Mike Tedesco’s RAW Thoughts
October 15, 2013
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
RAW started off with a promo from Shawn Michaels, who will be guest refereeing the match at Hell in a Cell between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. H-B-Shizzle looks better to me without that giant beard he grew over the summer. It was an epic beard, but it looked weird on him. In terms of his promo, not much was really said there. He’s still best buds with Triple H, he trained Daniel Bryan, and he has problems with Randy Orton, but like every guest referee says, he’s going to call the match right down the middle.
Randy Orton was out next, and he cut a quick promo to get the St. Louis crowd to hate him. It sort of worked. The rest of his promo just felt forced. It’s fine for Orton to say that he’s better than HBK in his prime, but the part about HBK being jealous just felt lame. Even Orton seemed like he couldn’t deliver the lines with a straight face. Anyway, Orton tried to blindside him with an RKO, but HBK escaped. Orton then ducked Sweet Chin Music to end it, so at least they established some tension between the two men. It’ll be something to watch out for at Hell in a Cell. I’m sure the rumors will fire up (if they haven’t already) that HBK is indeed going to turn on Bryan and side with The Authority.
As Orton escaped the ring, The Miz attacked him from behind as he’s still seeking revenge for that vicious assault on RAW a few weeks back. The referees separated them as the show went to commercial, so the hook was definitely there to continue watching. The match wasn’t half bad. I thought it was one of The Miz’ better showings in a while. He looked very good in it. Just as he was about to go for his finish, The Wyatt Family appeared on stage (with the apparently injured Bray Wyatt sitting in his rocking chair) and distracted him so Orton could pick up a win. No one looks bad coming out of that. Wyatt then cut a decent promo about Miz being addicted to the limelight, or something like that.
The next match was Fandango taking on Santino Marella. Um, yeah, I don’t have much on this one. Santino’s act is beyond stale for me, but I know the kids like him. Fandango won when Summer Rae caused the distraction, so I’m assuming this won’t be the last time we see this oh-so-exciting matchup.
What is this, like the fourth or fifth time some combination of 3MB has attempted to defeat Los Matadores? Come on now. I like Los Matadores, and I know it’s not for everyone, but get them some new opponents. I know they want them to get a few wins under their belt before starting the inevitable program against The Real Americans, but how about doing what they did with them on Smackdown by having them face some jobbers? Or maybe just have them face a different established tag team? It is fun to watch 3MB get beat up, but I’d like a little variety here.
The Authority (Triple H and Stephanie McMahon) came out next, and Triple H was showing no signs of the alleged concussion he received last week. This was actually one of my favorite segments of the night. It was a culmination of a few weeks worth of television. Finally, after weeks of being on the fence about what kind of authority figure really is (he was attempting to be “fair” and book “fan friendly” matches), the true colors came out. Triple H claimed he had his breaking point last week when the crowd went crazy when the Big Show knocked him out. Now he understands that he has to be the villain here. Big Show will have to grovel at his feet or face harsh punishments. Anyone in the locker room will have to bend to their authority. Triple H was great in delivering his lines. I also liked the way Stephanie beamed at him as he was speaking, and how she set up his introduction by saying that Triple H is the WWE before he started speaking. It was a well-written segment.
Daniel Bryan came out to interrupt them, but before he could say a word, Alberto Del Rio attacked him from behind. Stephanie then booked Del Rio and Bryan for later in the night. I kind of wish they just ended the segment with Triple H’s promo and not included yet another Daniel Bryan beat down. It’s really, really getting old. For almost the whole month of September, he was left lying at the end of every major show WWE did. He went one up on them at the RAW Calgary, and since then there hasn’t been much. I realize they’re trying to make him an underdog, but does he really need to be the punching bag every time?
Ryback beat R-Truth in a Beat the Clock challenge, which was set up by Paul Heyman and Brad Maddox earlier in the evening. If Ryback wins the challenge, then Heyman can make the stipulation at Hell in a Cell. If CM Punk wins, then Punk gets the honors. It wasn’t a great match by any stretch, but it didn’t have to be. The clock is all the drama you need, and I liked how R-Truth spent a good portion of the beginning running around ringside trying to draw it out a bit. I found that to be fun, as were Paul Heyman’s reactions as he kept doing it.
The Real Americans beat Tons of Funk in the next match. The story of this match was Antonio Cesaro. That guy is just ridiculous. He dead lifted Tensai for that gutwrench suplex, and then he gave him the Cesaro Swing after the match. The strength of that man is off the charts. Absolutely incredible.
Tamina Snuka took down Brie Bella in a match that was booked as punishment by Stephanie McMahon for Brie’s association with Daniel Bryan. The match was ok. I guess the best news coming from it was that AJ Lee did get involved in the action by putting on her finisher, so it’s nice to see she has no ill effects from that concussion she got at the PPV. Concussions aren’t something to joke around with. Just ask Christian, who is out indefinitely with his.
CM Punk defeated Curtis Axel in a Beat the Clock challenge to best Ryback’s time by 11 seconds. You kind of had to figure that was going to happen. One interesting note was how disgusted Paul Heyman was with Axel following the loss. Heyman threw the title down and walked off on him. I wonder if they’re going to remove Axel from Heyman’s side. After being with Heyman since May, Axel has not improved whatsoever. His character work (if it’s even really there) sucks, his promos are boring, he laughs way too much, and he doesn’t even seem like a tough guy. I cringe every time I see him coming. There is just nothing there. The crowd doesn’t care about him. Heyman tried, but sometimes some experiments just don’t work out. Wow, the more I think about it, the more I cannot fathom just how bad Axel really is. Woof!
Punk taking on Ryback and Heyman inside Hell in a Cell should be interesting. I’d like to see how that plays out. I’d personally like to see Brock Lesnar tear the door off the cell and set up a Survivor Series match. If that’s the case, then Boston here I come.
Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio fought in a very good match. It was given some time, and they went back and forth, but since both are at different main event spots on the show neither can afford a real loss. Randy Orton appeared on the titantron, and he insinuated that he was going to attack Brie Bella in the trainer’s room. Bryan then ran to her defense (losing to Del Rio by count-out in the process), and Orton left Bryan, you guessed it, lying in the trainer’s room after a sneak attack.
The main event of the show was absolutely phenomenal. It had everything you want in a main event title match: great wrestling, exciting spots, tons of hope spots, brawling, and a surprise ending. There were so many times in this match I thought, “Ugh, I knew they weren’t going to give the title change away tonight.” That’s a credit to the great planning and chemistry the teams have. Goldust is tremendous at getting the crowd to rally for him. His hope spots were incredible. The crowd was also there for this match. They made it feel like a big deal main event. Just when it looked like The Shield was going to come out victorious, the roof came off the place when Big Show ran in through the crowd. Big Show knocked out all members of The Shield, and Cody Rhodes and Goldust became the Tag Team Champions.
I don’t think they’ll hold two championships in abeyance, so this change should stick. That was an awesome moment to watch two brothers become the tag team champions. I always love seeing real, genuine happiness in the ring, and it was on display at the sound of the bell. This was a hell of a way to end the show. I was left excited to see what comes next.
Bump of the Night: Roman Reigns spearing Goldust through the barricade!
Match of the Night: The WWE Tag Team Championship match *** 1/4
Final Rating: ** 3/4
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Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.