After a very surprising turn of events at Night of Champions on Sunday, I was very excited to see how things would develop on Raw. Let’s take a look.
The show kicked off with an excellent opening segment featuring Triple H, Daniel Bryan and referee Scott Armstrong. Hunter addressed the “giant gorilla” in the room, the fast count that saw Bryan beat Orton for the title. He stripped him of the belt until further notice, and expressed his disappointment that Bryan would enter into a conspiracy with an official. I loved this part. It totally made up for the lame ending the other night. Now the bearded one can go back to the chase, and eventually become a three time champion! One thing about the Attitude Era that I do love, that a lot of people hate, is the vast amount of title changes. It keeps it interesting for the fans, and gives the guys a chance to put some gold on their resumes. It doesn’t devalue the title if all the guys challenging are of a high quality.
Randy Orton got in Triple H’s face backstage, to which Stephanie took offence. She absolutely owned him, and said that if he couldn’t bring back that “sick bastard” that we all used to love, then maybe he shouldn’t be the face of the WWE.
Dolph Ziggler v Dean Ambrose: I didn’t pay too much attention to this match because I was so blown away by the start of the show. Dolph won with the zigzag – a good win for him! Then Justin Roberts (is that his name?) made a bizarre “and STILL United States Champion” announcement for no reason.
Fandango v R-Truth: I was glad to see that Fandango got his awesome light back above his head during his entrance. They did a recap of that bullshit dancing segment from last week, which actually reminded me of the fact that The Awesome Truth did a kind of reunion. There was a Summer Rae chant. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before, but I like it. Great crowd! Sorry but where do they get these marks who tweet in for them about Raw? The tweets are humiliating. Fandango won with the leg drop and it was an okay match.
The American Dream graced us with his presence. It’s always a pleasure to see this living legend. I was marking out with the “Dusty Rhodes” chants in my own living room. He cut a very awesome, passionate promo on both his sons being screwed, in his trademark “workin’ man” style. Stephanie McMahon came out and got unreal heat from the crowd and Dusty by asking him to choose which one of his sons should get a job in the company. He refused to make that choice. So Steph brought out The Shield, and then forced Big Show to knock him out. The Oscar worthy big man played his role in this very emotional affair to perfection. This was really powerful stuff. The regime is getting out of control now!
For a third straight week, we got a generic heel v face six woman tag match. AJ was announcing again. Brie’s team won. That is all. This match and the girls involved aren’t worthy of having their names in bold. Sorry, but it’s true.
Damien Sandow v Rob Van Dam: This was a comprehensive win for RVD over Sir Jobsbury. The good news for him is this. History dictates that the guy doing ten thousand jobs a month is always the guy who is about to successfully cash in his briefcase.
Randy Orton v The Miz: A big pop from the home town crowd for Mr. Mizanin, in about the only place he gets them these days. The Apex Heatseeker Randy Orton cheap shotted Miz while he embraced his parents in the front row, before dismantling the guy in a brutal beating. Their scheduled match was a No Contest, as the bell never rang. Both men were fired up and it was a fairly even, intense brawl for a bit. Orton took control though and delivered a vicious attack right next to the guy’s crying mother (well acted), before doing his DDT with feet on the barricade. This was a perfect way to get some more heel heat on the guy, and showed Randy reacting to what he had been told earlier, and trying to find that no scruples, punt giving, bad guy of old. That’s development.
Paul Heyman was wheeled out to the stage by his newest recruit. He vowed to continue tormenting CM Punk, and said he owed his life to Ryback. He handed him the mic, and gave him a kiss! What a legend! Ryback cut a short, not bad promo about how there is nothing he hates more than a bully, criticising Punk for “bullying” Heyman at Night of Champions. This was okay but I expected more from this angle, on this show to be fair.
The Real Americans v Tonnes of Funk v The Usos (Triple Threat Tag Team Elimination Match for the #1 Contender Spot): Cesaro rolled up Tensai so the legitimate match could begin. This bizarro crowd was letting out huge “JBL” and “Jerry” chants, and a very muffled “Cole” chant. The Usos were exciting and amazing as always. The match had a really cool finish. Swagger hit a huge belly to belly on one of the Usos from the top, and the other one simultaneously came down on him with the crossbody, after getting the blind tag. The Samoans got the win and are next in line for a shot.
Then we saw another chilling Wyatt Family vignette. Bray and Ambrose are by far the best actors in the company right now.
Daniel Bryan v Roman Reigns: Bryan passed all of his smiling supporters on his way to go through the curtain. Randy Orton joined the other Shield guys at ringside for the match. It was a decent bout, contested mainly with power and submission moves. JBL was passionately labelling Bryan a thief throughout. Eventually, Reign’s power was thwarted by the LeBell Lock. Orton tried to beat down Bryan, which caused the DQ, but this week he was saved by an army of faces from the locker room. This was an awesome idea. I’m really excited to see what the COO has in store for those defectors next week, or maybe on Smackdown.
It was a whirlwind night, with lots of crazy segments. The matches were decent enough and the development was okay, but on the whole it was just okay. As I’ve previously said, I can be a bit too much of a mark sometimes and I’m trying to be a bit more critical lately. I’ve been so spoiled by good WWE content that if something doesn’t make the mark, I am noticing that very often. Nonetheless, the show kept me up until 4am again so it definitely wasn’t boring, but it could have been better.