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The PG Era Rant: Raw 09-30-13

When last we left our heroes, they were given a gift in the form of a large handicap match against the Shield.  Four men won the match, but only one stood tall in Daniel Bryan.  Yet SmackDown revealed that all is not in their corner in WWE.  Randy Orton has already put Miz on the shelf, and it’s clear that, whatever management feels about anyone, the road to the title goes through him.  We’re six days away from Battleground, so let’s see where they go from here!

Our commercial talks about the debut of Los Matadores and the McMahons meeting with the Rhodeses.

- The PG Era Rant for Monday Night Raw, September 30, 2013.

- Live from… wait, the commercial wouldn’t say?

- Your hosts are the usual suspects.

- And in a change of pace, we’ll open with CM Punk.  They’ve busted out the pink ropes for October, even though October begins tomorrow.  Commentary emphasizes that Punk knew he was going to regret his attack and didn’t care.  Punk talks about the unpredictability of Raw, but last week’s obvious turn of events was not unexpected – and that’s okay.  But the predictability extends to the end of the story, which is Punk taking everyone out one by one.  (A small chant starts up, and Punk encourages it to get louder.)  The only question is: when does Punk take out Heyman?  That part isn’t predictable.  It could be tonight, next week, Sunday… but he prefers tonight.  CM Punk wants a fight with someone in the Dangerous Alliance (no, that’s not their name), and whatever the history books say about wins and losses, Heyman will be DONE.  This brings out Brad Maddox, who looks nervous about the potential of the fight.  Punk: “You don’t even get music?”  Maddox sympathizes with Punk, but it can’t be RIGHT NOW because it’s not Best For Business™.  Can’t he wait until Sunday?  But Maddox IS the GM of Raw, so Punk will have a match… but Punk doesn’t want to hear from authority and demands an outlet.  This brings out… Big E Langston?  Langston says he’s the man, and the ambush is on.  Langston works over Punk in the corner until a blind charge hits the post.  Maddox separates everyone and calls for a ref to come down as we go to break.

- CM Punk v. Big E Langston.  Joined in progress as Langston misses Punk on the outside and hits the post.  Punk with roundhouse kicks as he throws Langston back in, going up top and landing a bodypress for one.  Spinning back kick by Punk, and he teases GTS, but Langston shoves out and catches Punk with a modified Rock Bottom for two.  Running splash to the back follows for two.  Langston to the single-leg crab, but we’re not in Boston so he fights out.  Punk stands up to get out and uses chops and kicks, but runs into a Vader crush for two.  Langston carries Punk, but gets rolled up for one only to recover with a belly-to-belly suplex for two.   Punk fights to his feet and tries to build momentum, but runs into a fireman’s carry only to escape with a standing roundhouse for two.  Punk up first and goes for GTS, but Langston is too big and delivers a short-arm clothesline for two.  Another running splash misses, as does the ensuing avalanche, allowing Punk the chance at a comeback.  Spinning neckbreaker puts Punk in control, and he waits for Langston to be up in the corner to deliver the knee into a short-arm clothesline.  Up top, the Savage Elbow connects.  It’s sleep time, and despite precedent of Langston being too big it connects for the pin at 5:58 shown.  If this is the setup for Langston to be the next Heyman Guy, that would be great foreshadowing.  But my understanding from my NXT fans is that Langston has great face charisma he hasn’t tapped yet, which makes me wonder why they don’t run with it.  Or, for that matter, with anything.  Not that I’m complaining too loudly, since the match served its purpose and showed that Punk, even though he’s hurt, will be able to go against Ryback.  *3/4

- Later tonight, Orton and Bryan are face-to-face, while the Rhodes Family will meet with the McMahons.

- Help me out, experts: does being the most socially active TV show actually mean something?

- Fandango v. Kofi Kingston.  So which is worse: Fandango as the male Shakira, or Summer Rae as Mrs. Fandango?  Honestly, JBL’s kinda lost his fastball because he’s too busy playing the heel on commentary.  JBL: “Fandango is like Usher crossed with Randy Couture.”  Lawler: “You mean, like if they had a baby?”  Me: “CAN I UNHEAR THAT?”  Fandango starts with a knee to the gut and controls with a headlock, but Kingston pushes off only to get shoulder tackled.  Kofi with the blind leapfrog into a back elbow, followed by a twisting rana.  Fandango FLIPS Kofi with a forearm shiver for two.  Fandango with a pair of short-arm clotheslines and a suplex, floating over for two.  Fandango HITS THE CHINLOCK.  Kofi fights out and connects with a backflip DDT to get the crowd’s attention (some were trying to chant for Lawler).  Chops to the chest and a big dropkick follow, but he gets lifted into the top buckle on a charge.  Fandango up, but Kofi meets him only to get headbutted down.  Now Fandango realizes he can’t hit the legdrop, so he jumps down and charges, only to eat post and get hit with Trouble in Paradise for the Kofi win at 3:02.  But before anyone gets too excited, the satellite link is hijacked and it’s Wyatt Family time.  Kofi takes advantage of the long entrance to grab a chair and wait for the Wyatts.  Bray, though, cuts a promo and talks about the wicked games and why bad things happen to good people (like himself).  The nightmare never ended for Bray, so now he’s going to spread the nightmare to everyone else.  There’s no confrontation as we go to break.  It was a very hot start, but Fandango needed a chinlock?  In a 3-minute match?  With one of the most athletic men on the roster?  1/4*

- Your kickoff match will be Dolph Ziggler v. Damien Sandow.  Okay then.

- Meanwhile, Brie is so happy about being #1 Contender against AJ, but Randy Orton breaks up the happyfest with her sister to talk about Brie’s engagement.  The sisters give Orton the silent treatment, so Orton makes it clear: they’d better get married this week or Bryan will be sharing his nuptials in a wheelchair.  Evil Orton rules.

- Elsewhere, Renee Young interviews Paul Heyman for a rebuttal of CM Punk.  Heyman says it’s too bad that Punk has gone into insanity and obsession with Heyman.  But CM Punk can’t intimidate Paul Heyman because he realized Punk is just Heyman’s creation.  The two together were the best in the world.  Young points out that the Alliance is hiding off-camera and asks if it’s a trap.  Heyman BEING HERE is a trap for CM Punk because of how spiteful Heyman is.  Heyman has a big occasion tonight, and he basically DARES Punk to do something about it.

- OLE!  OLE!  OLE!  OLE!  OLE!  What, you thought you were done with over the top vignettes?

- Los Matadores v. Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal.  Los Matadores are “Fernando” and “Diego”, with “El Torito” by their side.  They do an elaborate entrance, with a few passes of El Torito.  Torito jumps all over the place in the ring, ending on their shoulders.  “Diego” is the shorter one, so I think he’s Primo.  Fernando (yes, that’s clearly Epico) will start with a baffled Mahal, getting a very high snapmare into a deep armdrag.  He ducks under a clothesline into a rana.  Diego in off of a monkey flip, and Slater tags in, though he doesn’t know what to make of the guy either.  Diego with a legsweep into a headscissors, and Fernando back in as they get a double back drop with a ton of theatrics in the whip.  Slater rushes Fernando into the corner, and Mahal with the double-team.  Knee smash gets him control, and a suplex gets one.  Mahal drops a series of knees and chokes Fernando before bringing in Slater for a kneedrop for two.  Slater goes straight to the chinlock as the crowd gets bored.  Slater with a slam, but he’s caught with a tilt-a-whirl-headscissors off of a headstand by Fernando.  Hot tag Diego, who gets a series of Flying Jalapenos and a diving standing headbutt.  Slater gets hit with the old Scot Drop for the pin at 4:02.  Too much offense for 3MB – this needed to be a squash.  El Torito does more bouncing off the ropes to entertain.  1/2*

- HHH and Stephanie are out next.   Announcers have to remind everyone that Dustin Rhodes is Goldust, as though we couldn’t figure it out on our own.  Bonus points because if you know Latin, HHH’s TitanTron is awesome.  No preliminaries as the Rhodeses are invited down right away.  For those who care about this sort of thing, yes, Goldust is in face paint and a suit.  Cole (recapping Dusty’s Choice): “Choose which one of your jobs gets their son back.”  Stephanie lays on the fake niceness, but the Rhodeses aren’t very happy.  HHH reminds us all how many “chances” he’s given the family, but they failed at every opportunity.  And Dusty was selfish and made it about himself.  So one MORE chance for the Rhodeses.  Stephanie notes that Dusty is an NXT trainer and has a chance to mold the future.  So here’s the deal: Cody will get his job back, as will Dustin, assuming that they beat Rollins and Reigns on Sunday.  HOWEVER, should they lose, they will never work in this company again AND Dusty will be fired.  Dusty has something to say about that.  He gets right in HHH’s face – and tries to block Stephanie’s – and he asks for one extra twist: that he be in the Rhodes’ corner.  It’s agreed to.  Stephanie tells him to be careful what he wishes for.  I’m ready for a Shield run-in, but none is evident.  Well, no Shield MUSIC is evident, but they jump in out of nowhere and do a beatdown, with Dusty getting a chair to save only to get cut off.  Cody tackles everyone as much as possible (Reigns took Goldust out with a spear to start this fracas), but it’s not enough and Cody eats Triple Bomb.  Reigns: “GET USED TO THIS!”  Rollins sees Dusty rolling to Cody and stomps him, just to be a proper villain.  Everyone gets over in this segment!  Everyone wins!  I approve!

- R-Truth v. Curtis Axel.  Truth’s timing is off on his rap.  JBL calls himself a rapper.  Yeah.  Axel with an armdrag to start and he taunts Truth.  Truth does some dancing to fire the crowd up, and some trash talk ensues that leads to Axel getting his hard in the mouth.  They lock up (finally), and Truth flips Axel with some kicks to the calf.  Axel stalls for time, but Truth follows in and gets the ten-punch countalong... cut off at three as Axel drops him on the ropes and takes over.  Axel kicks Truth in the gut and punches away.  Truth fires off to get separation but runs into a dropkick for two.  Axel goes right to the chinlock (crowd chants for R-Truth, so wherever we are, they’re into him), but Axel cuts off the comeback.  Blind charge hits the boot, and Truth gets a European Uppercut and clotheslines.  Suplex into a stunner gets two.  Dropkick airballs on Axel… and here’s Punk’s music!  Axel and Heyman freak out, but we all know what happens next, right?  Yup, Truth takes advantage, and the Little Jimmy ends it at 4:24.  Heyman gets an “I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE” look on his face, as he seems a little too busy being impressed to be mad.  For the record, I wish to join Scott in saying that finish is really dumb and gets nobody over and needs to be retired now.  DUD

- THIS JUST IN!  Trish Stratus is a mom!  Maximus Fisico born at 8 pounds 3 ounces.  My friends are already trying to come up with silly WWE names for him.

- We recap the relationship of Daniel and Brie with Total Divas footage.  Okay, so maybe the show has a point after all.

- Brie Bella v. Alicia Fox.  Alicia works the arm to start, but Brie backflips out of it into a fireman’s carry and armbar.  Alicia pulls the hair to get a rope break and offers a handshake, but kicks Brie out of the ring.  Back in, she chokes Brie while taunting Nikki as AJ and Tamina watch on a monitor.  Alicia with a Northern Lights Suplex for two.  Alicia with a facejam for two, and she gets the neck-scissors while commentary yells at each other about who’s supposed to call the match.  A bizarre Rocker Dropper variant gets two for Fox, and we HIT THE CHINLOCK.  Brie elbows out and gets a clothesline much like Bryan’s, following with a dropkick and running knee.  Fox bails out and cheapshots Brie, then smacks Brie in the back of the head.  Back suplex is flipped out of, and Brie with the facejam to win at 3:20.  Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling by Divas standards.  3/4*

- Backstage, Curtis Axel is upset, and Heyman yells at him.  Heyman’s not worried about the one-upsmanship that Punk is doing because there is no topping Heyman in mind games.  Ryback says to give him what he wants.  Heyman dismisses Ryback for the time being and explains to Axel how awesome Ryback has made Heyman’s life.  And he’s going to propose to Ryback.  Really.

- Renee Young is with Big Show.  They recap Show being THIS CLOSE to losing his mind.  Show is frustrated that he’s broke, and people say being a man means doing the right thing, but that’s easy when your livelihood isn’t on the line.  He calls his current situation the lesser of two evils.  He loathes what he’s being asked to do, but he’s done it because the alternative is something he can’t handle.  He’s so upset about the Dusty situation he can’t even look Dusty in the eye.  He’s this close to snapping.  The self-loathing continues as he makes it clear he’s MAD AS HELL AND HE’S NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!  Once he finds HHH, he’s going to let him have it.  It’s KNOCKOUT TIME when he finds HHH.  The hunt is on.

- Backstage, Truth is lobbying for an Intercontinental Title shot, but Maddox is reluctant.  Big Show storms into the office and screams for HHH, choking Maddox until he finds out.  Maddox doesn’t know, so Show sends Maddox to find him and bring him.

- Zack Ryder v. Alberto Del Rio.  For those who don’t watch SmackDown, ADR and RVD are facing off in a Hardcore Match on Sunday.  Ryder backs ADR into the corner, but ADR gets a break and kicks away.  Ryder is knocked over, but gets hiptossed and promptly goes to the ropes to stall.  ADR reverses a whip, but misses a blind charge and Ryder gets a flapjack and clotheslines ADR out.  Ryder dives out, but ADR avoids him and throws him into the barricade.  Back in, it gets two.  ADR with La De A Caballo, into a chinlock, but Ryder fights out and gets a sunset flip for one.  ADR follows with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and jumping stomp, and back to his chinlock.  Announcers are focused on Big Show.  Ryder counters a backdrop attempt with a facejam and rests in the corner, knocking ADR aside and going up with a missile dropkick.  Corner forearm and Broski Boot follow, getting two.  Ruff Ryder is called for, but ADR throws Ryder over the top and gets a German suplex hold for two.  ADR jumps on Ryder’s back, literally, and jams the arm on the ropes, following with the armbreaker for the tapout at 4:07.  They gave Ryder quite a bit of offense that you wouldn’t expect, given he got a “jobber entrance” in this match.  Maybe they’re seeing if he’s got staying power after he was part of the Revolution.  *1/4

- They’re recapping the Shield attack on the Rhodes Family, and I have to say, Dustin’s double-take when he realizes that they’re not alone is really good.

- Polite applause for the breast cancer survivors.  Good for them.

- Okay, here’s Heyman and Ryback.  This is gonna be… interesting.  Heyman begins by reminding us he beat CM Punk before going into political science.  He says you can’t put down insurgents in their own soul, which is why it hurt to go against theory and quell CM Punk in Chicago.  This is all stalling for time, mind you, until we get to the punchline, so we recap the ambush from last week.  And yeah, Punk is a man on a mission, but when Heyman’s face is the mission, it needs to be stopped… and that’s where Ryback comes in.  Ryback takes the mic and re-iterates how much he hates bullies.  It’s clear Punk should’ve been more grateful to Heyman, but he wasn’t, and that made Ryback angry.  Ryback makes it clear there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for Heyman… and now the proposal.  Heyman talks about how he doesn’t want to be stigmatized in the usual relationship and credits Ryback for making him feel happier than ever.  He wants to feel great for the rest of his life.  Crowd chant: “GET A ROOM!”  Heyman talks about mutual understanding and sacrifice, and how he talked about it to his children, in sickness and in health, from opening match to main event, as Ryback looks very confused.  I hope.  Heyman does indeed drop to one knee (as the crowd freaks out), Heyman: “Ryback… will you… (several pauses)… Ryback, will you become a Paul Heyman Guy?”  Note from the WWE: Gotcha.  Before we get an answer, Punk’s music hits again.  But again, no Punk appears.  Heyman looks around to find Punk, who leaps over the barricade and crumples with a bad knee.  Heyman and Ryback are trying to decide what’s going on as we focus on an injured Punk.  If this is a setup, Heyman isn’t biting.  Punk pulls himself to the apron, but can’t stay on it.  The doctor checks on Punk, and that causes Heyman to come to the apron to figure it out… and at that moment, Punk pulls a kendo stick out from under the ring and whacks Heyman, Ryback, and Axel as the deception FINALLY did enough to work.  Axel is left hung out to dry as Ryback and Heyman scatter.  Several dozen kendo shots later, Axel gets hit with GTS, with Punk using the leg he pretended was hurt to balance on.  The cat and mouse is really nice, because both sides know the other is smarter than average, so it’s seeing who’s going to fall for what.

- Big Show has found HHH’s office and is pacing back and forth as we go to break.

- The Shield v. The Usos and Dolph Ziggler.  As a reminder, these are the other three guys who survived last week alongside Daniel Bryan.  Dolph and Ambrose will start, as they have the issue.  Ambrose gets the advantage on a lockup and beats down Dolph before raking his eyes on the ropes.  Dolph with a vault and dropkick for one as the crowd chants for Ziggler.  Rollins in after Ambrose pounds down Ziggler, but Dolph with a hiptoss and Jimmy is in.  Running diving headbutt gets one.  Jey in, and he gets a crossbody off a Jimmy whip for one.  Jey works the arm, but Rollins punches out and in comes Ambrose.  A heart slap keeps control, and a snapmare brings Rollins in to keep Jey as face in peril.  Forearms to the back of Jey and Rollins tags Ambrose back in.  Jimmy gets a blind tag and dropkicks Jey over onto both men, and all three men team up to remove the Shield.  The Usos with a double plancha as we go to break.  We return with Rollins working over Jimmy with a chinlock.  Jimmy blocks and reverses a suplex on Rollins, but Ambrose is in to cut off the hot tag.  Ambrose stomps on Jimmy’s hand and gets some crossface blows and a sleeper.  Crowd REALLY wants Ziggler.  Jimmy fights out, but runs into a back elbow from Ambrose, into a Power Drive elbow as Reigns comes in.  Reigns imitates Ziggler’s elbow for two, and we go back to the chinlock.  Rollins taunts Uso with the camera nearby in a nice touch.  Jimmy fights out, but Reigns gets Nodowa Otoshi for two. Jimmy cuts off a Reigns charge and low bridges him to the outside.  But it’s not enough, as Reigns cuts off the hot tag only to get superkicked.  Crowd is INTO this.  Rollins knocks Jimmy off the apron, but Jey backdrops Rollins and Dolph gets the hot tag, taking it to Ambrose right away.  Ten punch express follows, into a neckbreaker.  The ten-elbow countalong only reaches three before he intercepts a flying Rollins with a dropkick.  Ambrose rolls Dolph up with the tights for two.  Dolph with a Rocker Dropper for two, Reigns saves.  Uso sends Reigns out, but Ambrose cuts off the flight only to get dumped.  Rollins was tagged in and gets an enzuigiri on Jey, but Dolph gets the Zig Zag only for Reigns to spear him cold for the pin at 12:04.  That was a very hot finish.  *** I hadn’t even noticed that Reigns was tagged in because the action was so fast.

- Okay, so Big Show is impatiently in HHH’s office… and maybe he shouldn’t have tipped his hand, because someone called the cops on Big Show.  Stephanie intervenes and stops an arrest by pleading Show’s case and says there’s no need for any intervention because Show is under so much stress and is having a bad life.  Then she adds an aside that Show’s wife is disappointed with him.  Man, that whole thing was just COLD.  I don’t even blame Big Show for crying this time.  But Show sees a poster for HHH’s DVD on the wall and puts his fist through it instead.  The poster AND the wall.

- Backstage, we interview Rob Van Dam.  Pink for his shirt doesn’t work.  RVD says he’d rather not talk about his hardcore expertise, so CUE THE YOUTUBE VIDEO instead.  RVD says that Del Rio has a mean streak, but he doesn’t understand hardcore, which RVD does, and that’ll be the difference on Sunday.  The universal word for Hardcore is ROB – VAN – DAM!

- SmackDown main event: Big Show v. Shield.

- Santino Marella v. Antonio Cesaro.  Ah, Zeb Colter finally reveals where we are: Mississippi.  WE THE PEOPLE!  I want to see Great Khali try to powerwalk.  If the Giant Swing doesn’t appear in WWE 2K14, they’ve totally missed out.  Santino with a headlock, which he controls off of a whip attempt.  Cesaro no-sells a shoulderblock from Santino, but walks into a judo throw.  Cesaro reverses with a European Uppercut.  He adds another one in the corner and stomps away, following up with a slam and Sullivan stomp for one.  Into the corner, but Santino slides out and misses a rollup.  GIANT SWING OF DOOM is teased, but Santino kicks away from it and cues the comeback.  Cobra appears, but Cesaro goes low, and the GIANT SWING OF DOOM connects for 26 rotations.  Santino collapses as he tries to get up, and the Cobra is disposed of.  Judo throw is blocked, so Santino shifts his weight and cradles Cesaro for the pin at 2:49.  Just a comedy match.  *1/4 One of these days they may realize what they have in We The People and push them, but this is not that day.

- Main Event Interview: Jerry Lawler will moderate.  Lawler mentions Total Divas coming back, and you can see two guys in the front row in CM Punk shirts, behind his left arm, facepalm in unison.  Someone needs to screencap that.  I’m serious.  It happened.  There are some fangirls in the crowd who didn’t get the memo that Randy Orton is the bad guy now.  Lawler reminds both parties that they don’t want any fighting in this confrontation, guaranteeing there will be fighting.  Lawler mentions the vacancy of the WWE Title, and it causes Orton to say he was upset he didn’t get the belt back.  But that motivated and inspired him to be a predator.  It made him go from good guy to company man to soulless human.  He talks about ruining Miz in Cleveland and hearing his mom ask for mercy.  Orton guarantees victory because of his genetic superiority and Bryan is a small man.  Bryan’s response is to mock Orton’s monotone and overly memorized style.  You wanna call attention to that??  Bryan says Orton needed to be motivated because of the money HHH will make… or maybe, it’s because Orton was coasting and needed the motivation.  And Bryan never needed motivation to reach full potential.  That’s why he’ll win on Sunday.  YES!  YES!  Orton: “NO!  NO!  SHUT UP!”  Crowd just chants louder.  It’s old-school and it works.  Orton mocks the crowd.  He says that, wow, Daniel’s marrying Brie (and what’s wrong with Brie that she has to settle, anyway?), but none of that makes him a champion.  Orton promises that one day Brie will wake up with regret.  Orton: “She’s sleeping with a barnyard animal”—and that cues the attack.  Bryan sends Orton to the outside.  He pounds away by the barricade, but Orton reverses and sends Bryan into the stairs.  Orton goes ground and pound on the outside before sending Bryan into the post twice.  Orton then pulls Bryan’s shoulder into the post over and over.  Orton drops Bryan on the barricade – right in front of Sign Guy, for those who care – and keeps pounding away.  He drags Bryan out of the timekeeper’s area and sets up the Draping DDT from apron to floor, but Brie comes out to beg.  In a mirror of 2009, Orton doesn’t care and delivers the DDT anyway.  Orton leaves, statement made, and Brie checks on Daniel.  But wait, Orton isn’t done, glaring at Brie as he returns to stand over Bryan.  Time to destroy the table.  Brie: “STOP!”  Orton: “STOP?  You want me to STOP??”  And an evil grin.  Bryan is put on the announce table, and it’s an RKO right through it.  Brie begs for mercy as Orton just smiles at her.  There’s a vocal Randy chant from some fans.  Orton finally walks away as Brie checks on Bryan to end the show.


First thing to note: not much wrestling in this show.  Normally, I’m a fan of good matches and these talk-heavy segments don’t do it for me.  However, the segments were more or less leading to fighting, and in my mind they were compelling enough.  All the same, the first hour and a half wasn’t any fun.

Seriously, where are they going with Fandango?  Was he out there to get Kofi a win?  Was the whole match an excuse to get the Wyatt family out?  Further, why did 3MB get any offense against a debuting team?  It should have been a squash, honestly.  And JBL, as good as he is at unbiased commentary, is absolutely hard to swallow as a heel commentator, yelling at his two co-workers and taking away from the match (to the point where, during the Divas match, Cole and Lawler finally got sick of it and told him he was on his own).

But these were First Hour issues.  The big stories – Shield/Rhodes, Orton/Bryan, Punk/Ryback – are built very well, with the top mic guys working the mic and the top fighters fighting.  They’re using everyone’s strengths here in those stories, and the end result is the fans are loving everyone in it – even Orton.  Battleground looks to have 6 matches on it – five announced and one likely to be added – and hopefully, every match will get lots of airtime as a result.  The best part is that I have no idea how the big matches will turn out, as the story could easily continue with any of multiple endings.  That’s a good time.


With apologies to the former WWE Creative Man, allow me:

* On the pre-show, Dolph Ziggler beats Damien Sandow.
* AJ Lee retains against Brie Bella.
* In an added match, Curtis Axel retains against R-Truth.
* Big Show knocks out Cody Rhodes in the tag match, but does so in front of the referee, allowing the Rhodes Family to win by DQ.  (And yes, he will have done this on purpose.)
* Alberto Del Rio retains against Rob Van Dam, putting him on the shelf until the Royal Rumble and allowing Rey Mysterio to return and step in.
* CM Punk pins Ryback, but gets jumped by newest Heyman Guy Big E Langston, forcing Maddox to make Punk/Heyman for Hell in a Cell.
* Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan go to a no-contest, meaning it must be settled inside the Cell.

Yeah, I know, ending on a non-finish will be unpopular, but right now, the advance booking forces them to do it.  There’s no way they’ll have Bryan win, because that would end Orton as the top contender right away.  And an Orton win, while feasible, seems like it would be used as an excuse by HHH (in-character, mind you) as a reason to keep Bryan out of the title picture.  But Hell in a Cell is next, and this feud needs it.  So we need a way to get there, and this is it.


MATCH TIME: 39:46 over eight matches
BEST MATCH: The Shield six-man
NIGHT MVP (kayfabe): Well, if you beat a champ, you get the honor, so R-Truth

FINAL SCORE: 6.  The wrestling was pretty bad, but the story segments in the ring more than made up for it.  All three of them were great at getting their stories over.

That’s it for me.  Agree or disagree in the comment section.  Tommy will be in on Friday, and I’ll see you with a post-PPV recap, as I examine the booking and see if I think the right decisions were made.  Have fun!


  1. Tiny Bullman / Miz Dad (aka Tony Clifton) = tie.

  2. His dad was the highlight of his career.

  3. I think it was just a fake out dude. Though, Punk and Heyman are two of the guys that would put in the thought required.



  5. Out of all the matches you could add to your fantasy card, you add Curtis Axel Vs R Truth?

  6. So what you're saying is that he shouldn't use the only leverage he has to keep himself a viable commodity and well paid?

  7. Some people will always like heels. It's 2013. You can't get automatic crowd responses anymore even if you do everything right.

  8. The Day Kayfabe Died, Part 284: Here's a picture, find at least one thing odd about it, not including possible evidence CM Punk has added to his list.

  9. Give him more segments like last night, where the heat is squarely on him. Most of his heel segments since his turn were him sharing tv time with HHH, The Shield, etc. Right after his turn, he wasnt even the lead heel as he was always positioned behind the authority figures as the lead heel.

  10. Im a fan of some nickname that incorporates "furry"

  11. Los Matadores estan muy buenos.

  12. I agree and think it was geared towards fooling the fans. Its the "wink" towards breaking kayfabe they think is cute so creative can "fool those internet" fans.

  13. You just did write it.

  14. YankeesHoganTripleHFanOctober 1, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    I just realized who Orton reminds me of...Patrick Bateman. Bateman was merely an asshole during the day, telling women how great he was, insulting others, hanging with is equally asshole buddies, (the McMahons playing the role of Brice, McDermott, and Van Patton.) It was at night, (IE in the ring in Ortons case) that Batemen went full psycho.

    Can't you totally see a backstage segment where Randy is making out with two of the divas while flexing his biceps?

  15. ...its very hard to have a bad 6 man tag...

    im just saying

  16. All of Ortons heel runs have been good.

    its bad when they turn him face...

  17. that's... hyperbole...

  18. My friends are already trying to come up with silly WWE names for him.

    Worse than Maximus Fisico?

  19. is it me or is Bryan definately losing alot of heat?? this total divas thing may end up ruining DB.

  20. I really wish they did something with 3mb. much better comedy act than anything else that got going on.

  21. They were in a shit mark crowd town, and he still got a big reaction when he came out. The segment was boring and Randy just beating him down led to a few stupid wannabe smarks cheering for Randy because he's the heel and that's "cool." Everyone needs to stop panicking that DB is going to lose his heat from this angle. He is the 2nd most popular babyface in the company right now behind Punk. Relax. He'll be fine.

  22. I'm waiting for the reveal that they weren't actual police officers, but local indy wrestlers and members of the NXT roster that Stephanie used to trick Show.

    It's like the last vestige of kayfabe that the WWE can break down, and I'm amazed it hasn't been done yet.

  23. Yea that shit is terrible, but even worse.. sitting around thinking of names for a kid that's not yours.

  24. Have you seen Jinder Mahal wrestle?

    He might kill someone.

    And Drew hasn't gotten any better in 4 years.

  25. That's really the only explanation for that smug-ass smile.

  26. Charismatic e-Negro Jef VinsonOctober 1, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    When Dusty making Stephanie "talk to the hand" was a nice touch.

  27. Of ALL the people on the roster, the Wyatt's do NOT need to be in there. Christ.


    Hey, this is fun!

  29. I don't know about all that... I just feel Punk was poorly selling the knee. If he really blew out his knee, he wouldn't have acted like that. I'm a huge Punk fan, but this segment wasn't anything special.

    I actually thought Punk was roping Ryback in to be speared near the standard breakaway barricade. Then he could tease getting Heyman to himself again before being jumped by Axel.

  30. Or replacing matadors with... a matador.

  31. No disrespect to Andy, but not sure where else to ask this. Did Mears stop doing his RAW column?

  32. YankeesHoganTripleHFanOctober 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    I asked the same thing in the Iron Man thread.

  33. "Thees ees for de meeen, if you weeel."

  34. Not really...he was still Tito Santana, and they made no effort to hide that. It was just Tito going back to his roots for a new look - which he needed, as he'd been wearing his Strike Force tights for the last two years. Tito becoming El Matador is very different from Primo and Epico taking on the gimmick, with the entire audience expected to forget who they were before.

  35. LARS!

    (Hey, someone had to...)

  36. Your_Favourite_LoserOctober 1, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    yeah but i dont think i wanna know what it means to be one's huckleberry all night long

  37. Your_Favourite_LoserOctober 1, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    i want to know why it was announced with 'stratus' as the last name.

    living the gimmick, i guess.

    like when rick steiner was disqualified from public office where he ran cause he forgot he had to use his real name. not sure why ventura was able to get away with it tho

  38. Your_Favourite_LoserOctober 1, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    you mean you just assumed i wasnt dropping the only answer that was correct and it took you a moment to realize that i was?

  39. Cut Dusty a break...I'm sure those were some long, cold lonely nights on the road driving from show to show back then. If the car heater broke down, you did what you had to do.

  40. I think its the fact that everyone knows hes not gonna win the title on ppv this month, and if he does hell just get screwed until HITC or Survivor series. Its hard to get invested at this point. The whole "chase" excitement factor is gone also bc we've seen him win the title twice already.

  41. Your_Favourite_LoserOctober 1, 2013 at 10:39 AM


    i never had a chance to tell you

    i never had a chance to love you one more tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime

  42. Your_Favourite_LoserOctober 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    too bad miz wasnt the highlight of his dads life

  43. YankeesHoganTripleHFanOctober 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Maybe Sister Abigail died of cancer.

  44. Yeah was he legit trying to across as camp there?

  45. I don't think so but he definitely needs to be more of a badass and less of the sarcastic "oh okay, so let me get this straight, YOU think that I can't etc etc"

  46. Put me in the camp of those who think they might, just might, be in real danger of blowing things with Bryan right now.

    First off, linking him with Brie onscreen is a tricky situation and I don't think anyone is giving enough credit to how much it can backfire. Their fans HATE the Bellas, and with good reason. For what, 5 years, they've done nothing but call other divas fat, walk around with smarmy faces, do the L sign, and have boring fucking matches. And now Brie is a face because, uhm, she's feuding with the one Diva that fans actually like? That's just ridiculous. In the end she's a diva, and the divas don't matter really, but for chrissakes they should have done SOMETHING to make Brie likeable before onscreen putting her with Bryan. There's a real danger that adding her to the act does negatively affect his heat.

    And what's crazy is WWE probably assumed that linking them onscreen would make Bryan more popular because, I dunno, Total Divas? It's just such a bad fucking misreading of their audience.

    Secondly, Bryan really has to win the title Sunday after that closing segment on Raw. I definitely think that another screwjob finish puts Bryan in a dangerous spot next Monday. I don't care how the Corporation cheats on Sunday, if Bryan doesn't win the title they are REALLY risking everyone just giving up on him.

    My suggestion would be that Bryan wins the title Sunday, maybe with a small package or something. Corporation attacks, lays Bryan out, and Orton RKOs Brie.

    So that leaves Bryan as the champion, but enraged at Orton. Blow off at Hell ina Cell, Bryan retains, and moves on to have whatever championship run he's gonna have.

  47. I think hes losing steam a little but hell be ok. The problem is that fans have seen him win the title twice already so the excitement of seeing him climb the mountain is gone. To stay within the storyline, even if he wins the title, whats to stop HHH from just taking it back again. Its hard to get invested in this "chase" because whats really the payoff? Him beating a titleless Orton? Him beating HHH? They need to simplify this shit and just go with Bryan chasing the Champ Orton until HITC. Last nights closing segment was a good start though I thought.

  48. Valid points, but you know in today's WWE, they're not gonna have a man hit a woman, unfortunately those days are long gone.....

    What I thought should have happened last night was just Orton was about to RKO DB through the announce table, Brie should've laid herself in the way to stop it. That would show she has some balls and will really "stand by her man", that would get her more sympathy heat, and provide some impetus for Orton to "go insane" and do something to her....but yet the mere threat of it is enough to make DB go crazy violent and take the feud to the next level....but just my two cents.

  49. Totally disagree regarding Orton and Bryan this Sunday. If Orton loses clean, then that's it for him in this storyline. He's lost the title clean to Bryan already, only a month after taking it. If anybody is in danger of losing credibility with the crowd, it's Orton.

    Why would HHH and Stephanie continue to back Orton for the face of the company if he lost clean AGAIN? They already voiced dissatisfaction with him after the first loss, if he fails again after rediscovering his psychotic side, then he's proven he's incapable. Feud over.

    Orton murders Bryan with a chair for the DQ after getting increasingly frustrated that he can't put him away, and continues the beating post match. If they really want to take it up a notch, they have Brie come out and take an RKO too. The title is still vacant, and they still need to decide a winner between the two. So Hell in the Cell, there's no DQ, there must be a winner, yada yada.

  50. Yep, when I saw the picture I was like "What's Roman Reigns..... OH MY GOD, what is the Wyatt with the huge beard doing there!?" At least have the common sense to put him off on the side, Punk was doing the Cena role as "guy in the middle who speaks for everyone."


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