Big Show is faced with some tough decisions, the Total Divas get their revenge, and Cody Rhodes gets pushed out the door in this week’s Raw Reaction!
Orton/Bryan/Triple H Segment
Randy Orton comes out to try and explain his actions of the past few weeks against Daniel Bryan telling the world that he’s the face of the company and that when he’s disrespected, the company is as well. He and Triple H are trying to get Bryan to relinquish his WWE title opportunity. Randy is considerably more comfortable in his role now and it has really shown with his promos as of late. Daniel Bryan ends up coming out and telling everyone that he’s always been told he can’t do something and that only pushes him more. Bryan has shown great emotion and you can tell that he’s really telling the truth in a lot of his promos as of late. Reality creates some of the best on air moments. Triple H tries to deflect Bryan’s anger to The Big Show and sets up Bryan vs. Big Show tonight.
Orton/Rhodes/Triple H Segment
Orton and Triple H are shown in the hallway now and Cody Rhodes is standing there. Cody tries to say all the right things while telling them that Bryan vs. Orton for the WWE Championship is good for business with “all due respect”. Triple H then alludes to Cody getting married and says he’s giving him a wedding gift, a match with Randy Orton. Cody replied that it was a great opportunity but, Triple H then said that Cody probably wouldn’t be around much longer if he didn’t win. This was an interesting development with Rhodes and you have to wonder what will happen with that situation and whether or not Cody will be one of the superstars that eventually stand up to the McMahons and Orton or if he will maybe even align with them.
Miz vs. Fandango
Summer Rae comes out for Fandango’s entrance and all I can think of is how compelling her facial expressions are. I’ve been watching NXT as well and Summer Rae could really go far depending on how well the other parts of her character come together. I’m loving how’s it’s going with her so far and I’m interested to see how she’ll be when she starts mixing it up with the other Divas, we’re a long way away from that yet though. Miz and Fandango had a pretty hard hitting match that saw the match almost stopped in the middle due to Fandango getting kicked square in the nose from The Miz. The match did go on and Miz ended up winning with the Figure 4 Leg Lock. Fandango really needs to grab some momentum or he could be treading on the Brodus Clay territory being used as nothing more than filler. Hopefully that’s not the case.
A strange segment between Daniel Bryan and Booker T backstage where Booker says that Bryan should consider giving up the shot. I don’t really understand someone like Booker who has tried to go against the status quo so many times before would be the one to say that giving up the shot was the right thing to do. It just doesn’t seem characteristic of Booker T.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Ryback
Dolph gets attacked before the match by Dean Ambrose with Ambrose telling him to respect the business. Ziggler is then destroyed by Ryback in quick order. More decimation for anyone going against the McMahons and Orton. I hate the Ziggler is stuck doing this kind of thing but, hopefully it leads to something better for him down the road. I feel like his talents are being wasted being made to feel so weak week after week.
Stephanie McMahon/Big Show Segment
Stephanie McMahon came out and tried to say that Big Show was the person who helped her out backstage when she was growing up. I have an issue with this and that is that Big Show didn’t join WWE until 1999. Steph was already 23 years old at the time and hardly new to the business. She then mentioned “think of the 12 year old me” or something along those lines when she was nowhere near 12. This promo lost all credibility after that point. Where it really got good was mentioning that Big Show was broke and that he needed this contract to provide for his family which is just ludicrous. They got by the iron-clad contract problem by saying it could be rescinded if he doesn’t perform his duties which include facing Bryan. Well, how is it iron-clad if it can still be rescinded under certain circumstances. It’s times like these where I really question whether WWE even bothers to think about the things they’ve brought up in the past and whether what they’re doing now makes any sense at all.
3MB vs. The Primetime Players
3MB fought The Primetime Players in an interesting matchup. 3MB does great work making all the other teams/stars look good in the ring and are somewhat underestimated in my opinion. This match wasn’t a typical 3MB match as Jinder and Heath actually got a good amount of offense in. 3MB can be a viable trio if they’re actually given a bit more of a serious gimmick, I don’t think the whole band thing is helping them any. Titus O’Neil is one of the big surprises of the year, he’s been so dominant in tag matches and had a ton of agility for a bigger guy, the main problem is that Darren Young isn’t getting a lot of ring time lately with Titus being in the match the bulk of the time. PTP go over in this one out of nowhere. Much better match than I expected.
Maddox/Heyman/Triple H Segment
Paul Heyman starts intimidating Brad Maddox for nearly sealing Heyman’s fate against Punk at Night of Champions. Triple H came in and said that he ok’d that and explained to Heyman that he’s watched him weasel out of things for years and is going to enjoy Punk beating him down. He then said he may be able to weasel out of it but, even so, it’ll be what’s best for business so he wins. Triple H is playing the heel corporate figure very well but, when he then tries to hand it to another heel, I question why. WWE is clearly trying to get Triple H over as a huge heel and putting Heyman in his place doesn’t exactly solidify that.
Bray Wyatt Segment
Bray told the story of Icarus getting too close to the Sun, apparently that’s Kane in WWE. The delivery and tone of these promos just makes them that much better but, they truly make a ton of sense as well. He said that Kane made his bed and now he burns in it.
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
Cody is selling fear of his job being on the line as he waits in the ring for The Viper. Orton and Rhodes had a very good match that could have gone on a lot longer. So many near falls and moments where it looked like Cody may just pull out the victory but, it all ended as Cody looked to injury his knee and Orton hit an RKO. After the match, Triple H came out and fired Cody. It will be interesting to see when Cody resurfaces on TV, I’m sure that this is probably to find him something more significant to do as much of the last few years have been fairly small feuds and not being elevated any higher than that. I really think Cody should come back and be thrust into the main event, he’s done everything else and has proven himself time and time again. It’s time to give him that chance at revenge at Orton and maybe, just maybe, that’s what we’ll see. That’s the hope.
CM Punk Segment
Punk is out with a Kendo Stick and he is angry, out of words, and wants to fight Paul Heyman. He guarantees that 13 days from now, he’ll get his hands on Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman. Punk says we’ll see a different side of Punk that we may not like. At Night of Champions, Punk will break Heyman’s face, he promises. Great promo by Punk as always and one that definitely brings even more interest to the match at NoC.
Brie Bella vs. Natalya vs. Naomi
Let’s play who’s the heel. AJ comes out on commentary and ends up interfering almost right away and ends up getting beat down by all the Total Divas. Weren’t these Divas just fighting each other? I guess if Total Divas is going to bring a bigger spotlight on the Divas division than I’m all for it but, I’d like to know how AJ is going to fight six women by herself. It didn’t look to promising tonight as she received a beat down. For being a heel, the crowd was pretty damn silent when AJ was lying there motionless. Like it or not, this girl said a lot of true things last week and I’m really invested in where this could lead. I just hope it’s not something that falls apart like most of the decent Divas storylines have in the last few years.
Rob Van Dam vs. Damien Sandow
Here’s an interesting matchup with RVD’s high-flying moveset taking on Sandow’s more mat based approach. Del Rio comes out minutes in to distract Van Dam and put Sandow in control. RVD pulls out the victory in a fairly quick match with the Fuve Star Frog Splash. Van Dam is looking extremely strong the last few weeks, I have to wonder if he’s going to beat Del Rio only for Sandow to cash in Money in the Bank to set up a good feud with RVD over the title. I would hope that they’d give RVD a title run just because he’s so over right now and this will be his last hurrah but, I really don’t see them giving it to him for any long length of time.
Cody Rhodes Backstage Segment
Cody is being escorted out and has some very passionate words saying the McMahons have been screwing the Rhodes family for years mentioning how they put Dusty in polka dots and transformed Dustin from The Natural to Goldust, and now him, mentioning he has a wife to provide for. Amazing promo by Cody here, I can’t wait to see what happens with this.
Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show
The whole roster is out on the stage for this one as Bryan makes his entrance. This match saw Bryan keep trying to fight Show as Show kept trying to stop Bryan and reluctantly fight back when Bryan attacked. Show then stopped fighting Bryan which brought out Triple H and The Shield who then attacked Bryan in front of Show. Triple H then tries to get Show to knock out Bryan and he doesn’t comply which brings out Stephanie who talks him into going back to the ring and knocking out Bryan with a punch. Randy Orton then comes out and steps on Bryan’s prone body to end the show. Things are really heating up with this storyline and I’m not really sure exactly who is going to step up or how long the McMahons and Orton are going to keep getting the upper-hand.
Raw was definitely compelling tonight and you really see how much better the show has been with a long-term plan versus last-seond booking. Everything is flowing a lot better and I find myself enjoying wrestling again for the first time in a good amount of time.