Cucch’s Random Nitro Video of the Night

Honestly, 1999 was not really a banner year to be a wrestling fan (in ring…not talking about ratings…WWF was on FIRE that year with, as some wise man would say, the Russofication) but I was still watching most of it. So how come someone sends me this video and it was like seeing something for the first time? Goldberg? Herschel Walker? JCVD? CHUCK NORRIS? WHY DO I NOT REMEMBER THIS?

Survivor Series 1993

Hey Scott,
Why all the changes to the main event of Survivor Series '93? Why not put Undertaker and Crush in from the beginning?

Thanks for the twitter follow,
Jim

Yeah, no problem…grumble grumble.
I have no earthly idea why they messed around with the main event so much that year, although I think they had a rough idea of trying to shake things up for fans or something stupid like that.  I might dig through the WON from that period and see if Dave has any insight on it.
(Time passes)
So I checked, and 1993 Dave is, to the say the least, somewhat preoccupied with the Jerry Lawler rape accusations and the steroid indictments, and doesn't have anything to say about the weird substitutions other than noting them week to week.  He does note that the 93 Series did the lowest buyrate in WWF history to that point, with 185,000 buys domestic, which today would have Vince McMahon doing cartwheels of joy.  Times change indeed.  

WWF Championship Wrestling April 13th, 1985

April 13, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

This week, in action are Big John Studd & Ken Patera. Plus, Ricky Steamboat, King Kong Bundy, Greg Valentine and David Sammartino. We will also see clips of the Women’s Title match from WrestleMania.


Greg “The Hammer” Valentine w/Jimmy Hart vs. Doc Butler

Doc looks fairly young and is in decent shape. He also has one of the hairiest chests I have ever seen. Valentine knocks him down and hits a few kneedrops. He hits a gutbuster and a scoop slam then goes to work on the arm. Valentine tosses him to the floor and McMahon mocks Hart’s voice, which actually got Bruno to laugh. I dont mention it much in my reviews but Bruno was pretty useless on commentary. He only spoke when asked something by Vince. Valentine beats on Butler then tosses him back in for some more punishment before applying the figure four and the win (3:41).

Thoughts: This went on a bit too long but Valentine squash matches were good around this time so it was fine. Vince made it a point on commentary to mention how annoying Hart sounds.

WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week, we get an update on Hillbilly Jim. We are told that he is out of the hospital after suffering torn ligaments in his knee at the hands of Brutus Beefcake. We are show still photos of Jim on crutches as Hayes lets us know that Jim will be back in the ring between 4-6 months. That injury really cost Jim in the long run.

Dave Barbie vs. David Sammartino

Barbie jumps Sammartino before the bell. Sammartino fights back and boots him down. He hits a few suplexes then chops him against the ropes before getting the win with a powerslam (1:00).

Thoughts: Sammartino got a few cheers at the beginning but the push isnt working. He did hit some nice power moves though. He didnt look the part of a wrestling star and did not have anywear near the amount of charisma as his father so the fans didnt care about him.

The camera pans to the crowd and shows various fans who are either wearing WWF merchandise or holding up programs. A lot of shots featuring fans wearing the “Hulkamania” hats too. This is the hardest push on merchandise I have seen on these shows at this point.

Gene Okerlund is with the British Bulldogs. Davey says that they are cousins as Dynamite calls out the tag champs, Sheik & Volkoff. Not much of an interview.

Aldo Marino vs. King Kong Bundy w/Jimmy Hart

The crowd is all over Bundy, which is a great sign for a guy who debuted a month ago. Bundy grinds Marino into the mat then chops him in the corner. Bruno goes on about Bundy’s physique then tells us while in Japan, Bundy wrestled five guys at once. Bundy hits the Avalanche then finishes off Marino with a knee drop, making the referee count to five (2:38)

Thoughts: Bundy continues to impress. The fans react well to him too. Its clear that he will be a major player very shortly.

Gene Okerlund is with Ricky Steamboat, who was apparently between workouts. He has Ricky about the talent in the WWF as Steamboat mentions how on magazines and TV news, you see the WWF. He then gives a message to everyone that conditioning is what makes you get to the top. Okerlund asks about the South Pacific Connection, his team with Jimmy Snuka, as Steamboat tells the tag division to take notice. This interview was pretty bad but they did try to establish his team with Snuka.

Ricky Steamboat vs. Rusty Brooks

Steamboat hits a few armdrags but runs into a clothesline. Brooks hits a dropkick, which is impressive for a short obese man, but gets taken down with a hip toss. Steamboat gets two off a throat thrust but Brooks fights back. Steamboat then chops him down and goes back to work on the arm. He takes him down with a forearm smash to the chest. Brooks fights back and they mess up a float over so Steamboat hits a few dropkicks the goes up top and hits a splash for the win (3:03). Vince makes it a point to mention that he used the same move as Snuka.

Thoughts:  These guys were not on the same page. The main point of the match though was to establish that Steamboat and Snuka were a solid team. That is tough to do without Snuka present.

Piper’s Pit with Roddy Piper and Bob Orton. This takes place in the locker room. Piper mentions how they never lost at anything before then Piper goes on about how he had no idea that Orndorff had no guts. Orton said that Orndorff didnt have the strength to go on as Piper said that no one wants to fight them and they are victorious. With the heels bashing Orndorff, its clear that they will have an altercation sooner or later.

We are shown the last few minutes of the Women’s Title match at WrestleMania between Wendi Richter and Leilani Kai. Richter regained the belt after rolling through a crossbody. It was a bad match.

Jim Young & Joe Mirto vs. Ken Patera & Big John Studd w/Bobby Heenan

The crowd starts up with a “weasel” chant  towards Heenan. Studd tosses around both men then tags Patera. Vince says that Patera is upset that his bench press record had been beaten as he tosses Young around the ring. Young continues to get destroyed by both men, who are frequently tagging in and out. Mirto finally tags and lands a few shots on Patera but ends up getting destroyed in the corner. The crowd chants for Andre as Studd pulls up Mirto before the three count. Patera suplexes Mirto then Studd drops the elbow for the win (4:45).

Thoughts: Long match but the crowd didnt mind, as they hate Heenan and Studd and love Andre.

Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart and two of his clients, Jim Neidhart and King Kong Bundy. Hart said that Valentine told him to go after these guys. Neidhart then screams about how he and Bundy are in great shape and no one else can do anything about that. Bundy says that he should be in the ring with a minimum of two men at a time then calls out a few of the face tag-teams. Okerlund mentions the five count and Bundy says that is because it leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that you have been defeated. Okerlund asks if they will be teaming together and Hart casually mentions that they probably will then says that his men are ready.

Next week, we will have a special feature on Hillbilly Jim from his home in Kentucky. Also, the debut of the team of Jim Neidhart and Bret Hart (not called the Hart Foundation). Plus, Don Muraco, the Junkyard Dog, and the British Bulldogs will be in action.

Thoughts: I thought this was a fun show. They continue to shape up the post-WrestleMania feuds as they ride their wave of mianstream popularity. They are focusing on newer stars such as Steamboat, Bundy, and the British Bulldogs. Also, they had a really intriguing episode of Piper’s Pit and are starting to build up their tag team division. 

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – January 5, 1998

by Logan Scisco

We kick off our
next round of reviews by covering the 1998 season of Monday Night Raw.  1998 is when the WWF finally turned the
Monday Night Wars in its favor and began the process of grinding WCW to dust
(assisted by poor WCW booking patterns and the AOL-Time Warner merger).  The year saw the creation of new stars, the
continuation of a more mature product, and Steve Austin solidify himself as one
of the greatest WWF stars of all-time. 
I’ve also decided
to modify my rating style for this set of reviews.  I don’t like doing star ratings for TV events
because of the length of the matches, so when I review the pay-per-views I’ll
revert to the star rating, but for the TV shows I’m going to do an average
point system.  If a match or lengthy interview
segment is worthwhile, it will receive a point. 
Otherwise, it won’t.  I hope that
this can better clarify the good and bad elements of a show.  If everyone hates it I can revert to stars, but
that’s my logic.
The show begins
with Steve Austin in the parking lot talking about how everyone in the locker
room wants to get him and he sent them a “3:16” message on their pagers.  He encourages the audience to watch tonight’s
show where he will strike first at everyone that is out to get him.

Jim Ross, Michael
Cole, and Kevin Kelly are in the booth and they are live from New Haven,
Connecticut
.
Opening
Contest:  Ken Shamrock beats Faarooq
(w/Kama Mustafa & D-Lo Brown) via submission to the ankle lock at 5:02
shown:
This match has some back story because Faarooq injured
Shamrock in the first round of the Intercontinental title tournament back in
September.  The Rock also volunteered
Faarooq to take on Shamrock in his contest on last week’s show.  During the match, Ross keeps hyping Shamrock
as a future WWF champion.  Faarooq works
the ribs and the Rock comes down to ringside shortly before the commercial
break.  The Rock tries to direct
interference whereby Kama will hold a chair in the corner so that Shamrock can
be whipped into it, but heel miscommunication results and Shamrock wins to go
three-for-three against the Nation. 
Shamrock had some good selling in this match, but the match never worked
up a consistent pace.  0 of 1
After the match,
Faarooq argues with Kama on the floor as the Rock and Shamrock stare each other
down in the ring.  Before they can do
anything, though, Steve Austin runs out and gives each of them a Stone Cold
Stunner before exiting through the crowd.
Jim Cornette comes
out with Howard Brody and Dennis Coralluzzo of the National Wrestling Alliance
(NWA).  Cornette announces that both men
will award the NWA North American championship to the winner of our next match.
NWA North
American Championship Match:  Jeff
Jarrett defeats Barry Windham to win the title at 3:34:
The North American championship was a real NWA title and
it was the second most prominent title in the promotion.  Reckless Youth (remember him?) was the
previous champion, but the NWA vacated the title in December 1997 for use in
this angle.  Cornette educates the
audience about the NWA on commentary, but Cole has to ask him if it is a bogus
promotion to show off his stupidity.  Windham
uses his size and power to dominate much of the match, but Jarrett puts his
foot on the bottom rope to avoid being pinned after a lariat.  After that, Coralluzzo distracts the referee
and as Windham prepares to give Jarrett a superplex, Cornette runs into the
ring and hits him in the back with his tennis racket.  Windham manages to complete the move, but is
knocked out and Jarrett pins him to win the title.  1 of 2
After the match,
Jarrett struts around with his new title, but Steve Austin runs out and gives
him a Stone Cold Stunner.
The announce team
proceeds to break down the house show circuit
.
Ken Shamrock tells
the announce team that he would love for the Royal Rumble to come down between
him and Austin.
Sunny comes out in
a schoolgirl outfit to do guest ring announcing duties for our next match
.
Skull &
8-Ball defeat Sniper & Recon (w/The Jackyl) when Skull pins Recon with a
DDT at 3:39:
If you were expecting a wrestling classic, you can forget
it here, but since the time on it is short it’s a tolerable matchup.  The Jackyl keeps laughing when Recon misses
big moves, justifying his behavior by saying that Recon is just trying to be a
star.  The Disciples of Apocalypse end
this out of nowhere after all hell breaks loose after the hot tag.  Speaking of nowhere, this feud is headed
there, but that’s because the booking team has no idea what they want to get
out of either team.  1 of 3
After the match,
Kurrgan comes out and a three-on-two beatdown commences, which allows Kurrgan
to show off his size and strength.
The Twix Rewind
segment is the Undertaker helping Kane clear the ring of the superstars that
tried to attack him on last week’s Raw.
D-Generation X
comes out.  Chyna is pushing Triple H in
a wheelchair because he has suffered a dislocated knee cap that might require
surgery.  Triple H brags about costing
Owen Hart the WWF title last week and he dares Owen to come out and face
him.  Owen appears on the Titantron and
lets Triple H know that when his right knee heals he is going to destroy his
left one.  Owen tries to sell the “blackheart”
element of his character, claiming that he has no conscience and feels no pain,
but the result is a corny promo that Triple H mocks before ending the segment.  1 of 4
The 1-800-COLLECT
Slam of the Week is Vader hitting a moonsault on a jobber on Shotgun Saturday
Night.
We get another
recap of Steve Austin’s rampage on tonight’s show.
Since we are in
hour two, Jim Ross and Jerry “the King” Lawler take over announcing duties.
Owen Hart beats
Savio Vega (w/Los Boricuas) with a rollup at 4:05:
Owen starts this like a Steve Austin match, aggressively
going after Savio and incorporating a Lou Thesz press in the early going.  It doesn’t take long for D-Generation X to
appear by the entrance and that gives Savio an opportunity to turn the
tide.  The Boricuas also assist Savio in maintaining
the advantage, but this leads to another referee coming out and ejecting them.  However, this doesn’t happen quickly enough
and Savio is able to get out of a Sharpshooter when Jose tries to get into the
ring.  Owen still wins with a rollup shortly
thereafter.  Lackluster matchup and Owen’s
in-ring style does not really fit this hard edged character that they want him
to play.  1 of 5  
After the match,
Owen tries to go after Triple H, but the Boricuas attack him and then bring him
to Triple H to slap around.  They make
sure to collect their payment before leaving.
Paul Bearer comes
out looking disheveled and he tells the Undertaker that he hopes he loses to
Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble.  The
storyline here is that Kane has left Bearer after last week’s events, so Bearer
is freaking out.  He begs Kane to come
home before leaving in despair.  Really
nice promo to continue the slow burn for this angle.  2 of 6
Backstage, Austin
is shown leaving a locker room and Mark Henry is shown in pain on the
floor.  So Austin has attacked another
victim.
A video package
recaps Marc Mero’s treatment of Sable and Tom Brandi’s intervention on her
behalf.
“Marvelous” Marc
Mero (w/Sable) beats Tom Brandi by disqualification when Steve Austin
interferes at 3:47:
Why is this match not happening at the Royal Rumble?  Seems like easy midcard fodder for that show
instead of throwing it on Raw.  The crowd
works up a loud “Sable” chant when Mero hides behind his valet when Brandi
charges after him at the beginning of the contest.  Mero gets knocked out of the ring and falls
on top of Sable, but when Brandi goes to help her he gets a double axe
handle.  Mero hits a TKO, but when he
goes for another Steve Austin runs in and gives Mero a Stunner.  The crowd comes unglued for that and that was
because of Mero’s display of carelessness for Sable that occurred throughout
the match.  3 of 7
Call
1-900-737-4WWF to find out what old NWA stars Jim Cornette is recruiting and
hear who is attending the WWF’s training camp!
We get ANOTHER
recap of Steve Austin’s rampage.  Do we
need to hit back to this every time come back from commercial?
Flash Funk
defeats The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust (w/Luna Vachon) by
disqualification when Luna interferes at 2:32:
Goldust comes out in blackface and an afro, showcasing a
70s persona in his latest display of weirdness. 
I’m surprised that the WWF signed off on this in 1998, but you can bet
that they would never do it today after going public.  Flash nearly wins after a spinning heel kick,
but Luna pushes him off the top rope when he tries to the Tumbleweed in plain
view of the referee and costs her man the match.  The short length of the contest prevented
some of Goldust’s traditional stalling and that helped it significantly.  4 of 8
After the bell,
Goldust hits the Curtain Call but Vader runs out and Goldust flees.
A video package
hypes Steve Blackman.
Call
1-900-RUMBLE-98 to register yourself in the Steve Austin pickup truck
contest!  It’ll cost you $1.99 or you can
send a postcard to Devon, Pennsylvania.
Last week’s reveal
of Chainsaw Charlie is shown.
The Headbangers
appearance on Regis and Kathie Lee is shown. 
These guys got sent out on a lot of the WWF’s public relations work at
this time despite doing squat in the ring.
Non-Title
Match:  The New Age Outlaws (WWF Tag Team
Champions) beat The Headbangers when Billy Gunn pins Mosh after a face
miscommunication at 4:58:
This match proceeds nicely, with both teams exchanging
double team maneuvers.  The Godwinns
appear by the entrance, apparently scouting the Outlaws for a tag team title
shot that they are owed.  Thrasher and
the Road Dogg give each other simultaneous low blows when they dropkick each
other at the same time.  This cues the
hot tag and all hell breaking loose, but the Headbangers blow a Stage Dive
attempt when Thrasher jumps too early for the flying leg drop and Gunn rolls up
Mosh for a clean win.  This had a creative
finish that solidified the credibility of the Outlaws.  The loss cements the Headbangers status as
one of the lower ranked teams in the division. 
5 of 9
-After the match,
Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie run out and the Outlaws walk back to the
locker room.
Don King hypes
WrestleMania XIV, but says that his contract negotiation with Vince McMahon to
make Mike Tyson a part of it has not been finished.  It’s close, though!
Footage of the
Hell in a Cell match between Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker is shown in
order to hype the Shawn Michaels-Undertaker title match at the Royal Rumble
.
WWF Champion Shawn
Michaels comes out and says that he will show the Undertaker is a loser at the
Royal Rumble.  He calls out the
Undertaker and druids wheel out a casket. 
The casket is covered in graffiti like last week and Michaels calls for
Triple H and Chyna to get out of it.  No
response happens so Michaels continues his juvenile antics.  Triple H and Chyna then come out on the ramp
and warn Michaels that they are not in it and before Michaels can put two and
two together, the Undertaker bursts out of the casket and pulls Michaels inside
as we go off the air.  AWESOME closing
segment, even if it was predictable.  6 of 10
The Final Report Card:  The first show of 1998 started pretty rough,
but the second hour was full of fun segments and matches so that barely saves
the show with a 6/10 rating.  Austin’s victory
at the Rumble was very obvious, but at least the WWF booked it in an
entertaining way that placed him on the perfect trajectory to challenge for the
title at WrestleMania.
Monday Night War Rating:  3.3 (vs. 4.3 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up

QOTD 35: Ya know, for kids.

Not sure how many of you have seen the underrated classic “The Huddsucker Proxy” but boy is that movie a treat. The less you know about it, the better. Don’t watch a trailer, don’t read about it, just watch it.

A tagline from that movie is “Ya know, for Kids!” and it got me thinking about the stuff we watch that, as mostly well-adjusted adults, is probably a big below our age range.

What ‘kid’ shows do you enjoy, or think hold up to viewings as an adult?

 

The correct answer to this question is “The Animaniacs”. Simply classic stuff that’s even better the older you are. While I still think Chicken Boo is one of the dumbest thing in the history of dumb things, the rest of the show is great. The songs are catchy and the jokes are still funnier, and in fact funnier now that you can pick up on the number of subtle Hollywood references throughout the show’s run.

“Fairly Odd Parents” is a good one, and still something I’ll click on if it’s on and I’m trying to do something else. Similarly ribald and subversive, it’s a show that’s more ‘for all ages’ versus for only children.

“iCarly” ain’t half bad, either, kind of capturing a zany 50’s sitcom vibe. I had a sister from another mister who turned me on to the show, and while it’s not something I watch myself, I have benevolent feelings toward the show, and its executive producer Dan Schneider, who is one of the few TV producers who can make entertainment that is both family friendly and doesn’t condescend to its audience. 

“The Muppets” are probably my favorite though, with the last movie being eight different kinds of funny, over-the-top, silly, self-referential, and similarly capable of entertaining adults and children alike. Also Chris Cooper raps. You can’t go wrong. give “Man or Muppet” a google and get ready to laugh a bit, first because it’s a silly song, and second because it’s actually pretty relate-able.

————————————————————-

Blog Otter Award: Everyone who mentioned Kurt Vonnegut, because I didn’t. I think for a lot of people he’s sort of the gateway to thinking beyond what we see, if that makes sense, and if you caught onto him at a certain time, namely in highschool or junior high, you were probably a better, and more critically thinking, person for it.

1. I tried out this “Slice The Pie” thing yesterday and it gives you a few pennies for reviewing songs. It’s not a lot or even a little bit of money, but if you’re bored at work a lot or have a ton of down-time, it can be a cool little writing exercise and it’ll earn you a couple of bucks in the process.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series

Sup Bayless, it’s BoD #1 draw and fellow FFLoD member The Fuj.


I was watching Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline series the other day and thought you and I both have a love for shoot interviews. I am more of a fan of shoots than the in-ring product by this point and I love how the shoot interview has transformed from just trashing peers to a career retrospective of people not currently in the WWE fold. I am a big fan of you reviewing shoots/timelines by the way. Most of them, I have already seen but

I have a series of questions for you.

1. Do you think eventually KFC will/would do Timelines for the following? WCCW, TNA, AWA, SMW, (insert any former big name promotion if the demand was high enough)

2. If you were in charge of the timelines and had the choice of anyone to conduct them with, who would you pick for the following years/ promotions. (I’m not going to throw out a multitude of years. Just the promotions and you gimme a few years with who you would like to see participate. BoD, I would lov to see your answers as well.)

WWF/WWE:
ECW:
NWA/WCW:
TNA:
AWA:
SMW:
ROH:
 
Thanks for the compliments.
 
1. I think KC would consider TNA year-by-year, as it happened more recently than the other promotions. As far as the others, with KC releasing an entire timeline of the 1960’s WWF from Bruno Sammartino, I think they could do that with SMW,since it didn’t last very long. Cornette could do that. They could also do the AWA by decade. WCCW would be a good choice to do by decade as well but there are not that many stars from the promotions who are still alive to choose from. They could do other territories by decade too, like Memphis, Calgary, Florida, Georgia, California, Mid-Atlantic, and Oregon too if they wanted.
 
2. First here are the rumored upcoming timeline releases:
 
2000 ECW by Justin Credible
1984 WWF by Roddy Piper
A WCW timeline by Vader.
 
To finish the WWF/WWE, here is what I would do. I would not select anyone under a WWE contract to participate as it would be highly unlikely that would happen.
 
1984: Tito Santana (If not Piper)
1990: Jake Roberts
1991: Sgt. Slaughter
1992: Ted Dibiase
1996: Bret Hart
1998: Steve Austin
 
For WCW
 
1989: Ricky Steamboat
1990: Ric Flair
1992: Sting
1993: Mick Foley
1994: Vader
1995: Bischoff
1997: Scott Hall
1998: DDP
1999: Goldberg
 
For TNA
 
2002: Jerry Jarrett
2003: Raven
2004: Jeff Jarrett
2005: AJ Styles
2006: James Storm or Chris Harris
 
For ECW
 
1996: Raven
1998: Tommy Dreamer
1999: Lance Storm
 
What do you guys think?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BoD Daily Update

Last Minute Changes Backstage at RAW

Originally, the plan was for Cody & Goldust to win the Tag Team Titles at the Hell in a Cell PPV. The decision to change that for RAW was made just before the show went to air.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Radio



Bray Wyatt to Miss Four Weeks with Injury

As of now, Bray will not be wrestling on the PPV. However, if he does end up healing quicker, that could change.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Radio



Kayfabe Commentaries Releases “Breaking Kayfabe” with Marty Jannetty

Below is a link to the trailer. This guy needs a lot of help.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cofVuO_MFpI

Jackie Fulton vs Bob Holly

“So, Bob Holly vs Jackie Fulton in 1990’s WCW. This is a TIGHT match here. I don’t know if it’s because Bob Holly is wearing Bret Hart’s tights, but it’s the best Holly match I’ve ever seen. If he worked this crisp and hard throughout his career, I think he could have gotten the NASCAR gimmick over on his work alone.


Speaking of 1990’s WCW, Mean Mark Callous is a great worker during this time. Taker is booger red for sure, but he’s charismatic, he’s leaping off top ropes, looking like a Mike Awesome of his day. From a work perspective, he’s probably doing too much and did a lot more with less. Question being, how did WCW let him get away? How could they not see the potential?”
Yeah, I dunno how they missed the boat with Mean Mark.  Even doing the goofy Memphis shit like Master of Pain, you could tell he was gonna be a star.  The ropewalk gimmick alone should have sustained him for years in WCW as a babyface.  
As for the actual match here, Bob Holly talked about how fun and easy it was doing jobs in WCW, because it paid better than the indies and he made lots of good contacts in the process.  I have to say, I don’t even remember the Fulton brothers teaming as the Fantastics.  But then I know Rogers and Fulton had a bit of an acrimonious split before reuniting many years later.  

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 WWE.com, 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
FINAL
THOUGHTS:
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.
STATS:
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.

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog O’Doomers, I hope those of you in Canada are having a fine Thanksgiving and those of you in the United States are enjoying this Government holiday. As for the rest of the BOD universe, I hope things are well.

My only thoughts this week are wondering has there ever been a period where (at least in the eyes of the die-hard fans if not so much the actual numbers) where the WWE went from hot to cold so quickly.

They had a really good PPV in Payback and a tremendous RAW episode the following night (Mark Henry’s faux retirement, Lesnar attacking Punk, etc.) and then Money in the Bank was tremendous fun followed by a Summerslam card with two legitimate MOTY candidates. Like we were all generally excited to watch the WWE at that point right? And now…at least personally speaking…I’m pretty much set until the build for the Royal Rumble. The main story is going nowhere…even the Punk-Heyman stuff has hit a stand still. Even thought they have completely fudged the main story it shows to prove how difficult it can be to keep an audience excited for one full year without a break.

Oh yeah, if you haven’t heard Steve Austin’s most recent podcast with JR, do it. They quickly skate around his “retirement” because no need to burn bridges. Ross said he’d be very interested in the UFC and maybe calling some college football. He also said he wouldn’t mind doing some spot acting. He had some incredibly funny stories and it was just a good hour of listening. Ross in UFC may or may not work. Hard to say. I think his talents can translate through calling any sort of action however. Ross actually did a good job on the couple of XFL Games he was assigned.

Now I’m hoping Austin can get Bischoff and Shane McMahon on his podcast. Those would be two guys I would love to listen to.

Anyway enjoy the show or the baseball game or the Monday Night Football game. But whatever you watch come out swinging and keep it clean!