When last we
left our heroes, they’d finally had enough and stormed the ring, sending Randy
Orton and the Shield running. Now Daniel
Bryan has an army of ten behind him, and HHH specifically prevented Vickie from
exacting punishment… on SmackDown, anyway.
Which of these messages will rule the day tonight?
ad promises a Punk return in his hometown, and apparently the McMahons will address
the rebellious Superstars.
– The PG-Era
Rant for Monday Night Raw, September 23, 2013.
– Live from
– Your hosts
are JBL, an Old King, and Cole.
– First, a
tribute to Angelo Savoldi. Rest in peace
to another pioneer.
– As a
reminder, Daniel Bryan beat Randy Orton with a fast count, and as a result, the
title is held up. Or held in
abeyance. Or whatever phrase they want
to use. So Daniel Bryan got beaten up by
Team HHH until the “the rank and file” (or a good number of them) made the
– We begin
with the protestors on stage as Stephanie and HHH head to the ring. Through the protestors. I mean, there’s no way they would have a
beating right there, but it would’ve been amazing. Shield is the blue line between them. Cole addresses the punishment that wasn’t on
SmackDown (read Tommy Hall’s excellent report for details). Stephanie leads the crowd in the YES chant,
which is so bizarre. HHH says upfront:
thank you for making a name for yourselves and being men. No, it wasn’t standing up for Daniel Bryan…
wait, RVD wishes to disagree. HHH acts
like he never saw that coming.
Apparently, he thinks pro wrestlers are selfish people. I mean, why fight to keep someone else as
champ? HHH asks Dolph why he would fight
on the behalf of someone else and not himself, since why can’t Dolph be the
contender? Or R-Truth be a contender,
since he hasn’t had a championship match in forever? Or Ryder?
But they don’t have a chance because of… the Shield!? After all, the Shield has destroyed everyone
over and over. Ah, HHH throwing his
underlings under the bus. Classic
villain move. So, yeah, it wasn’t for
Daniel Bryan. It was for the
Shield. Clearly. HHH names them one by one to gauge pops. I think Ziggler wins, but it’s close. So HHH says we’ll have… the same match as on
SmackDown. No, seriously, the same
match. Elimination Handicap match,
Daniel Bryan, et cetera. In the midst of
all this, HHH confirms that Bryan/Orton will happen at Battleground, and he
tries to sow dissension by saying that Bryan thinks he’s better than the
protestors. Stephanie then says thank
you to the fans, and to show it: Randy Orton will face off against one of
Truth, Ziggler, or RVD. (NOTE: the crowd
would prefer CM Punk, thank you very much.)
And it will be an App Match. There’s
a level of insincerity here, and I love it.
The Shield don’t seem to thrilled by the match announcement, especially
since it was the “first ever” match but not the first of the week. What does Vickie Guerrero think?
remember how HHH didn’t want Vickie to be GM of Raw and had her thrown off the
job, only for Vince to send her to SmackDown?
Just a reminder as to why he’s overriding Vickie’s punishment, then
doing it on his own.
Kingston v. Alberto Del Rio. Aha! He’s softening up the Eleven before their
Shield match. Well played. As a reminder: ADR v. RVD will be at
Battleground. ADR owns the lockup into
the corner, getting a sharp kick to the gut and working a headlock. ADR wins the exchange with a shoulder tackle,
but Kofi leaps during the next sequence.
ADR isn’t fooled and attacks Kofi, working him over in the corner before
running into a head-scissors. Kofi sends
ADR to the outside, following with a somersault pescado. Kofi: “ALL DAY LONG!” Kofi with a ten-punch into a European Uppercut,
that doesn’t even get one. Gut kick by
ADR and he stomps on Kofi’s head. Snap
suplex by ADR, and that doesn’t get one either.
ADR with a chinlock, but Kofi fights out only to get hairpull
slammed. ADR chokes Kofi in the ropes, following
up with a Drive-By kick on the outside.
Kofi fights his way back with right hands, boxing his way out,
eventually dumping ADR to the apron. ADR
tries to use the hair to take advantage, only to get smashed with a high
kick. Kofi fakes a dive as we take a
break. We come back with Kofi down and
ADR standing tall. Kofi rolls back in,
only to get snapmared and soccer kicked for two. ADR works the arm as we see that ADR damaged
it during the commercial break. Kofi
fires out and tries a sunset flip, but the arm is too weak and ADR
capitalizes. ADR with a behind the head
chicken wing. Kofi fires out and works
ADR’s gut, putting him up top as the crowd chants for Randy Savage (because why
not). ADR does a hanging armbar, but
gets rolled up for two only to lariat Kofi.
ADR backs Kofi into the corner and is forced to break, allowing Kofi to
fight back with one arm. ADR blocks a
blind charge and goes up, only to get dropkicked out of midair. Question: if Kofi didn’t do that, what was
ADR going to do? Kofi begins the
comeback with clotheslines and a dropkick, but a HUGE kick to the arm by ADR
stops him cold. ADR charges into an SOS
for two. Kofi with a running chest kick
and Boom Drop on ADR, and he signals Trouble in Paradise. It’s important to clap even if you have a bad
arm, you know. Kofi charges into a
German suplex with bridge for two.
NICE. ADR mushroom stomps the
back of Kofi, then stalls before working up the crowd for the cross
armbreaker. Kofi tilt-a-whirls into what
appeared to be something between a DDT and SOS for two. That was a wild counter. ADR charges into the pendulum kick in the
ropes, but Kofi airballs a bodypress.
ADR sends Kofi into the post and is ready for the armbuster and Cross
Armbreaker, winning the match in 14:04.
WRESTLING! ***1/4 The champ wins a
great back-and-forth match, Kofi looks good without winning, and it sets up the
main event later. I approve.
Renee Young talks to the Miz, who looks pretty good for having a broken
neck. I guess the Pillman treatment only
works on the limbs. Before Miz can say
anything, HHH checks up on him. HHH: “Chicago
wants its MizTV.” Crowd: “We do?” Tonight, it’s MizTV with the Big Show. Miz says nothing. I think we know how this is going to end, and
there’s nothing wrong with that.
– We recap the
Family v. Prime Time Players. Wow, the
Wyatts are crazy over. The crowd is
clapping along with their music. Harper
forces himself to start the match with Young, working the nose (!!) before
getting pounded down. Harper with a big
boot to take control, and in comes Rowan.
Mask and all. Rowan with a slam
and he stares at Young before removing his mask and headbutting Young. Big elbow follows. Rowan hangs Young on the ropes, and both men
argue over who beats Young up. Harper
teases Young before going to a front chancery.
Harper with a big back elbow for two.
I like this detail: the Wyatts are not fighting like wrestlers. Rowan with a kneedrop to Young’s back. Rowan works over Young in the corner, but
Young tries to fight back only to get a kneelift and pumphandle backbreaker
from Rowan. Harper with a tag off a
miscommunication as the crowd wants Wyatt himself. Harper goes clubbing and fishhooks
Young. Lights temporarily go out. Weird.
Young knocks Rowan off the turnbuckle and kicks away on Harper, FINALLY
getting the hot tag. O’Neil pops the
crowd and cleans house. Corner
clothesline on Harper and he barks. Young
sends Rowan to the outside, but Harper lariats O’Neil (JBL approves) for the
pin at 4:29. Wyatt adds some shots to
Young for fun, ending with Sister Abigail’s Kiss. Wyatt: “FOLLOW THE BUZZARDS!” 3/4*
MizTV! And Miz is very angry. He promises it is not over with Randy
Orton. His guest, as noted before, is
Big Show. Crowd is booing, but
whom? Big question: how could Show DO
that? Show says nothing. Miz is sympathetic and knows Show is in
between a rock and a hard place. Miz
says they’re trying to break Show so that they can get the big man on his
side. “If they break you, they can break
everybody – at least that’s what they think!”
One small problem: if the rest of the WWE is stepping up, why not
Show? Crowd is cheering Miz here. But before Miz can finish his rousing speech,
here’s Stephanie. Stephanie wants to
know why he’s berating Show. Miz isn’t
afraid of the legal threats that Stephanie, and gets immature to make his
point. Stephanie says that Miz is
inadequate and calls Orton’s beatdown humiliating. “There’s nothing worse than a Superstar who
peaks too early.” She calls Miz a
utility player and says he’s good for media relations. Only Stephanie can make this sound BAD. Stephanie says that Miz failed his
family. This is beautifully disgusting. The verbal beating goes on a tad too long
before Stephanie finally gets to the point we all knew was coming: Stephanie
orders Big Show to knock Miz out. And
this time Big Show does it with pleasure, though it’s hard to blame him. If Show’s slowly turning heel in this story,
why was he turned face when he came back in the first place? I know constant Show turning is a running gag
on the Internet, but this is weird even by those standards.
Orton v. Rob Van Dam. And it’s not even
close. Did Lawler call Randy Orton WWE
Champion? They say this was the
second-most votes in WWE App history. I
can only hope the most votes was when they asked Daniel Bryan and Kane to hug
it out. Posing to start, but Orton
smacks down and punches down RVD. RVD
flips over a backdrop, causing Orton to bail.
Orton slowly re-enters, but RVD nails a heel kick and fires away in the
corner. Corner-to-corner heel kick sends
Orton out a second time as the hardest thing I have to do is ignore the
announcers. RVD follows, but Orton trips
RVD as we go to break. We return with
Orton stomping RVD’s face. Vertical
suplex gets two, and we HIT THE CHINLOCK.
RVD fights out, ending with a spinkick to daze Orton, then it’s a series
of clotheslines. Superkick follows as
Ricardo wants Rolling Thunder and gets it.
It gets two. Blind charge by
Orton misses, but so does the split-legged moonsault by RVD. Orton sets up the Draping DDT, nailing it as
JBL steals Cole’s “vintage Orton” line.
Orton stalls as the crowd boos him before pounding up the RKO. RVD counters with a high kick and leg roll
for two. How did he hit that kick? RVD fights Orton in the corner and nails the
flying kick as a Plan B off of the rolling monkey flip. Orton is up too soon on the Five-Star, so RVD
does a rolling senton bodyblock instead.
Second try, but Orton kicks the leg out of RVD’s leg on the top
rope. Orton follows up with a high kick
to send RVD to the outside – no RKO yet – and they visit the announce
table. RVD goes into the barrier as we
get another double countout at 10:38.
Orton rips apart the safety rail and suplexes RVD onto the metal
skeleton of the barricade. From there,
it’s into the steel steps. Orton pounds
RVD in the head repeatedly before sending him into a second set of steps. Then, RVD goes into the announce table, and
from there, it’s back in the ring. Orton
puts RVD on the top – he’s LAUGHING AT THIS, which is beautiful – and it’s a
Draping DDT from the top. Orton as a
psychopath heel is just what he needed – now he’s not just the chosen heel, but
he’s capable of winning on his own. THIS
is how you build your top heel. **1/2
we’ll see the debut of Los Matadores next week.
Alberto Del Rio adds his two cents on Rob Van Dam.
– So, I
pre-ordered WWE2K14. How about you?
Randy Orton gloats to the Bellas and sends a warning to Daniel Bryan. Then offers to give an upgrade. Evil Orton is so fun. Orton growls at whichever Bella is DB’s
we look at HHH’s wedding with Stephanie.
I’m disappointed they didn’t invite fans to the wedding. A “what” chant during the vows would have
been outstanding. Stephanie’s watching
it when AJ enters the office to a big pop.
Stephanie brings up AJ’s ex-boyfriend insanity and offers a DVD copy to
AJ. Ouch. AJ wants the Total Divas to go away and never
come back. Plus, AJ’s own tag partners
hate her. Stephanie just glares at AJ
and tells her to do what she’s told. Is
this an AJ face turn imminent? I don’t
think WWE even knows which side to cheer for.
v. Santino Marella. Okay, given how the
fans sing along to his nonexistent lyrics in his theme music… do you turn him
face? CAN you? I smell a comedy match. Dance-off starts us off, but Santino takes
advantage to punch away. Fandango BOWS
to avoid a bodypress and stomps away. Not
bad. Knee to the gut by Fandango, but
Santino kips up… or tries to and fails.
Fandango stomps for good measure.
Hammer Throw by Fandango gets two.
Snapmare by Fandango, and he goes to a bodyscissors as the crowd chants
for Summer Rae. Santino powers out of
it, so Fandango changes to a headlock.
Santino rolls up for two to break.
Fandango clotheslines him down for two.
Abdominal stretch by Fandango as Cole namechecks Tony Garea (!!). Santino back suplexes out of it. Santino starts the comeback and gets the
saluting headbutt before grabbing the Cobra.
Summer Rae distracts Santino, so Fandango gets a snap suplex and goes up
for the flying legdrop. Santino meets
him up there but is knocked back down, and the big legdrop finishes at
3:46. Fandango just does NOT do it for
– CM Punk
arrives to blow the roof off the joint.
He has a Duncan Keith NHL jersey (as if he needs help sucking up to the
home crowd). It’s going to be
Punk/Ryback at Battleground. Punk is
upset he can’t even be upset over losing to Heyman. Brock Fan can be seen bowing to Punk. He feels upset he couldn’t bring the Stanley
Cup, which segues into letting people down at Night of Champions. Nothing can change that Heyman pinned CM
Punk. That’s in Grey’s Sports Almanac
(which I thought only went to 2005). This
STUNG. Punk is thinking that if he lost
to Heyman, can he continue? Does he
deserve to be Chicago Made? Crowd: “YES
YOU DO!” Punk then credits the fans for
picking him back up (and mentions the Blackhawks comeback against the
Wings). He ties it together: if Chicago
can get over it and come back to win the whole thing, SO CAN HE. That’s how Chicago does it! Punk embraces the blue-collar Chicago
ethic. He’s going to complete the
comeback, because THAT’S WHAT CHICAGO DO!
Sorry, having a Mark Henry moment.
Paul Heyman interrupts with New York, New York. That’s funny.
As is his bad singing. He’s on a
motor scooter and his mic cuts out a bit.
But Heyman’s gonna get beat down because WE’RE IN CHICAGO! This is SUCH a cheap heat promo. Not saying it’s bad, just that that’s what it
is. Heyman admits he was beaten down
hard at Night of Champions, and it’s put him in therapy ever since. But you know what? HE STILL WON.
Heyman makes it clear that it’s geography’s fault: Chicago is just the
Second (Rate) City. Crowd calls him a
walrus, but it doesn’t matter because HE BEAT CM PUNK. Punk makes it clear we all know the ending,
including the Ryback/Axel beatdown. And
it doesn’t matter how short he gets, he will rip Heyman’s face off. Heyman keeps egging Punk on and goes to leave…
but the scooter malfunctions. Punk races
after Heyman, and gets half a second before the Dangerous Alliance takes Punk
out. You gotta wonder why Punk fell for
this. He KNEW it was going to happen,
and he went and did it anyway. Seriously? Does being a face lower your IQ? Punk fights his way out, sending Ryback
flying but not Axel. Axel keeps pounding
and whips Punk into the stage, but Punk reverses before diving onto
Ryback. The crowd is going bonkers. Ryback visits the stage as well, but Axel
recovers only to get a roundhouse kick.
But that allows RYBACK to recover and attack. Now Punk eats stage courtesy of Ryback, who
throws him onto the sound trunks and gorilla presses him through a table. And by the way, Heyman never needed the
scooter. Crowd responds by taunting
Goldberg. I mean Ryback. Brilliant segment, even if it was tampered a
little by the fact that they even acknowledged everyone could see it coming a
– As they
observe Punk – who insists on leaving on his own – we have intros for the next
– The Total
Divas v. Layla, Alicia Fox, Aksana, AJ Lee, and Tamina. Natalya and Alicia start, and Natalya gets a
rollup for one before having a Sharpshooter blocked. Alicia fights back as the crowd demands
puppies. Ask your Attitude Era brother
about that one. Alicia gets two off a
boot in the corner and HITS THE CHINLOCK.
Natalya fights out, but Fox stops her only to miss the flip
legdrop. Hot tag to Brie, who gets dropkicks
repeatedly and a knee to the face. She
clears the apron, but AJ jumps in and slams down Brie. She sends Brie to the post, but Brie with a
facejam after AJ taunts too much to get the pin at 1:54. Of note: her teammates did nothing to break
it up. And now, Brie/AJ for the Divas’
Title (presumably) at Battleground. Eh,
it got the job done. Not that I care.
Young interviews the Shield in their undisclosed location. Ambrose isn’t happy about the match… but they’re
the hounds that kill the wolves. Now
Ambrose is using Best For Business™. And
every time the Shield’s back is against the wall, they revolutionize the
industry. The Shield are WINNERS. Tonight, they will do their jobs.
– Before our
main event, a word with Daniel Bryan.
And that word is likely YES. He
mentions the title being taken from him over an accusation of conspiracy. Bryan says he may not be smart, but Orton was
so far knocked out it didn’t matter. And
now he counter-accuses HHH and Orton, since Armstrong got a very favorable
severance package. Whatever happened,
though, doesn’t matter, because there will be a rematch and he will win it, no
matter which Viper he faces. Orton won’t
wake up until the next day, and all he’ll hear is YES. This brings the Shield out early, but the
Rhodes Brothers ambush Ambrose and Rollins before anything happens. Nice of Dustin to put his facepaint on. That small detail pulled me a bit out of the
moment, but otherwise it reminded us about the Rhodes feud.
main event: Ziggler/Ambrose for the US Title.
Have fun, Tommy.
Event: The Shield v. The Revolution. To
recap, we have Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston, Rob Van Dam, R-Truth, Dolph
Ziggler, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Zack Ryder, Justin Gabriel, Darren Young, and
Titus O’Neil on one side, and Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns on
the other. It’s elimination rules. Kofi is taped up. Jimmy and Rollins will start, and Rollins
gets the better of that. Jimmy avoids a
whip to the heel corner and uppercuts Rollins, bringing in Ziggler to keep up
the momentum. Rollins throws Ziggler
into the heel corner, and that allows Ambrose to fight back and box down
Ziggler in the corner. Ambrose brings
Reigns in, and Reigns keeps Ziggler in the heel corner. Rollins kicks Ziggler and taunts the face
corner, allowing Ziggler an attempt to worm through. Rollins makes it a half-crab, and Ambrose is
in to taunt. Ziggler with a dropkick on
Ambrose, and in comes a taped-up RVD.
Big kicks to RVD, but Ambrose avoids Rolling Thunder only to get kicked
down. Shoulders in the gut by RVD, but
he tweaks his arm on the backflip and Ambrose with the bulldog driver for the
pin at 2:54. We take a break. When we return, Kofi has an armlock on
Rollins, and the crowd wants Ziggler as Rollins does a backbreaker to get
out. Ambrose in, and he works the
injured arm. Ambrose with an armbar into
a chickenwing, and Kofi is in pain. Kofi
with a buckle-climb crossbody for two, but no tag as Ambrose holds him back
with the bad arm. Bulldog driver again
and Kofi’s out at 8:08. O’Neil charges
in and throws Ambrose around. Ambrose
escapes and brings in Reigns as the crowd wants to see this matchup. They lock up, but Reigns pushes O’Neil into
the Shield corner, allowing Rollins to get more punches in. Rollins continues the assault and brings
Reigns back in with a headbutt. O’Neil
fights everyone down, but gets speared and he’s out at 9:43. Gabriel in next to try his luck with kicks,
but he’s speared and sent home at 10:02.
Ryder tries, but Reigns controls him.
Blind charge misses and Ryder with a missile dropkick and Broski Boot…
But he gets speared and is out at 10:34.
Enter Bryan now with many many kicks, but Reigns shrugs him off. Bryan does the corner flip into a clothesline
and clears the Shield. Corner-to-corner
dropkicks follow as Jimmy comes in with a superkick. Jey up top with the Superfly Splash and
Reigns is out at 11:24. Cole points out that
Reigns has never been pinned before as we go to break again. Young is pounding down Rollins as we come
back, but Rollins drops Young on the buckle and brings in Ambrose. Ambrose with a Bryanesque dropkick to Young
and he punches away in the corner.
Ambrose continues boxing down Young, and in comes Rollins with a
snapmare and kick. He goes to the
facelock, getting the crowd behind Young, but Ambrose gets a blind tag and
sandwiches Young. Ambrose puts on a
sleeper to Young, but Young headbutts out and gets a Greco-Roman throw. A Northern Lights suplex gets two on
Ambrose. Young won’t tag out, going for
the Gut Check, but Rollins tags in and gets the knee to the face off the top
rope to pin Young at 17:19. Ziggler back
in with a dropkick and Rude Awakening.
He goes nuts in the corner on Rollins, but gets pulled into the buckle
after a few too many charges. Ambrose
gets two off of it. Ambrose tosses
Ziggler into the corner and boxes and headbutts away, but a running powerslam
is reversed to the Zig Zag and he’s out at 18:39. Rollins is 1-on-5 and jumps Ziggler right
away, but he realizes he’s in a LOT of trouble.
Rollins pulls Ziggler to his corner and stomps away. A slam gets two. Rollins gets a float suplex for two. He goes to the chinlock to save his strength,
but runs into an elbow and gets Jumping DDT’d.
It’s a double KO situation, and in comes Truth with clotheslines. Lie Detector connects, followed by a front
suplex slam for two. Rollins cuts off
momentum and gets a jumping stomp for the pin at 21:10. The Revolution debates before surrounding
Rollins – look familiar? – and they all race in and attacks Rollins at the same
time. Ambrose returns, so Ziggler sends
him out. The Usos cut off Reigns at the
pass with a double superkick, and it’s a twin pescado by the Usos. That leaves Bryan and Rollins, but Rollins
knocks over Bryan from behind. Bryan’s
put up top and Rollins follows, but the superplex is cut off and Bryan gets the
Ram Jam. Crowd is pumped, and it’s the
Yes Knee for the finish at 23:12. Bryan,
Ziggler, and the Usos seem to survive, but no one is celebrating but
Bryan. Everyone else left. If I’m HHH, I’m bringing this up on
Friday. This match was what it needed to
This was one
of those self-contained story shows, and as always it should be judged along
those lines. The main event paid off
earlier actions: Kofi and RVD were eliminated early, the Prime Time Players didn’t
win, and Daniel Bryan celebrated alone.
I have to wonder how much of this will be followed up on. As I said, it should be followed up on,
because for this story to be anything more than cartoonish, the heels need to
have a point.
itself had a lot of good matches, which is all I want on Raw. The heat on Orton is on ORTON now, and the
story with HHH has them taking a back seat.
Almost every face on the roster is caught up in this story in some way –
Miz and the Rhodes Brothers on top of the Revolution – and now, the Big Show
looks more heelish. The only concern I
have is that the heel side needs more muscle on it. Yes, we have the Shield and Orton, and Big
Show is slowly going over there, but there’s room for more. Del Rio?
We The People? The Wyatt
Family? There’s room to even the sides.
But all that
is projecting and speculating. I have to
judge based on what I saw today, and it did entertain me. I’m going to be honest: writing these recaps
make the three hours go faster. I like
how all the stories are intertwining, and they are making the WWE Title and who
has it the centerpiece of all the action.
That’s all I ask for: titles front and center, and matches that settle
58:03 in only six matches
Del Rio v Kofi
(kayfabe): Tough call again, but I’ll go Dolph Ziggler
7.5. The last match had too much
downtime, but there were several moments that got my love. Also, the surprise appearance of the Rhodes
Brothers makes me happy.
That’s all I
got this time around. Stay tuned for
Mike Mears’ post-game show, and I’ll be back to live-rant again in seven
days! Please post any questions to this
blog, because I check feedback all night.