With just two weeks until Extreme Rules, Monday Night's episode of Raw promised to provide both crucial storyline development and thrilling action inside the ring.
Judging by Justin Roberts' early look at the crowd in Roanoke, Va., the fans were ready for just that:
Justin Roberts @JustinRoberts
This crowd in Roanoke, VA is hot already! What will happen when we go live on @USA_Network in 8 min for @WWE #RAW ?!? http://t.co/lT5azphpAv2013-5-6 23:51:38
With Kane and Ryback set for the main event, several other champions in action and Triple H in attendance, let's take a look at what went down.
Ryback chooses stipulation for WWE Championship against John Cena at Extreme Rules: Last Man Standing Match.
Randy Orton defeats Damien Sandow via pin. Big Show attacks Orton after the match.
R-Truth defeats Fandango via count out.
Alberto Del Rio defeats Dolph Ziggler via disqualification.
The Shield defeat The Usos and Kofi Kingston via pin.
Antonio Cesaro defeats Zack Ryder via pin.
Kaitlyn & The Funkadactyls defeat The Bella Twins and AJ Lee via pin.
Sheamus defeats Wade Barrett via pin. Mark Henry attacks Sheamus after.
Ryback defeats Kane via pin.
Jack Swagger Previews His Ladder Skills
Swagger doesn't exactly have elite athleticism, and as such, many are wondering how he'll fare in the upcoming Triple Threat ladder match with Del Rio and Ziggler.
On Monday, he gave us a good look.
After a very solid, offense-filled match between Del Rio and Ziggler ended when Big E Langston interfered, Swagger, who was sitting ringside, pulled a ladder out from underneath the ring.
He absolutely mauled Ricardo Rodriguez, Del Rio and Ziggler, swinging the ladder around like it was a toothpick.
Brock Lesnar Destroys Triple H's Office
At the start of the third hour, Paul Heyman appeared via satellite to show video of Brock Lesnar storming through WWE HQ and going to town on Triple H's office with a sledgehammer:
Paul Heyman @HeymanHustle
#BreakingNews! An #F5 tore thru @TripleH's @WWE World HQ office today! I'll make footage avail on #RAW tonight! http://t.co/wmvj66wHeV2013-5-6 18:10:17
As Heyman proceeded to talk about how Lesnar was going to injure Helmsley at Extreme Rules, Triple H's music broke (via the Brooklyn Brawler):
Brooklyn Brawler @brawlerreal
The Game @TripleH heading to the ring to confront @HeymanHustle about @BrockLesnar rampage at #WWE HQ! #Raw http://t.co/k4GXvwtYyk2013-5-7 02:17:52
The Game received a major pop as he went on to put together a terrific promo.
Ryback Continues His Push
After a match that was far more entertaining than expected, Ryback was able to defeat Kane by landing a Shell Shocked—adding to the list of giants he has impressively lifted off the ground.
Shortly after scoring the pin, however, The Shield made their way to the ring. Ryback bailed, leaving only Daniel Bryan, who had come to the aid of his tag team partner.
When John Cena made his way down the ramp, Ryback returned to drill him in the stomach with a steel chair. The show ended with the monster standing tall over the current WWE champ.
This should only add fuel to an increasingly intriguing Extreme Rules match. Earlier in the night, Ryback decided—after Cena turned down the opportunity to pick—on a last man standing match for the WWE championship stipulation.