Three men, one No. 1 contender’s spot, no problem for Randy Orton. A few swings from a steel chair clearly left The Apex Predator at less than 100 percent going into Raw’s do-or-die main event. But the 12-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion earned his chance at a baker’s dozen when he knocked off Roman Reigns and Ryback in a wild Triple Threat Match to close out Raw.
And with The Authority watching from the ramp, The Viper certainly earned that distinction, too, allowing Ryback and Reigns’ raging aggression to tire them out and escaping Shell Shocked just in time to shove The Big Guy into a Spear. The Authority’s attempt to involve themselves inadvertently made things easier when Reigns leaped into the assembled faction and suffered two KO Punches that took him out of the equation. While Ryback occupied himself with J&J, Orton struck The Big Guy with an RKO to become No. 1 contender, though a Curb Stomp by Rollins immediately after the bell suggests a long, long road ahead.
It seems strange on the surface that an “A-lister” like The Miz would finally go toe-to-toe against Damien Mizdow on Raw instead of the bright lights of a pay-per-view. Then again, any star worth his salt gives the people what they want, and they want to see Mizdow beat the Moneymaker off his former boss. Alas, the people will have to wait.
Mizdow’s attempt at retribution was full of more frustration than strategy and Miz was quick to take advantage. A brutal, yet sloppy, opening salvo landed Mizdow in a world of trouble and, despite nearly trapping Miz in the Figure-Four Leglock, Miz’s sneakiness won out when he rolled his protégé up with a handful of tights for an ill-gotten win. It was hardly a Hollywood ending, but something tells us a sequel is soon to come.
That’s three main-event competitors who will roll into the final Raw bout with a win under their belts. Roman Reigns rode fighting spirit and a healthy dollop of luck to a earn the “W” over Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner Big Show that will carry him into contention for the next-man-up spot. The luck came from a split-second reversal that shoved Show head-first into the corner post after a brutal decimation of The Big Dog by the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Unfortunately for Reigns, Show rebounded quickly from that with a Spear, which cued up Reigns’ fighting spirit. Though it took Reigns a long time to get his feet back under him, he did so in the nick of time, bouncing Big Show off the ropes and unleashing three Superman Punches and a Spear to chop the giant down. He could. He did. On to the main event.
In other action… The Lucha Dragons def. The New Day… Ryback def. Luke Harper… Paige & Naomi def. The Bella Twins… U.S. Champion John Cena def. Stardust… WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins def. Neville… Randy Orton def. Kane via Disqualification... and Randy Orton confronted The Authority.