Below is a recap of the 4/15/13 edition of Monday Night Raw, which took place in Greenville, South Carolina.
Randy Orton & Sheamus def. Big Show
Kofi Kingston def. Antonio Cesaro [Kingston is the NEW United States Champion]
Team Hell No def. PrimeTime Players
Team Rhodes Scholars def. Santino Marella & Great Khali
Jack Swagger def. Dolph Ziggler
Nikki Bella def. Kaitlyn
Tonight’s Raw kicks off with the 2 on 1 handicap match between Randy Orton and Sheamus versus Big Show. Sheamus starts off the match or his team and is in there for quite some time. After Big Show gets in a ton of offense Sheamus gets Show on his shoulders and delivers a massive electric chair. Orton gets the tag from Sheamus and starts the heavy offense. After hitting a guillotine DDT Orton goes for the RKO. Show counters and sets up a chokeslam. As Big Show has his hands around Orton’s throat Sheamus re-enters the ring and hits a Brogue Kick to the side of Big Show’s head. Orton hits the RKO and picks up the win.
Backstage Josh Matthews is with 3MB who say they’re going to call out The Shield.
Back from commercial with 3MB in the ring who request that The Shield deliver them an apology. They don’t get 3MB instead they get Brock Lesnar. Brock comes in and destroys 3MB, giving an F-5 to Drew McIntyre and 2 F-5’s to Heath Slater on the outside onto a barricade. Lesnar’s handler Paul Heyman says his client is ready to fight and wants to fight Triple H. Heyman says Triple H did defeat Brock at Wrestlemania but in his eyes that just makes them 1 and 1. Heyman purposes the two do battle one more time at Extreme Rules. This won’t be just any match however, this match will be inside a steel cage.
Our next contest of the night is between Kofi Kingston and the United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and this match surprisingly will have the US title on the line. Cesaro comes out and begins yodeling, yeah I don’t know who thought it was a funny idea but to me it’s just silly. As for the match itself it was pretty good, lots of solid back and forth action and counter spots between the two. Kofi gets the win and is the new US Champion. For those wondering as to why this change was made or more so upset, why weren’t you upset when the former champion who held the title for over 200 days kept losing matches? This potentially means a push for Cesaro but also a slim chance it could mean the opposite. I love Cesaro but the yodeling thing really takes away from the fact that he is a great wrestler. It feels like WWE is pushing for something that just is pointless. Either way congratulations to Kofi and I hope they make this title more legitimate.
After a recap of Dolph Ziggler cashing the Money in the Bank briefcase and a commercial break we head to the ring to hear from the new World Heavyweight Champion. Dolph tells the WWE Universe he doesn’t care if they cheer or boo him, all he cares about is being World Heavyweight Champion. He gets interrupted by the former WHC Alberto Del Rio who says he’s there to invoke his rematch clause. Raw GM Vickie Guerrero comes out and grants Del Rio his rematch. Before the match begins Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter come out and say if it wasn’t for Swagger softening up the ankle of ADR Dolph may not be the new champ right now. Zeb says if anyone deserves a shot at the title it’s Jack. Swagger goes and attacks Del Rio when he wasn’t expecting it and beats him down. He slaps on the Patriot Ankle Lock. The rematch never takes place.
Back in the ring with the PrimeTime Players who are set to take on the Tag Team Champions Team Hell No. Brief match but solid work from both teams. Next week The Undertaker returns to Raw to team up with Team Hell No to take on The Shield. Should be an amazing match.
Ryback cuts an old school style promo talking about why he turned on John Cena. Ryback says he once thought he and John were good friends but quickly realized he was just living in Cena’s shadow. When Ryback was almost WWE Champion on multiple occasions but was jumped by The Shield, Cena was nowhere to be found. However when Cena needed help fighting off The Shield Ryback was at his side. Ryback says he isn’t a sidekick and if Cena is Superman, say hello to kryptonite. A pretty solid promo delivered from Ryback and nice way to tie in past events.
Our next contest is between R-Truth and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett. Surprisingly Truth picks up the win! Is Barrett back to being a champion WWE doesn’t care about?
Backstage Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox discuss what happened with Alberto Del Rio earlier in the night. Maddox informs Vickie that ADR is no shape to compete tonight so the rematch definitely will not be happening. Teddy Long intervenes and informs “Brickie” that he has set up a match between Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. Vickie likes the idea and sends Maddox to inform Booker T.
Next up is Great Khali & Santino Marella versus Team Rhodes Scholars. Any match involving Khali instantly puts me to sleep. Why is the guy given TV time if all he can do is chop and throw a punch?! Useless.
Back from commercial break with Jerry Lawler in the ring to talk about the new craze sweeping the world…..Fandangoing! Now I’m expecting the crowd to finally come alive and bring back the excitement from last week and that DID NOT happen. This crowd is as dead as Katie Vick.
Next match on the night is Jack Swagger taking on World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler. Pretty decent match but the ending really confused the heck out of me. Swagger pinning the champ on a rollup? Dolph’s first title defense? Huh?
Back from commercial break with Matt Striker and Sheamus. Before a word gets out Sheamus gets speared by Mark Henry.
A banged up CM Punk makes his way down to the ring with his friend Paul Heyman. After a brief silence Punk talks about his 434 day reign and how he wasn’t able to enjoy due to always wanting more. After talking about his match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania a dejected Punk can’t even finish the segment. He hugs Heyman and walks to the back.
Back from commercial with Booker T. angrily telling Teddy Long he’s overstepping his boundaries by setting up matches without consulting with him first. Booker sets up a triple threat match between all 3 men. I didn’t actually catch if that is gonna happen at the Extreme Rules PPV or a future show.
One of the Bella Twins had a match with Kaitlyn. The only good thing that happened is JBL and Lawler kept pointing out that one twin has a bigger set of breasts than the other.
John Cena comes down to the ring and wastes no time calling Ryback out. He cuts a pretty generic promo all the while Ryback stands there looking. The major part of the segment didn’t come from the promo but a production botch where they went to a backstage camera showing The Shield getting ready to do their run in. From there the segment went flat. Shield jumps the ring and beats Cena down all the while Ryback looks on from the ramp and does nothing. That’s all for tonight folks!
What are your thoughts on tonight’s Raw? Did the Greenville, SC crowd live up to last week’s crowd in New Jersey? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below, on Facebook, or send a tweet on Twitter.