There were pictures from some of the events from Hell in a Cell while the commentary of the action played. It focused on the Punk/Ryback and Bryan/Orton matches. It ended with Michael Cole saying "what just happened?"
Tonight on Raw we'll hear from Shawn Michaels and also see the Randy Orton WWE Championship celebration. There's also a CM Punk vs. Ryback match later that will either be a Street Fight, Falls Count Anywhere or Tables Match as voted by users on the WWE App. The announcers for the show are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & John Bradshaw Layfield as usual.
The new World Heavyweight Champion John Cena made his entrance to a mixed reaction although it sounded like more cheers than boos. He said "I'm back" to the crowd. Cena busted out his Boston accent for a bit of this. Not sure why. He spoke about how JBL was a skeptic about Cena's comeback, so he thanked JBL for the extra motivation. Cena even did an over the top JBL impression. He told JBL to take a good look because the new World Heavyweight Champ is here. He said he's back on Monday Night Raw and that he's back on Smackdown as well. I wonder how long that will last. Smackdown attendance has been down, so Cena's presence should help. He said he'll be on the European tour competing as the World Heavyweight Champion. Cena said he'll wear the brace, talk to the doctor and put ice on it every once in a while. "I'm back and I'm ready to go." It was a typical fired up Cena promo. He mentioned the WWE Championship celebration later in the show, so there will be a lot of talking later on. Cena told Del Rio he knows he gets a rematch, so if he wants some come get some. "This is the Cenation - we run the show. The champ is here." He dropped the microphone, but then Damien Sandow's music hit.
Sandow walked to the ring with his Money in the Bank briefcase that gives him a shot at the World Champion any time he wants. Sandow: "The uncrowned champ is here." He said that Cena wasn't fooling people by coming back from his injury. Sandow said it wasn't humanly possible to come back as quickly as he did. He knows Cena's more hurt than he is letting on. Sandow told Cena that he's afraid that Sandow will cash in on him. Sandow said he could cash in any time, any place like right now. Then he said any time but tonight. Cena shoved him, so Sandow kicked him in the leg and hit him with the briefcase.
Sandow attacked Cena with the briefcase by hitting Cena in the left arm repeatedly. It knocked Cena down. Sandow rammed Cena's left arm into the ring post a few times. Sandow yelled "rise above this" and then whipped Cena into the security wall. He threw Cena into the steel steps. Sandow placed Cena's arm on the steel steps and smashed a steel chair into Cena's arm. Sandow said "my time is now" while signalling for a ref to come to the ring. Ref John Cone ran down for the official cash in of Sandow. They went to break with Cena holding his arm outside the ring.
Analysis: Cena's promo was the same kind of speech he always does to fire up a crowd although it's been two months since we've heard it, so it didn't feel as tiresome as usual. I'm not really a Cena hater. I just think he needs to change his style a bit. I also found it odd that he threw in that fake Boston accent a bit much in the promo. I'm not sure why he did that. Sandow's speech was very good. The beatdown leading to the cash-in made a lot of sense and gives Sandow credibility as one of the smartest wrestlers in the company. He knew the guy was hurt, so he went right after it. Makes sense. I'm not a huge fan of the commercial break in the spot where they put it. I get why they did it and I think people would turn back in three minutes if they were watching live, but it killed some of the momentum a bit.
World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena vs. Damien Sandow
The match began with Cena favoring his left arm. A lot of his haters like to mention that he doesn't sell enough, but he was selling the arm a lot from the beginning of this match. Sandow went after the arm as Cena tried to fight back. Sandow threw Cena into the steel post and got a rollup for two. Sandow applied an armbar, but Cena powered out with a belly to belly suplex. Suplex by Sandow for two. Cena came back with a back body drop. They went to break there.
Analysis: That's an odd break during an unannounced match like this.
Back from break, Cena hit the running shoulder block on Sandow using his injured left arm. Boot to the face by Cena followed by the spinning suplex. Sandow hit a flipping neckbreaker for two. Sandow whipped Cena hard into the turnbuckle shoulder first. They showed Dr. Sampson looking on at ringside. Cena was able to counter Sandow with a one armed Attitude Adjustment. Sandow rolled out to the floor while Dr. Sampson checked on Cena, but JC waved him off. Cena rolled Sandow back into the ring. He tried to do the STF, but Sandow fought out of it. Neckbreaker variation by Sandow for two. Cena hit a full nelson into a neckbreaker for a two count. Sandow applied a Crossface on Cena's left arm. The crowd thought that could be it, but Cena powered out of it. Sandow came back with the You're Welcome (Full Nelson Slam) that is his new finisher. Cena kicked out at two for the best nearfall of the match. The fans chanted "this is awesome" as Cena won a struggle on the top rope. Cena missed a cross body block after Sandow moved. Sandow tried to capitalize, but Cena powered out and hit the Attitude Adjustment with one arm. Cena covered for the victory after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: John Cena
Post match, Cena celebrated the win while the announcers put over Cena's gutsy performance with JBL saying what he did the last two nights was incredible.
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good match with plenty of nearfalls for each man. Sandow losing is a bit disheartening. Obviously Cena's a guy that wins all the time while Sandow could have really benefitted from winning the World Title against somebody the caliber of Cena. It didn't happen, of course. Sandow joins the list of those that failed to successfully cash in a MITB briefcase, which is a short list that previously included only Cena. I also liked the placement of the segment because it was in the first 30 minutes of the show when the baseball game was just getting underway while the NFL game hadn't started yet. I realize Cena's win will upset some fans and I don't blame anybody for being mad about it. I just think he'll have a long title reign to raise the value of the World Title. Hopefully it means something when he loses it.
Backstage in some private area, The Shield delivered a promo. It was Dean Ambrose doing the talking about having a rematch with Big E Langston. Rollins said they underestimated the potential of Langston. Ambrose mentioned that he was the last champion that The Shield had left, which earned stares from Rollins and Reigns. He said he's the US Champion and the baddest man alive. Reigns told us to believe in The Shield.
Analysis: That was a bit of dissension by the group with Ambrose bragging about how he's the only one still holding a title. He didn't realize that Reigns & Rollins were staring, but clearly the camera was put on them for the audience to notice it.
Ambrose vs. Langston for the US Title after the break.
There was another reminder of the vote on the Punk vs. Ryback stipulation.
United States Championship: Dean Ambrose (w/Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) vs. Big E Langston
They replayed the spot from Sunday where Langston received a bloody eye after his aggressive clothesline. That's why a move like his clothesline/body attack is not common because there can be a collision like that. Ambrose was aggressive early on. Langston's cut under his eye was visible. Langston came back with clotheslines and a belly to belly suplex. When Langston ran the ropes, Reigns pulled down the top rope so Langston went flying over the top to the floor. The match went about two minutes.
Winner by Disqualification: Big E Langston
The Shield attacked Langston after the match. The Usos ended up running down to the ring to save Langston. They cleared the ring of The Shield. Raw GM Brad Maddox showed up on the stage to make a six man tag. It's the impromptu six man tag match aka the Teddy Long Special. They went to break there.
Analysis: It wasn't much of a match, so no point in rating it. It puts over the idea that Ambrose is worried about losing his title to Langston. That's why The Shield got him disqualified. I'd expect Langston to win the US Title in the near future. The tag match setup was obvious. I think they do one of those every week or every two weeks.
Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Big E Langston, Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso
The Shield had Jimmy Uso isolated in their corner. They made a lot of quick tags. Impressive jumping kick to the head by Rollins. Ambrose hit his running dropkick while Jimmy was tied up in the ropes. Jimmy hit a jawbreaker on Ambrose, which was smart because Ambrose had a cut in that area from Hell in a Cell. The announcers didn't point that out because they were talking about main eventers. Jimmy broke free with a kick to the head of Ambrose, then Reigns tagged in and he was planted with a DDT. Jey Uso received the hot tag and he cleaned house. Spinebuster on Rollins, who was the legal man. Running butt splash in the corner by Jey earned a two count. Langston went after Ambrose, who broke up the pin. Jey gave Rollins a front suplex off the top rope. Jey went for a top rope splash, but Rollins got his knees up to block it. Reigns tagged in, but Jimmy prevented the double team. Double superkick on Rollins. Then they turned around and Reigns hit a double Spear on the Usos, who happened to be cousins of his. He covered Jey for the win. The match went about six minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose
After the match, Ambrose held up the US Title while Reigns looked on with a bit of disdain. Planting some seeds there.
Analysis: ** That was a really fun match that didn't get a lot of time, but the pacing was so fast that it was very enjoyable. Never seen Reigns with a double Spear like that. I also think the Usos are receiving the biggest reactions of their career, which is a great sign. It's okay if they're not winning all the time. They are being put in high profile matches and that's great for their them in the future. It was noticeable that Langston really wasn't featured in the match. That surprised me a bit. I think this was just done as a way to give The Shield a win after not winning back the tag titles on Sunday and also some other recent TV losses as well.
Randy Orton's celebration will be later. Shawn Michaels is up next at the top of hour two.
Total Divas is back on E Network with new episodes on November 10.
Shawn Michaels made his entrance. He did not receive the kind of loud babyface pop that he usually gets because of his Superkick on Daniel Bryan at Hell in a Cell. He said he knows he owes everybody an explanation for his action, but more importantly he owes Bryan an explanation. He asked Bryan to come out there so he can explain himself to him face to face.
Daniel Bryan made his entrance in his ring gear. He didn't even feel like wearing a shirt. No "yes" chants by Bryan on his way to the ring. He had an angry look on his bearded face.
Michaels said that he didn't intend for that to happen. The crowd chanted "you sold out" at Michaels. Michaels said he saw what Bryan did to Triple H, but Hunter is his best friend. That is never, ever going to change. Their friendship will always supersede everything that goes on in this line of work. When everybody turned their back on Michaels, Triple H was there for him. On Sunday he needed Michaels to be there for him, so he was. Michaels asked Bryan to accept his apology. "Shake my hand." The crowd chanted "no" as Bryan shook his head no at him. Michaels told Bryan he taught him a valuable lesson at Hell in a Cell. "Here, in this snake pit, you don't trust anybody." He told Bryan not to trust anybody even him or his soon to be wife. Michaels told Bryan that he should show him the respect he's earned by shaking his hand. Bryan kept shaking his head no at him. Michaels made some angry faces while calling Bryan a "self righteous little puke." He spoke about how he stood up for Bryan when others were trying to tear him down, but maybe those people were right. He called himself an A+ player. "For the love of God I'm Shawn Michaels and I'm giving you the chance on worldwide TV to shake my hand. Now do it!" He extended his hand again. Bryan shook his hand. Then he took Michaels down and gave him the Yes Lock. The crowd cheered wildly. JBL was saying it was embarrassment while Michaels was tapping out. Referees ran in to break it up.
Analysis: What an awesome visual that was: My favorite wrestler ever (Michaels) being put in the finishing move of my favorite current wrestler (Bryan). It was a well booked segment because Michaels' explanation did make sense as the best friend of Triple H. He was just looking out for his friend, which is certainly understandable. Does this make Michaels a heel? I think it does. The fact that JBL went over the top in defending Michaels certainly suggest he's a heel too. I don't know if he's going to be around that often in the future or what the plan is, but the promo worked.
Kane is back tonight. Also Randy Orton's celebration is being mentioned in nearly every segment for three hours.
The "Did You Know" mentioned the top 5 WWE Superstars on Twitter with their follower numbers: The Rock 5.73 million, Cena 5.52 million, Orton 3.13 million, Michaels 2.08 million and Punk 2.05 million. The best person on Twitter in that group is Punk, but he barely tweets anymore. I miss him.
Backstage, Renee Young tried to interview Daniel Bryan. Before he could say anything, she stepped aside and the lights went out as the beginning of Bray Wyatt's video started to play. When the lights came back on, Harper & Rowan were shown destroying Bryan. They threw him into a steel ladder that happened to be there. Bray Wyatt gave Bryan the Sister Abigail move into a steel fence. He said "the devil made me do it." Then he rolled a cart into his face. That ended that segment.
Analysis: It looks like a new feud for Wyatt and for Bryan as well. The attack was pretty random, but I don't mind it one bit. It's a fresh storyline, which is what WWE needs right now. It's interesting to note that "the devil made me do it" could be a reference to Paul Heyman because at Hell in a Cell Heyman called himself Satan in WWE prior to his match at HIAC. I expect Heyman to be out for a month or more after what happened at Hell in a Cell, but this could be a way to bring him back as the guy that is behind the Wyatt Family. Or it could be nothing. It's definitely an interesting development.
The announcers talked about the Wyatt Family's assault on Daniel Bryan with JBL saying he didn't like the disrespect that Bryan showed Michaels.
Los Matadores (w/El Torito) vs. Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal
They're doing this again? This time it's a 2 on 3 Handicap match. That doesn't make it fresh. Slater brought a net with him to the ring to try to catch the bull. The heels isolated Epico/Fernando in their corner with a double suplex. Slater did some stalling and then missed a knee drop. Hot tag to Diego, who hit a missile dropkick and flying forearms. McIntyre was legal for the team and he hit a running dropkick. Then he sold the two moves he took as if it was in some 20 minute match. Slater went after El Torito with the net, but the bull escaped under the ring. He sprayed a fire extinguisher into Slater's eyes. Torito knocked down Slater with a gore in the back that Slater sold in a ridiculously over the top way. Double drop suplex finished off McIntyre for the win in about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Los Matadores
Post match, they put the net on Slater's head. Torito hit a springboard dive on Slater to knock him down.
Analysis: * Same match these teams have done a few times now.
The announcers plugged the WWE App by showing a video about installing the App. Punk vs. Ryback match has an App vote.
Dolph Ziggler narrated a video about breast cancer awareness. He wasn't on the PPV and during Raw he was tweeting during the show. It would be nice if Ziggler had a more prominent role in the storylines. That's for damn sure.
AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka vs. Brie & Nikki Bella
The Bellas are still feuding with AJ? The announcers said Brie was forced to compete instead of going to the hospital with her fiancé Daniel Bryan. That's not very realistic, but that's wrestling. Brie was all sad in the ring. AJ started the match, but quickly tagged out. Tamina slammed down Brie by grabbing her by the hair. Headbutt by Tamina earned her a two count. Brie broke free and tagged in Nikki, who hit some clotheslines on Tamina as well as a dropkick. Tamina dropped her across the top rope to put her down. Nikki fired back, but Tamina caught her when she went for a cross body block. Tamina turned it into a sloppy Samoan Drop. AJ tagged in and applied the Black Widow submission to Nikki, which led to the submission victory after about three minutes.
Winners by submission: AJ Lee & Tamina Snuka
Analysis: * The match was about Tamina dominating the action. AJ barely was in there except to apply her finishing move. It's time to find another challenger for AJ Lee although I get the sense that they may do a divas tag match at Survivor Series.
Kane takes on The Miz after the break.
Kane vs. The Miz
Kane hit a big boot to the face as JBL buried Miz on commentary while Cole mentioned Miz was a former WWE Champion. Damn we have to remember that about Miz? I try to forget. Corner clothesline by Miz, which barely got a reaction. Miz wanted a double axe off the top, but Kane caught him and gave him a Chokeslam. It went about 90 seconds.
Winner by pinfall: Kane
Analysis: Miz was treated like a jobber. The created reacted to him like a nobody. Kane didn't even need to do his top rope clothesline. He was able to finish the match quickly in his return after two months off.
Post match, Kane called out Stephanie McMahon because he had something to say to her. Steph showed up on stage with an impressive push up bra as part of the outfit. I'm just saying. Kane said she has abused authority, manipulative and ruined lives. He also said that in this day and age it is what's best for business. He said "the monster is yours to unleash." He dropped the microphone and walked up the ramp. Kane took off his mask. He gave it to Stephanie. We didn't see his face as he walked away. She held up his mask with a smile on her face.
Analysis: The reason for Kane's unmasking is because he just filmed See No Evil 2 where he won't be wearing the mask, so WWE felt it would be best if he didn't have the mask on during WWE programming. The movie comes out next year, so it makes sense. Of course Kane also turns heel every year it seems. I guess it's his time of year. Hopefully he gets to push Zack Ryder off the stage again because that was a lot of fun!
The Randy Orton celebration is coming up.
The Prime Time Players did a video promoting WWE Shop merchandise. Is this going to be a weekly thing with people promoting WWE merchandise? I hit fast forward.
There was a video with David Otunga talking about Big Show's legal situation. It's nice of WWE to remember that Otunga still works there. I don't really miss his matches. He said that Show's lawsuit could cost the McMahon family millions of dollars.
CM Punk made his entrance to a big ovation. He said for the first time in three months he slept like a baby. Punk said that he promised us he would get Paul Heyman and he destroyed him with a kendo stick as well as putting him to sleep. He claimed that Paul Heyman is history. Now he's focused on Ryback, but without Heyman he's a Neanderthal that stands zero chance against the best in the world. Punk said he'll either put Ryback through a table, put him to sleep or make him tap out. Is that him giving away a finish? Pretty much. He spoke about living up to his promise in taking out Heyman and he promised he would beat Ryback based on how the fans voted.
Analysis: He mentioned the word "promise" a few times in the promo, so I expect him to use that down the road. Other than that, it was basically a celebratory promo about his win at Hell in a Cell. Punk showed good emotion in expressing how happy he was to beat Heyman like he did.
The vote results are up after another break.
The WWE 2K14 game is out today (Tuesday). I'm not much of a gamer anymore, but to those that are I hope you enjoy it.
The WWE App vote results: Street Fight 59%, Falls Count Anywhere 26%, Tables Match 15%.
Street Fight: CM Punk vs. Ryback
No Heyman with Ryback, of course. Punk gave Ryback a clothesline over the top rope. Ryback caught Punk outside the ring and threw him into the security wall. Ryback put a table into the ring. Punk hit Ryback in the leg with a kendo stick. Ryback came back with a spinebuster. He went for a clothesline, but Punk countered into a swinging neckbreaker for two. The table was set up in the center of the ring. Ryback wanted to superplex him through the table. Punk fought back with a hard kick to the head, which put Ryback on the table. Punk hit a flying elbow off the top rope through the table. Anaconda Vice by Punk led to the tapout win after about five minutes.
Winner by submission: CM Punk
Analysis: *1/2 Short match. End of the feud officially. Ryback's future is very much in doubt. I'm not sure what WWE will do with him going forward.
Following the win, the lights went out and the Wyatt Family appeared on the screen. "We're here." They entered the arena with CM Punk in the ring. Harper and Rowan circled Punk in the ring. Punk tried to fight them off, but it didn't work as Wyatt sat in the rocking chair in the aisle. The crowd chanted for Daniel Bryan. That wasn't going to happen. Rowan hit a corner splash while Harper hit a boot to the face. Wyatt entered the ring saying that he's been waiting for this. Punk hit him with a headbutt, but Harper knocked him down with a clothesline. Wyatt hit Punk with the Sister Abigail neckbreaker. Wyatt said the "devil made me do it." They posed over the fallen Punk as the show went to break.
Analysis: I guess this is Bray's revenge for the New Nexus? I'm joking. With the Wyatt Family attacking Bryan and Punk on the same night, it's obvious that they are getting a push. I'm fine with it. For three months I've been waiting for them to have a meaningful feud, so it's good to see them going after top guys. This could lead to some kind of 4 on 4 tag match with the three Wyatt Family members and a partner (maybe Kane?) against Bryan, Punk and two others that could include Ziggler, Miz, Kingston or somebody like that. Fresh storylines are a welcome sight after the last couple of months where we got the same things over and over.
They replayed the Wyatt Family's attack on Punk with Cole making sure we noticed Wyatt saying "the devil made me do it." Like I mentioned, it could be a reference to Paul Heyman calling the shots. Not sure yet.
Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro (w/Zeb Colter)
This is not for the tag team titles. Goldust started with Cesaro. Arm drag on Swagger led to a "you've still got it" to Goldust. Goldust hit a back elbow off the middle rope on Cesaro. Cody hit a front suplex on Cesaro and Goldust tagged in to hit a bulldog for two. They each tagged out, so Cody hit Swagger with a dropkick off the top and then a clothesline over the top. That led us to the vintage floor to commercial break.
Back from break, Swagger hit a clothesline and belly to belly suplex on Cody. Cesaro tagged in to hit a gutwrench suplex for two. The Real Americans made a lot of quick tags as they isolated Cody in their corner. Nice double foot stomp by Cesaro for two. Cesaro hit an impressive uppercut after tossing Cody up in the air. Cody hit a leaping kick on Cesaro that sent him outside the ring to the floor. Cody tagged in Goldust while Swagger also tagged in. Goldust hit the uppercut, atomic drop and boot to the head. Powerslam by Goldust. Cesaro interfered, but he took a Disaster Kick from Cody and a clothesline sent him over the top along with Cody. Goldust hit a cross body off the top onto Swagger for two. Swagger went for the Patriot Lock, but Goldust countered it into a rollup. The pace really picked up as Cody and Cesaro were sent outside the ring again. Swagger clipped Goldust in the back of the knee. Patriot Lock by Swagger. Goldust tapped out after 13 minutes of action.
Winners by submission: Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro
Analysis: *** That was a very good tag match to put over a heel team on the rise. The finish was put together really well. I'm okay with non-title matches once in a while because it's a way to build up others. The Rhodes Brothers continue to have awesome matches week after week while the tag team division continues to grow with more teams being built up as contenders.
The Orton celebration they've been promoting for over two hours is still to come.
Replay of Cena's win over Sandow earlier in the show.
Alberto Del Rio stood on the stage with a Mexican flag. He said he didn't care about what Damien Sandow did earlier. His only concern is John Cena. Del Rio claimed that Cena stole his World Heavyweight Title. He spoke about his rematch and how he's going to hurt Cena. The World Title belongs to him apparently, but we already know that.
Analysis: It was only a two minute promo. Not sure when the rematch will be, but I think Survivor Series is the likely place for that.
Poll asking fans what dream match they wanted to see on WWE 2K14: Michaels vs. Rock 14%, Hogan vs. Cena 24%, Undertaker vs. Goldberg 55% or Bryan vs. Flair 7%. I would have thought Hogan vs. Cena would win, but I'm obviously wrong about that. A bit of a surprise to see so much love for Undertaker vs. Goldberg, but it shows how popular Undertaker really is. Poor Bryan in last. That's what happens when you book awful finishes for three straight PPVs. It's a shame we never got a Michaels vs. Rock feud. It would have been amazing.
Summer Rae entered with Fandango for her singles debut match on Raw.
Natalya made her entrance to Great Khali's theme song for some reason. She had Khali & Hornswoggle with her.
Natalya (w/Great Khali & Hornswoggle) vs. Summer Rae (w/Fandango)
Summer got the pin during the tag match at Hell in a Cell, so here's a singles match. Natalya went for power moves, but Summer was able to use her speed to counter. Each woman got a nearfall. Back kick by Summer earned her a two count. Summer went for a submission move on Natalya's leg and then another nearfall by Summer. She kept doing dance moves after hitting a move. Summer really started to show her limitations with her very basic offense. Dropkick by Summer for another two count. She celebrated with Fandango, who was on the apron. Hornswoggle went after him, so Fandango threw him down and Khali chopped Fandango. Summer turned around, Natalya caught her and put her in the Sharpshooter. Summer tapped out after five minutes.
Winner by submission: Natalya
At least they played Natalya's theme song after the win instead of Khali's song again.
Analysis: * Natalya gets the win back after losing at Hell in a Cell. That's common WWE booking. You could tell Summer has a long way to go as a worker because Natalya was going at about half her normal speed. It's understandable. Summer does have potential. Obviously she's a pretty girl that's tall, so she will have plenty of opportunities to grow as a performer. I saw Summer tweet about how her legs were hurt after the move. I hope somebody informs her that the Sharpshooter actually causes pain to the back.
The Orton celebration is finally up next.
There were some clips of Total Divas. I love how Eva Marie says "veterans watch out." Watch out for what? Your awful wrestling? Yeah. I hope they don't get hurt.
WWE Championship Celebration
The entire roster was standing at the top of the ramp. The Shield were standing by the ring to provide security. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon entered the ring with The Shield joining them in the ring.
Triple H talked about how ten years ago, Vince McMahon asked Triple H who he thought was going to be the face of WWE in the future. He said he picked one man, so he put him in the group called Evolution and watched him become a star. Hunter said that Frankenstein's monster matured to become the A+ player and the face of WWE. It's not some B+ player or a sawed off little troll, who by the way is in a hospital right now. The A+ player fulfilled Hunter's prophecy when he became the face of WWE when he became WWE Champion. After all of that, Hunter introduced the new WWE Champion Randy Orton.
Orton made his entrance with the WWE Championship on his shoulder. Even though he's not in a match (on television anyway) he still had his tights on. At least he was able to put on a t-shirt. Orton posed with the WWE Title while Triple H looked very happy. Hunter gave Orton a hug and so did Stephanie. They all hugged each other.
Stephanie told the superstars on the stage that Orton is everybody's champion. Hey there's Zack Ryder main eventing again...sort of. She told them that Orton is what they should all aspire to be. She told them to show Orton the respect he deserves.
Orton said he was better than us because he's the WWE Champion. He told the people on the stage that he was better than them too. "You're either born a success or you're not." He called himself the face of WWE. Orton pointed out that he's their superior.
Big Show's theme music started up and he walked down to the ring even though he's barred from the building. Big Show walked down to the ring. The Shield attacked Show. The Usos, Cody Rhodes and Goldust attacked The Shield to get them out of there. Show went into the ring, so Triple H, Orton and Stephanie left the ring. JBL said it was criminal action by Big Show.
Show said he knew about the restraining order, but he can't sit back and do nothing. He said if they get him arrested that's fine because he had friends that could bail him out. He told Hunter that his lawsuit is going to cost Hunter millions of dollars. Show said he'll take every damn dime. Show said he had nothing to lose. Orton attacked Show from behind by hitting him in the head with the title. He waited for Show to get up, which was a mistake because Show knocked down Orton with a KO Punch. Big reaction for that. Hunter watched from the apron. Hunter took off his coat, but then he backed away from the ring like a coward.
The crowd chanted "let's go Big Show" as he had a stare down with Triple H. Show's music played as they replayed what happened. Raw ended with Show leaving the ring while Hunter went back into the ring looking furious about what happened. That's how Raw ended this week.
Analysis: I thought it was a good ending to the show. Obviously Big Show isn't my first choice to be the top babyface going against The Authority, but he has been built up well. There was a positive reaction to his entrance, his attack on Orton and his face off with Triple H. It also looks like he's being positioned to be the next WWE Title challenger to Orton because the other babyfaces on the show seem to have other things going on. I thought it would be Show vs. Hunter at Survivor Series, but it's likely they will save that.
There are some logic holes in the story because if Big Show was banned he shouldn't even be there. His theme song shouldn't play. Things like that need to be explained and hopefully they will in the future. It seems likely that the story will be Vince McMahon coming back as the babyface owner that's upset with what Hunter and Stephanie are doing, but at this point there's no indication of that happening. I get that Big Show doesn't care, but you need a better explanation than that. I think in time we'll get some answers.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Damien Sandow
2. John Cena
3. CM Punk
7 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
2013 Average: 5.86
2013 High: 8.5 (August 27)
2013 Low: 3.5 (January 28)
Last 5 Weeks: 6.5, 6, 5, 4.5, 6
I liked Raw a lot this week, which is why it got the 7 out of 10 rating.
I thought the matches were above average in terms of quality. Cena/Sandow was a lot of fun in the first 30 minutes of the show. I realize the Cena haters are so angry they may quit watching forever (lol), but I didn't hate it. Sandow could still reach that level without the briefcase. It's not the end of the world. I hope management was impressed by his performance because I was.
The tag division continues to be a bright spot. Several teams were featured with the Real Americans looking like a bigger deal after being Cody & Goldust in a non-title match.
There were a lot of things I liked with Bryan going after Michaels at the top of the list. That was pretty damn great. Maybe I'm biased because it's my all time favorite going against my current favorite, but that's just how I see it. I don't think HBK will ever wrestle again. I wouldn't be opposed to it, though.
The Wyatt Family attacking Bryan and Punk separately came out of nowhere, which was fine with me because it's a fresh feud that has a lot of potential to be great. I am looking forward to seeing Bryan and Punk working together.
Lastly, congrats to Kane on his annual heel turn. I like him better as a heel.
That's all for this week.
I don't plan on writing any wrestling related columns before next week's Raw Deal. After three PPV previews & recaps over the course of the last six weeks and a number of other things I need a bit of a break. It's my birthday next Monday November 4, so I'll be busy on the weekend. Of course our team at TJRWrestling.com will have content up like we always do, so check it out every day.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org