19th Nov2013

WWE RAW Results & Review (18.11.13)

by Chris Cummings

WWE-Raw-logo

Sorry for the lack of write-up last week, but here we are for a new results and review of this weeks’ episode of WWE RAW.

Last week’s event was held in the UK and Cena was attacked by Del Rio, Big Show attacked WWE Champion Randy Orton and slammed him through an announce table and the show ended with The Shield, The Wyatt Family, The Uso’s, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk brawling in the ring.

Tonight’s RAW is being billed as WWE RAW Country, a themed RAW based on the fact that tonight’s show is being held in Nashville, Tennessee. Florida Georgia Line, a country band, will be playing live later apparently.

The show begins with Triple H’s music playing and The Game walking to the ring with his wifey, Stephanie McMahon. The two have smiles etched on their faces. Triple H talks about how without himself and his wife on the show last week the show was chaotic. Triple H says he will deal with Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero later tonight. Stephanie says that they are both well-rested. Randy Orton makes his way to the ring, the WWE Championship in his hand. Orton looks angry. Randy talks about how he blames Hunter and Stephanie for the chaos last week, and says that Big Show doesn’t deserve a title shot at Survivor Series. Orton makes mention of Bryan, Punk and Cena, a nice inclusion in my view, of this promo. Triple H tells Orton to back off and says that he is the “face of OUR company”. Stephanie says there was confusion last week. Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox come out and argue over whose fault it was last week that the show erupted into anarchy. Triple H says that regardless of who is at fault, they will all “pay” tonight. Stephanie informs Vickie that she will have a one-on-one match with AJ Lee later tonight, and Triple H tells Maddox that he will have a one-on-one match with the WWE Champion, Randy Orton in a no-disqualification match. Orton grins perversely. Kane comes out and makes sure that Maddox doesn’t run away.

We return from break and Maddox is trying to run away from Orton at ringside. Orton catches Maddox but Maddox fights back and hits Orton in the head with a microphone. He gets in the ring and hits Orton with a DDT for a two-count. Orton looks angrily at the RAW General Manager and tosses him out of the ring before throwing him into the announce table and the steel steps. Orton continues the attack on Maddox with a DDT on the outside of the ring from the barricade. Orton sits on top of Maddox and nails him with a flurry of vicious punches to the head. The referee stops the match and Orton walks away with his WWE title.

Big E Langston is out next to a minimal reaction, though he is being booked strong so far and has the raw talent to be a popular baby-face eventually in my view. He is fighting for the prestigious WWE Intercontinental Title tonight, against the reigning champion, son of the late Curt Hennig, Curtis Axel. The match begins with some mat wrestling exchanges between the two men. Watching Big E, I feel like he needs to slow it down a little and focus on protecting himself and his opponent, he seems a little too fast with the power-moves and is bound to, like Brock Lesnar has in the past, injure someone eventually. Big E hits some power moves on the champion, including a backbreaker and a high back drop. Axel gets back on top with a flurry of punches on the challenger and a dropkick. Langston hits a big clothesline and eventually “The Big Ending” finisher, scoring the pinfall and becoming the new Intercontinental Champion. Big E Langston’s first major WWE title win since he was promoted from NXT. The fans pop for the win.

The Shield are backstage talking to Randy Orton, and Orton informs them that they “will” have his back. Reigns says “if that’s what the authority wants”. They are obviously placing more focus on Roman Reigns these days, and he is undoubtedly going to be the first of The Shield to get a big singles push when the group inevitably disband.

Jerry Lawler is in the ring with most of the WWE Divas, who are all dressed in a country-music sort-of-way. The segment is being promoted as “musical chairs”. Okay. Michael Cole and JBL mock the segment, predictably, on commentary, calling it “dumb”. Well, you’re mocking the creative team there guys, not the people in the ring, idiots. Not sure why WWE book these segments and have them “buried” on commentary each time. Silly. The segment quickly becomes a big brawl as the women all dive on one another. The cast of Total Divas are left in the ring, so this is obviously just here to be a segment for the Total Divas “reality” show. Terrible on all fronts.

Big Show is out next for a match against the big bully of WWE, Ryback. This is a match that has been going through the rumour-mill over the last few months as a consideration for a match at WrestleMania XXX. Not sure I want to see this once, let alone more than once. The match is power based and posing, as expected, with Big Show having most of the offence over the much-devalued Ryback. Ryback, this time last year, though I didn’t like it, was a fan favourite and had potential to be a big babyface star for WWE, now he is a mid-card heel who loses every match and gets little reaction from the WWE faithful. More weird booking from WWE. Ryback gets some offence, taking Big Show down and hitting him with rest holds and elbow drops. Ryback calls moves audibly throughout the match much-like John Cena does, it’s loud and ridiculous, you can hear the guy calling the next spot. Ryback hits a spinebuster on the slow giant for a two-count. Both men, within eight minutes, are blown up and knackered and look like they’ve been wrestling for an hour. Ryback manages to hit the shell-shock on Big Show, an impressive display of strength from the one-dimensional bully. This tiresome contest ends when Big Show nails Ryback with a K-O punch for the three-count. I hope we don’t see this become a feud at any point, this was horrible. The second the match ends, Big Show stops selling the events of the match. Randy Orton runs in and eats a spear from the boring giant.

I switch-off my brain for a moment while 3MB have some sort of interaction with that country band they keep hyping, backstage. Whatever. Randy Orton throws a bitch-fit backstage because The Shield didn’t help him after he was speared by Big Show a few minutes ago. Poor Randy-pants.

As we enter out next section of RAW, Zeb Coulter AND the fans shout “we the people”, we are in Nashville after all. The Real Americans are in the ring for a match with Kofi Kingston and The Miz. There is a section of fans facing the hard-camera with loads of signs that read “Cesaro Section”. Cesaro is one of the best in WWE today, so hopefully WWE take note of the reaction he gets and do more with him soon. Cesaro and Miz wrestle for a while, with Cesaro showing his strength and ring skills once again. Swagger tags in and beats on Miz for a while too. Most of the match is Swagger and Antonio beating up The Miz and keeping him from tagging Kofi Kingston. Eventually, of course, Miz makes the tag and Kofi hits a burst of energetic moves on The Real Americans. Swagger caught Kofi in mid-air and nails him with a powerslam for a near-fall. Kofi does a nice counter-spot into a DDT on Swagger and tries to tag The Miz, but Miz refuses to tag and Kofi ends up tapping out the Swagger ankle lock. The Miz has turned heel, and he walks away from his partner with a goofy heel smile on his goofy heel face. Thank the lord that WWE saw the need to turn The Miz and did so quickly. The Real Americans win and The Miz is a heel, good stuff.

Vickie Guerrero pretends to faint backstage in an attempt to get out of her booked match with AJ Lee. Stephanie insists that the officials take Vickie to the ring before they take her to the hospital. Vickie freaks out.

Vickie is wheeled out to the ring on a stretcher, kicking and yelling and protesting. AJ comes out with Tamina Snuka beside her. Vickie pretends to faint again in the ring, a move that reminds me of Sherri Martel’s antics at SummerSlam 1992 in the match between Rick Martel and Shawn Michaels. The referee gives Vickie some water as AJ looks on bemused. The bell rings for the match to begin and Vickie tries to run away, but Tamina stops her in her tracks. The over-acting stuff with Vickie is why she gets such heel heat, so I get it, and I like Vickie as a person and have enjoyed her character plenty of times, but it gets too stupid sometimes, and this is one of those moments. She over-does it too often here. AJ locks on the “Black Widow” for the submission victory. Vickie has a tantrum in the ring.

Triple H is standing backstage with Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow. Triple H says the two men will have a “Broadway Brawl” tonight, whatever that means.

Ziggler and Sandow come out for their brawl, there are various musical instruments placed in the ring which I’m guessing are supposed to be used as weapons in the match. Drums, guitars and keyboards, oh my. Sandow begins aggressively by attacking Ziggler and swinging an electric guitar at him, but missing. Ziggler gets a microphone stand to the gut from Sandow and Ziggler retaliates with a dropkick. Sandow throws Ziggler off the top rope and through the keyboard, which the announcers laugh at and don’t put over as big deal, which they should. The commentary is as bad as ever tonight, with the three veteran cronies babbling on about random things and not showing respect of focus to the in-ring product unless a main player is out there. Sandow and Ziggler brawl around the ring, using the instruments to jab each other and hit each other with. Ziggler hits a famouser for a near-fall while JBL sings the theme song to “The Beverly Hillbillies” on commentary. Sandow sends Ziggler head-first into a steel chair for a two-count. Ziggler puts Sandow’s head through a drum or two for a big crowd pop, before doing a Jeff Jarrett strut and nailing Sandow in the head with a guitar for the victory. A fun, though weird, match with the only negative being that it’s a shame for Sandow to lose again. Neither of these men should be in losing positions right now.

Randy complains to Stephanie and Hunter backstage, asking why no-one was out there helping him earlier. Stephanie says that they need to think about whether or not they are confident in Randy’s abilities.

John Cena welcomes the country band of Florida Georgia Line backstage and comes to the ring to a mass of boo’s from the Nashville fans. Cena has his left arm in a sling. He thanks Nashville for the response, even though they didn’t cheer. I’m guessing Cena knows this but is so used to the negative reactions he gets (and has for 8 years) that he just ignores facts now. They replay last week when Del Rio attacked Cena and slammed him through a table. Cena looks like a sad Cena in the ring as he watches the replay. Cena rambles on about his injury and how he might have returned too soon, which according to reports that he is suffering pain in his arm again, is likely true. He then talks about how he is a true champion. He puts himself over, as always, while fans sit watching the same old shit they’ve been sitting and watching for a decade. Cena yells and whispers in a promo designed to make him sound like a hero and he is eventually interrupted by the challenger for the World Title at Survivor Series, Alberto Del Rio. Del   Rio mocks Cena, Cena retorts with heroic threats. This tedious segment becomes more tedious and Cena reveals his “injured” arm to be in okay shape as he attacks Del Rio and throws his arms around like he’s fine. The commentators try to say that his arm is still sore, but not when we look at him holding the belt above his head with a smile on his face.

The Rhinestone Cowboys, also known to us as 3MB, come to the ring next, dressed like cowboys. R Truth comes out to face 3MB, and with him is NXT star, Xavier Woods, who is seemingly being promoted to the main roster now, or if not this is a test. Woods is a veteran who is a great worker, so it’s nice to see him on RAW at last. Truth introduces Woods as his “new partner”. The match is a back and forth and it allows Woods to show some of his skills, as he hits some moves like a head-scissor takedown and dropkick on Jinder Mahal. Woods hits his signature and finisher on Drew for the victory, scoring a win in his RAW debut. I hope Woods doesn’t get lost in the shuffle and has a chance to show what he can do.

Stephanie and Hunter approach Randy Orton and inform him that they do have confidence in him, and that is why nobody will be there to help him in his match with Big Show at Survivor Series. Orton looks irritated by this.

Florida Georgia Line, a country band I have never heard on personally, sing one of their songs for the Nashville fans, who react fairly well to the performance.

Daniel Bryan’s music hits the PA system next as we begin our main event of the evening, a big twelve-man tag team match, which sounds like it should be excellent. Bryan’s team mates follow him to the ring, CM Punk, The Uso’s, Cody Rhodes and Goldust, with each getting a tremendous cheer from the Tennessee supporters. The Shield (Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins), who are a year into their main-roster career this month, make their way to the ring to oppose the babyfaces, and they are followed by their partners tonight, Bray Wyatt, Eric Rowan and Luke Harper, The Wyatt Family, who actually get a pretty big pop tonight. The fans chant “CM Punk” and “Yes” early on, showing that Bryan and Punk are the two most popular superstars in WWE today. Ambrose and Jimmy Uso begin the match. We see many exchanges of different kinds here between the twelve men, most of whom are extremely talented workers. It’s fun to note that Dustin “Goldust” Runnels has over a decade more experience than any other performer in the match. He looks to be in great shape and I’m loving his latest WWE run. The Uso’s look good again too, as they always seem to, and have some nice exchanges with The Shield. The Shield and The Wyatt’s argue at ringside for a while. The Shield do most of the work here as far as the heel team goes, but that’s understandable at this point. Cody and Ambrose have a nice long exchange, showing a good chemistry together in the ring here. The Shield begin to refuse to tag in any of The Wyatt Family and it starts to become part of the dynamic of the match, with The Wyatt’s becoming incensed by The Shield’s refusal to tag them. The heels begin to argue again, but Harper tags in, eating a disaster kick from Cody. Bryan tags in and nails Harper with his kick-spots and a hard corner dropkick. Harper catches Bryan and hits him with a big powerbomb for a two-count. Bray Wyatt gets in and attacks Bryan, brawling with the former “American Dragon” with a flurry of punches. The Shield and The Wyatt’s begin to work as a team and keep Bryan cut-off from his team. Rowan uses some rest holds on Bryan to slow the match down before the next explosion of offence comes, an important aspect in matches like this. Bryan eventually makes a hot tag to CM Punk who hits a wonderful DDT/Neckbreaker combination on Rollins and Ambrose. Punk hits the big elbow on Ambrose and signals for the GTS. Before he can hit the move, Bray Wyatt runs in the ring and causes distraction. The match then turns into a twelve-man fight, with high spots from The Uso’s. Ambrose hits his finisher on Punk but Goldust breaks up the count. Cody hits the Cross-Rhodes finish on Ambrose, and Punk and Bryan hit the “Hart-Attack” on Rollins, which was a nice spot. Finally, Punk hits the GTS on Ambrose for the three-count and the victory for the babyface squad. A great match that was the best thing on RAW for a few weeks.

The Real Americans run down and an attack begins on Punk and Bryan, suddenly Rey Mysterio hits the ring to a pop and clears the ring of the Wyatt Family and The Real Americans. Bryan, Punk and Mysterio stand tall in the ring together as the fans chant “yes” in unison. A great ending to RAW and a decent show that leads us to the Survivor Series. The Uso’s and Cody-dust join the others and celebrate in the ring.

RAW: Best of the Night (In-ring): Daniel Bryan, The Shield.

RAW: Best of the Night (On-mic): Triple H

RAW: Dud of the Night: Ryback/Big Show/Commentary

RAW: Surprise Moment: Rey Mysterio returns, The Miz turns heel.

RAW: Best Crowd Sign: “Cesaro Section”

RAW: Honourable Mentions: Luke Harper, Cody Rhodes, Goldust.

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