The PG Era Rant: Raw, 11-11-13

When last we left our heroes, they lay
in Gallipolli, Flanders Fields, and Arlington National. They are
gone, but never forgotten. To all in uniform: thank you on this
Armistice/Veteran’s Day.
The USA Network ad asks if Big Show can
regain the advantage heading into Survivor Series. The look-in ad
says that HHH and Stephanie are on vacation and asks who represents
the Authority.
– The PG Era Rant for Raw, November 11,
2013.
– Not exactly live from Manchester, UK.
– Your hosts are a King, a Joker, and the
Green 8 from Uno.
– John Cena narrates a thank-you piece
for all American veterans.

– It’s a recap of last week’s ending
segment next. Interestingly, they play the sound bites out of order
from last week, but the order they play them in makes a little more
sense.
– First out of the curtain is Randy
Orton. You know, they keep putting that red phone booth on the stage
in England, and I keep waiting for a confused man with a sprig of
celery in his lapel to pop out of it. Orton cuts to the chase: Big
Show’s match is the result of blackmail. Hard to argue. But if last
week’s beating was any indication, Orton is a lock to win at Survivor
Series. Orton has been left in charge of tonight’s Raw… which
brings out nominal Raw GM Brad Maddox to an ovation. Maddox says
HE’S in charge because, well, he’s the GM of Raw. Maddox
(understandably nervous) begins to discuss what his plans are when
Kane emerges. There’s a decent You Sold Out chant, though it’s hard
to tell if it’s piped in or not. Kane says that, as Director of
Operations, HE’S in charge of Raw. I’m just waiting for Dustin to
say he’s the tag team champions now. Maddox claims seniority and
gets ready to announce the opening match: he wants Orton/Cody. Kane
vetoes it and wants Orton/Goldust. The two argue, but Orton says
“Hey, I can’t fight the both of them”. The crowd likes that
idea, but instead, it’s Vickie Guerrero. She sends best wishes to
the Authority, then says she KNOWS Orton has the skills, so as the
Voice Of Reason™, it is Best For Business™ (Crowd: “Who are
ya?”) that Orton can take the both of them on. JBL points out
that, wait, that’s not what Orton said. This segment will play on
infinite loop in Scott Keith’s private Hell.
– Randy Orton v. The Brothers Rhodes.
Well, if I’m booking this, there’s no way it ends cleanly. Goldust
starts. Goldust with a headlock takedown, which Orton reverses to a
grounded headscissors. Break and reverse follows. Goldust goes to
inhale and gets slapped, which leads to Orton getting a headlock and
knockdown, but Goldust follows with a series of armdrags and a
dropkick for two. Cody drops his elbow on the arm and follows with a
stalling front suplex for two. Orton suckers Cody into the corner
and kicks away, following with a European Uppercut. Goldust in on a
blind tag, and he cradles Orton for two. Orton rushes Goldust into
the corner and works the gut, adding a headbutt and milking the boos.
Orton works in another corner and gets a clothesline for two as the
crowd declares Randy’s boring. Then they switch to a JBL chant as
Orton works the arm. Cole: “We must be in England.” Orton
stomps Goldust in the gut as the crowd continues not to give a darn.
Orton pounds Goldust in the back, then chokes him down as the crowd
demands Goldberg (I think). Goldust begins to fight out, starting a
slugfest that Orton wins, but a blind charge hits Goldust’s boot.
Orton knocks Goldust off the corner as we go to break. You know, if
the WWE is sweetening the crowd for cheers and boos, can’t they drown
out the insanity of the crowd too? We return as Orton has a chinlock
on Goldust with the crowd rallying him. Goldust fights out, then
avoids Orton’s powerslam and cradles Orton for two before getting a
DDT. Hot tag to Cody, who gets a springboard dropkick and the Brisco
rollup for two. Cody with the sliding uppercut and he goes up,
getting the moonsault press for two. Cody is measuring Orton, but
waits too long and gets caught only to recover with a Butt butt.
Double-teaming leads to a big right from Goldust and the brothers
send Orton packing with a double clothesline. Orton walks out at
10:45, but heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Big Show. Show works over Orton on
the outside, throwing him into the steps. Short-arm clothesline
follows, and Show tears up the announce table. Crowd with a huge YES
chant, proving that even England is falling for chant transition.
Show puts the steps by the table, lifts Orton onto the steps, and
chokeslams him through the table. That draws HUGE chants of YES, and
it’s not splicing either. Orton sleptwalked through the match. *3/4
Orton appears injured by the attack. I wouldn’t be surprised if he
were a little shaken up – that was a huge drop.
– During
the Break, Big Show left in a cab to do a pub crawl.
– Los
Matadores and Santino Marella v. 3 Man Band (as the Union Jacks).
SANTINO HAS BULL HORNS. YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID. 3MB comes out to
punk music and wearing British flag print tights. It gets them a 3MB
chant. Primo starts with Slater and gets a snapmare and chops.
Slater brings in Mahal with a blind tag, and Mahal gets the running
knee (“Ole!”) for two. 3MB with the triple-team, ending in a
flying kick by McIntyre. He knocks Epico off the apron, but Primo
reverses to a back suplex. Mahal and Santino in, and Santino goes
straight to his comeback, but the saluting headbutt hits the knees.
Good thing too, because he still has the horns on. Santino with a
suplex for a double KO as El Torito distracts Slater and begins a
chase. Santino gores Slater out of the ring (that happened), but
McIntyre attacks Torito only to get a double dive. Torito adds a
somersault senton for fun. Santino with a split Stunner and the
Cobra (which OF COURSE has bull horns) gets the pin at 2:56. Santino
does some bull passes with El Torito for fun. Santino and Slater are
so good at comedy matches. 3/4*
– Backstage,
the doctors work on Orton as Maddox apologizes. Orton gets mad at
Maddox AND Vickie who tries to apologize as well. He promises that
the Authority will handle both of them. Orton even snaps at Kane too
because he’s in that bad a mood. But Kane DOES have authority and
promises that if he keeps mouthing off, Big Show will be the least of
his worries.
– Later
tonight, Dolph Ziggler challenges Curtis Axel for the
Intercontinental Title.
– Funny
bit: they show Old Trafford for the Manchester flavor, and the
Manchester crowd boos it.
– Damien
Sandow v. Kofi Kingston. Sandow goes nuts with knees and tosses
Kingston, following and pounding away. He covers Kofi’s face and
keeps stomping away, adding some pain from the ropes and getting one.
Sandow with a chinlock, but Kofi fights out and kicks away. Sandow
throws Kofi into the corner repeatedly and works him over with
shoulder rams and headbutts. He wipes Kofi’s face into the mat and
drops the knee for two. To the front chancery, but Kofi gets to his
feet only to be pulled down by the hair. Cubito Aequet follows, but
no cover as he adds more elbows for two. Legdrop misses. Kofi gets
the boots up to stop a charge, then trips Sandow and fires away.
Spinning heel kick by Kofi gets two. Kofi splashes the back of
Sandow for two. He did it from the middle rope and while Sandow was
standing. Sandow fights back to take control, but a blind charge
runs into the pendulum kick. Sandow shakes the ropes to stop a
springboard, and the You’re Welcome ends it at 3:53. Crowd was dead.
1/2*
– Next
week, Raw will do a country-themed show from Nashville. I demand at
the very least Road Dogg performing “With My Baby Tonight”.
– Intercontinental
Title: Curtis Axel v. Dolph Ziggler. As a reminder from WWE, this
match came up because Ziggler won a non-title match last week. They
lock up, finding their way into a corner, which leads to a clean
break. A second round leads to an Axel headlock, but Ziggler pulls
himself out and reverses. Axel with a chickenwing reversal, Ziggler
reverses THAT, Axel elbows out and punches away, and Ziggler’s down
in the corner for some mudhole stomping. A whip sequence leads to a
dropkick by Axel for one. He brags a bit, allowing Ziggler up to get
a headlock. Axel reverses, getting a shoulder tackle but running
into a dropkick for two. Ziggler now brags. Axel runs into a high
hiptoss for two. Ziggler with a suplex for two. Ten-elbow
countalong follows, with the tenth getting a belt flourish, for two.
Axel sends Ziggler for the Michaels Bump to the floor on a whip.
Axel throws Ziggler into the apron on the outside and begins pounding
away. Back in, it gets two. A series of forearm drops gets two.
Axel grabs Ziggler’s hair and yells at him, then puts him in the
ropes and keeps firing off. Axel slaps Ziggler around, but that
infuriates Ziggler and he gets the high-rise DDT for a double KO.
Axel’s charge goes into the ringpost. Ziggler with a leaping
clothesline out of Daniel Bryan’s playbook, following with a Stinger
Splash and ten punches in the corner to a Rude Awakening. Elbowdrop
gets two. Rocker Dropper misses, and Axel slingshots Ziggler into
the top buckle, rolling him up for two. Rocker Dropper hits on the
second try and gets two for Ziggler. Both men slowly up, and Axel
with a Saito suplex for two. Axel to the second rope, but Ziggler
leaps all the way up with a facejam for two. Zig Zag misses and Axel
with a faceplant and the Hennig Breaker for the win at 9:05. I don’t
know what they see in Axel, but Langston is inevitably the next
champion and they’re just waiting for the right time. **1/4
– Backstage,
Kane and Maddox keep arguing over who’s running the show each one
planning to the tell the Authority. The main event tonight is We The
People against John Cena, suggested by Maddox. Kane adds Bryan/Punk
against the Shield. Crowd loves both ideas. Kane refuses a Maddox
handshake. Are they trying to turn either Maddox or Vickie face?
– We
have a WWE Shop segment featuring an evil Zack Ryder from an
alternate universe.
– Tamina
Snuka v. Nikki Bella. This match is played out. Tamina opens with a
knee and throw, but Nikki rolls Tamina up for one. Tamina throws
Nikki into the corner again, but Nikki blocks a charge and ANOTHER
rollup gets one. Nikki drop toeholds Tamina and gets a dropkick as
Tamina bails. Nikki tries a standing monkey flip, but Tamina throws
her to the ground and gets the JACKET THROW OF DOOM for one. Tamina
with a slam and she tries for a kneeling bow-and-arrow. Nikki elbows
away and gets separation. Tamina chokes away on Nikki as the crowd
tries a This Is Awesome chant. That better be ironic. Tamina with a
pumphandle into a powerslam for two and we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Tamina
with the Ventura body vice, but Nikki reverses to a back body drop.
Tilt-a-whirl headscissors (sort of) leads to a series of
clotheslines. Standing monkey flip connects this time, and a bulldog
gets two as an ECW chant begins. AJ adds a cheap shot, and the big
boot follows. AJ throws Brie into the apron as Tamina goes up, and
the Superfly Splash connects for the win at 4:24. Brie suckershots
AJ and clears the ring post-match. Just switch the title or move on
already. DUD
– WWE
2K14 look as they re-enact the Streak vs. Career match. On
SmackDown, we will show some Character Creations.
– The
Shield visit Randy Orton in the training room, and Orton asks where
the heck they were to make the save. Orton is chewing all of them
out, but the Shield make it clear they don’t answer to anyone,
especially not Orton. Orton is very angry.
– Fandango
v. Tyson Kidd. Kidd has new music and the same old relationship
problems. Come on, guys, they’re married; stop teasing a breakup.
For the record, the England crowd is still bored and doing the
Fandangoizing. Kidd with a waistlock, which Fandango reverses, but
Kidd with a snapmare and a long whip sequence leading to an eventual
gut kick and dropkick. Kidd pounds away in the corner, but Fandango
tosses him over the top rope. JBL implies that Fandango and Natalya
shared a look, and back in, Fandango gets two. Fandango knocks over
Kidd and goes to the chinlock. Kidd’s fight-out is cut off, but Kidd
lands on his feet off a suplex and throws Fandango into the corner.
Kidd cuts off a blind charge and gets a springboard dropkick into a
running rana off the apron. Kidd tries to get a chant for him, but
it’s short-lived. Back in, Kidd gets a springboard sunset flip, but
Fandango sits on top for the pin at 2:57. Crowd loves it, because it
means more dancing. Meh. 1/2*
– John
Cena v. We The People. So we have proud American and controversial
face John Cena against two people who are American jingoists and the
match is in England. I don’t see ANYONE getting cheered in this one.
Zeb Colter tries to make sure it never happens by calling Englishmen
soccer thugs with bad food. Sadly, England agrees with him. Plus,
they thought Mr. Bean was funny. Colter continues the cheap heat,
but WE THE PEOPLE still gets a reaction. Swagger starts, and the
Cena chants begin. Swagger works the arm (of course), but Cena
escapes and checks the tricep. Cena keeps one eye on Cesaro as a We
The People chant begins. Cena throws Swagger, who calmly tags in
Cesaro. And before we can get anything going, out comes Alberto Del
Rio. Cena checks on him, but KEEPS the lockup going; unfortunately,
it doesn’t work, and Cesaro dumps Cena with Swagger adding a cheap
shot. Cesaro throws him into the barricade as we go to break. We
return with a European Uppercut as the soccer thugs begin chanting.
Big soccer kick by Cesaro leads to the Karelin suplex for two.
Swagger with a headlock as the crowd chants for a Superman cosplayer.
Cena suplexes his way out of it. Cesaro tags in, but gets caught
with Cena’s elevation neckbreaker for two. Swagger tags himself in
and gets consecutive Vaderbombs. The third one misses, and Cesaro
gets caught with a shoulderblock, as does Swagger, but Cesaro
intercepts a third try with the European Uppercut. GIANT SWING OF
DOOM is stopped as Cena tries the STF. Cesaro tags Swagger in,
unbeknownst to Cena, so when Cena sets up the Five-Knuckle Shuffle,
Swagger enters with the Patriot Lock. Another tag that Cena wasn’t
aware of results in a Cesaro crossbody, but Cena catches, rolls
through, and hooks up the AA. Swagger clips Cena to stop it, and
Cesaro gets two. Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer, but Cena backdrops
out. Swagger tags back in, but gets caught with the Protoslam and
Five-Knuckle Shuffle. AA try, but Swagger rolls through into the
Patriot Lock. Cena rolls out of it and gets the AA to Swagger, but
Cesaro saves. Everyone’s down but Cesaro, who calls for the tag and
gets it. Cesaro gets caught into a duck-under and powerbomb (!!) for
two. Slugfest trade ensues, with the crowd on the side of the
European Uppercuts, especially when Cesaro gets a catapult uppercut
for two. Charging European uppercut from Cesaro and he sets up a
superplex, but Cena fights out and knocks down Cesaro. Swagger tags
in and pops up, but Cena knocks him down and gets a crossbody to
Swagger into the clothesline to Cesaro and an STF for Swagger for the
tap at 12:52. Cesaro jumps after the bell and keep sup the attack
with headbutts, but Cena fights back and dispatches Cesaro again only
for ADR to charge in and deliver massive chairshots to Cena. Del Rio
tries to Pillmanize Cena and applies the armbar with the chair. Big
E Langston of all people races in for the save. There was some
seriously good chemistry in that match, but the booking made Cena
look more like the heel than We The People. **3/4
– Meanwhile,
on Main Event, AJ will defend against Natalya. And likely win,
though I haven’t seen spoilers.
– Backstage,
all the G.M.s cheer Alberto Del Rio, who wants Vickie to tell Big E
to stay out of his business. The Authority Lite makes the match for
later tonight.
– Ryback
v. R-Truth. Is R-Truth doing a battle rap? Nice. Truth with a
waistlock, but Ryback backs him in to a corner and works over him.
Truth with a headlock, but Ryback fights out and gets a top wristlock
and hairpull throw. Ryback asks Truth to hit him, but Truth goes
back to a headlock instead. They repeat the spot from earlier, and
Ryback calls Truth “stupid”. Truth fights back with kicks that
stun Ryback, including one off a back body drop try, but Ryback
throws Truth into the corner back and forth. Hammer throw by Ryback.
Ryback chokes Truth on the ropes for four, then gets a military
press into a slam. He stomps away on Truth and backs him into the
corner, chopping and punching away. Another slam follows, and the
big splash gets two. Ryback with a ground waistlock as the crowd is
quiet. He switches to a bearhug. Truth fights his way out of it,
including a big right, but runs into a spinebuster. Blind charge
misses, and Truth with a rollup out of nowhere for the pin at 4:01.
Wait, what? 1/4*
– Big E
Langston v. Alberto Del Rio. ADR with a kick and headbutts to start,
but Langston catches him and fires off in the gut repeatedly. A
cross-corner whip and shoulder ram follows, then a tackle. Blind
charge eats ADR’s boots for one, then a low kick to the head and
stomps for another one. ADR to the chinlock, but Langston fights out
only to get hit with a DDT for two. ADR stomps away and returns to
the chinlock as the crowd is distracted, so fine. Crowd does the
wave as ADR jumps on Langston’s back. Langston breaks with a side
suplex, then comes at it with clotheslines and a Greco-Roman suplex.
Ultimate Splash follows and Langston stalks ADR, but ADR misses the
blind charge and gets the step-up enzuigiri for two. Crowd decides
to hype themselves up as ADR fails to get the armbar on. THE STRAPS
COME DOWN off a Vadershot, but the Big Ending is slid out of and the
armbar finishes at 4:06. Hey, remember all that effort Orton did
last week to make Langston look good? Never mind. *1/4
– Oh,
hey, Del Rio and Cena will do arm wrestling on SmackDown! Those are
ALWAYS fun!
– Paul
Heyman shows up with a neck brace, crutch, back brace, wheelchair,
leg brace, and Curtis Axel. He blames Punk again for all his
injuries. He says that Punk is not a match for Paul Heyman and had
help getting to him – such as Ryback. That’s right, after all
Heyman has done for Ryback, it’s Ryback’s fault that Heyman got hurt.
Ryback was overwhelmed by Punk, but he’s not the only one at fault –
the fans are also at fault. See, they encouraged Punk to attack
Heyman, an innocent man. So it’s all the fans’ fault, which the fans
are understandably okay with. He calls Manchester a ghetto, but he’s
here not because he wants to talk, but because he needs witnesses for
his declaration: he shall return with a vengeance. Funny way to
pronounce Brock Lesnar. He will stab the Sword of Damocles at
Punk… which brings Punk out. Heyman: “OH NO!” Axel is ready
to attack Punk, but we all know Axel is Punk’s tackling dummy.
Indeed, one roundhouse kick and barricade trip leads to a GTS and
Heyman is literally helpless against Punk. Punk gets himself a kendo
stick and stares at Heyman in glee, then grabs the wheelchair and
spins it in circles before dumping him out and the beating continues
to the cadence of a YES chant.
– Main
event: CM Punk and Daniel Bryan v. The Shield. Rollins does a front
flip over the barrier on his way in. Punk and Ambrose start. A long
staredown begins, as both men slowly begin the match. Ambrose with a
wristlock into a headlock, but Punk shoves off only to get knocked
down. Punk returns with a leg lariat, and Bryan enters as the faces
get a double suplex on Ambrose. Bryan gets two. Ambrose with a back
elbow off of a whip, and Rollins in boxing against the ropes. Bryan
flips him over with a knee smash and he sets up a surfboard, hooking
it on Rollins. Punk in, and after taunting the Shield, he kicks
Rollins for two. Dropkick off of a snapmare gets one. Rollins
fights back with a big chop in the corner, but Punk catches the
dropkick and slingshots Rollins into the turnbuckle. GTS tried, but
Rollins escapes and races to tag Reigns in. He and Punk stare down
before locking up, with Reigns headbutting Punk in the corner and
ropes. A straight right hand follows, but Punk slides underneath and
tags Bryan in. Faces trade kicks on Reigns, but Reigns knocks them
both over with clotheslines. Punk is disposed of, and Rollins comes
in to beat on Bryan. Bryan flips over in the corner and hooks
Rollins in a German suplex and running corner dropkick.
Frankensteiner out of the corner gets two. YES kicks begin, with
Ambrose getting the final blow, but Rollins high kicks Bryan as we go
to break. We return with Rollins getting a rear chinlock on Bryan.
Would that be a beardlock? Bryan elbows out of it, but Rollins sends
Bryan into the corner as Bryan tries the HBK Flip. Not quite.
Rollins gets two. Ambrose in with stomps and a Power Drive Elbow for
two. Ambrose with a FINGERLOCK on Bryan and boxes away in the corner
before tagging Reigns in. Reigns with headbutts to fell Bryan.
Reigns keeps working over Bryan and shouting at him. Bryan punches
out but runs into a right hand by Reigns for two. Rollins stomps
away on Bryan as JBL compares Reigns to Terry Gordy. Rollins with a
slam for two, and a cobra clutch. Bryan gets out again, but Rollins
with a CLUBBERIN, THEY BE CLUBBERIN TONY and brings in Reigns. Bryan
launches out Rollins and low-bridges Reigns, leaving a clear path to
Punk. Ambrose and Punk in, Punk with a springboard clothesline and
axhandles to everyone in black. Duck-under neckbreaker follows as
does a corner knee and short-arm clothelsine. He goes up top, and
the Heartbreak Elbow gets two before Rollins saves. Bryan missile
dropkicks Rollins and dives onto Rollins only to get lariated HARD by
Reigns. Punk dives onto Reigns, then back in, a roundhouse to
Ambrose follows. GTS try to Ambrose, but Reigns gets it instead.
Ambrose cradles Punk for two. Punk with the Anaconda Vice on
Ambrose… and the feed cuts out. Wait, no, it’s the Wyatt Family in
the ring. Everyone’s concerned on BOTH sides. Rollins and Harper
get in a verbal fight in the ring, with Ambrose pulling Rollins aside
and joining in. Shield and Wyatts get in a shoving match as the
crowd WANTS more. Harper and Rowan attack Ambrose and Rollins as the
match falls apart at 16:00 or so. Meanwhile, Reigns and Wyatt are
arguing, with Wyatt getting in the first blow and all heck is
breaking loose. Punk and Bryan wisely get out of dodge as both sides
face off. Wyatt finally reminds everyone they ALL hate Bryan and
Punk and unites the troops to go after them. Now Punk and Bryan are
surrounded by six guys. Punk and Bryan try to get the opening shot,
but no good. Now the Usos and Rhodeses get involved and it’s a
12-man melee. Crowd is loving this. Faces clear the ring as I
believe we have our Traditional Survivor Series Match™. Match was
really good until it turned into an even better brawl. ***1/2
FINAL
THOUGHTS:
This
was a total one-match show, which is a shame because it shouldn’t
have been. Orton didn’t seem to care about this match, and the crowd
made sure just about everything else was DOA. Not that they had much
to go on – this show was very missable with the only real thing
happening being a Shield/Wyatts tease and the Traditional Match all
but made. Cena and the Americans did all right, don’t get me wrong,
and as the second best match of the night it was perfectly
acceptable, but my goodness I just could not care about this show.
And
this makes me wonder: why? Was HHH’s absence that big a deal? It
shouldn’t have been – he doesn’t wrestle, and the 20 minutes of
interview segment last week didn’t exactly make me want to see him
again. Looking over the matches on this show, there wasn’t much that
was going to succeed. Sandow/Kofi was meaningless, ADR sucked out
all the momentum Langston had by making him tap out, the Divas match
is old hat even by Diva standards, and the longer Axel holds the
Intercontinental Title the stranger it gets.
Two
matches don’t make a great show, because you need to have glue tying
them together. Last week, the wrestling was solid enough that I
could live with it. This week, there was nothing in the ring (likely
because the crowd decided ahead of time not to give a darn). I can’t
even get up enough emotion to hate this show. You missed nothing if
you skipped the show just to read my report. (Pfft – like anyone
does that.)
STATS:
MATCH
TIME: 71:00 or so, depending on when you feel the Main Event ended,
over ten matches
BEST
MATCH: Bryan and Punk/Shield
WORST
MATCH: Nikki/Tamina
NIGHT
MVP (kayfabe): CM Punk
RATING:
Meh, 4/10.
Scott
and Tommy will continue the week with Raw Lite, NXT, and SmackDown.
In the meantime, our troops
deserve a better show than this. I’ll be back in 7 days.