WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 19

Erik BeastonFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2014

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from May 19

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE invaded the United Kingdom for the May 19 episode of Raw, and the biggest question that needed answering was just whom Kane would light on fire on this, his least favorite day of the year.

    In all seriousness, the focus of Monday's show was on Daniel Bryan, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and just what would happen following his neck surgery this past Thursday.

    Stephanie McMahon was, of course, the first person to address the situation, and her solution did not sit well with the vocal British fans.

    Evolution continued its battle with The Shield, as Seth Rollins was set up for what should have been a three-on-one beatdown. As fans saw, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose had no plans to sit back and let that happen.

    John Cena and The Wyatt Family took center stage again this week, as Cena and Luke Harper clashed in the main event. Cena won the battle but lost the war, giving the Wyatts the edge as they head into the main stretch before Payback.

    With an audience of passionate British fans watching, the company produced another newsworthy episode of Raw.

The Wyatt Family Promo

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    The Wyatt Family kicked off Raw this week, not even allowing the entire signature to air.

    Bray sang, and the fans joined in and lit up the arena with their cellphones and mobile devices, creating a unique atmosphere.

    Wyatt relived a discussion with a grade school teacher in which he was informed that he was evil. He then announced that Luke Harper would face John Cena later Monday night.

    That brought Cena out, who delivered Attitude Adjustment to Wyatt to start the night's festivities.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "We dream of revenge. We dream of payback."—Wyatt

    "We are not superheroes; we cannot fix everything. So we bottle all this rage up and go on with our lives like nothing is wrong. But everything is wrong."—Wyatt

    "What is it about you that makes you think you're so much better than me?"—Wyatt on a conversation he had with his teacher

    "I got the whole damn world in my hands."—Wyatt

    "My ends justify my means."—Wyatt

    "I am evil. I am the necessary evil that must exist in this world to balance everything out."—Wyatt

     

    Grade

    A+

     

    Analysis

    Would someone give Bray Wyatt an Emmy already?

    The leader of The Wyatt Family cut another stellar promo that once again delved into his background and gave fans a taste of what made him the man he is today.

    The Cena run-in was unnecessary, but the Attitude Adjustment did enough to warrant some sort of retribution from Wyatt later in the broadcast.

Non-Title Match: Sheamus vs. Cesaro

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    After last Tuesday night's Main Event, Sheamus and Cesaro continued their newfound rivalry on this week's episode of Raw.

    Cesaro and Paul Heyman were in the center of the ring as we returned from the break. Heyman called himself and Cesaro the stars of the show, then reminded fans of Brock Lesnar's conquering of the Streak. He finished by promising that Cesaro would defeat Sheamus.

    Sheamus looked to be mounting momentum, but Cesaro bailed out of the ring and conversed with Heyman. He caught Sheamus back inside and took control momentarily.

    The Celtic Warrior delivered his forearms to the chest, then went for White Noise, but Cesaro bailed. He caught Sheamus with a stun gun on the top rope and stunned the U.S. champion.

    Back from the break, and Cesaro had Sheamus locked in a sleeper, Paul Heyman screaming at ringside. Sheamus charged into the corner and struck the post with his shoulder. A superplex off the apron and back into the ring kept the champion under his opponent's control.

    Cesaro caught Sheamus with an uppercut and appeared to have the match won. The resilient champion kicked out.

    Sheamus got into it with Heyman and ended up paying for it as Cesaro scored the pinfall win.

    Sheamus offered a handshake, but Cesaro blew him off.

     

    Result

    Cesaro, via pin-fall, following the German suplex

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    The crowd alternated between "yay" and "boo" chants, raining down on the U.S. champion with disdain and applauding Cesaro. 

     

    Grade

    B+

     

    Analysis

    Sheamus and Cesaro had a very hard-fought, hard-hitting match that should go a long way in setting up a title match between them at Payback.

    Cesaro dominated the majority of the match and capitalized on a brief bit of interference from Heyman to pick up the win. It was fine for this one time, but it will be important for the development of Cesaro that he not become too reliant on Heyman's interference or risk becoming a generic heel.

Beat the Clock Match: Big E vs. Ryback

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    After dropping the WWE Intercontinental Championship to Bad News Barrett back at Extreme Rules, Big E had his opportunity to earn a rematch against the Brit upcoming on June 1.

    With no clear No. 1 contender, a Beat the Clock Challenge was announced to fill that role. This was the first match in said competition.

    Big E slowed Ryback's momentum with a belly-to-belly overhead suplex. Ryback regained control, stomping Big E and delivering a suplex for two.

    Big E was running the ropes when Ryback caught him with a nice spinebuster, as Michael Cole noted how Ryback had dominated the match to that point.

    Big E cleared Axel off the ring apron, then planted Ryback with the Big Ending for the win.

     

    Result

    Big E, via pinfall, following the Big Ending 

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "You know what's bigger than Big Ben? The Big Guy."—Ryback in a pre-match promo

     

    Grade

    C

     

    Analysis

    A very disjointed match in which neither competitor looked particularly good. Big E winning was no surprise given that the champion is a heel, but it was a far from exciting match.

R-Truth and Naomi vs. Fandango and Layla

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    The Funkadactyls are apparently accompanying R-Truth to the ring now. Fandango is clearly more over in the United Kingdom than he is in the United States.

    Fandango and Layla shared a kiss before Summer Rae's music played and the leggy blonde hit the ring.

    After kissing Fandango, Summer Rae and Layla broke out in an old-school, ECW-style catfight.

    Summer was left standing to close out the segment.

     

    Result

    No-contest

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "What's uuuuuu..."—Cameron trying to recite R-Truth's catchphrase as he repeatedly pulls the mic away too early

     

    Grade

     

    Analysis

    For what it was (the ignition of a Summer Rae-Layla feud), the segment succeeded. The crowd erupted for the catfight and shows that sort of thing still plays to an audience, even in the PG era.

    Otherwise, a poor reason to trot Truth out to the ring.

State of the Championship

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    Daniel Bryan's neck surgery has thrown a wrench into WWE's booking plans, and Monday night, Stephanie McMahon addressed the situation surrounding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

    Bryan's music played, eliciting a huge ovation from the audience when Stephanie McMahon appeared, mocking the "Yes" chants.

    Stephanie was disingenuous when discussing Bryan's recovery from surgery and then dropped the bomb on the crowd by announcing that she was contemplating stripping Bryan of the title and awarding it to Kane.

    She demanded that Bryan personally surrender the world title on next week's Raw.

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "Tonight, you really should be chanting "Yes" because Daniel Bryan underwent successful surgery this past Thursday."—Stephanie

    "Yeah, you like that because he's from the U.K. You're so predictable."—Stephanie after teasing the crowd with awarding the title to Bad News Barrett 

     

    Grade

    A-

     

    Analysis

    A very good segment that gave the fans the latest update on Bryan's health, continued to showcase Stephanie as the great heel she has become and created a hook for next week's show as fans wonder whether or not Bryan will "do what's best for business" and hand over the title.

    On top of all that, it was short and painless.

    And the Barrett tease was fun.

Heath Slater vs. Rusev

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    The Union Jacks return!

    Unfortunately for the fans in London, their favorite three-man band did not fare so well, as leader Heath Slater fell in defeat at the hands of the dominating Bulgarian Brute, Alexander Rusev.

    Rusev attacked The Union Jacks to start, then rolled Slater into the ring.

    A few minutes of punishment led to another submission win for Rusev.

     

    Result

    Rusev, via submission, with the Accolade

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    Lana walked out onto the stage. That's about it. 

     

    Grade

    C

     

    Analysis

    Another week, another Rusev squash.

    At what point will he get back to working with guys such as Kofi Kingston, who presented him with a challenge?

Beat the Clock Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio

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    The Beat the Clock Challenge continued, as Rob Van Dam took on Alberto Del Rio for what felt like the 1,000th time in the last year.

    The action was quick and furious from the bell, as they played up the need to beat the clock.

    Del Rio took control early, grounding Van Dam and pounding him. Van Dam monkey-flipped Del Rio but was caught with a kick to the head when re-entering the ring.

    Del Rio landed the backstabber for two and called for the armbreaker. Van Dam countered, landed a kick and caught his opponent with an altered Rolling Thunder.

    Van Dam dodged a kick from Del Rio, rolled him up and scored the pinfall victory, beating Big E's record of five minutes and two seconds with a time of 4:15.

     

    Result

    Rob Van Dam, via pinfall, with a schoolboy roll-up

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    Nothing of note 

     

    Grade

    C- 

     

    Analysis

    It has been a long time since two veterans who have wrestled each other as many times as these two have had a match as disjointed and sloppy as they did Monday night. It was not a good match, but Van Dam got a big win and put his name at the forefront of potential contenders for Bad News Barrett's intercontinental title.

    An off-night, and one has to wonder how much Del Rio cares at this point.

Seth Rollins vs. Batista

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Evolution continued its quest to tear The Shield down one-by-one, as Batista took on Seth Rollins in singles competition.

    Triple H was the special guest ring announcer and Randy Orton the guest timekeeper, thus putting the odds squarely against Rollins.

    Never one to be outdone, Rollins introduced Ambrose and Reigns as guest commentators.

    Batista took the fight to Rollins early, but The Architect fought back. 

    After the break, Batista sent Rollins into the ring steps and hung him up throat-first on the ropes. Batista locked in a rear-naked choke and wrapped his legs around Rollins.

    Batista continued his attack with a superplex attempt, but Rollins fought out, sent Batista down to the mat and delivered a neckbreaker to turn the tide.

    Rollins blocked a side suplex and delivered a dropkick that sent Batista through the ropes. He dove out and fended off attempted interference from Orton and Triple H. He landed a springboard knee to the head but could only keep Batista down for two.

    A brawl broke out between the remaining Shield and Evolution members at ringside.

    A hard right hand from Triple H brought the match to an end via disqualification.

    Reigns caught Batista with a Spear, but before they could flatten him with the triple powerbomb, Orton and Triple H pulled The Animal out.

     

    Result

    Seth Rollins, via disqualification, when Triple H got involved

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "JBL, I'm 100 percent all of the time. Roman Reigns is 100 percent all of the time. Look at that eye."—Dean Ambrose, doing an excellent job on commentary

     

    Grade

    A- 

     

    Analysis

    Rollins and Batista continued to show great chemistry with one another en route to a very solid match. The involvement of Reigns, Ambrose, Triple H and Orton on the outside hurt it, but the Shield-Evolution story is much bigger than any singles bout, and the brawl helped hype their upcoming match at Payback.

    A solid segment overall, but one that runs the risk of becoming stale if WWE doesn't switch it up every once and a while. 

Non-Title Match: Paige vs. Alicia Fox

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    A week ago, Alicia Fox had a breakdown following another loss to Paige. This week, she made up for the frustration of the last seven days by scoring a pinfall victory over the Divas champion in a non-title match.

    Fox caught Paige with a big boot to start, but Paige showed great aggression in her comeback. The action spilled outside the ring, and Alicia took control.

    Paige caught Alicia with the Paige Turner from out of nowhere, but Alicia kicked out at two and sent her ribs-first into the steel post. She kicked Paige in the injured ribs, rolled her up and scored the non-title victory. 

    After the match, an elated Alicia grabbed ahold of Jerry Lawler's crown and balanced her way down the guard rail. She got a soda from the audience, took a sip, then poured it on herself as the instability continues to rear its ugly head.

    Or, in Alicia's case, beautiful head.

     

    Result

    Alicia Fox, via pinfall

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    The post-match celebration was something to behold. 

     

    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    Not nearly the match quality of their previous bouts, but Alicia and Paige delivered a solid addition to their rivalry.

    Alicia's win sets her up for a title bout at Payback, which has the potential to be very good if the ladies have time to craft a quality title bout.

Beat the Clock Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Mark Henry

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    The final bout of the Beat the Clock Challenge came in the form of the suddenly resurgent Dolph Ziggler taking on The World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry.

    Henry overwhelmed Ziggler early thanks to his significant power advantage.

    Dolph hit the Fameasser, but he could only hold the powerful Henry down for two. A dropkick resulted in another kick-out that sent him to the ring apron.

    Ziggler escaped the World's Strongest Slam and delivered the Zig Zag but could not beat the clock.

    Van Dam will now challenge for the intercontinental title.

    Bad News Barrett attacked Van Dam and promised that no "yank" like RVD would beat a Brit like him at Payback.

     

    Result

    Dolph Ziggler, via pinfall, following the Zig Zag

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "It is, in fact, the English that set the time for the rest of the world."—Barrett 

     

    Grade

     B+

     

    Analysis

    The match was nothing. Ziggler worked hard and the big man vs. little man story was effective, but there was no real meat to it.

    The post-match stuff involving Barrett and Van Dam not only hyped their match at Payback but also delivered Barrett to an audience that was extremely hot and ready to see him. His promo was more babyface than heel, which is for the best considering the reaction he received.

The Exotic Express Invades London

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Adam Rose made his United Kingdom debut and once again spent Monday night tormenting Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. 

    Renee Young introduced Rose to the audience, which loved the leader of the Exotic Express.

    Renee asked Rose why he has been targeting Swagger and Colter since debuting. Rose said he simply wanted to lighten up the two Real Americans.

    Swagger and Colter interrupted. Colter said Rose is the problem with his country, then discussed immigration and challenged Rose to a match.

    Swagger landed a cheap shot to Rose, who responded by beating him down. 

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    "How did that stupid bunny get through customs?"—JBL 

    "His name is Ethan, and he's got sesame seeds on his buns."—Adam Rose

    "Euthanize the bunny."—JBL

     

    Grade

     B+

     

    Analysis

    This was Rose's best week yet in terms of crowd response. The fans in London made the entire segment work and really helped the Rose character come off much better for the television audience.

    His feud with Swagger seems rather lackluster at this point, with Swagger and Colter rehashing the same immigration talk they have been shilling for over a year now.

    The impending match between Rose and Swagger should deliver an element of fun to the Payback card and, hopefully, put an end to the program, freeing both guys up to move on from one another. 

John Cena vs. Luke Harper

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    Credit: WWE.com

    John Cena continued his war with The Wyatt Family, taking on Luke Harper just three days after defeating Erick Rowan on SmackDown.

    Cena was accompanied to the ring by The Usos, evening the odds up.

    Harper attacked from the bell, whipping Cena hard into the ropes. Cena answered with a bulldog and a big boot to the face for two.

    Harper controlled the middle portion of the match, but Cena fought back with his normal flurry of offense. A Five Knuckle Shuffle gave way to an Attitude Adjustment attempt. Harper countered and delivered a faceplant for two. 

    Harper delivered a headscissors, a dropkick and a suicide dive to the delight of the crowd.

    Cena delivered a tornado DDT for two. He landed his own headscissors, then caught a big boot from Harper.

    Cena locked in the STF, but Harper grabbed the bottom rope. 

    The Usos attempted to interfere on Cena's behalf, but Wyatt delivered Sister Abigail to both Jimmy and Jey.

    After the referee threw out the match, Wyatt leveled Cena with Sister Abigail, then watched as 17,000-plus fans sang in unison.

    Rowan delivered a fall-away slam to Cena on the ramp, and Wyatt finished his rival with the Sister Abigail on the stage. Harper counted to 10 as Wyatt sang over Cena's fallen body.

     

    Result

    John Cena, via disqualification, when The Wyatt Family interfered 

     

    Highlights and Quotes

    The image of the entire arena singing along with Wyatt and the fans waving their hands back and forth is not one that will be forgotten any time soon. 

     

    Grade

     

    Analysis

    The match between Cena and Harper was enough to earn the segment an "A." The post-match beatdown made Wyatt look like a beast heading into Payback, and the crowd's involvement was perfect. It made for a much more memorable beatdown than it had any right to be, given its somewhat repetitive nature.

    After a week of dominance, Cena is left lying on his back for a count of 10, creating doubt that he can overcome the force of nature that Wyatt has become.