Another week gone by, and another Raw is ready for us to mark-out over. With only a few weeks until Survivor Series, we’ve got some questions that need answering:
-Who is Bray Wyatt’s devil, and do I care?
-Will Big Show convert all this sudden good will into a championship win?
-Why is Khali still a wrestler?
Let’s find out the answers to all these and more with another edition of the WWE Raw Recap!
WWE Raw, 11/11/13, Live from Manchester, UK
Show Opening: Randy Has Some Complaints
The show kicks off with current WWE champion Randy Orton telling us why he’s so badass and announcing himself as the acting “authority”, since HHH and Stephanie are on a second honeymoon in parts unknown. Brad Maddox got a crowd response for maybe the first time ever, challenges Randy’s authority and announces a Orton/Cody Rhodes match. Man, these European fans are really starved for entertainment. Glenn, a/k/a Kane, interrupts Brad and heads to the ring to engage in a lovers spat with Maddox over which member of the Rhodes Bros. Orton will be facing in the ring. Of course, no management pissing match would be complete without the dulcet tones of Smackdown GM Vicky Guerrero, who, for some reason is the final word on Orton’s fate tonight, and announces a 2-on-1 handicap match, with the Viper facing off against the awesomeness that is The Rhodes Bros.
Randy Orton vs. The Rhodes Bros.
And we’re off. Cody and Dustin (Golddust) make their way to ringside to take on the apex predator. Did Vicky just become a face? If it means more matches like this, I’m okay with that. Goldy and the formerly-mustachioed one take turns getting beaten up by the seemingly super powered Orton until the brothers manage to turn it around and knock Randy out of the ring. Orton decides enough is enough and takes the count out and the loss. That’s when Big Show decides to make a surprise appearance and decimate Orton at ring side. Chokeslam through the announce table to start the evening off? Oh, Big Show… you the best. Randy leaves the stadium in a stretcher, JBL/Cole/Lawler are left without a table, and I start the show off happy.
Winner: The Rhodes Bros.
Los Matadores and Santino vs. The Union Jacks (3MB)
THE BULL IS BACKKKKKKK!!!!! I kid (kind of), but El Torito is definitely the only watchable aspect of Los Matadores, despite their fancy new outfits. Santino (complete with bull horns) is involved in this match, so expect “comedy.” Also, The Union Jacks (or 3MB) are involved in this match, so take a wild guess as to who wins it. Yup. Bulltino hits a cobra strike (said cobra with its own set of horns) on Jinder Mahal for the obvious win.
Winner: Los Matadores and Santino/Bulltino
Backstage: Randy is Mad
Randy yells at Brad and Vicky for a while, threatening the swift hand of Hunter and Stephanie when they’re back from their vacation. He tries to yell at GlennKane, but GlennKane isn’t having it, because he’s, like, 7 feet tall and a libertarian.
Damien Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston
Though not particularly important to the larger story, I like this match right off the bat, two great performers who always give their all in the ring. We’re told this match is happening because Kofi talked Money-In-The-Bank related smack to Sandow during the commercial break. Sure. The match starts off with the power-house Sandow controlling Kofi with a lot of ground-based attacks; That is, until the high flyer manages to turn things around, hitting a series of top rope maneuvers. Since it’s Kofi, and the WWE doesn’t let Kofi win, Sandow hits his terribly named finisher for the 1-2-3.
Winner: Damien Sandow
Dolph Ziggler vs. Curtis Axel
Speaking of people with whom management are clueless what to do, our hero Ziggy squares off against the “probably should be sent back down to NXT” Curtis Axel, who is probably the least interesting character on Raw, ESPECIALLY without Paul Heyman. The match is for the IC title, which does make me a bit more interested in what would otherwise be a snooze-fest. I’m so ready for this dude to give up the strap (same goes for, and I’m sorry to say it, Ambrose). Ziggler dominates in the early goings to a mostly silent crowd. Axel starts dealing some pretty heavy looking hits while talking some really lame crap, until Ziggy hits a nasty looking DDT on the current champ. Dolph takes control of the match, hits a fameasser (which I love), and it’s looking like Dolph may walk away with the title. Ziggy hits a massive top rope faceplant for a near fall, until Axel randomly and sadly, nails Dolph out of nowhere, letting him pick up the pin-fall and retaining his IC championship. Boo.
Winner: Curtis Axel
Backstage: Glenn and Brad
In the back, GlennKane and Maddox try to agree on a main event for the evening, and the result is two main events, which both sound pretty cool. The Shield vs. Bryan and Punk, and The Real Americans vs. Cena. Handicap night.
Tamina vs. Nikki Bella
Oh, are new Divas episodes about to air? How’d I guess? I hate to say, but the Divas matches have been pretty lackluster as of late, and this one is really no different. Tamina dominates the much smaller Bella, while the crowd chants something I can’t understand. AJ nails Nikki, allowing Tamina to go up top for a pretty impressive Superfly Splash and the win.
Backstage: Randy is Mad Again
Randy continues his backstage tirades, this time directed at the very nonplussed Shield. Randy angrily ices down his shoulder.
Fandango vs. Tyson Kidd
We learn that this match is yet another Divas tie-in, but that’s okay, because both these guys are great in-ring workers. Fandango gets a HUGE pop from the crowd, which lasts into the early goings of the bout. Kidd is looking good after not being on TV for over a year, and takes the action to Fandango right away. A fairly even match with some great execution all around leads to Fandango pulling off a fairly quick win, which the audience is way happy with.
John Cena vs. The Real Americans
The night of handicap matches continues as world champ Cena (who I’m actually kind of enjoying since his return) takes on the extremely underrated Antonio Cesaro and the exactly-rated-where-he-should-be Jack Swagger. Zeb does his to-be-expected anti-U.K. speech, and it’s pretty funny for once. Also, his beard is RIDICULOUS! Swagger starts us off by targeting the recently healed left arm of Cena, and in the strangest, most ironic chant ever, the crowd screams “We the People.” Out of nowhere, ADR’s music hits, and Del Rio heads to the ring and distracts Cena as Cesaro does some serious damage to the champ, culminating in a MASSIVE uppercut and a near-fall. However, this is WWE, and the good guys usually win. They do tonight, when Cena locks an STF on Swagger for the win. Del Rio enters the ring with a chair, and let’s just say Cena is gonna need a good night’s sleep and maybe more arm surgery. Big E. Langston comes to the ring to save Cena, which is great, because Big E as a face can only mean good things and more Big E.
Winner: John Cena
Ryback vs. R Truth
Seriously, enough Ryback already. He’s… not my favorite. However, I do like Truth, so this match isn’t entirely unwatchable. Truth takes a dig at Ryback in his rap, and for the first time ever, I don’t cringe at Truth’s rap. Truth manages to contain the big man for a bit, but Ryback quickly puts the hurt on Truth (set to the fanfare of the usual Goldberg chants). Ryback slips??!? Truth gets a win out of nowhere. Weird.
Winner: R. Truth
Big E. Langston vs. Alberto Del Rio
See what happens when you’re a nice guy, Big E.? This should be a pretty great match, as both men are at the top of their game, wrestling-wise. These guys are pretty evenly matched, and they trade of dominance for the first few minutes of the contest. ADR is a fairly brutal wrestler, and Big E. is no slouch; these guys are really bringing it tonight. Some near-finishers hit, and Del Rio manages to lock Big E. in a cross-arm, getting the tap-out from the big man.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield
Here’s your main event; oh, and did I mention that it’s clobbering time? Our hero Punk and Bryan face off against the increasingly “not that fun anymore” Shield, in an angle that I don’t really see going anywhere fantastic. We start things off with a surprise Heyman appearance, complete with wheelchair. Paul is mad at Punk, and Punk apologizes by knocking out Axel and going to work on Paul E. Dangerously with a kendo stick. Awesome. The match quickly devolves into mayhem, as the Wyatts rush the ring and take on EVERYONE, which leads to all the faces from the locker room emptying into the ring to come to Punk/Bryan’s defense. A pretty cool ending to Raw, if you ask me.
Winner: All of us
Though this Raw didnt really progress any story stuff, it was made up of some pretty decent matches, and that’s all you can really ask for. I hope we’re not entering a world where WWE weekly TV is just a placeholder for the monthly PPVs. Regardless, we got some little Bull action, and that’s all that matters.