A lot can change in 24 hours and I am excited (genuinely) to see what went down at last night’s Battleground pay-per-view. Once again, I have managed to avoid the results, so my reactions to the show and tonight’s Raw will be authentic.
Did Daniel Bryan or Randy Orton claim the vacant WWE Championship, or was there another non-decisive finish? Was it Rob Van Dam (here’s hoping) or Alberto Del Rio who were victorious in their World Heavyweight Championship match? Could A.J. Lee keep a clasp on her Divas Title?
Would C.M. Punk be able to exact revenge on Paul Heyman after getting past Ryback, or did “The Bully” prevail? Or a non-finish/brawl? Were the Rhodes Family successful in getting their jobs back, or did The Shield keep them in the unemployment line?
How will last night affect the WWE as a whole going forward? Only one way to find out and that is to read on!
Monday Night Raw T.V. Report for October 7th, 2013 – “Fired, Hired, Returning, and Still Vacant”
Introduction Segment: Video Recap
Footage of the WWE Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton from Battleground is aired. The bout was inconclusive, as The Big Show ran out and knocked out both Bryan and Orton, as well as referee Scott Armstrong.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
Justin Roberts welcomes one of the “principal owners of the WWE,” Stephanie McMahon. She says that the WWE Championship match from Battleground was compromised and that everyone involved, plus the fans, are angry. She orders the man who destroyed the finish to come out. The Big Show obliges and walks down, with a calm and pleasing look on his face.
He begins to explain, but she just orders him to be quiet. She calls his actions inexcusable, and wants to know his thoughts. He shortly apologizes, but McMahon is not buying. Stephanie demands him to man up and beg these people for forgiveness. Show refuses, and she calls him “worthless. You have no heart.”
Big is livid, yelling that he knocked out Orton because he “couldn’t take it anymore. And I knocked out Daniel Bryan, because you told me too!” Stephanie says that she and Triple H weren’t even at the pay-per-view, and starts to talk about General Manager Brad Maddox. Show says that Maddox is their puppet.
“He works for you, and your son-of-a-bitch husband!” McMahon takes umbrage with that accusation, slapping Show multiple times and then fires him right then and there!
Big seems to be ok, as he walks out of the ring and basically cheers on his release, with Stephanie glaring a hole into him.
Later tonight, it will be Daniel Bryan, Goldust, and Cody Rhodes facing “The Shield” in 6-Man Tag-Team action!
Match #1: Single – “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank / The Intellectual Saviour Of The Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow
Elbow/collar tie-up to begin, and Damien Sandow is aggressive early with shoulder blocks in the corner and punches. He brings him out with a suplex, then pounds away with fists. He clamps on a grounding headlock, yelling at Dolph to “show off now!” (Nice touch!)
Sandow continues the punishment with mat elbows and a jumping knee drop, then he runs at Ziggler against the ropes with his thigh. Damien chokes Dolph with a leg scissors, which “The Show Off” squirms out of. Dolph punches back out of the corner and begins to hit fists of furry. Sandow pushes back, literately shoving Dolph out of the ring.
Returning, “The Intellectual Saviour” is still in control, whipping Dolph hard into the corner twice. He brings him backward with a side Russian legsweep, then delivers the “Elbow Of Distain” elbow drop. Sandow goes back to the grounding headlock, and as Ziggler battles out, Sandow chucks him over the ropes. Damien runs Dolph into the ring post and gets a subsequent two-count!
“Mr. Money In The Bank” throws Dolph into the corner, but “The Show Off” moves from an attempted shoulder block. He begins mount-punching Sandow, then slugs him out of the ring. He follows up with a semi-baseball slide then more punches on the floor.
Ziggler sets up Damien in the corner and delivers punches, then a neckbreaker! He hits a nice dropkick and nearly gets the W! Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag jumping neckbreaker, but Sandow fends him off.
Damien runs into Dolph, knocking him down from the top rope for a two-count. Ziggler ducks a clothesline and rolls through, then nails the Fameasser jumping leg drop and gets the surprise victory!
Winner via Pin Fall: “The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler
Segment #2: Office Promo
General Manager Brad Maddox looks nervous, and has a right to be. Stephanie McMahon is with him and tears him a new one for the results of Battleground. She orders him to “publicly apologize” then inform us WWE fans how he will make amends.
Segment #3: Commercial Recap
In one of the more puzzling moves (more explanation after), Michael Cole shows us that WWE Hall-Of-Famer Bruno Sammartino was brought out to his hometown crowd and receives a “Happy Birthday” song from his fans. (This was puzzling because why would WWE NOT air this live??? Seriously, as Cole himself said of Bruno, “the greatest WWE Champion of all-time.” And this was left to an app that probably 90% of us [including myself] don’t have or care about! Very bad move. Very, very bad move. Sorry, I couldn’t wait until my review to rant on this. That’s how cheesed I was!)
Match #2: 6-Women Tag-Team – Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, and Aksana VS. Natalya, JoJo, and Eva Marie
Natalya and Aksana begin, with lock up and waistlock takedown. Aksana turns it into a hammerlock, which Natalya flips into a grounding armbar and Aksana counters with a grounding head scissors. Natalya pulls Aksana over in a headlock and tags in Eva Marie. Eva rolls up Aksana, then takes her down with a headlock.
She runs Aksana off the ropes, but the Lithuanian counters with a shoulder block and drops a couple of elbows. Aksana finally tags out, switching with Rosa, who shoves Eva down.
Alicia is now in and scoops slams Marie, then knocks Natalya on the apron with a forearm. Eva moves out of the way of a running knee, then tags Natalya back in. Neidhart scoop slams Fox hard, then throws her into both Rosa and Aksana. She nips up after a roll up and spin-clotheslines Fox. Natalya makes Alicia tap-out quickly with the Sharpshooter!
Winners via Submission: Natalya, JoJo, and Eva Marie
Segment #4: Arena Promo
General Manager Brad Maddox appears on stage and offers his sorries. He then books another match between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship, to take place at the Hell In The Cell Pay-Per-View on October 27th. He also adds that there will be a special referee, a WWE Hall-Of-Famer, determined by the fans.
Maddox introduces the first candidate, Booker T! The 6-Time World Heavyweight Champion comes out and pleads his case, stating that he will do the right thing for us and business.
Up next, Los Matadores will be in action.
Match #3: Tag-Team – 3.M.B. (Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal) (with 3.M.B. partner Heath Slater) VS. Los Matadores (Fernando and Diego) (with El Torito)
Diego begins with Jinder, sweeping him up and twirling him with a headscissors. Fernando is now in and the both spin around Mahal, then double-backdrop him. Mahal tags in McIntyre, who comes in with determination and dominates a Matadores. Diego counters Drew with a hurricanrana, then switches up with Fernando. He comes in and flies around all over McIntyre, diving off the top rope. They both drop Drew with their finisher for the 1 – 2- 3!
Winners via Pin Fall: Los Matadores (Fernando and Diego) (with El Torito)
Post-match, El Torito taunts Heath Slater, who becomes enraged then gives chase. “Los Matadores” sweep him Up and Torito follows with a second-rope Hurricanrana!
Up next, Paul Heyman, Ryback, and Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Paul Heyman, Ryback, and Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel are in the ring. Heyman calls himself “the best in the world,” because he beat C.M. Punk. Heyman does give credit to Punk though, as he did beat Ryback at Battleground. However, Paul E. also points out that Punk is a cheater, showing a still image of “The Second-City Saint” low-blowing Ryback to help him win.
“Cult Of Personality” blares the arena speakers and “The Straight Edge Superstar” makes it to the ramp. He doesn’t apologize for beating Ryback, nor kicking him below the belt. He reasons that he “kicked Ryback in the balls, but I did that to see if he actually had any!”
Heyman declares that Punk “will never do that again,” but C.M. refutes that it means nothing. “Not only can I do it again, but I will do it again. By “it” I mean Ryback.” Punk says he will be happy to face Ryback tonight, tomorrow, or at Hell In The Cell.
Heyman convinces Ryback that Punk is “bullying him,” so Ryback threatens Punk to “if you had any balls, I would’ve hit you in them a long time ago.” He challenge Punk to walk down and “bully” him right now.
Before C.M. can respond, R-Truth’s music plays and he runs out. He convinces Punk to tag with him against Axel and Ryback, right now!
Match #4: Tag-Team – C.M. Punk and R-Truth VS. Ryback and Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman) (Non-Title)
It looks like Ryback and Punk to begin, but Ryback ducks out and tags in Axel. They lock up and Curtis takes Punk down with a shoulder block, but is taken down with a drop toehold. Punk wrenches back on the knee/ankle of Axel, then tags in R-Truth. He kicks the Intercontinental Champion then delivers an uppercut.
Truth and Punk still dominating. R-Truth snapmares Axel and locks on a grounding headlock, but Curtis forces his way up and pushes Truth back into the corner. He tags in Ryback, who is all over Truth. He face-plants him, then splashes him. Ryback picks Truth up with a bearhug and belly-to-belly suplex him. He covers but Truth kicks out at two!
The I.C. Champ is in and come off the second rope with an elbow. He stomps away and hits a dropkick for a near fall! Ryback is in again and carries Truth back and forth to the corners, ramming his back each time. He whips Truth hard into another corner. Ryback puts an abdominal stretch on Truth, and rams him again into the corner.
Truth counters a run and a military-press slam, nailing Ryback with a jumping calf-kick! Punk is getting the crowd into it and trying to give R momentum. Truth makes the hot-tag and Punk flies in with a springboard clothesline and swinging neckbreaker on Curtis Axel!
He runs with the high-knee in the corner and clothesline, then follows up with a top-rope elbow drop! “The Straight-Edge Superstar” signals for and puts Axel down with the Go-To-Sleep, then high-kicks Ryback. He tags in Truth, who finishes this one with the Scissors/Axe kick to the back of Axel’s head!
Winners via Pin Fall: C.M. Punk and R-Truth
Segment #6: Arena Promo
Justin Roberts welcomes candidate #2 for the special referee slot, WWE Hall-Of-Famer and former WWE Champion Bob Backlund! He has a quizzical look on his face, and tells the people he loves them because he’s been both a good guy and a bad guy in the business.
He claims he will do the best job and make the good decision for the match. “And if it gets out of control, I’m going to put that person in the Cross-Face Chicken Wing! You got that, ladies and gentleman? Stand up straight when I address you!” He marches off and Cole/Lawler/Bradshaw recall how to vote for the referee.
Match #5: Single – Kofi Kingston VS. “The Viper” Randy Orton
Orton pounds away at Kofi early and hurls him into the ring post corner. He throws Kofi outside and into the barricade twice. Randy clotheslines him down, and follows up with a cover in the ring for two. Kofi comes back with a few hits and a clothesline over-the-ropes, giving both a rest.
Orton quickly hammerlocks Kingston and headbutts him in the corner. He punches away but Kofi comes back with fists and kicks of his own. He misses a springboard crossbody prior to the break.
“The Viper” is in control, stomping on Kofi’s stomach, then cracking his back with a backbreaker. He clamps on a grounding headlock. Kofi fights his way out of it, and soon after flies off the corner ropes with a clothesline. Kofi ducks a couple of Orton clotheslines, but not a high dropkick. He does kick out of the subsequent cover, but is punished in the corner with right hands. Orton props Kofi atop the turnbuckle, but Kingston counters with fast headbutts and a Tornado DDT!
Kofi chops him down and hits a dropkick, then a kick between the ropes! He ascends the turnbuckle and comes down with a flying crossbody! 1 – 2 – Randy kicks out! Kofi tries the S.O.S. and Trouble In Paradise but Orton gets out of them. Kofi hits the S.O.S. again and gets a two-count! He jawbreaks Orton using the ropes, and uses the ropes again to springboard himself, but Orton reverses into a powerslam for two!
“The Viper” sets up Kofi for the slingshot-DDT but Kofi tosses him over to the floor! Kingston tries a baseball slide, but Orton moves out of the way and clotheslines him to the floor. Again, he chucks Kofi into the barricade and throws him atop of it. He uses said barricade to plant Kofi with a DDT to the floor. Orton rolls him back in the ring and R.K.O.’s Kofi, getting the win!
Winner via Pin Fall: “The Viper” Randy Orton
Post-match, Daniel Bryan runs out and attacks Randy Orton! He brawls with him all the way to the announcer’s table! Several referees and agents struggle to separate the two. They eventually do, but Orton runs to the back with Bryan charging after him. The referees and agents follow too!
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero is scolding an employee for vacation time when World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (boo!) walks up. He wants/speculates that she will make him the new face of the WWE, and also find the right challenger for his championship. He continues to suck-up to Guerrero, giving her his scarf and kissing her delicately. Del Rio walks off and Guerrero ditches the scoff, seeming slightly disgusted.
Segment #8: Arena Promo
Justin Roberts welcomes the final selection to be the referee at Hell In The Cell …. WWE Hall-Of-Famer … “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels! (okay, he was a true surprise; very cool!)
“Okay, now I know, that all of you are aware that Triple H is my best friend. We are close ‘personal’ friends. But want you to understand is the key word in that phrase is ‘personal.’ And what we’re talking about tonight is business. Now, I don’t know how many of you are aware of the fact that I trained Daniel Bryan. However, I will not that sway me. I will not let my friendship with Triple H sway me. And when it comes to Randy Orton, let’s face it – I don’t like him and he doesn’t like me.” Shawn pleads for the fans to get the WWE App and vote for him, as he will “guarantee that I will make sure there is definitely there is a new WWE Champion. Because I don’t care ‘what’s best for business,’ I want what’s best for each and every one of you.”
(Gee, I wonder who it’s going to be now! Duh!)
Match #6: Single – World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio VS. ??? (Non-Title)
General Manager Vickie Guerrero comes out and announces the champion’s opponent, Ricardo Rodriguez! He comes out and looks extremely nervous and worried, while Del Rio is overjoyed at the seemingly “easy pickings.” The bell rings, but Guerrero also announces that Del Rio will also be defending the World Heavyweight Championship at Hell In The Cell, against … John Cena!
Rodriguez takes advantage and rolls up Del Rio for the quick 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pin Fall: Ricardo Rodriguez
Post-match, Alberto Del Rio is infuriated, so he viciously assaults Ricardo, placing his left arm in a steel chair and stomping away on it repeatedly. Referees check on an apparently injured Rodriguez as the World Champ walks off and poses on the stage with his title.
In response to the recent revelation, John Cena has tweeted, “You heard it on #Raw, @WWE Universe. Hell In A Cell vs. @VivaDelRio for the WHC. The Champ is…back! #EvenStronger.”
Match #7: Single – Zack Ryder VS. Fandango (with Summer Rae)
Fandango tries a waistlock to start out, but Ryder turns that around into punches. Fandango comes back with a spinning wheel kick for two and takes control. He covers again after a snap suplex, then clamps on a grounding rear chinlock. Ryder counters a run with a face-plant driver, then knees out of the corner.
He dives off the middle rope with a dropkick, but Fandango gets out of the ring before the Broski Boot can be delivered. Fandango gives Ryder a neckbreaker with the top rope, then ascends the turnbuckle and soars off with the legdrop to take this bout!
Winner via Pin Fall: Fandango (with Summer Rae)
Segment #9: Arena Promo
Jerry “The King” Lawler reveals who will be the referee at Hell In The Cell, and of course, Shawn Michaels wins easily! (61%)
Match #8: Tag-Team – The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro) (with “Real Americans” partner Zeb Colter) VS. The Great Khali and Santino Marella (with Hornswaggle)
Swagger locks up and chucks Marella, but Santino counters with a cartwheel. He gives Jack an atomic drop, but is quickly punched down. Swagger splashes him in the corner and tags in Cesaro. He gives Santino an uppercut, then switches back to Jack. He grasps a butterfly lock on and clotheslines Santino. Swagger hits the Swaggerbomb splash out of the corner and tagged Cesaro at the same time, who came in and leaped over Jack with a double-stomp on Marella.
The Great Khali eventually gets the tag and elbows away at Cesaro in the corner. Khali shows off his big right hand and chops at Cesaro, but Swagger cuts him off and Antonio comes back with a chop block. Cesaro grabs Khali by the legs, and very impressively swings him around ten-times, then picks up the win after a cover!
Winners via Pin Fall: The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro) (with “Real Americans” partner Zeb Colter)
Post-match, Cesaro also swings around Hornswaggle, but gets quickly put down by The Cobra chop from Marella. He, Khali, and Hornswaggle celebrate.
A video package airs of Titus O’Neil promoting the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness. He sincerely talks about his Grandmother, who died of the disease when he was 17-years-old. (Truly, very nice touch for WWE to do this and to air personal stories of the wrestler’s dealings with cancer.)
Up next, The Miz will be out!
Segment #10: Arena Promo
The Miz is about to welcome us to MizTV when he is interrupted by The Wyatt Family! Bray saunters out and the lights come back on to expose Luke Harper and Erick Rowan already in the ring. They try and attack Miz, but he is able to escape. Rowan and Harper just stare, while Bray bends backwards and laughs creepily!
Segment #11: Office Promo
Brad Maddox is told by Stephanie that he has a long way to go. Triple H shows up and says that he will go to the ring, to “personally make sure what happens is what’s best for business.”
The Shield make their entrance to the ring for the main-event.
It is announced that Kofi Kingston will challenge Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship on Smackdown, airing this Friday.
Match #9: 6-Man Tag-Team – The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose and Tag-Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) VS. Goldust, Cody Rhodes, and Daniel Bryan (Non-Title)
(Note: Triple H also makes his way to ringside to observe.) Goldust and Seth Rollins begin, with Goldust spitting in Rollins’ face. He is all-over Seth, then tags in his brother. Cody flies in with a springboard dropkick for two. He throws Seth out of the ring and hits a high-knee on Dean Ambrose, followed by a suplex for two.
Cody stomps away, then brings Goldust back in. “The Bizarre One,” (thanks for the reminder of the nickname, Cole!) hits low kneedrop, then double-teams Ambrose with Cody in the corner. Rhodes is turned around in another corner by Dean who gets aggressive. He gives him elbows to the back of his head, but is put down with a boot-to-the-face out of the corner. Cody goes to the top, but is shoved off to the floor by the United States Champion, after a Roman Reigns ran to his side as well.
Ambrose is in full control over Cody, pressing his foot against Rhodes’ chest while bending his legs. He turns him over and rubs his forearm against his nose. Ambrose knees Cody in the stomach, then places him backwards on the top turnbuckle. Dean tries a backdrop, but Cody elbows him off and flips back with a beautiful moonsault! Both are down and their respective teams want the tag.
Cody tries for it, but Dean hooks his leg and punches Goldust off the apron. Rhodes backdrops Ambrose over and manages the hot-tag to Daniel Bryan. He is one fire, flipping over Seth and chucking him over with a German suplex. He flips Rollins off the top with a Hurricanrana for two before Roman saves the match. This bout breaks down with everyone brawling, and it is Seth and Daniel left.
Daniel hits Rollins in the head with a kick and locks on the “Yes Lock” Crossface submission. Before he can tap-out, Ambrose brings in a chair and nails Rhodes for the apparent DQ. However, Triple H restarts this contest with “no disqualification rules.”
The brawl continues, as Daniel runs with a suicide dive to Dean Ambrose by the announce table. Suddenly, Randy Orton comes out of the crowd and R.K.O.’s Bryan! He puts him back in the ring and Rollins covers for the victory!
Winners via Pin Fall: The Shield (United States Champion Dean Ambrose and Tag-Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns)
Post-match, Triple H gives the signal and “The Shield” produce their usual assault, particularly on Goldust. However, they also have more back up, as The Big Show makes his “long-awaited” return (about 2 hours, 55 minutes!) Big Show enters the ring as The Shield cover “The Game.”
They quickly assault him, but the 7-Foot Giant fends them off and knocks out Triple H as well! The fans roar as Daniel Bryan looks over an unconscious Triple H, chanting “yes, yes, yes,” and is very gleeful to close the show.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Coming out of a pay-per-view, I thought Raw was high in atmosphere, especially with the ending. It also provided some great wrestling for certain matches and reactions for particular wrestlers (Big Show, Cody Rhodes, and of course Daniel Bryan, were momentous.)
Excellence: The Big Show – love the personality he showed tonight, both in the opening promo and closing Raw. Really enjoyed his “not going to take it anymore” attitude and the fans really got behind him, which supremely helped. Definitely loved (even though it should be questionable how he got into the building since he was “canned,”) that they let him knockout Triple H for the added “zest.”
Orton/Bryan scrap was well-done. I think we’ve heard enough from both interacting verbally, so now they should just try and one-up the other physically for the next two episodes before Hell In The Cell. Also, another awesome match and finish between Randy and Kofi.
As always, Heyman and C.M. Punk are gold on the microphone and tonight was no different. I also believe Ryback is getting better again, and can easily attribute that to his partnership with Paul E. The tag-match featuring them, and R-Truth and I.C. Champ Curtis Axel, was pretty good too.
I was skeptical with another 3.M.B./Los Matadores match, but it was pretty decent and the Matadores made it work. For now, I like El Torito as a mascot, and that was a well-performed hurricanrana. Same goes for Ziggler/Sandow.
Main-event was also well-wrestled, and again, with Big Show coming out to save Bryan, Rhodes, and Goldust from “The Shield,” it really put the stamp on his attempts to now stand up for himself and others; it also just put gave another exciting ending to Raw and left us on a suspenseful high-note.
Bogus: I (and probably a few others) am still trying to figure out why they have “General Managers” if all they do is screw up and the higher-powers make the decisions for them? It seems like a waste of time right now. While I did like the tag-match and R-Truth teaming with Punk did make sense, it happened a little too fast just as Punk/Ryback/Heyman were really getting into it. Time-fillers – “Real Americans”/Great Khali & Santino Marella, Fandango/Zack Ryder, and the Divas Tag-Team. My most grief with Raw was the exclusion of Bruno Sammartino on Raw. Benefit of the doubt, maybe he didn’t want to be on WWE T.V. live and just shown the way he was; but if that is not the case, then they really missed out on an opportunity and were borderline disrespectful in not having perhaps the best-ever the WWE-Hall-Of-Famer and former WWE Champion live, especially with all they went through to get him back on good terms with the company in the first place!
Indifferent: Shawn Michaels as the special referee. Part of me thinks that having the WWE Championship bout in the Hell In The Cell is already gimmicked-enough, but I am intrigued to see if they have good ‘ole H.B.K. stay completely neutral or bring him back for a longer storyline by siding with either Bryan or Orton. Del Rio VS. Cena. Obviously, the former “Dr. Of Thug-A-Nomics will be going over, but I’m wondering why he is back so soon and wrestling? Also, to be honest, not looking forward to another Alberto/Cena feud, so I really do hope that it is a one or two-match affair, and they both move on quickly.
In general, it was another pretty likeable Raw, and with how it ended, I am definitely looking forward to the continuing storyline(s) of all involved! As always, until next week, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!