Of all the sights a Superstar wants to see going into Raw, a wild-eyed Ryback driving an ambulance is certainly not among them. And yet that was exactly the display that greeted the WWE Universe in Kansas City when a frothy "Human Wrecking Ball," fresh off a brutal stalemate with John Cena at Extreme Rules, rolled up like the world's most jacked EMT, ascended to the top the ambulance and issued an ominous message to The Champ: an Ambulance Match challenge for the WWE Title at WWE Payback. And while The Champ pondered his options, Ryback issued Cena yet another warning: Cena's journey would not end in the ICU, but in the morgue.
There are wins, and there are wins, and Curtis Axel certainly got the latter in his first contest under Paul Heyman's wing, and against Triple H no less. Not only did the revamped Superstar put up a strong fight against the 13-time World Champion, he did so in such a manner that The King of Kings had to stop competing altogether in his first Raw match in almost 3 years. The young competitor got off to a rocky start against The Game, but Axel got his wheels rolling fast and ended up going tit-for-tat with The King of Kings, targeting The Game's injured jaw (a lingering effect from Brock Lesnar's sledgehammer strike the night before) and driving Triple H out of the ring. The King of Kings attempted to rally again, but couldn't bring himself to re-enter the fray, taking a seat at ringside before keeling over altogether as medical staff swarmed around him, giving Axel the win as a result.
Looks like the "fires of justice" aren't getting snuffed out anytime soon. The Shield employed their time-honored numbers game strategy throughout the entire match, separating Kofi from his herd and attempting to do the same to Bryan before the submission expert roared into action, leaving Rollins and Ambrose seeing stars with a furious spurt of offense. Despite a mighty effort from Kofi Kingston, Kane and a fighting-mad Daniel Bryan, the troika of dethroned champions fell yet again to the men who took their titles at Extreme Rules, marking the victorious beginning of The Shield's three-pronged title reign.
In other action.. Randy Orton def. Jack Swagger... Cody Rhodes def. Zack Ryder... AJ Lee def. Layla... Big E Langston def. Alberto Del Rio... Paul Heyman revealed his third client Curtis Axel... Sheamus def. Titus O'Neil... and The Miz & Chris Jericho def. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett & Fandango.