Date: October 25, 2013
Location: Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're finally at the last show before the Cell PPV which technically has been built up for about two months now, depending on how you look at it. The main story coming out of Monday is that Big Show is indeed still around despite being in a bunch of lawsuits both for and against him which is riveting television if I've ever heard of it. This company is in desperate need of a new top story but I wouldn't look for that to change anytime soon. Let's get to it.
The opening video recaps the HHH/Big Show stuff from Raw including the Bryan vs. Orton contract signing.
We open with Cole in the ring for a sitdown interview with HHH. Hasn't he had two or three of these already recently? Cole asks HHH about Big Show's actions on Monday which HHH say caused six technical employees to be fired. There's yet another lawsuit against Big Show on charges not important enough to specify so HHH can't comment. Big Show is however fired, period. Cole asks about Big Show showing up either Sunday or tonight but HHH says he can't comment.
Cole gives up on the point and asks about Cena vs. Del Rio with HHH saying he can't wait for Cena's return. He knows what it's like to come back from a devastating injury and he can't wait to see Cena come back. That's enough Cena talk so Cole asks about the other world title, drawing a YES chant. When asked about the Shawn Michaels element, HHH says he's thrilled because Shawn is indeed his friend and will make sure the job gets done. Shawn will do the right thing at the end of the day so HHH isn't worried. Cole asks what the right thing is but here's Bryan before he can answer.
Cole heads to the floor as Bryan asks HHH the same question: what is the right thing? Bryan thinks it's to let himself and Orton settle everything once and for all. You lock both of them in the Cell and no one gets out until there's a winner. Bryan says Shawn may be HHH's best friend but he's also his own man, so he'll do what's best for business. When everything is fair and even, Bryan is going to prove HHH wrong. A loud YES chant takes us out.
Usos vs. Wyatt Family
Miz is on commentary. We get the full Siva Tao from the Usos which as usual gets a huge response. Miz sums up Bray's look quite well: “He looks like Charles Manson fell asleep at a Jimmy Buffet concert.” Jimmy avoids a shot from the back by Harper but gets run over by Rowan just after the bell. A big boot from Harper puts him down as well and a Michinoku Driver of all things gets two.
Jimmy crawls over to make the tag to Jey and Harper is immediately caught in a Samoan drop. Everything breaks down and the Family is sent to the floor so Jimmy can hit a suicide dive but Harper breaks up Jey's with a forearm. Bray and Miz both stand up with Miz decking Wyatt in the face. Rowan chases Miz to the back, allowing the Usos to hit a double superkick to Harper for the pin at 2:35.
AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella
I believe this is Nikki's first singles match back since her leg injury. AJ bails to the floor to start to hide behind Tamina. The not so bright Nikki goes after her and gets her neck snapped across the top rope. A neckbreaker puts Nikki down for two and we're already in the chinlock. Nikki fights up with some clotheslines as Tamina throws Brie into the steps. The distraction lets AJ hook the Black Widow for the submission at 2:31.
We see Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio as per WWE '14.
Here's the Cena career retrospective from Raw. Based on these videos, you would think Cena had been gone for about two years instead of nine weeks.
We go to the back where Bray Wyatt wants us to follow him. He steps aside and shows us a chained up and unconscious Miz with the sheep mask on his face and the word “liar” written on his chest. This is the kind of creepy stuff they need to get back to with the Wyatts.
3MB vs. Los Matadores
In case the first four or five times didn't fulfill your needs for this pairing. During the entrances we see the HILARIOUS goring of Zeb Colter again. I know it's hilarious because Cole tells us that it is over and over. Before the match the Real Americans come out to watch. Mahal is the one on the floor this time.
McIntyre jumps Diego to start before it's quickly off to Slater who gets two off a knee lift. A double slingshot suplex gets two more on Diego and we hit the armbar from Drew. Diego fights up and makes the tag off to Fernando who cleans house and tags in Diego for a downward spiral/bulldog combo for the pin on Drew at 2:06.
Post match Mahal gets gored and taken down by a top rope Asai moonsault. Colter says he didn't lay face down in Cambodia so deviant men can kidnap a small person and force him into a bull costume. Apparently there's a tag match on Sunday.
Ryback/Paul Heyman vs. CM Skunk
You read the name right. This is No DQ as a preview for Sunday. Heyman says this will be a demonstration of the teamwork you'll see inside the Cell on Sunday. Skunk comes out to Punk's music and in a black hoodie but the fans quickly catch on to the joke. He has a skunk stripe painted into his hair. Ryback destroys him with the ease you would expect and hits two powerbombs in a row. Heyman pulls a kendo stick out from under the ring and hits about twenty shots to Skunk's back. Shell Shock ends Skunk with Heyman getting the pin at 2:42.
Heyman says that Skunk may have been a parody, but the same thing is going to happen on Sunday. Punk's face will be raked across the Cell and he'll be beaten badly enough that Heyman can get the pin again.
Vickie thinks CM Skunk is hilarious and spells out the joke for us by telling us that it sounds like CM Punk. Langston comes in and says he's ready for the main event since Miz is out. Vickie doesn't think so but Langston says he didn't realize he was talking to Brad Maddox. That's enough to get him Miz's spot in the eight man tag tonight.
Here's Alberto Del Rio for his final speech before facing Cena on Sunday. People have been telling him he's crazy but people have been building monuments to him in Mexico. Babies are being named after him because he's so amazing. On the other hand you have Americans who only have John Cena to cheer for. Alberto promises to put Cena in the cross armbreaker and never let it go no matter what the fans think of him.
R-Truth shills merchandise again but Santino comes in to try his luck. The (up to) 20% off sale is still on WWE.com if you enter the promo code COBRA.
Great Khali vs. Fandango
Fandango chops away to start and is immediately thrown down. Khali hits his big overhand chop in the corner but Fandango hits a jumping enziguri to put Khali down in the corner. The announcers are talking about Big Show and JBL references Copernicus just like he did on NXT, saying the world clearly revolves around Big Show instead of the sun. Summer Rae and Natalya get in a fight on the floor which stumbles into the ring for the DQ at 1:45. Can we get a match longer than three minutes tonight?
Randy Orton/Shield vs. Daniel Bryan/Big E. Langston/Goldust/Cody Rhodes
That's quite the main event. Cody and Dean get things going with Rhodes taking the US Champion into the good corner for a tag off to Goldust. Goldie sends Ambrose out to the floor and we take an early break. Back with Rollins chopping away at Langston, only to be taken down with a belly to belly suplex. Cody comes back in and gets two off a sunset flip out of the corner, only to have Seth send him face first into the middle turnbuckle.
The fast Shield tags begin with Reigns coming in to chop away, only to have Cody pull him over to the corner for a tag off to Bryan. Daniel takes Roman down by the leg and does the double knee stomp out of the surfboard. Off to Langston for some shoulders in the corner and a tag off to Goldust. Reigns misses a charge into the corner and Goldust gets two off a top rope spinning cross body. The fans aren't exactly thrilled with the match so far.
Back to Cody who gets taken into the Shield corner for a pounding from Ambrose and an eye rake across the top rope. Orton gets his first tag and pounds away on his former Legacy teammate, only to have Cody come back with a clothesline for two. A suplex gets the same and it's back to Goldust for a few seconds before Cody comes in again and slugs on Randy some more. Randy comes back by dropping Cody ribs first over the top rope and makes the tag off to Ambrose.
Dean takes Cody to the outside and rams him into the barricade. It's quickly back to Orton who misses a knee drop but catches Cody in the backbreaker out of the corner for two. We take another break and come back with Reigns slamming Cody down for two. Back to Rollins who grabs Cody's leg to break up a hot tag attempt. Dean runs into a boot in the corner but he makes a blind tag to Seth, only to have Cody catch him diving off the top. The hot tag brings in Goldust to wake up the crowd and he backdrops Rollins down with ease.
Reigns makes another blind tag and takes Goldust down with a clothesline. Shield takes over on Goldust in the corner with the rapid tags continuing. Orton comes back in to stomp Goldie down into the corner before Reigns and Rollins come in within about 8 seconds of each other. Goldust comes back with a double bulldog and there's the hot tag to Bryan. Daniel cleans house and sends Rollins to the outside. Reigns gets the same treatment, leaving Daniel alone with Dean.
Bryan backflips over Ambrose in the corner but instead of clotheslining Dean down it's the FLYING GOAT to take out Orton. The missile dropkicks takes Dean down and here come the YES kicks. Reigns breaks up the YES Lock but Langston runs Roman over. Rollins escapes the Big Ending but a Disaster Kick takes Seth to the floor. Cody dives off the top to take out Rollins and Reigns but Bryan misses the running dropkick in the corner. Back to Orton for the Elevated DDT but Langston distracts him, allowing Bryan to hit the running knee for the pin at 15:58 shown of 22:58.
Rating: B. Nice main event here which got the time it needed to build up. Bryan pinning Orton to end things probably isn't a good sign leading into the PPV but at this point I'll take anything to get us to a new main event program. Everyone looked good here and I like the idea of Langston in the main event scene.
Celebrating ends the show.
Overall Rating: C. This is a tricky one to rate. The main event is solid and takes up about ¼ of the show, but the rest of it was pure filler the entire way through. I did like the Wyatts kidnapping and labeling Miz for lack of a better term. There's potential in those guys and a win over a former world champion isn't going to hurt Bray at all. The show went by quickly which is a good idea and the whole thing did a decent enough job of building up the PPV on Sunday. Not bad here but nothing really worth seeing, other than maybe the main event if you're bored.
Usos b. Wyatt Family – Double superkick to Harper
AJ Lee b. Nikki Bella – Black Widow
Los Matadores b. 3MB – Downward spiral/bulldog combination to McIntyre
Paul Heyman/Ryback b. CM Skunk – Heyman pinned Skunk after a Shell Shock from Ryback
Fandango vs. Great Khali went to a no contest when Natalya and Summer Rae interfered
Daniel Bryan/Goldust/Cody Rhodes/Big E. Langston b. Randy Orton/Shield – Running knee to Orton
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