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RAW Recap – “No Worlds Left to Conquer”

February 24, 2014
Live
Resch Center
Green Bay, WI

Ring
Michael Cole welcomes us to RAW as the music of Hulk Hogan fills the arena! Covered in red, yellow, and feathers, The Immortal Hulk Hogan steps into a WWE ring for the first time in years!

Tonight marks the turning point of Hogans career. He is home. He talks about the then, now, and future of WWE coming together on the WWE Network. It starts sounding a bit like a commercial before he transitions into announcing that he is the host of Wrestlemania 30. He then closes with a question: “Whatcha gonna do?”

It’s a surprisingly short segment for the return of such an icon. I expected much more posing and talking. Maybe some sort of interaction with a superstar or The Authority. None of that happened. Huh.

As Hogan leaves Cole, Lawler, and JBL talk about the WWE Network. We’re sure to see a lot of that tonight. But for now we head to a…

-Commercial-

Match 1
Singles Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Batista
At the bell, Batista back Del Rio into the corner with punches and kicks before whipping him hard into the opposite corner. A mild BOO-tista chant starts as he sends Del Rio out of the ring with a forearm to the chest.

Batista gives chase and punishes him along the barricade and side of the ring. He rolls Del Rio back in but is met with a kick and some punches that turn the tide a bit. Del Rio goes for a suplex but it is blocked and Batista gets one of his own. This action is met with a smattering of boos. A clothesline send Del Rio over the top rope and out to the floor.

Batista walks out to the apron but is tripped by Del Rio and tumbles to the ground. The commentators are actually talking about the bad reaction the fans have been giving him since his return which is nice. At least they’re acknowledging it. Lawler mentions how the fans wanted Bryan to win the Rumble but he wasn’t even in it. Batista is sent into the ring steps as we head to a…

-Commercial-

Batista is down in the ring as we return from break and is subjected to a few stomps from Del Rio. Del Rio goes for an attack but misses and slides out of the ring. Del Rio hits a hangman on Batista from the apron and climbs to the top rope. Batista climbs to the second and superplexes Del Rio to the mat. Both men are down as the ref starts to count. Up on their feet the two men exchange punches until Del Rio hits a kick to the gut. Batista responds with a couple of clotheslines and a weak move that looks like half a body slam and half a power slam. 2 count.

Del Rio hits a double knee arm breaker. He calls for a kick but misses. Sort of. Batista didn’t really get out of the way but it was obvious that Del Rio didn’t connect. Del Rio follows up with a stomp to the head in order to save the miss and explain why Batista didn’t get up.

Del Rio goes for Batista in the corner but misses and takes a spinebuster from Batista. Batista gets excited. The crowd boos. Orton’s music plays. Off the distraction Del Rio gets a school boy roll up and the 3 count.
Result
Alberto Del Rio wins via pinfall with a school boy roll up

Match Thoughts
This was not a good match. Batista looked sloppy a few times and neither man looked like they were trying very hard. Batista especially looked like he was just going through the motions. He seems bothered by the reaction from the crowd and is not handling it well.

Ring
Orton thinks Batista losing is funny. He says the WWE Universe doesn’t like Batista. He bets Batista is sorry he came back. A CM Punk chant starts up and Orton allows it to build. Batista says Orton is wrong. Batista says he loves this business. Boos from the crowd. Batista says he loves that the crowd has a voice, but so does he. If they boo him then he’ll boo them. Yeah, that’s smart. Turn yourself from an unpopular babyface into a heel that no one wants to see in a match against a champion that no one wants. Good job guys.

Batista calls Orton names. The crowd still boos. He tells Orton and the crowd to deal with the fact that he will be the next champ. More boos. This is not good. At all.

Backstage
The Real Americans and Big E walk through the back in a split screen as we head to a…

-Commercial-

Match 2
Non-Title Singles Match
Big E (IC Champ) vs. Cesaro
From a tie up, Cesaro is sent into the ropes and takes a shoulder block that sends him to the mat. He rolls out of the ring and discusses a little strategy with his partners. He gets Big E in a waist lock but is tossed aside. After a few knees and uppercuts Cesaro starts to take control but takes a pair of overhead belly to belly suplexes! Cesaro is then subjected to a pair of running shoulders in two opposite corners before Big e gets a 2 count.

Cesaro and Big E cancel each other out with coinciding clotheslines, but Cesaro send Big E to the mat with a big boot. Cesaro slows the pace with a chin lock but Big E fights to his feet. Cesaro tries a cross body block buy is caught by Big E! Three rib breakers lead to a 2 count by Big E!

Cesaro puts Big E in a side headlock and sends him off of the ropes. Cesaro catches Big E in midair and hits a tilt-a-whirl back breaker! 2 count!

-Commercial-

Cesaro is in control but Big E is fighting to his feet as we come back. They exchange blows before Big E presses Cesaro over his head and drops him! Big E rushes Cesaro but hits the post instead! 2 count!

Cesaro hits a double stomp before Big E can get up. 2 count. Cesaro hits a series of uppercuts in the corner for a 2 count. Cesaro goes back to a chinlock.

Big E gets to his feet and goes for what looks like a power slam or Big Ending but Cesaro escapes and muscles Big E into a scoop power slam! 2 count! Cesaro then shows more power with a gut wrench suplex! 2 count! Back to the chinlock.

They exchange blows and whip each other off of the ropes but Cesaro takes the advantage and applies a sleeper hold. Big E drops down and sends Cesaro forward to the mat. Cesaro takes a couple of clotheslines and a belly to belly side suplex. Big E follows up with a big splash for a 2 count. The straps come down.

He sets up the Big Ending but Cesaro answers with a press into a European uppercut for a 2 count! Cesaro is calling for the swing! Big E kicks him off and is met with boos from the crowd! Cesaro runs at Big E but takes a vicious STO! 2 count!

Cesaro buys time by leveraging Big E to the floor. Swagger goes for an attack but Big E ducks and hits a clothesline. He gets back into the ring but runs right into a Cesaro Swing! Cesaro is soaking in the move as Swagger jumps in the ring and applies a Patriot Lock to Big E.
Result
Big E wins via DQ after Swagger interferes with a Patriot Lock

Match Thoughts
Good match. It stopped down a bit here and there but there were some nice exchanges and exciting moments. Cesaro is definitely on the rise, but with the ending it looks like there is not much time left for the Real Americans. It’s a shame too. Yet another fabulous team that will never hold the Tag Team Championship.

Ring
Cesaro and Colter wonder what Swagger is doing. Cesaro doesn’t look pleased. Big E attacks Swagger but Cesaro comes to his defense and hits The Neutralizer on the IC Champ. Swagger says he’s sorry but still takes a verbal beating on the way up the ramp.

Next, the commentators talk about Elimination Chamber and show some still images of The Wyatt Family attacking Cena. Cena addresses things next. But first…

-Commercial-

Ring
Cena hits the ring and welcomes Hogan back home. He then goes into a WWE Network plug.

He also has a message. The future of WWE runs through Cena. “Enter Bray Wyatt.” Cena asks if Bray is a one trick pony and takes off his shirt. Enter the Wyatt Family.

From his rocking chair, Bray Wyatt talks about the world’s infection. He talks about Cena’s empty promises. Cena isn’t impressed and says if the Wyatts make the first move then they are starting something that they may not be able to finish. Bray nods and a three on one assault is underway. Cena won’t back down, but is beaten down by repeated attacks. We follow the buzzards into a…

-Commercial-

Ring
During the break Cena was stretchered out with a hurt leg. The commentators contemplate as Christian’s music hits. On the RAW pre-show, Christian and Sheamus get into a verbal exchange backstage. Brad Maddox makes a match. The next match.

Match 3
Singles Match
Christian vs. Sheamus
Sheamus forces Christian into the corner in a lock up and gives a clean break. Another lock up and Christian is tossed out to the floor. A few slaps from Christian draws the ire of Sheamus who unloads with a flurry of strikes which leads to a 2 count. Sheamus has Christian down but he fights to his feet. A clothesline sends Christian over the ropes and back out to the floor.

Sheamus approaches Christian be he is tripped up. Christian teases crotching Sheamus on the post but is instead pulled face first into the post himself. Christian is tossed into the ring and takes three knee drops. Sheamus looks for his forearms over the ropes but Christian escapes and drops Sheamus with a hangman.

Off the second rope Christian lands a dropkick and gets a 2 count. A big knee to the gut sends Sheamus to the apron. Sheamus lifts Christian out of the ring and hits a running shoulder block from the apron to the floor sending us to a…

-Commercial-

Christian trips up Sheamus on the top rope as we return. He tumbles to the floor. Christian follows and sends him arm first into the steel steps. 2 count for Christian back in the ring. Christian reigns down blows on Sheamus and stomps him in the corner. Christian focuses on the ribs of Sheamus and applies a bear hug from behind.

Sheamus fights out but is quickly put into an abdominal stretch. Sheamus fights out again but is hung up on the second rope with a drop toe hold. Christian hops over the ropes and lands his punch. He goes for a cross body from the second rope but misses and takes a knee lift. Sheamus follows up with a couple of axe handles before being pushed out to the floor.

Sheamus dodges Christian’s running attack and hits a knee lift that leads into his series of forearms. A battering ram leads to a 2 count for Sheamus. Sheamus takes a shot to the gut but pulls Christian off of the second rope and applies a clover leaf. Christian makes it to the rope and escapes.

Christian stomps Sheamus and looks for a Kill Switch. Sheamus quickly sets up White Noise but Christian reverses into a sunset flip for a 2 count! A big power slam from Sheamus gets him a 2 count!

Sheamus calls for a Brogue Kick but misses. Christian leaps from the second rope but is met with a Brogue Kick that connects! 3count!
Result
Sheamus wins via pinfall after a Brogue Kick

Match Thoughts
Not a bad match. Nice psychology by Christian going after the ribs and good back and forth. Neither man really had a clear advantage and it really could have gone either way.

Ring
The commentators mention the WWE Network again and show a clip of Daniel Bryan encountering The Authority from the pre-show. Bryan wonders what he has to do to get a shot. Fight Triple H? At Wrestlemania? Triple H says he’ll try to find Bryan a spot. I really don’t want to see Triple H vs. Bryan at Wrestlemania. That defeats the whole purpose of fighting for a title shot for all of these months!

-Commercial-

Video
Black History Month celebrates Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson.

Backstage
Rollins wants Abrose to explain where he was at the end of their match at the PPV. Ambrose feels ganged up on and takes off. The Wyatt Family interrupts. Reigns wants Bray one on one. Bray is interested and accepts.

Ring
Josh Mathews asks Booker T and Ric Flair what they’re excited about tonight. They tell him as Daniel Bryan’s music hits. He makes it to the ring before a…

-Commercial-

Match 4
Singles Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Bryan starts off strong with kicks, but Kane takes control by going after the injured arm. He hammer locks the arm and sends Bryan into two corners before landing face first on the turnbuckle with a drop toe hold. Bryan starts working over Kane’s leg with a series of kicks in the corner and slamming it into the mat.

Bryan punishes Kane’s leg with a series of shots and holds. He puts Kane in a half Boston crab but Kane makes it to the ropes. Kane exits the ring and drops Bryan’s injured arm over the top rope. He then slams it into the post before getting back into the ring.

Kane is in control and wrenches Bryan’s arm sending him to the mat. 2 count. Kane has Bryan down with a hammer lock and a chin lock. Bryan fights out but is sent outside. Kane follows but Bryan slides in the ring and goes for a dive but meets Kane’s fist instead. Kane then sends Bryan into the ring steps arm first as we head to a…

-Commercial-

Bryan is now in control but is floored with a big boot. 1 count. Kane goes back to the arm. A clothesline in the corner gets Kane a 2 count. Kane whips Bryan into the corner but Bryan backflips over Kane and lands a leaping lariat. Bryan is getting worked up.

Bryan lands a series of kicks to the chest but misses Kane’s head. Sidewalk slam by Kane and a 2 count. Kane goes to the top but Bryan stops him. After a few kicks he hits a top rope hurricanrana for a 2 count.

Bryan hits a couple of dropkicks in the corner but Kane reacts with an uppercut on the third attempt. Kane goes for Bryan but is sent to the floor with a low bridge. Bryan dives out of the ring and drives Kane into the barricade!

Bryan runs for Kane and hits a dropkick on the outside. Bryan goes to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick in the center of the ring. Bryan is up and lands the head kick he was looking for earlier! 2 count!

Bryan looks for a diving headbutt but is caught by the throat. Chokeslam by Kane! 2 count! Kane goes for the throat again. Bryan almost gets a Yes Lock by Kane powers out! Kane looks for another chokeslam and Bryan again goes for a Yes Lock! Kane pushes him off but Bryan runs in and hits a knee! 3 count!
Result
Daniel Bryan wins via pinfall after a running knee

Match Thoughts
Good match. Both men had a game plan and there were some nice reversals. Really nice back and forth counters for the finish.

Ring
Bryan gets on the mic and calls Triple H a coward. Loudly. He says that Triple H doesn’t care about what the people want. Yes, but the people don’t necessarily want Bryan vs. Triple H, they want Bryan in a title match. The Yes chant goes on, but the reaction to Tripl H vs. Bryan seemed underwhelming.

Backstage
Summer Rae and Fandango dance in the back.

– Commercial-

Video
Lana talks about Alexander Rusev. He knows nothing of entitlement.

Ring
Summer Rae and Fandango are in the ring as Emma’s music plays. Emma and Santino Marella make their way to the ring for the next match.

Match 5
Singles Divas Match
Summer Rae vs. Emma
Emma dances at the bell. Summer disapproves and pushes her. Emma pushes Summer. We get a bit of a cat fight and Summer poses. Emma is whipped into the corner but Summer misses as Emma exits to the apron. A shoulder to the gut and roll up get a 1 count for Emma.

Summer lands a spin kick and gets a 2 count. Summer chokes Emma on the second rope and yells at Santino. Summer covers Emma with a knee in her throat and gets a 2 count.She gets another 2 count after slamming Emma’s head into the mat.

Summer applies a headlock and controls Emma on the mat. Back on their feet, Summer goes for another spin kick that is caught by Emma. Emma trips Summer and applies an Emma Lock for the win!
Result
Emma wins via submission with the Emma Lock

Match Thoughts
Short Match. pretty okay for what it was, but Emma can do more. The Emma Lock (Muta Lock) was a good start to show what she can do though. I’d really like to see AJ on TV since we’re getting close to Wrestlemania though.

-Commercial-

Ring
We see a still photo recap of The Usos failing to take the titles away from the New Age Outlaws at the PPV. The two teams are in the ring for the next match.

Match 6
Non-Title Tag Team Match
The Usos vs. The New Age Outlaws (Tag Champs)
Road Dogg asks The Usos to leave the ring so he can do his sing-along. They oblige, but before he can finish Road Dogg is met with a super kick. Billy gunn is sent to the floor and Usos fly with a Snuka Splash and suicide dive. The match is over.Result
The Usos win via pinfall after a Snuka Splash (Jimmy on Road Dogg)

Match Thoughts
Nat a match really. The Usos look to be back in contention for the titles. I’d like to see some sort of multiple team match at Wrestlemania though.

Ring
The commentators watch the WWE Network at ringside again. All of a sudden The Shield’s music plays and Roman Reigns is on his way to the ring as we head to a…

-Commercial-

Match 7
Singles Match
Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
The two men stare at each other for a few seconds before exchanging punches. Reigns gets the better of the situation and Bray leaves the ring to regroup.

They lock up and Reigns pushes Bray into the corner. Bray come out with a headbutt that puts Reigns down. Bray lands a few blows but is taken down with a shoulder block and an elbow drop. 1 count for Reigns.

Reigns lands a couple of blows and Bray rolls back outside. Back in the ring, the two men exchange shots until Bray downs Reigns with a boot. Bray slides Reigns’ face across the top rope and gets a 1 count from a short arm clothesline.

Chin lock by Bray Wyatt. Reigns gets up and punches his way out. A running blow drops Reigns again. Bray sends Reigns into one corner but is reversed into the other. Reigns throws Bray out to the floor and floors Bray with a clothesline as we go to a…

-Commercial-

Bray is now in control and body slams Reigns. He follows up with a running senton. 2 count. Headbutt from Bray to Reigns. A big punch from Reigns gives him a momentary advantage but Bray responds with a suplex and a 2 count. Bray applies a side head lock.

Reigns gets up and punches his way out. Both men bounce off of the ropes and Bray launches his body into Reigns! 2 count!

Avalanche by Bray into the corner but Reigns sidesteps a second attempt. Bray goes in again but is thrown down. Reigns explodes out of the corner with a jumping clothesline and takes control! He gets Bray on the ropes and lands a running kick to the apron from the floor. 2 count after a lifting elbow drop slam!

Reigns calls for the Superman Punch as the lights go out! Harper and Rowan are as ringside but Rollins appears and dives from the ring taking both men out! Bray goes for a roll up but only gets 2!

Reigns goes for a shoulder in the corner but Bray side steps and sends Reigns into the post. Ambrose now makes his way to ringside and helps Rollins take care of Harper and Rowan! Reigns gets a hangman on Bray and hits the Superman Punch!

Reigns is feeling it and knocks Harper off of the apron. Ambrose then takes it upon himself to enter the ring and attack Bray, ending the match.
Result
Bray Wyatt wins via DQ after Dean Ambrose interferes

Match Thoughts
Good match, but they used the same finish twice tonight. Dean cost his buddy the match just like Swagger did his. I’d like to see the Wyatt / Shield feud continue, but it looks like both teams are going their separate ways.

Backstage
Heyman tells Lesnar to act like a gentleman tonight. Don’t tear anything or anyone up.

-Commercial-

Ring
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman make their way to the ring. Heyman says that Lesnar is the obvious number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Lesnar is not in a good mood. Heyman wanted a title shot, but The Authority gave him an open contract. That’s a consolation prize for someone who always conquers. Heyman says Lesnar doesn’t have to choose. Give him something to conquer or he won’t be at Wrestlemania.

Then the lights go out, the bell tolls, and The Undertaker returns.

The two men stare each other down. Lesnar signs the open contract. Undertaker stabs Lesnar in the hand with the pen and chokeslams him through a table. We’ll take that as acceptance of the challenge then, huh?

Impressions
Not a bad show, but nothing really groundbreaking either. Undertaker vs. Lesnar will be great, and the way it looks like the Wrestlemania is shaping it will easily be the best match. I don’t want Bryan vs. Triple H and I don’t want Orton vs. Batista. The Wyatt Family vs. Cena may be good but it’s unclear right now how they are going to handle this. Also, for tonight, I expected more Hogan. More Hogan isn’t always better, but maybe a backstage segment or something. His presence was practically inconsequential. I’m sure we’ll see plenty of him in the coming weeks though. Well, maybe, if he travels to TV much in the next month. All in all, an unclear start in the final leg of the journey to Wrestlemania.

Match of the Night
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
It wasn’t either man’s best match, but it topped the list tonight because of ut’s decent length, good chemistry, and satisfying finish. None of the other matches really came that close. Sheamus vs. Christian was pretty good but their match from Smackdown last week was better. Wyatt vs. Reigns and Cesaro vs. Big E with both pretty good too but they seemed shorter so they didn’t have as much time to develop and the ending kind of detracted from the match even if it did further a story.

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