10th Sep2013

WWE RAW Review (09.09.13)

by Chris Cummings

WWE-Raw-logo

Welcome to our weekly in-depth review of WWE RAW.

RAW is live from Toronto, Canada tonight and we start off the show with Toronto’s own, and WWE Hall of Famer, Edge. Edge gets a loud response from his hometown crowd and looking at his energy as he makes his way to the ring, he looks to have missed this wrestling gig. Edge says he was asked to come to RAW by Triple H because it would be “good for business” for Edge and Randy Orton to have a reunion, as they were former tag team partners. Edge says that talking to Randy Orton “is like watching paint dry”. The fans love Edge and his sarcasm and humorous remarks. Edge says he’s not interested in talking to Randy Orton, but has another guest in mind, and introduces Daniel Bryan, who gets a huge pop from the Canadian crowd.

They show a clip from the end of RAW last week, where Big Show punches Daniel Bryan in the face at the forced demand of Triple H.

The crowd chant for Bryan, it’s loud and awesome to hear. Bryan is the most talented in-ring performer in WWE today and its heart warming to see the fans react so positively to him. “The Vegan Warrior” talks about being attacked and held back in recent weeks by Triple H and his regime. He says he “will be Randy Orton and be WWE Champion” as the fans chant “YES”. Edge says that he sees a lot of himself in Bryan, saying that Bryan is passionate and has been chosen by the people as “their guy”. Randy Orton interrupts the feel-good moment and insults Edge, talking about Edge’s career coming to an end. Edge says “I might have problems with my spine, but at least I have one”. Edge hasn’t missed a beat on the stick, he’s as good as ever. Triple H now makes his way out to the stage area, smiling in his corporate suit. Edge tells Triple H that he doesn’t know a thing about picking talent and how Triple H didn’t think that he, Jericho and Cena would ever be able to make it. Triple H pimps Edge’s TV show “Haven” before saying that Edge is a failure and that he “never drew a dime”. Triple H sets up a match between the US Champion Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan for later in the night. He then says that Bryan will have Big Show in his corner, the crowd boo, of course, because…well, it’s Big Show. It’s a great segment, very entertaining. Edge calls Triple H a “dick”. Yay, PG14. Triple H then threatens to hurt Edge’s loved ones. The Shield then brings out an unconscious Christian and drop him on the ramp. Edge shouts for help as we go to a commercial break.

We return from break and Edge is confronting Triple H backstage. Triple H calls Toronto “his town” and tells Edge to get out of his town and get off his show.

Kofi Kingston is in the ring as we head back to the arena, his opponent for the night is Curtis Axel in a rematch from Smackdown. Axel is accompanied, of course, by the “Saviour of the Extreme” Paul Heyman. The match itself is a lot like their previous encounter last Friday night. They’re both talented in-ring workers but the crowd seem to only care enough to chant “CM Punk” at various times throughout the match. Paul Heyman is unshaven, giving him the appearance that he can’t sleep because of the possibility of CM Punk beating him up on Sunday’s PPV. Axel gets disqualified after continuously kneeing Kofi in the back of the head and refusing to stop. A message to CM Punk from Axel here, and at least it adds a little more ruthlessness to Axel, sadly…Kofi nails Axel with a high kick, leaving him lying. This doesn’t help Axel look strong going into Night of Champions.

The announcers talk about the firing of Cody Rhodes and the fact that Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes will return to WWE tonight to face Randy Orton, and if he wins, Cody will get his job back. We then go to a vignette promo for Goldust.

We see Paul Heyman backstage, appearing to be limping after slipping on the floor. Axe and a referee help Heyman to the trainers’ room to check him over. Heyman wants his own doctor to look his leg over.

Booker T talks to Big Show backstage, saying he knows Big Show well and that he thinks Show did the right thing last week when he attacked Bryan because it’s the professional thing to do. He tells Show to think about his family and not Daniel Bryan.

We now see another Wyatt Family promo, before going to the ring to see Dolph Ziggler awaiting his opponent. His opponent tonight being Bray Wyatt, who gets a bigger pop than Ziggler. Wyatt is finally able to show his in-ring abilities with a guy like Ziggler rather than a bigger and less agile opponent. Wyatt is fast for a heavyweight and his character is performed with such energy that the fans can’t seem to help but cheer for him. Ziggler gets the crowd on his side though, with his athletic and energetic performance. Ziggler nails Wyatt with a famouser for a close-fall. The other Wyatt family members distract Dolph, allowing Wyatt to his the Sister Abigail finisher for the victory. Decent, yet short, match. Ziggler hasn’t won a match in a while, and seems to be going through the losing-streak gimmick again, he’s done it before and it doesn’t do anything but hinder his progression. Sad.

We see another video of Goldust and his famous and popular tag-team combination with Booker T from back in the early 00’s. It was a fun team, and the promo video is nice to see.

Heyman now comes to the ring on crutches, along with his personal doctor and Curtis Axel. Paul “E” says that his doctor has confirmed that because of an accident he has torn his ACL and at this point he regrets to withdraw himself from competition at Night of Champions on Sunday. The crowd boo, and Heyman says he is an injured man and is going to return to his home in New York and receive his proper personal care. He bids us goodnight. Brad Maddox then comes out and says that the WWE has their own medical staff, and brings out the same doctor who helped save Jerry “The King” Lawler’s life during the hideous and scary moment last year when Lawler suffered a heart-attack at ringside. Maddox asks for a chair in the ring and demands Heyman has a check-up from the WWE’s doctor. The crowd chant “sit” as Heyman looks angry about the whole scenario. Heyman sells the leg injury better than a lot of current wrestlers sell during matches, by the way. The doctor then gives Heyman a check-up as the fans chant “this is awkward”. Very funny moment. The fans chant for CM Punk as Heyman “ouch”es and “eep”s in the correct places. The doctor says that there isn’t any obvious damage and that he thinks Heyman is fine. Heyman freaks out and says he can’t even stand up. CM Punk’s music then hits to a massive pop. Punk runs to the ring with a kendo stick, and Heyman bails, running on his “bad” leg out of the arena as the WWE Universe chants “CM Punk”. A fun segment, which shows Paul Heyman as one of the best heels in the WWE today, easily. Punk then nails Heyman’s personal doctor with the kendo stick in the ring. That’s gotta hurt.

We return from break for a six-diva tag team match. AJ Lee makes her way to ringside to guest on commentary. The match features Alicia Fox, Layla and Aksana versus Naomi, Natalya and Brie Bella. It’s sluggish and clumsy at times and Layla is terrible, her overacting and constant errors make it hard to watch her. Nattie is great though, her suplexes and offence looks believable and smooth. The crowd pop big for Nattie when she locks in the sharpshooter for the submission victory for her team. AJ looks angry at ringside as she looks at her opponents for Night of Champions in the ring.

We get another Goldust promo. This is the third one and makes me wonder if perhaps the Goldust return isn’t going to just be a one-time thing. I hope not, I’ve always liked Dustin Rhodes and I think the Goldust character is pretty fun, given the right storyline.

R-Truth is in the ring rapping as we come back from commercial break. His opponent is the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio. Truth is kind of void nowadays, the fans don’t care about the match and it becomes obvious when the crowd begins to chant “JBL” and “Jerry”. Truth hits a nice placha over the top on Del Rio. Del Rio locks in the arm breaker submission for the win. The match wasn’t very exciting, but it wasn’t bad.

We now get Zeb Coulter in the ring, insulting Canada, as Antonio Cesaro stands beside him. No Jack Swagger. We have a return now, as Santino Marella makes his return to WWE. Not a fan of Santino but the crowd pop for him. I hoped they might change his crap comedy act when he returned, but apparently not. Cesaro welcomes Santino back with a dropkick to the face. Santino is a Canadian but the announcers don’t acknowledge it. Santino uses his usual signature spots of comedy moves as Cesaro hits some fantastic power moves which the fans get loud for. We even get a “maple syrup” chant. We also get a “holy shit” chant after a giant swing spot from Cesaro. Santino gets his cobra out. Wait. But Cesaro throws it into the crowd and nails Santino with a great uppercut for a near-fall. Santino hits a judo throw for a quick victory. He then celebrates on the ramp as Zeb Coulter tantrums in the ring.

We return from commercials with Damien Sandow taking on “World’s Least-likeable Babyface” The Miz. The crowd don’t react to Miz who is much better as an antagonist. The fans even chant for Sandow and boo Miz, who looks visually upset by the reaction. Miz hits a good looking corner-lariat and double axe-handle for the near-fall. Sandow hits a side-russian leg sweep and the “Elbow of Distain” for a close-call. The fans then begin a “Y2J” and “Randy Savage” chant. Some loud and kind of strange chanting tonight in Toronto. WWE need to admit defeat and turn The Miz heel again. Fandango interrupts the match as the Toronto fans begin to dance to his music, allowing Sandow to roll-up a distracted Miz for the victory. They seem to be using this whole “Play music, distract wrestler, opponent wins” thing lately, a lot. They need to think of some new ideas to continue feuds without using this every time.

Renee Young, who gets cheered, is now backstage talking to Goldust. Goldy says he is the Rhodes screw-up and that Cody being fired is ridiculous and it embarrasses the Rhodes family name. Triple H interrupts Dustin and says that Cody and his new bride’s future lays in the hands of Dustins’ match with Orton tonight.

Randy Orton makes his way to the ring with his WWE title hanging from his shoulder. Goldust gets a decent reaction as he makes his return to RAW for the first time in three years. He looks to be in good shape. The crowd chant for Goldust as we start the match. Dustin looks solid in the ring and gets a positive response from the fans. We hear a loud “you still got it” chant aimed at Goldy, early on. Orton heel’s it up throughout the match with old-school villain moves. Goldust fights back with signature chops and punches. Orton nails Dustin with a suplex onto the ringside barrier and throwing him into the ring post and steel steps. Randy hits his silly-looking second rope DDT before mocking Daniel Bryan with the “YES” chant and hand-motions. He then signals for the RKO but Goldy reverses it into the Cross-Rhodes for a near-fall. Randy eventually hits the RKO for the victory. A decent match showing that old Dustin still has some gas in his tank. This allows the Cody being fired storyline to continue and it will be interesting to see where they take it next.

Orton then stands over Goldust and says that his dream of saving Cody’s career has been shattered, just like Daniel Bryans’ dream of winning the WWE title will be shattered at Night of Champions.

Dustin is backstage in tears and Stephanie McMahon talks to him, saying that he let his brother and father down as well as the WWE Universe. She calls him a loser and tells Goldy to go join Cody in the unemployment line.

Ricardo announces Rob Van Dam for a match against the man who stole his old attire, Ryback. Del Rio comes out and antagonises Ricardo and Van Dam on the microphone. Same old ADR heel promo. The crowd chants “Goldberg” at Ryback, who audibly screams “shit” after he trips, early on. Van Dam hits some good spots from the ropes but Ryback looks tired and ham-fisted for most of the contest.  Ryback gets disqualified after throwing Van Dam into the ring post, groin-first. Ryback leaves Rob lying after the shellshock in the ring. Meh.

Big Show walks into Stephanie backstage and says that she won’t allow him to lay a finger on The Shield tonight so she has a special seat for him tonight, and if he touches The Shield then he’ll be fired. Big Show attacks an old television set. You tell ‘em, Paul.

It’s now time for the main event of the evening, with Dean Ambrose, with his Shield friends in his corner, taking on Daniel Bryan, with Big Show in his corner, though that’s pointless, because Show can’t touch anyone. Something tells me we might see “The Rated-R Superstar” in the next few minutes. Bryan has the fans chanting along as he uses his famous kick spots on Ambrose. Ambrose has excellent facials that remind me of Brian Pillman and Roddy Piper. Much like Bryan and Rollins, Bryan and Ambrose have good chemistry in the ring and it makes for yet another good match between a Shield member and the former “American Dragon”. Bryan shows his submission skills with a great looking surfboard stretch. Big Show cheers on Bryan from his seat at ringside. Bryan nails Ambrose with his powerful corner dropkicks which always look like they hurt like Hell.

Bryan hits a painful looking tree-of-woe dropkick to the face and super-plex on Dean for another near-fall, which is followed by a “this is awesome” chant from the crowd. The Shield tries to interfere at ringside but end up getting taken out by Bryan. Bryan rolls up Ambrose out of nowhere for the three-count. The Toronto crowd all chant “yes” as Randy Orton makes his way to the ring, but Bryan leaps through the ropes and nails Randy with a tope. The Shield then attack Bryan and Big Show stands conflicted on whether to help Bryan or leave him to be beaten down by Orton and The Shield. Randy hits an RKO on Bryan as Big Show looks frustrated at ringside. Triple H and Stephanie come out to the stage and tell Big Show to be a professional and get into the ring and knock Bryan out again. Show looks angry but enters the ring, and walks around, conflicted again on what he should do. Randy Orton picks Bryan up and holds him for Big Show to knock out. Show refuses. Orton demands that Big Show knocks Bryan out. Out of the blue, Bryan nails Orton with a flying kick to Orton as Big Show walks away smiling. The show goes off the air this week with Bryan celebrating with the WWE title over a floored Orton. No Edge, I was wrong. Kind of weird considering the opening of the show.

Overall, a good show. A lot better than last week’s and the opening segment with Edge was really entertaining. Heyman was on fire as a heel and the main event delivered in the ring. RAW is on top form right now, very enjoyable.

RAW: Best of the Night (In-ring): Daniel Bryan

RAW: Best of the Night (On-mic): Edge

RAW: Dud of the Night: Layla

RAW: Best Crowd Chant: “Maple Syrup!”

RAW: Best Crowd Sign: “Follow the Budgies”

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