouse stomped, kneed and uppercut his way to control of the match. He couldn't keep Van Dam down, though. Even when Cesaro had him tied upside down in the corner, Van Dam kicked his rival away.

    Cesaro pounded him in that vulnerable position, refusing to get out of the corner when the referee reached a five-count.

    Heyman pulled Cesaro away, warning him that he might get suspended. 



    Van Dam wins via disqualification.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I don't like your attitude and you're not going to like mine."—Heyman to the fans.

    Van Dam leaps over the top rope onto Cesaro on the outside.

    Cesaro hits three straight gutwrench slams.






    Displaying better chemistry than they have in previous outings, Van Dam and Cesaro followed their Triple Threat match from Extreme Rules with a standard bout tinged with brutality.

    Cesaro was vicious, looking more like the villain he needs to be.

    The lack of a true finish and the animosity that was building between these two are assurances that this feud will continue. They clicked in the ring better this time around, a possible sign of future excellence between them at Payback.

Bray Wyatt Speaks

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Sitting in his rocking chair, Bray Wyatt ranted about how nobody believed in him as a child and how defeating John Cena turned him into a somebody. He reflected on the child who frightened Cena at Extreme Rules.

    He spoke of how much of a monster he was and how he did what he did for the poor, the young and the unloved.

    The Eater of Worlds claimed that Cena was alone before calling himself a god.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I am a monster and oh how cruel I can be."—Wyatt.

    "This world must be burned down so that it can be reborn."—Wyatt.

    "Alone, he shall fall."—Wyatt on Cena.






    Wyatt continues his run of stellar promos. He is raising fans' expectations so high that anything short of awesomeness each week would feel like a failure.

    Wyatt captivated during his time on the mic, but it's unclear where WWE is heading with this feud.

    It at one point seemed to be a story about Cena dealing with his dark side but has since focused more on Wyatt's hold on the WWE's young fans. With his rhetoric having a touch of Dusty Rhodes' promo about hard times to it, it feels as if the company is sliding Wyatt toward babyface status. 

Cody Rhodes vs. Ryback

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    The announcers played up the tension between Cody Rhodes and Goldust as Ryback overpowered Rhodes. The Big Guy headbutted Rhodes, pushed him around and halted a brief comeback attempt with a ring-rattling Irish whip.

    Rhodes charged back eventually.

    He dove at Ryback, kicking him in the mouth. Rhodes went to the top rope, but a brawl between Curtis Axel and Goldust outside sent him right into Ryback's arms.

    Shell Shocked put Rhodes away.



    Ryback wins via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Sounds like a dice game going on in Ryback's mouth right now."—Jerry Lawler.






    Ryback gets a much-needed win after a strong performance in the Battle Royal. The solid match is less about Ryback winning, though, and more about Rhodes and Goldust slowly heading toward implosion.

    The Rhodes brothers are beginning to grow more frustrated with each other. The match many hoped for at WrestleMania 30 is on track to be a part of Payback.

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

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    Los Matadores celebrated El Torito's win at Extreme Rules in the ring. They squabbled over how to pronounce "universe" before El Torito tossed candy into the crowd.

    3MB interrupted the festivities, offering a truce between the teams. Hornswoggle smacked El Torito's peace offering out of his hands.

    A silly fight broke out. 

    The fan favorites cleared the ring. They tossed out more candy.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "That's three."—Heath Slater explaining the word "tres."

    "The bull is mounting Hornswoggle."—Michael Cole.

    El Torito hit an Airplane Spin on Hornswoggle, who was wearing a sombrero. 






    The jokes fell flat in this comedy segment. Exaggerated accents aren't going to make Los Matadores more interesting. The feud should have ended at Extreme Rules.

    The WeeLC match was a natural climax. Now the rivalry feels like it's dragging.

    What else are they going to do with these goofy gimmicks, though? That's why Santino Marella and Fandango have been in a best-of-175 series this year.

Kofi Kingston vs. Alexander Rusev

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    As she did at Extreme Rules, Lana talked of Vladimir Putin before introducing Alexander Rusev.

    Kofi Kingston hit a few quick kicks before Rusev clamped his jaws on him. The Bulgarian Brute flung Kingston around but soon found himself tasting a number of boots.

    Kingston flew around the ring at dizzying speed. Rusev showed off some quickness of his own, dodging his opponent before smashing him on the mat.

    A foot on the back preceded The Accolade, a move that Kingston struggled to escape from before tapping out.



    Rusev wins via submission.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "He makes fools out of every one of you."—Lana on Putin to the fans.

    "Obliteration and destruction is what Rusev is all about."—Michael Cole.

    Rusev sends Kingston in the air with a release belly-to-belly suplex.





    It's clear that WWE playing the Putin card was not a one-time thing. The focus is now on Rusev living in Russia rather than him being Bulgarian.

    It's an unnecessary switch. Using Putin is a cheap route. Rusev was doing just fine beforehand.

    As for his ring work, this was his best, most competitive match so far. He keeps displaying surprising agility and explosiveness, traits that will make him more than just a short-lived monster.

Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Long before he took on Alberto Del Rio, Daniel Bryan spent much of the night jumping at every moving shadow. He thought Kane was after him.

    Stephanie McMahon warned him that all Bryan did was anger Kane at Extreme Rules. She told him to stay in a room backstage, but Bryan and Brie Bella began to hear noises and see flashes of Kane's mask.

    He later got into a car, ready to leave. McMahon informed him, though, that if he left before his match, she would strip him of the world title.

    A distracted Bryan then had to contend with Del Rio. 

    His anger carried him through the match for a few moments, but Del Rio took him down with a stiff kick and squeezed him in a side headlock.

    Bryan fought back, kicking his foe in the chest. He missed a roundhouse kick, and Del Rio turned it into a backstabber.

    Mexico's Greatest Export then dominated Bryan, abusing his left arm before hitting a big German suplex. On the outside, Del Rio smashed him against the barricade and, once Bryan crawled back in the ring, went for the superkick. Bryan slipped in a kick of his own first, though.

    Drained and hurting, Bryan rallied back, flying at Del Rio with his usual abandon.

    He clamped on the Yes! Lock for the win. Brie and Bryan then ran out to the car, which wouldn't start. Kane attacked Brie in the car.

    They brawled briefly before Bryan drove away, Kane still coming at him.



    Bryan wins via submission.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "It's not been a fun ride as champion for Daniel Bryan since WrestleMania."—Michael Cole.

    "This guy's been through hell."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield on Bryan.

    Bryan hits a tilt-a-whirl version of the Yes! Lock.






    Del Rio and Bryan's chemistry was excellent. Counters and swinging momentum powered an excellent bout.

    Kane and Bryan have plenty of intensity, but it's hard to imagine them having a battle more intense than the one at Extreme Rules. 

    Brie's shoddy acting, particularly her screaming, took away from what should have been a much more dramatic scene. She's a valuable asset as a way to create emotion in this story, but she'll hold it back with performances like that.

Big E vs. Bad News Barrett (Intercontinental Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Bad News Barrett, of course, had some bad news for the fans in the Time Union Center. It involved insulting their appearance.

    Big E took Barrett to the mat early on. He hit three straight backbreakers on the new champ before the fight moved to the outside. The powerhouse speared Barrett into the ring steps.

    Barrett looked to keep the match out there, where he couldn't lose the title. He rammed Big E's shoulder into the ring post, nearly getting a count-out victory. 

    The Winds of Change earned Barrett a two-count. A knee to the head had Big E stumbling around. Big E ducked the Bull Hammer and speared Barrett off the apron.

    Big E went on a run, tossing the champ all over the ring. It took a rake of the eyes and an elbow to the head to allow Barrett to retain.



    Barrett wins via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "The deformed slobs in this audience might have been worthy of a champion like Big E, but you're all going to need some serious cosmetic surgery to be worthy of your new champion."—Barrett.

    Big E hits consecutive release belly-to-belly suplexes. 






    Without many clear highlights, Big E and Barrett delivered a physical, compelling battle that resembled their work at Extreme Rules.

    The championship being on the line added higher stakes and suspense. Big E again looked great in defeat.

    His fans will keep watching to see if he can stay relevant without the title. Continuing this rivalry and having other standout matches like this would allow him to do just that.

Adam Rose Debut

9 of 10

    Zeb Colter explained that it was actually May 5, not Cinco de Mayo. He then listed all the Superstars he thought should be deported, including Emma and Sheamus.

    Adam Rose interrupted, flanked by his gang of partygoers. He crowd-surfed before dancing in front of Colter and Jack Swagger while sucking on a lollipop.

    Rose flipped Swagger out of the ring.

    He then moved the party between the ropes. Colter scurried away to avoid getting danced on.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "If any American out there celebrates Cinco de Mayo day, it's only because they want to get dog drunk and vomit on themselves."—Colter.

    "Don't be a lemon, Zeb, be a rosebud."—Rose to Swagger.

    "Where did these people come from? They need to go back."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield on the Rosebuds.






    WWE flopped with Rose's debut. When he first made his way into NXT, his entrance created electricity. There were only minor sparks this time around.

    Part of the blame goes on the quiet crowd.

    Some fans were singing along with his song, but there wasn't much energy overall. Blame WWE as well. This wasn't nearly as big and spectacular a debut as it should have been.

    Rose does get to potentially feud with Colter and Swagger, though. It's a good place to start, considering Swagger's world championship pedigree. It sure beats first tangling with Tons of Funk, which Xavier Woods did last year.

The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Shield attacked The Wyatt Family, the chaos of that brawl eventually cooling as Dean Ambrose took on Erick Rowan.

    Seth Rollins took his turn next, kicking Luke Harper in the gut and tagging Ambrose back in. The Shield had the better chemistry at first, tagging in and out after short bursts of offense.

    Once Bray Wyatt made his way in, things changed, though.

    He pummeled Rollins before letting his brethren take their shots as well. Momentum shifted again when Ambrose re-entered. He clocked Rowan with right hands before clamping the figure-four on him.

    Each team went on runs.

    Rollins darted around the ring, keeping his foes off balance. Harper followed with a series of hard-hitting moves, halting Rollins' flight with kicks and clotheslines.

    The match, as one would expect, eventually broke down. Enemies fought on the outside, and Roman Reigns went on a tear, knocking folks flat on their backs.

    Reigns had Wyatt seemingly beat when Evolution arrived. Rollins and Ambrose dove at Evolution, leaving Wyatt and Reigns alone in the ring.

    Wyatt took advantage with Sister Abigail's Kiss for the win.

    Evolution throttled The Shield. Reigns fought back, but Triple H flattened him in the end. Batista then played the Reigns role in Evolution's version of the triple powerbomb.



    The Wyatt Family win via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Harper hits a superkick just after Rollins does a flip.

    "This has become a very unsafe place."—Michael Cole.

    Harper hits a suicide dive onto Rollins, sending him crashing into the announce table.

    Ambrose and Rollins leap over the top rope onto Harper and Rowan on the outside.






    The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family is the go-to match for WWE. Each time they clash, these teams leave fans' jaws open and hearts racing.

    The two squads looked even throughout the bout, no one staying on top for long. Rollins and Harper earned most of the spotlight, thriving under it.

    Only a victory-by-distraction finish holds this back from being an A+.

    Evolution is still together and still hungering to hurt The Shield. A report from PWInsider.com, via WrestleZone, detailed the confusion around whether Batista is scheduled to stay until Payback. It appears that his reported decision to turn down a match against Daniel Bryan will lead to a rematch against The Shield.

    That is if Evolution's egos don't have them split before that.