Skip to main content

The PG Era Rant: Raw, 10-14-13

When last we left our heroes, one was gone and another was down for the count.  Unusually, Big Show’s firing didn’t seem to bother him, and so much for being escorted from the arena, as he returned and took out HHH with a right hand.  As Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton head to Hell in a Cell and Shawn Michaels, has the COO’s authority gone AWOL?

The pre-game commercial asks about the KO Aftermath and promises we’ll hear from Shawn Michaels to start the show.

- The PG Era Rant for Monday Night Raw, October 14, 2013.

- Live from St. Louis, Missouri, home of one of our main eventers… but not Big Show or HHH.

- Your hosts are the Usual Trio.

- And as promised, here’s Shawn.  Shawn pretends to be winded from his own entrance.  They’re trying to get H-B-Shizzle over.  Shawn thanks the fans for voting for him, then addresses his feelings about Daniel Bryan (his protégé).  He likes Daniel Bryan, dislikes Randy Orton, and is buddies with HHH, so personal feelings matter.  But the match isn’t about Shawn; it’s about the match.  He mentions the first ever Hell in a Cell in Saint Louis in 1997.  He promises there WILL BE A WINNER, no question, no doubt, no overturning, period.  Two men enter, one man leaves… as champion.  And this brings us Randy Orton, getting some hometown cheers mixed in with his boos.  The announcers acknowledge the mixed reaction.  Orton opens the proceedings with Miz, so he’s going to call Shawn’s bluff and get to the point.  Orton says St. Louis fans… are not too bright.  Boom.  But Orton?  He gets it.  He knows that Shawn resents Orton for being better than Shawn.  Shawn, however, pretends to ignore Orton before making it clear he’s not the problem, Bryan is.  That makes Orton angered, and he promises that he’ll destroy Bryan RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS MENTOR.  This causes a “No” chant.  Montreal gets referenced indirectly because Orton wants to make clear that if Shawn doesn’t play fair or he’ll be in deep trouble.  Shawn: “You’re trying to intimidate me, aren’t ya?”  The thing is, Shawn doesn’t get intimidated.  And any attempt to hurt him will result in Sweet Chin Music.  DX quote seems to take us out, but Orton jumps Shawn.  RKO is blocked, SCM is ducked, and Miz arrives out of nowhere to attack Orton in HIS hometown (in a bit of symmetry it takes JBL to notice).  Shawn seemed off his game on the mic, but Miz’s attack worked.

- Randy Orton v. The Miz.  Joined in progress as Miz sends Orton into the turnbuckle and lands some knees into the head.  Orton fights out and gets a clothesline repeatedly in the corner.  Miz fights out on the third try and fires back, clotheslining Orton out of the ring.  He misses the Del Rio kick to the outside and gets floored by Orton.  Orton extends the count before throwing Miz into the steps.  Two sets, actually.  Back in, it gets two.  Orton with the Garvin Stomp on Miz, getting two.  TO THE CHINLOCK!  Miz fights out, but Orton tosses Miz over the top and follows.  He wants the Draping DDT off the barricade, but takes too long and Miz throws him into the post.  And Miz is PISSED.  Forearm to Orton, and a running kneelift follows, twice.  Corner-to-corner through the ropes clothesline follows, and Miz flies with an axhandle.  Skull Crushing Finale attempt, but Orton bails out.  Miz stops a boot on a not-so-blind charge and gets the hamstring kick into the Figure Four… and the Wyatt Family interrupts?  No walking, just in the chair.  Orton with the RKO at 5:22.  The entrance distraction is clichéd, but in this case, given that Wyatt and Company are usually already in the ring and attack after the lights come up, it makes sense.  Wyatt calls Miz “the epitome of everything I loathe”.  Miz represents the A-list, Hollywood type who wants fame and nothing more.  Wyatt does not want Miz to suffer… he’ll end it quickly.  Match never had any time to go anywhere.  *3/4

- Fandango v. Santino Marella.  That reminds me, if you haven’t had a chance, check out their mixed tag comedy match from NXT.  I hope they get that kind of time on the main show at some point.  Fandango shoves Santino down and dances, and Santino responds in kind.  A shoving match leads to a Cobra threat, and Fandango attacks in anger.  He pounds away on Santino, adding a European Uppercut and moves like Jagger.  Back elbow gets one as Summer Rae gets a chant and we go back to the chinlock.  Santino fights out , but gets sent into the corner and leapfrogs no one as Fandango keeps up the attack.  Suplex by Fandango, but Santino kips up and avoids the attack from the top.  Split Stunner leads to a double KO.  The left hands connect and start the comeback into the saluting headbutt.  Cobra Time, but Fandango ducks and Santino slams on the brakes before hitting Summer Rae, allowing Fandango to roll him up for the pin at 2:32.  Moving on.  1/2*

- Later tonight: Shield v. Rhodes Brothers for the tag gold.  On Raw?  Really?

- For the record: so far, JBL has compared Miz to Michael Spinks and Summer Rae to Josephine Baker.  Either he or Vince is tragically behind the times.

- Paul Heyman and Brad Maddox are talking, as Heyman is still upset at Punk cheating to beat Ryback.  But wait – they already HAVE a rematch coming up, so what does Heyman want?  Heyman says that Punk made Maddox look ridiculous (he needed help?), and Heyman asks for the match at Hell in a Cell to be against both Dangerous Alliance members at once.  Maddox hesitates, but Heyman says “cheating” a bunch more times.  Maddox compromises: Ryback/Truth and Punk/Axel in Beat the Clock, faster time names the stip.  Hey, nothing wrong with giving my stopwatch a rest.

- Xavier Woods gets namechecked, as he started a petition to re-hire Big Show.  JBL is not amused.  And in one of those “remember when JBL used to be GOOD” moments, Cole tries to introduce a video of John Cena as JBL keeps mocking the name of Xavier Woods.  It takes me half the video to get over how ridiculous and disrespectful this caricature of JBL is.

- Los Matadores v. Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre.  Primo has this look on his face as he comes out that indicates he KNOWS this gimmick is hurting him.  Rule number one: any match is automatically better if the people involved look like they love their job.  Diego dodges McIntyre and chops away, but McIntyre reverses a whip and gets hit on a blind charge.  Diving headscissors by Diego, and Fernando enters and does a double back drop with theatrics.  McIntyre gets out of it and tags in Slater, who goes for a whip, but on the criss-cross gets tilt-a-whirl headscissored to the floor.  Slater and Mahal have a staring contest with El Torito and LOSE, allowing Diego to dive onto Slater.  Back in, Slater with a superkick and stomps away on Fernando.  McIntyre in, and a double slingshot suplex gets two.  McIntyre slaps Fernando, who fires back but runs into a big boot.  McIntyre with an armbar chinlock combo, but Fernando fights out with a jawbreaker and sloppy tilt-a-whirl DDT.  Hot tag Diego, who gets the flying jalapenos and sends McIntyre out.  Big chop to Slater, and he distracts Slater long enough to get a legsweep.  Picador shot to Slater, and the Scot Drop finishes at 4:03.  Mahal gets gored by El Torito for fun, and all three faux-Mexicans hit a triple-team move.  Sorry, but unless they mix up the heel side, Los Matadores is DOA.  3/4*

- We get a review of last week’s big story: Big Show and HHH.  Give credit to video production: during the pause between Big Show throwing aside the Shield and knocking out HHH, they replay all the things Stephanie and HHH said to Big Show as though they were running through Show’s head.  It’s details like that that make the WWE the best at making pre-match videos.

- Okay, I don’t get to see Main Event “live” on Wednesday, but I think Thursday night I’ll be required to review at least the Ziggler/Ambrose US Title match.  The Main Event main event is usually worth a look.

- And it must be the top of the hour, because here come HHH and Stephanie.  Stephanie says she has learned that she will never confuse kindness with weakness.  The crowd starts a “YOU GOT KNOCKED OUT” chant.  She says she and HHH bailed out the Big Show repeatedly, and their thanks is to get treated with disrespect.  The crowd loves this.  Big Show loved it, but he’s in deep trouble: fired, unemployed, his house sold, his property repossessed, and he will be sent to jail for trespassing and assault.  So there.  Stephanie disputes sources of a concussion and reminds everyone that HHH never sells anything.  Sorry, my snark stepped in.  Stephanie puts HHH over AS the WWE.  And now HHH takes the mic and proves he’s not hurt.  He says he did everything for the fans, putting aside his personal and professional needs to BE the Authority, even though he knew he’d be the least popular man in WWE.  I love shoot comments that aren’t meant to be shoot comments.  He runs through everything he suffered (Walkout included), and says that Big Show’s KO Punch and the crowd’s “YES” chant were the last straw.  And the madder he gets, the louder the crowd chants “YES”.  It’s beautiful.  HHH: “After all we’ve done, we’re just the villains, right?”  And if HHH is the bad guy, he’ll be REALLY bad.  He promises the Big Show will grovel to save his livelihood, and that anyone who crosses HHH will have to beg.  And if anyone thinks “YES”, they’d better pray.  The crowd, of course, chants “YES” again, and here’s Daniel Bryan.  And just to prove what HHH’s word means, he encourages the crowd to chant “YES” some more.  HHH and Stephanie are SO not amused by this.  But before we can go anywhere, Alberto Del Rio attacks Bryan from behind.  Superkick to Bryan knocks him out.  Stephanie: “Oh, I’m sorry, Daniel; were you saying something?”  Bryan/ADR will happen tonight.  HHH mocks the crowd with his own “YES” chant as we go to break.  See, this is what the story’s been missing: cartoon villainy.  We don’t want realistic bosses who can screw us over; we want over-the-top villains that can be destroyed by our heroes.  That’s what escapism is all about.

- Okay, did I miss something, or did that Cena/ADR promo make John Cena look like a horror movie monster?

- Ryback v. R-Truth.  As a reminder, whatever time Ryback sets, Punk must beat Curtis Axel faster in order to name the stip for Hell in a Cell; otherwise, it’s Heyman’s to name.  Truth leaves the ring and does some high-fiving, then leads Ryback in a chase to bleed the clock.  Ryback throws Truth into the ropes, and he dances and runs again.  Why doesn’t this happen more often?  Truth ducks a clothesline and runs some more.  He ducks again, and hits a leg lariat for one.  And Truth rolls outside again.  FINALLY, Heyman cuts off Truth, and Ryback hits a Northern Lariat to stop Truth.  Back in, it gets two.  Then one.  Hammer Throw on Truth gets one.  Ryback looks at the clock, then punches away.  Shoulders to the gut and a slam and splash gets two as the crowd goes heavy on the Goldberg chant – which Lawler ACKNOWLEDGES.  Ryback stomps away, but Truth comes back with rights only to run into an elbow.  That, too, gets one.  Twice.  Ryback runs Truth into two or three corners, getting two before Truth grabs the ropes.  Heyman stares at the clock as the crowd chants for the announcers.  Ryback with a quick cradle for one.  Truth needs to start stalling for more time.  Lawler writes it off as the fans getting under Ryback’s skin as a Hammer Throw gets one.  Truth escapes an Oklahoma Slam and lands some dropkicks high and low, getting two eventually.  Truth goes up top and connects with a missile dropkick for two.  Axe Kick misses, and Ryback lifts him up to get Shell Shock and set the time at 5:44.  First minute, with Truth stalling for time, was good comedy; once Truth was caught, though, Ryback’s offense was boring.  *1/4

- And a Goldberg DVD ad.  Because what else do you put after a Ryback match?  When WWE starts milking the sarcastic crowd chants, it’s time to realize the snarks have lost.

- Backstage, Stephanie walks into the Bella Twins.  She congratulates Brie (who isn’t too comfortable), then puts Brie against Tamina Snuka, with AJ in Tamina’s corner and Nikki banned from ringside.

- Oooh, Beat the Streak mode on WWE 2K14.  Yes, I’ve already pre-ordered.

- Tons of Funk v. We the People.  Okay, we all know where this is going.  Zeb Colter gets a picture-in-picture promo on Los Matadores.  Clay shoves Cesaro to start, but Cesaro fires back with forearms.  Big headbutt by Clay and some chops, then a hanging slam follows.  Tensai in, and a double double chop.  Tensai headbutts Cesaro in the corner and MONKEY FLIPS him.  Blind charge misses, and Swagger in to clip Tensai.  DDT to the foot of Tensai, and he works the leg.  He cuts off Tensai from the corner and slugs away, bringing in Cesaro.  Cesaro with a chinlock on Tensai, which is being sold like a major hold, and Cesaro backs Tensai into the corner with an uppercut.  Both men get shoulders in the corner, and off-camera, Cesaro Hotshots Tensai.  Vaderbomb to leapfrog spot gets two for Cesaro.  Swagger works the leg of Tensai as Cole owns JBL in a way I’ll discuss later.  Tensai clotheslines Swagger, but Swagger stops the hot tag and Cesaro gets the Karelin suplex on Tensai (!!) for two.  Swagger fires away in the corner, but runs into a big right.  Tensai fights his way out of the corner and it’s hot tag Clay.  Clay runs over both men with clotheslines and a running headbutt to Cesaro.  Exploder suplex and running Stinger Splash to Cesaro leads to a fisherman’s suplex for two as Swagger saves.  Clay headbutts HIM down, too, and Swagger is tossed.  Cesaro gets a running European Uppercut and goes for the Neutralizer, connecting for the pin at 5:40.  No giant swing?  Oh well, this was a shockingly fun match anyway.  **1/4  Post-match, Cesaro sets up the Swing on Clay, with Swagger cutting off Tensai.  So Cesaro changes targets as the crowd CHEERS HIM ON.  Just three rotations, though.  Kind of underwhelming after what he’s done to Khali.  Seriously, there’s a face turn in here somewhere.

- So the moment I mentioned earlier: Cole mentioned that Xavier Woods’ petition has been removed from, which leads to JBL continuing to act like Xavier Woods is some nobody he’s not supposed to know.  Cole then points out the problem: Xavier Woods is on NXT, and JBL RUNS NXT.  Either Cole called an audible or JBL is supposed to be an aloof idiot.  You tell me.

- Tamina Snuka v. Brie Bella.  AJ is at ringside and Nikki isn’t, per orders from above.  Brie races in and pounds away on Tamina, keeping her at bay with kicks until Tamina bails.  Brie with a Thesz Press off the apron to the floor (because why not), but Tamina throws her into the apron and gets a Northern lariat.  Back in, Tamina kicks away on Brie and chokes her.  Brie with a rolling half-crab out of nowhere – well, sort of – but we’re in Saint Louis so Tamina makes the ropes.  Tamina with a big kick and hairpull slam, then she whips Brie with her leather jacket.  AJ’s smile is CREEPY.  This gets two.  The whipping, not the smile.  Tamina to the chinlock, which is clearly a choke even if the announcers can’t say so.  Brie tries to fight out, but Tamina throws her down.  Tamina with a suplex for two.  Crowd: “AJ’S CRAZY!”  You think so?  Tamina with a short clothesline for one.  Camel clutch chinlock follows by Tamina.  Brie can’t even fight out, and Tamina throws her down and works a side headlock.  Tamina adds a knee to the gut, but a blind charge misses.  Brie with a dropkick off the second rope and the comeback begins.  Running knee to Tamina follows, twice, and Brie goes up only to be blocked.  Big boot follows for the pin at 4:34.  Shockingly good big/little match.  *3/4  Tamina adds a Samoan Drop after the match and adds a Shango Shoulderbreaker and Superfly Splash.  And NOW AJ enters the ring as the carnage CONTINUES.  Black Widow is locked on, but despite AJ’s demands, Brie didn’t tap.  Not that anyone noticed.  That was a real buzzkill, and the longer it went on, the more it needed a save that didn’t come.  If the announcers had noted Brie didn’t tap instead of showing their indignance, maybe this segment would’ve been forgivable.

- Oh, I see, Hell in a Cell is just before Halloween, so ALL the promos are like that.  My mistake.

- Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan storms into Maddox and Stephanie’s office and is FURIOUS.  Maddox cuts Bryan off before he can get himself in trouble, but Stephanie calmly tries to defuse the situation and asks why Bryan isn’t checking up on Brie.  Bryan exits, since he has no logical comeback to that.  Such as: “She’s with medical attention”.  Or: “Already have, now I’m attending to you.”  Or, really, anything.

- CM Punk v. Curtis Axel.  The time to beat is 5:44, in case you can’t be bothered to scroll up and remind yourself.  I dig the Exodus remix that Axel has for music.  Lawler asks JBL what Heyman’s strategy is for Axel, talking over Heyman saying to Axel in the aisle: “Just survive”.  Punk knocks over Axel and covers for one.  They get tangled in the corner and the ref calls for a break, and Punk jack-knifes Axel for one.  Punk fights Axel in the corner, but after separation, Axel fires off on Punk.  Axel with a snapmare and Hennig Neck Snap for one.  Axel with a right hand and slam for one.  A second slam follows, with an elbowdrop for one.  Heyman is INSISTING Axel just stall for time, but Axel keeps up the offense in the corner.  A blind charge eats boot, and Punk with a bodypress off the top for one.  Axel clotheslines Punk for one.  Axel grinds his forearm into Punk’s face for one.  Axel follows up with a backbreaker, but a second-rope elbow misses.  The slow pace by Axel makes sense in context.  Punk with knees and a running kneesmash into a short-arm clothesline for two.  Punk with a QUICK Savage Elbow for two.  Punk tries GTS, but Axel is out and hits Turning Heads for two.  Heyman is calling out time over and over.  Axel slowly grinds Punk’s face, but Punk gets out and chops away.  Axel slides under a clothesline and gets a Northern Lariat for two.  One minute left as Axel wants the win with a fisherman’s suplex for two.  Punk with a small package for two as both men are trying to beat the clock.  High kick by Punk leads to GTS for the win at 5:33.  **1/2 So Punk wins the contest as Heyman walks out on Axel.  Punk’s says the party’s just begun, and he names the stipulation.  Punk learned from Heyman, and calls him a mad scientist.  Punk agrees to the handicap match (??), but instead of Axel as the other guy, it’s Heyman.  And it WILL be in the Cell.  Punk imitates Ryback’s “FEED ME MORE” gestures to lead a CM PUNK chant.  In kayfabe, that’s crazy.  Sure, Heyman can’t run, but Punk can’t dispose of Ryback either.  But that part won’t be an issue until the match itself, I’m sure.

- Daniel Bryan v. Alberto Del Rio.  Defiant to the end, Bryan leads a YES chant during the commercial break.  Del Rio keeps looking over his shoulder at Bryan as he shows off the World Title in a nice touch.  Bryan charges at the bell and kicks away, but runs into a power kick from Del Rio.  Bryan shoves off a side headlock but gets run over for one.  Bryan pushes Del Rio into the corner and kicks and headbutts Del Rio, adding knees to the gut left and right.  Bryan kicks away some more, then works the arm.  He walks into a double boot for two from Del Rio.  Del Rio with a suplex for two, then hits the chinlock.  JBL gets on Cole for monologuing, and Cole sarcastically invokes pot-kettle-black.  Bryan fights out with a back suplex and is fired up.  YES Kicks follow, but the last shot misses and Del Rio gets a Backstabber for two.  Del Rio stomps away hard on Bryan and has to be told off, so instead it’s a Hammer Throw and choke by the ropes.  Note to self: Raw is in Memphis next week.  Del Rio works over Bryan in the corner some more, but Bryan reverses and kicks Del Rio into a paste.  Bryan is ready on the cross-corner dropkick, but takes too long and Del Rio moves away.  Crowd chants NO with every Del Rio stomp as the ref tries to separate them and we go to break.  During the break, it occurs to me that the Rhodes Brothers and the Shield are the main event.  Interesting.  We return with the Ram Jam missing and Del Rio getting two out of it.  Big kick follows, and Del Rio taunts Bryan only to get hooked into the Yes Lock.  Del Rio makes it to the ropes.  Bryan chokes Del Rio in the corner and follows with European uppercuts.  Del Rio reverses a whip, but Bryan blocks the charge only to get hit with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and Mushroom Stomp to the back for two.  Del Rio’s got a bloody mouth.  Del Rio with De A Caballo from the side, which Bryan fights out of.  Del Rio with headbutts to stop any momentum.  Bryan’s slumped in the corner, so Del Rio mocks Bryan’s YES chant (should he start praying?) only to get clotheslined as he, too, took too long.  Bryan is up first and looks to work the arm, only for Del Rio to drop Bryan’s arm on the knees for two.  Both men go for dropkicks, and Del Rio’s connects for two.  Del Rio back to the side chinlock as the announcers keep arguing about HHH’s motives.  Bryan fights out again and kicks on Del Rio in the corner, but his charge misses and arm hits post.  Step-up enzuigiri by Del Rio misses, leading to a double KO.  Yes Kicks again, but this time he stops short to do the corner flip comeback into a clothesline.  Bryan with the cross-corner dropkick, which connects this time.  They go up top, and Bryan gets a top rope Frankensteiner for two.  Bryan puts his head down and gets kicked, but Bryan low bridges and sends Del Rio packing.  Bryan dives through the ropes after him to knock him down.  Back in, Bryan goes up top, connecting with a missile dropkick for two.  And then Orton appears on the big screen to bring the match to a halt.  Orton promises to check on Brie in the trainer’s room, which distracts Bryan enough for Del Rio to cradle him for… two!  Del Rio is furious and knees away as the match, against all odds, continues.  Bryan fights out of the armbreaker setup and kicks Del Rio, then runs to the back for the countout at 16:28.  Bryan enters the training room, only to reveal Orton wasn’t in there… until he was, attacking Bryan in the training room.  Referees prevent this from getting too evil, though.  Orton shoots a NASTY glare to the Bellas as he leaves.  Bryan was knocked out by the shot to the metal drawer by Orton.  That was shaping up to be an INCREDIBLE match until the angle stopped it, but fortunately the angle was well-done and shows Orton is more than just a force of nature.  ***3/4

- Backstage, the Shield is in HHH’s office laughing at what happened to Bryan.  Stephanie reminds the Shield that the Rhodes Brothers have won before, so they’d better not do it again.  HHH makes the match no-DQ in what has to be a callback to last week.  HHH and Stephanie share a passionate kiss to celebrate being evil.

- John Cena rehab video.  It needs the “Desire” treatment.

- CM Punk makes a cameo on SmackDown!  Have fun, Tommy.

- Main event, WWE Tag Team Titles, no disqualification: Dustin and Cody Rhodes v. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.  JBL mentions the Usos being the rightful #1 Contenders, but Cole mentions that they’ll just watch and see who their opponents will be.  THIS MATCH GETS BOXING INTROS.  YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID.  Despite it being no-DQ, there will be tags in and out.  Rollins and Cody start.  Cody fights Rollins into the corner and Hammer Throws him, adding elbows in the back.  Dustin with a shot off the second rope and he works over Rollins.  Dustin with a snapmare and kneedrop for one.  Cody back in with a dropkick for one of his own.  Cody boxes down Rollins and snapmares him into a running knee for two.  Dustin back in, and the brothers get a double gut-punch.  Dustin adds a butt butt for one.  Cody in again with a knee to the gut and more kicks, following with a front suplex for two as JBL keeps yapping about punishment.  Reigns with a clothesline on Cody from the apron, and Rollins dropkicks Cody as the Shield double-stomp Cody.  Reigns sends Cody to the outside and clubs away on Cody before throwing him back in.  Back in, it gets two.  Rollins back in, and he kicks a wide-open Cody and goes ground-and-pound.  Rollins stomps away on Cody, who is now face-in-peril.  Cody tries to fight out, but he can’t as Rollins throws Cody into the corner and gets a back suplex for two.  Rollins with an armbar chinlock thing we saw earlier.  Cody armdrags out of it, then lobs up Rollins for the Alabama Slam, and when Rollins tries to reverse, Cody dives for Dustin, who is a house of fire!  BIG back drop to Rolilns, and he sets up Shattered Dreams, but Reigns cuts it off so Dustin does a bulldog instead for two.  Rollins stops a suplex and kicks Dustin in the gut, then ducks a bodypress as Dustin falls to the outside and we go to break.  (In the break, a SmackDown ad features Cody and Dustin.)  We return with Dustin as painted-face-in-peril as Reigns works him over in the corner.  Reigns with headbutts, and Rollins STANDS ON HIS HEAD, getting two before Cody saves.  Rollins back to the armbar-chinlock combo, as the paint is off.  Dustin fights out, reversing to a backslide for two, but Rollins stops momentum with a clothesline for two of his own.  Rollins sends Dustin into the corner, but Dustin fights off Rollins only to be caught by new legal man Reigns for two.  Reigns on the chinlock now, as the crowd is watching this match intently (I hope that why it’s kinda quiet).  Dustin fights out again, only to get a knee to the gut, but Dustin with a second-rope back elbow.  Rollins gets the tag and cuts off Cody, then mocks Dustin only to be caught with a powerslam off the second rope Vader style.  Cody kicks Ambrose away so he can get the hot tag, and he fires off on Reigns including a butt butt of his own, and a sliding uppercut.  Cody ducks away from Reigns and cradles him (with tights, because no DQ) for two.  Moonsault press connects on Reigns for two.  Beautiful Disaster to Ambrose on the apron, and Reigns eats boot on a blind charge.  Cody springboards in with a dropkick, but Rollins saves.  Dustin fights Rollins away and they roll on the ground, leaving Cody and Reigns.  Cross Rhodes is hooked up, but Ambrose breaks it up because it’s no DQ.  It’s a three-on-two mugging as they beat down Cody and go for the triple bomb.  Dustin, though, DESTROYS the Shield with a chair and disposes of Ambrose.  But Reigns knocks down Dustin and has him at his mercy.  Reigns: “You idiot!  You never shoulda brought the chair in!”  Reigns takes the chair and measures Dustin, but he misses and Dustin with a bodypress to Reigns, sandwiching the chair in between as the crowd is going apoplectic.  Cody and Rollins are fighting on the outside, as Rollins eats steps but catches the Disaster and powerbombs Cody into the barricade.  Back in, Dustin pounds away on Reigns, getting an inverted atomic drop on both men and sending Rollins packing.  A Cactus clothesline on Reigns clears the ring as Reigns grabs his knee on the landing.  Ambrose attacks Dustin from behind, but Dustin fights him off.  Reigns gets thrown into the barricade, but Ambrose blocks a trip to the post as Reigns spears Dustin into the announce area.  Crowd says THIS IS AWESOME.  YES.  SO YES.  Ambrose throws Cody in and picks up Reigns, as they’re the legal men, but the crowd starts cheering because Big Show suddenly (okay, that’s relative) appears and beats the tar out of Ambrose.  Rollins is caught on a dive and KO’d with one hand.  Reigns stares at Show, but Cody misses the Disaster.  Show KO’s Reigns for the hell of it, and Cody covers for the pin and the gold at 19:08.  Big Show is escorted out by security, but HHH is FURIOUS as Show starts a YES chant.  Oh yes.  This was the best Raw match I’ve reviewed in my tenure, and may be one of the best matches in the history of Raw.  ****1/2


I had doubts that the Rhodeses could be main eventers – especially a very old Goldust, who had never succeeded at the top in any organization – but I think that proves otherwise.  I was going insane watching the match, trying hard to be impartial in my review.  I had to delete a few phrases that would distract from what was a fantastic match.  I have always been a Goldust fan, and tonight felt like vindication – he main events Raw against the heel authority’s hand-picked bodyguards, and he comes away with a win that makes him legend, in what might be the best match as Goldust, ever.  He’s over 40, it’s 2013, and he’s a main eventer.  I’m giddy.


MATCH TIME: 69:04 over nine matches, at least half of which was in the final hour
BEST MATCH: Rhodeses/Shield
WORST MATCH: Fandango/Santino
NIGHT MVP (kayfabe): The new champs.

FINAL SCORE: 9.  The first hour really didn’t go anywhere, but around the halfway mark – starting with the TOF/WTP tag match – it really kicked into high gear, culminating in a BRILLIANT old-school tag match.  Lose the first hour and this is one of the greatest Raws ever.  I’m still smiling at the finish.  Congratulations to the Rhodes Brothers, especially Dustin – you’ve EARNED it.

My smile might fade by the time I watch Main Event on Thursday, or possibly when Tommy Hall puts up his SmackDown recap on Friday.  I’m debating whether to do a PostGame on Bound For Glory – any advice?  In the meantime, I Mark for the Rhodes Family.  I refuse to apologize.


  1. Yo, Trips, there's a reason why Deus Ex Machina plays died out thousands of years ago.

  2. Oh I think they're as alive as ever!

  3. That tag match was the definition of good professional wrestling. The timing between everyone including the Big Show was just superb, hard to lay any more accolades on that match.

  4. Dig this! I'm stoked to see Golddust back in action - I wonder if he's getting this push because he finally got his head on straight and is able to really focus now.

    I think Austin said something to the effect that if you're a wrestler, you can wrestle well into your forties if you know what you're doing. Golddust proves that.

  5. Sounds like if you skip the first hour this is worth watching huh? I suppose there are worse criticisms.

    And I'm super happy for Dustin as well. Guy had an undeserved rep as a bad worker for so long, including from Scott back in the day but I'm glad he also eventually came around.

  6. Dustin Rhodes is probably on par with Bobby Eaton and Arn Anderson as an awesome tag team wrestler. Some guys just specialize in that role.

  7. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 14, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    A good show? Story progression? Better character development? Goldust in the main event and DELIVERING?


  8. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 14, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Waldorf: "I'd like to get close to AJ, but I'm already close to something else."
    Statler: "What's that?"
    Waldorf: "Ninety."


  9. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 14, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    I'm still dumbfounded BookDust didn't get a long tag team run, esp. since all they did with Booker was squash his heat via triumphant racism.

  10. Krispy Kreme McDonaldOctober 14, 2013 at 10:12 PM

  11. I'd go fully Monty on the tag match. That was perfectly executed and there were no discernible flaws. That stands up next to Austin & Shawn vs. Bulldog & Owen, Owen vs. Bulldog, and anything else we're including on that short list. Honestly though, I'd like to see an argument against it being five stars? And Big Show's interference doesn't count because it was perfectly played within the context of the story that was being told.

  12. The only real argument I could see was that the crowd was dead for a sizable chunk of it. That, and it devolved into a bit of a schmozz by the end. But that was definitely as close to a five-star RAW match I've seen since Punk/Cena from March.

  13. For me, I was comparing it to the Hunterkiller match from 2001, plus the Cena/Punk match from March, and it wasn't better than either of those. I won't hold it against anyone who says all three matches were five, though.

  14. Dead in the beginning because it was a shit show. Rabid by the end because it was a fucking incredible match.

  15. I honestly have never liked any of the Cena/Punk matches, so I can understand the preference argument. But I think it holds up against the Austin & HHH vs. Canadian Chrises (Chrisses?).

  16. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 14, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    Downvoters must be Sesame Street fans.

  17. Seriously, with Deus Ex Machina (and politics), wrestling would wither up and die. How many times does some random event or character end a match? "Hey, CM Punk is going to murder Paul Heyman, here comes Ryback!" Why? "we'll figure that out later"

  18. Amsterdam_Adam_CurryOctober 14, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Ever see any of his matches from 1996-98? That rep was more than well deserved.

  19. What an amazing goddamn main event tonight. As much as we may nitpick the whole Corporation angle, ya gotta admit that it's turning Cody into a freakin' star. Hell, if a Rhodes/Shield tag title rematch at the PPV happens in a Cell, that could main event the show and it wouldn't seem out of place. Great feud, Shield and Rhodes are all working at insane levels, just awesome stuff.

  20. Big Show's interference DOES count. He was fired, so he shouldn't have been in the building in the first place, and there's no plausible way that he could just sneak in.

  21. OK sure most of those were bad but that was mostly due to the Goldust gimmick. His WCW run from 91 to 95 was mostly good.

  22. I'd say it's more dependent on what his state of mind is, and whether he's sober or not.

  23. I still can't believe this whole Rhodes boys thing. It's total fantasy booking come to life. Cody is finally capitalizing on the potential he showed at Money in the Bank (which he might have done sooner if Sandow hadn't been turned into such a joke during their feud) and Goldust is proving to be one of the best utility players in the sport. It's a shame he wasn't given more opportunities to work like this throughout his career. He had a similar role in getting Booker T over during their run, but then he was turned into StutteringDust and written out of the Evolution feud.
    That main event was everything I love about tag-team wrestling. Every time we reached a point where the finish seemed near, the partner made it to the rescue and the good guys managed to turn a corner. That match was up there with watching a Lethal Weapon movie in terms of getting a maximum payoff out of the buddy dynamic.

  24. I've never been a huge Goldust fan (never disliked him, just never a huge fan), but I'm continually impressed that he makes the most of the opportunities WWE gives him over the years. It seems every couple of years he shows up for a one off match and earns at least a temporary job out of it. In this case he had a great match against Orton and has now had two very strong back to back tag matches against the Shield. The opponents help, but still.

  25. So getting married was pretty much the best career move Cody has ever made. Wrestling is so random some times.

  26. Another solid recap. Keep up the great work, dude!

  27. Actually...there's no fucking disqualification so his interference is actually a match enhancement. He shouldn't have been there...but it's NO DISQUALIFICATION so it doesn't matter.

  28. JBL making fun of Xavier Woods' name was remarkably stupid. Hey, he has a first name that isn't common to the point of banality, let me riff about it like an ignorant jackass until we fade to the commercial break. Even though Cole's X-Men comment was stupid, I actually appreciated the effort he made to derail JBL's train of idiocy. I never thought anyone would make Cole look like the better man, but there you go JBL.

  29. JBL has been intolerable as a heel commentator. He just shouts down everyone else when he talks, and because he's JBL and bigger/louder, Cole and Lawler just let him do it, only adding passive-aggressive comments to punctuate it. In an era of BAStar, JBL is the best example of bullying, only they let him get away with it. In kayfabe, someone needs to slap him in the face.

  30. If anyone would know about crappy ring names, it's John Justin Hawk Blackjack Bradshaw "Vampiro Americano" Layfield.

  31. So I cold have just brought a gun and shot someone, and it wouldn't have mattered because NO DISQUALIFICATION?

    The Authority should put the tag titles in abeyance.


  32. Paging Joey Styles...

    I do concur though. I don't watch regularly anymore but the last time I did (a few weeks ago) I actually yelled at my television/JBL to "Shut the fuck up!" He's SO annoying. Didn't he used to be a good announcer?


Post a Comment