WWE Monday Night Raw (May 26, 2014), As Booked by a Fan

Inspired by the thread about booking the opening segment to tomorrow night's (May 26, 2014) episode of Monday Night Raw, I decided to go the extra mile and fantasy book the entire show.

A few notes before we get to it: First of all, I tried to keep it relatively realistic. I took the stories in the directions I think they should go, but there are no miracle returns (cough CM Punk cough) or other sudden appearances or swerves. Second, I only included outlines of what should happen in promos and matches. That would probably be better for the wrestlers cutting the promos, not to mention easier on me, and of course I'm not a road agent or a wrestler, so it would be rather ridiculous for me to lay out the matches. Third, I didn't include the production details about bumpers and announce team pitches, since I'm not an expert in that, either. Finally, this was fun, but a unique challenge. It's one thing to lay out a series of pay-per-view (PPV) matches and storylines but it's another thing entirely to create three hours of good viewing that have multiple feuds, play to the performers' strengths, aren't repetitive, and can get ratings.

This is only a first draft; it doesn't have to be run through the wrestlers, the legal team, the advertisers, and, of course, the Great Wall of McMahon (thanks to Cagesider ReverendKain for that memorable, completely accurate turn of phrase).

Without further ado, this year's Payback go-home show:

OPENING SEGMENT: Shield/Evolution promo battle(8:00-8:15)

Raw opens with the Shield's theme hitting and Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns making their trademark entrance through the crowd. They reach the ring and cut a promo on Evolution, pointing out how they beat them at Extreme Rules, and how they've taken them out time and again since then, how the no holds barred stipulation won't help Evolution, because the Shield thrives on chaos, and how the elimination stipulation will just make their victory sweeter, because Evolution will be shut out and see all three members of the Shield standing tall at the end of their match. In short, they will prove that Evolution's time has passed once and for all.

This, at last, brings out Evolution. Triple H tells the Shield that they might have won at Extreme Rules, but they're dealing with three of the most brutal superstars in WWE history. Batista is an unstoppable animal, Randy Orton is the sadistic, twisted viper, and Triple H is the cerebral assassin, the king of kings, the game. They have years of experience in these matches, having cut their teeth against Mick Foley, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the Undertaker in some of the most brutal matches in WWE history. In short, Evolution still dominates. But they have a further point to make. The Shield talk about being a band of brothers, but alone, they are weak. To this end, the three members of Evolution will fight the three members of the Shield one-on-one. Randy Orton will take on Seth Rollins; Batista will square off against Dean Ambrose, and Triple H will face Roman Reigns in tonight's main event. But they're getting ahead of themselves; Orton vs. Rollins is first, and it's next. During these three matches, all members of the Shield and Evolution will be barred from ringside. Orton walks down the ramp as the Shield sell anger and confidence, and Ambrose & Reigns leave the ring.


MATCH 1: Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins (8:20-8:35)

We return from commercial with the match in progress. It lasts about 15 minutes, through one commercial break (not the one at the start). Orton wins clean with an RKO following a back-and-forth match. Reigns and Ambrose collect Rollins from the ring, prompting a staredown with Orton, but nothing comes of it.


MATCH 2: Wade Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler (8:40-8:50)

Ziggler is frustrated that he missed out on the IC title match at Payback by mere seconds and wants to prove himself against the champion. Barrett says that he's afraid he's got some bad news for Ziggler, RVD, and anybody else who wants to challenge him: there's no stopping the Barrett Barrage. Ziggler puts forth a valiant effort, but loses after some minor rule breaking. Rob Van Dam attacks Barrett from behind after the end of the match, as payback for Barrett's ambush last week.

TOP OF HOUR 2: Bray Wyatt promo (8:55-9:10)

After the usual jump scare and ominous walk in, Wyatt's in the ring going on about the Last Man Standing match with Cena. Something, something "Someday you'll be in the ditch, flies buzzing around your eyes, blood on your saddle," something, something, "Electrifying enemy is drowning in his tears." With regard to Cena's buddies the Usos, something, something "You're not champions, you're not fighters, you're errand boys, sent by a grocery clerk, to collect a bill." Cena and the Usos interrupt, claiming that for all Wyatt's apocalyptic rhetoric, he is nothing more than a madman, propped up by his equally insane brutes for followers who can't stand a chance in a fair fight against them. Cue Triple H, who asks Wyatt and the Usos if they want a tag title match at Payback. The Usos nod, Wyatt just laughs. Triple H, hiding nervousness and confusion, says that the match is made. Wyatt laughs some more as Cena and the Usos stare from the ramp.


MATCH 3: Cesaro vs. Kofi Kingston (9:15-9:20)

Sheamus on commentary. Heyman cuts a promo in which he reveals, to the shock of millions of WWE fans, that his client Brock Lesnar conquered the Streak. Kofi says something about fighting, and Cesaro obliges. Cesaro wins clean. Sheamus gets up after the match to confront him in the ring, but Cesaro peacefully backs away.


MATCH 4: Bo Dallas vs. Justin Gabriel (9:25-9:30)

Bo makes his Raw debut, squashing our resident Darewolf. Post-match promo about how great it is to be on WWE's biggest show, and how sad he is that somebody had to lose this match, but even Justin Gabriel can turn it around if he Bo-lieves. Post-match handshake into an uncomfortable hug.


MATCH 5: Batista vs. Dean Ambrose (9:35-9:50)

The Animal and the lunatic fringe square off in a maniacal brawl, prefiguring the carnage sure to come at Payback. Ambrose eventually picks up the win, and this time The other two members of Evolution come down to retrieve Batista. They menace Ambrose a bit, prompting the rest of the Shield to make the save, but Evolution backs off without incident.


TOP OF HOUR 3: Stephanie McMahon and Daniel Bryan. (9:55-10:10)

Stephanie comes out and says that there's no sense in delaying, Bryan is hurt and has the belts, and he should do what's best for business and himself and come surrender them. Bryan enters and says that this is just one more excuse for the Authority to torment him, and that he won't surrender the belts and give in to their ridiculous demands and betray the fans. Stephanie says that he will be surrendering the titles, it's just a matter of how they'll go about doing it. Cue Kane menacing poor Brie Bella on stage. Bryan relents for her safety, giving up the belts. Stephanie says that an announcement will be made about what will be done with belts next week on Raw. But for now, Brie has to wrestle against Alicia Fox thanks to Bryan's hesitance. Bryan and Nikki will be barred from ringside during the match.


MATCH 6: Brie Bella vs. Alicia Fox (10:15-10:25)

Poor Brie can't even get out of the blocks. Alicia mauls her before, during, and after the match. After the post-match assault, Paige runs in and runs off Alicia, before yanking Brie to her feet and leaving silently.

Promo Segment: Lana and Rusev & Big E (10:25-10:35)

Lana and Rusev make their grand entrance before Lana cuts a promo in the ring on how Russia is going to rule the world. She puts a picture of Putin's stern visage on the titantron and says the audience should rise, nay, kneel before their future ruler. Big E interrupts. He says that if Lana wants to kneel before Putin, he has something better in mind. Cue shirtless horseback Putin on the titantron. Lana acts outraged, and Big E says that all joking aside, they crossed the line when they attacked a beloved WWE legend in Hacksaw Jim Duggan. He wants to challenge Rusev to a match at Payback to defend the honor of his country and company. Lana accepts on behalf of Rusev, saying that he will CRUSH his opposition.


MATCH 7: Jack Swagger vs. Sin Cara (10:40-10:50)

Swagger wins a quick match against the highflier by submission before Adam Rose and the Exotic Express come out, much to Colter's dismay. Rose asks what their problem with Sin Cara is, he seems like a great guy. Colter tells him that he's an illegal alien spreading debauchery and degradation, just like Rose. Jack Swagger wants a match against him at Payback to stop this madness. Rose accepts and tells him that he'll show them what a real party is like before stage diving and skipping away, with no creepy subtext whatsoever.


MATCH 8: Triple H vs. Roman Reigns (10:55-11:05)

This one doesn't even get out of the gate. The two trade punches and end up outside the ring immediately, before going right to a double count-out. The rest of their respective factions take this as their cue and come running in. They battle outside the ring, before Evolution gains the upper hand with some chairs and other weaponry. They leave the Shield laying in a heap outside the ring before posing on the ramp to end the show.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.