Noteworthy: Big E warms up for Payback against Rusev with a win against Superstars regular Titus O’Neil. RybAxel chalk up a win against Xavier Woods (remember him?) and R-Truth.
Big E beat Titus O’Neil with the Big Ending in 4:59
If you thought they’d given up on Big E, they’ve clearly halted any ideas for Titus O’Neil. He’s on this show pretty much every week now and normally loses, despite his huge size. Last week it was Big Show, this week it’s Big E. Big E gets the rub presumably because he’s going to tap out to Rusev on Sunday.
Titus gets the early going and shows off his strength with Big E. Huge scoop slams and back breakers show just how strong he really is. Huge forearms and a big boot send Big E to the mat and Titus gets a near fall before slapping on a rear chin lock. Lots of standing around and waiting/watching from O’Neil slow the pace of this match down – he rarely seems desperate to capitalise on his opponents being on the mat.
The crowd get behind Big E. O’Neil is really stiff with Big E here and charges at him in the corner to a rain of boos until Big E dodges a second attempt and dumps him over the top rope.
O’Neil gets back in the ring after a count of eight and meets Big E who crushes him with a clothesline and a belly-to-belly followed by the Big Splash. He pulls the straps down and hits him with the Big Ending for the win. Almost a squash here.
The Raw rebound was Daniel Bryan and Stephanie build for his ‘big announcement’ on Payback regarding the titles and a Cena v Bray music video.
RybAxel beat Xavier Woods and R-Truth with the Shellshock in 8:50
I had literally forgotten about Xavier Woods’ existence until he came out here with R-Truth. He completely stole Brodus Clay’s music, dancers and gimmick a few months ago and now both men seem right at the back of newly shuffled deck.
Woods and Axel kick things off and Woods hits Axel with a tilt-a-whirl head scissors to get Truth into the ring who then hits Axel with a smooth drop kick. Tag gets Ryback in who gets far too easily beaten up by Truth with punches and forearms; Truth goes for a wheelbarrow roll up but gets a near fall. Woods blind tags in and hits a top rope clothesline on Ryback for a one count of his own.
Byron Saxton amusingly notes that “Woods and Truth could be the sleeper tag team here in the WWE” yes, ‘sleeper’ is the right term: nobody ever sees or hears from them. A double team hip toss on Ryback gets Axel into the ring and all four men brawl. Ryback gets clotheslined over the top rope and Axel gets dumped as we go to a break.
Truth is playing babyface in peril when we return, getting beaten up by RybAxel. Axel hits a stiff drop kick, stomps and kicks Truth into the corner and chokes him out on the middle rope. Ryback tags in and they double team Truth who takes a suplex from Ryback for a near fall. We got a rear chin lock rest hold and the crowd get behind Truth.
Truth powers out and runs into an elbow and continues to get beaten down by RybAxel. Both men hit second rope double axe handles and Truth powers up, eventually getting Woods the hot tag after a heel kick to Axel. Woods runs wild on Ryback using a missile drop kick, an enzuigiri and a top rope clothesline for a near fall. The ring fills and Axel gets dumped by Truth and both men brawl outside. Woods eats a meat hook clothesline from Ryback and is finished with the Shellshock.
A decent tag team match but nothing special. Woods is OK but isn’t standout enough to make an impression on this roster.
The Raw Rebound finished this show – Evolution and Shield build for Payback this Sunday.
– By James Cox | @wweukblog