03rd Sep2013

WWE RAW Review (02.08.13)

by Chris Cummings


WWE Monday Night RAW opens tonight with HHH standing in the middle of the ring in his suit and tie. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rolling are standing beside the ring with their championship belts draped over their shoulders. We’re live.

HHH introduces the “Face of WWE”, Randy Orton, who hits the ring to pretty decent heat from the crowd before grabbing the microphone and talking about how Daniel Bryan is nothing more than a “B+ player”. HHH tells the crowd that Daniel Bryan is similar to what Doink The Clown was and that Doink was never champion because it would have been bad for business, the same as if Bryan were to win the WWE title. Bryan’s music plays while the new corporation continue to insult the former American Dragon, the fans pop loud for Bryan who stands on the stage in his ring gear and a t-shirt with mic in hand. Bryan talks to HHH and Orton, saying what Randy has been given everything and has never had to work and claw his way to the top. He says that HHH “cut his hair off, put on his suit and sold out” and that Randy Orton “is no less feminine that Stephanie McMahon”. HHH calls Bryan an “angry little troll” and continues to bury Bryan who reacts by saying that he knows he will defeat Randy Orton for the WWE Championship at “Night of Champions”. The segment ends with HHH setting up Daniel Bryan versus The Big Show for the main event of the show.

We return from break with Cody Rhodes walking past Orton and HHH backstage. Cody finds himself in hot water as HHH books him against Randy later on tonight and if Cody loses he “won’t be around for much longer”.

A short match between The Miz and Fandango ends when The Miz scores a submission victory over Fandango with the figure-four leg lock. Not much of substance, just a regular WWE television match.

We return from break and Booker T is talking to Daniel Bryan in the locker room. Booker offers his advice to Bryan, telling him it isn’t worth fighting against HHH and company and that he should just give up his title opportunity. Bryan says, “Tell me you didn’t just say that”. Booker says that the corporation could end his career and that Bryan should just walk away from them, Bryan ignores the advice, Booker tells Bryan that he is behind him. Bryan walks away.

We see a replay of Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel’s attack on CM Punk from last week’s show, promoting the match between the bunch of them at Night of Champions. Man, kendo stick’s look like they sting when they hit. Ouch.

Next, Dolph Ziggler makes his way to the ring to a good reaction, his opponent is unknown to him and the commentary team as we go to break. When we return we see Dean Ambrose attack Ziggler from behind, throwing him into the ring post and leaving him in the ring. Ryback, Ziggler’s actual opponent, then heads down to the ring as the announcers do what the crowd doesn’t. React. Once Ryback reaches the ring a loud “Goldberg” chant fills the building. Ziggler fights back but is greeted with a number of power display moves from Ryback. Ziggler sells like a champ as usual, making Ryback look like a bad-ass. The crowd chimes in with a “you can’t wrestle” chant, aimed at the former Skip Sheffield. Ziggler hits back with a dropkick before being laid out with a lariat, which Dolph sells like he’s been shot in the shoulder. Ryback hits the Shellshock finish and pins Ziggler for the victory. Ziggler lays defeated.

We go backstage and see HHH, Stephanie and Brad Maddox talking about Big Show who is apparently refusing to wrestle Bryan, Stephanie leaves to go and speak with Show. We then see another “Los Matadores” promo video. Epico and Primo dressed as a cross between Aldo Montoya and Tito Santana circa 1992. If it get’s these two talented wrestlers on TV, hey, whatever.

Stephanie McMahon is in the ring and she introduces “her giant”, The Big Show, who looks sadder than he did during his infamous feud with Big Bossman in 1999. They hug as he enters the ring. Stephanie says that Big Show is broke and that he has made bad decisions and he has no money left. She tells him that he would be in breach of contract if he doesn’t wrestle Daniel Bryan. She says he has nowhere else to go, saying “what are you going to do? Be the world’s largest gas station attendant?” Stephanie then, strangely, says that “giants don’t live as long as normal people”. Big show cries a bit as Stephanie hugs him. The crowd boo. Big show cries more. The viewers wonder who wrote that promo. Fans chant “You’ll be okay”. So weird.

We return from break with Big Show destroying a table backstage. His tears have turned to rage, folks.

We now head to the ring for a tag team match. Prime Time Players versus Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal from 3MB. It’s a typical TV match with little to write home about. PTP get a good reaction now that they’ve gone babyface. Titus scores the win against Mahal when he hits a sit-out powerbomb.

We return from break to see Paul Heyman and Brad Maddox talking backstage. Heyman scolds Maddox for allowing the fans to vote for the opportunity for CM Punk to get his hands on him and for booking the match at Night of Champions where Punk will likely get his hands on Heyman. HHH interrupts, slapping Heyman on the shoulder in greeting. HHH says he approved the match at the PPV because he likes seeing Heyman try to weasel his way out of all situations. It’s almost a babyface promo from HHH which is strange at this point.

We see a video promo of Bray Wyatt on his rocking chair talking about “where’s Kane?” These videos for the Wyatt Family are strong and thought provoking as far as wrestling promos go.

Cody Rhodes is making his way to the ring as we go back to ringside. Randy Orton follows, his WWE title around his shoulder. The announce team acknowledge that Ted DiBiase Jr has recently left the company and that “Cody Rhodes might quickly follow”. There’s a few chants for Cody, who is struggling to get the reactions he surely was hoping for when he went babyface a month or so back. It’s a back and forth match with the announcers talking about how it could be Cody’s last match if he loses. Orton hits a dangerous yet well executed backbreaker from the second rope which is a more plausible move than his second rope stalling DDT. He should swap them up. They brawl around the ring for a while. We get a shot backstage of some of the RAW roster watching on a monitor. The fans chant “Randy Savage” at a fan in attendance that seems to have more attention than the match does. Cody has a burst of offence to a good crowd reaction as fans chant “Goldust”. It appears crowds around the world are trying to compete with the Post-Wrestlemania 29 RAW crowd as far as strange chants. We finally get a loud “Cody Rhodes” chant as the fans finally seem to be getting into a decent back and forth match. Orton hits his silly-looking second rope DDT. Cody fights back with the Cross Rhodes but only gets a two count on the cover. Cody gets another near fall with a rollup but eats an RKO out of the blue and loses the match to the WWE Champion. HHH comes out and congratulates Randy before telling Cody that he “fought like his life was on the line”. He then says “You have no idea how much I respect you” He continues by talking about doing what’s right, saying “with deep regret, I have to tell you, you’re fired” Cody sits in the ring and looks speechless and tearful as the crowd chants “Thank you Cody”. Not sure where this is going but it’s interesting.

We come back from (another) break and CM Punk makes his way to the ring, kendo stick in hand, looking as grumpy as ever. Boy do I prefer Punk as a heel. His face run has been mediocre so far and it doesn’t seem like Punk is enjoying himself as much. Punk grabs the microphone and says that he wants a fight. He guarantees that at Night of Champions he will defeat Curtis Axel and that he will get his hands on Paul Heyman. He ends the promo by saying that at the PPV he will break Heyman’s face.

Big Show tells Daniel Bryan that he didn’t want any part in the fight, Bryan says he doesn’t care and that he will overcome any obstacle put in his way, including a giant. Bryan says that he is going to beat Show tonight.

We get a quick replay of AJ Lee’s faux-shoot from last week’s RAW where the Divas Champion buried the Total Divas as they stood in the ring.

Next, we get Nattie, Naomi and Brie Bella in a triple threat divas match to determine the number one contender for the WWE Divas Championship at Night of Champions. AJ Lee is on commentary, she says that none of the women in the ring deserve a shot at her title. The match is a usual mixture of decent and clumsy. AJ jumps in the ring early on in the match and attacks the participants before it turns into a four-way brawl. The Total Divas leave AJ lying in the ring as the crows boo them. It appears that AJ is the babyface in this scenario as far as the WWE Universe is concerned.

We return from break and Damien Sandow is in the ring. Ricardo Rodriguez then announces Sandow’s opponent, Rob Van Dam. Another typical match here that only lasts a couple of minutes before Alberto Del Rio comes out and distracts Van Dam. We see Van Dam’s usual signature moves as well as Sandow’s. Sandow controls most of the match with rest holds. Van Dam wins the match after hitting the five-star frog splash and stares at Del   Rio who he will face for the World Title at Night of Champions.

Stephanie McMahon announces to the Total Divas who wrestled earlier in the night that all three of them would face AJ Lee in a fatal four way match at Night of Champions.

Cody Rhodes is escorted from the arena by security and Josh Matthews asks Cody how he feels. Cody says that the McMahon’s have always hated the Rhodes family and how they made his Dad wear polka-dots and dance and how they made his brother wear gold paint. Cody says he has a wife to provide for before walking away. Genuinely interesting storyline here, looking forward to seeing where this goes.

The WWE roster comes out to stand on the stage to watch the main event of the show between Daniel Bryan and The Big Show. The match starts with Big Show throwing Bryan to the side and saying to stop. Bryan refuses to back off and hits show with a barrage of dropkicks in the corner. Big Show decides to fight back with open palm chops and a slam on Bryan. Big Show appears conflicted as Bryan tries to gain momentum but keeps getting beaten down by Show. Bryan turns the tide and hits Show with a few kicks to the chest and a DDT. Big Show gains momentum and signals for the knock-out punch as the crowd chants “no” at him. Big Show attempts to leave the ring but is blocked by HHH who tells him to “get back in the ring and finish it” Big Show refuses but The Shield attack Bryan in the ring. Big Show goes to make the save and HHH stops him and tells him to “back up”. He calls him “Paul” to bring some realism to the storyline. The Shield hit Bryan with the triple powerbomb as The Big Show looks on, and…yes, cries again. HHH tells Big Show to knock out Daniel Bryan out. Big Show walks towards Bryan, still crying apparently, but he leaves the ring, refusing to hit Bryan. Stephanie McMahon’s music then hits and she makes her way to ringside. She tells Show to “think about his family” and points him towards the ring. Big Show walks, STILL bloody crying, to the ring. By now his bottom lip is quivering like he’s just watched The Notebook. Big Show then finally hits Bryan with the K.O Punch. The corporation leave the ring, smiling, with a tearful Big Show beside them as the fans chant “you sold out”. Randy Orton walks out to the ring and the show goes off the air with Orton holding his title in the air over a fallen Daniel Bryan.

The show was eventful in many ways and it continues the ongoing battle between Daniel Bryan and Orton/HHH/McMahon’s. The introduction of a conflicted Big Show is interesting but I imagine it will result in a full heel turn by the end of the month. Cody Rhodes being “fired” is interesting and could lead to something involving the Rhodes family or maybe Cody teaming with Bryan, Zigger and others to face the McMahon alliance in the coming months. It’s a big storyline and it feels big, like the old corporation story involving The Rock and Steve Austin did back in 1998/99.

It was a decent show as far as storylines go but didn’t feature a great match, just a few decent ones. For a three hour show, we should get to see a lot more of the roster too. Still, RAW is entertaining television right now.

RAW: Best of the Night: Cody Rhodes

RAW: Dud of the Night: Divas Segment

RAW: Best Crowd Chant: “You’ll be okay” (Aimed at Big Show after he was told he won’t live very long as a giant)


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