Live from Kurt Angle’s hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, it’s time for WWE Raw!
We see highlights from Battleground and Big Show ending the program after he’s knocked everyone out. Awful ending to a show that I paid good money for.
Stephanie McMahon kicks off Raw and calls down the Big Show. She verbally beats down and tells him he has no right to do anything unless she and Triple H order it. She tells Show he needs to get down on his knees and beg the people for forgiveness. Show tells her off and she slaps him over and over before firing him. He leaves.
^I could almost see Show pulling a heel turn and joining Stephanie and Triple H when Randy Orton can’t cut the mustard. But, that might take awhile. For now, I expect Show to attack random heel performers in the back(like John Cena in November 2010) until he gets his job back. I liked this opening segment.
Dolph Ziggler defeats Damien Sandow with the fameasser.
^Great match! These two told a better story tonight than the action that we saw at Battleground kickoff. Ziggler is too damn good not to be challenging for the World Title and carrying the gold. Sandow was excellent as usual, and honestly these two would make a great pair to feature in the World Championship scene as rivals. Such great chemistry.
Stephanie McMahon verbally assaults Brad Maddox backstage for his work at Battleground and puts all the blame on him. She tells Maddox he’s going to the ring to apologize and make things up to the WWE Universe.
^She plays a great bitch character. Must suck when her time of the month rolls around for poor Hunter.
Eva Marie, Jojo and Natalya take on Rosa Mendes, Aksana, and Alicia Fox. Natalya forces Alicia to tap out to the sharpshooter.
^Nothing special, but nice to see a variety of new diva talent in the ring. Natalya is so good; it would be a crime if she isn’t the one who takes the Divas title off AJ Lee.
Brad Maddox comes out and apologizes for what happened at Battleground. Maddox books Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan for the WWE Title at Hell in a Cell. Maddox says the WWE Universe will get to vote between three Hall of Fame candidates as to who will be the guest referee for the match. Booker T is the first candidate and he comes out to cut a promo.
^I don’t trust Booker. I don’t think a real WWE Universe vote will matter here. No surprise that Hell in a Cell will feature Dbry/Orton, and I certainly hope this becomes their final pay per view encounter.
Los Matadores take on Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre. The Matadores pin Drew after a double team finisher. El Torito celebrates with them after the match and taunts Heath Slater before Slater chases him and gets taken down. El Torito delivers a hurricanrana to Slater and he flies out of the ring.
^Nothing special here, but Los Matadores do make for an exciting tandem compared to how boring they were as Primo and Epico. Just too short of a match to matter, but I have a feeling this will become their normal booking.
Paul Heyman cuts a promo with Ryback and Curtis Axel, but they are quickly interrupted by CM Punk. They exchange words. R-Truth comes out and apparently wants to tag with Punk to take on Axel and Ryback. A ref comes down and we have a match. Truth pins Axel for the win after a scissor kick.
^Not an amazing match, but enjoyable overall. Punk and Truth worked well together, and now we can see that both of these rivalries will continue to the pay per view in three weeks. I don’t hate the feud with Heyman and Punk, but I honestly believe there are better superstars out there to be Paul Heyman guys that could rival with Punk.
The second candidate for the special ref spot at Hell in a Cell is Bob Backlund. Backlund cuts a lunatic promo.
^I’d be happy to see this psycho ref the match over Booker T any day of the week. He cracks me up.
Randy Orton defeats Kofi Kingston with an RKO.
^I liked the competitive nature of the match, and Kofi continues to prove himself worthy of bein in the main event scene based on his talent alone. Really good match here.
Daniel Bryan attacks Randy Orton after the match and beats him down around ringside until officials try to break them up(or just get Dbry off Orton). Dbry ends up chasing Orton to the back.
^Can’t wait for their HIAC match, but why put a special ref in for the controversial finish when the cell is supposed to be enough to contain them and keep it clean? Horrible WWE logic here.
Alberto Del Rio approaches Vickie Guerrero backstage. She tells ADR that Triple H invited her to Raw to make a special announcement tonight. ADR tells her that he trusts her to find the right opponent for him tonight as he sucks up to her and flirts with her before kissing her on the cheek. Vickie looks disgusted when he walks away.
^What the hell was that? Creepy stuff, but good promo work from ADR.
The final candidate for Hell in a Cell as the special ref is Shawn Michaels.
^Could HBK screw Dbry(a man he trained) because of his best buddie’s orders? Shawn will win the vote hands down, but I’m curious how they’ll book the match with his involvement for the finish.
Vickie Guerrero announces ADR’s opponent to be Ricardo Rodriguez. Vickie then tells Alberto that his opponent for the World Title at Hell in a Cell will be John Cena. Ricardo sneaks behind Del Rio and rolls him up for the win. Del Rio then proceeds to beat down Ricardo and hurt him badly.
^So Cena is coming back sooner to jump into the World Title scene? You can safely bet that Damien Sandow will end up being a challenger for Cena’s title(once he wins it). Will Ricardo be in Cena’s corner next?
Fandango defeats Zack Ryder in a short match.
^No surprise here, but the lack of direction for Fandango is puzzling given how strong he was booked back in April and May. Throwaway match, but something we’ve come to expect on Raw.
Shawn Michaels is announced as the winner of the WWE app vote.
^Again, no surprise, but now it’s official. Should make for an interesting match if you recall the last time HBK reffed a Hell in a Cell contest.
Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger defeat Santino and Khali in near identical fashion to how they defeated them at Battleground. There’s some fighting after the match and the faces stand tall.
^Thanks for another throwaway match! At least the rivalry has some push to it for four guys that WWE could seemingly care less about.
The Miz has himself as a guest on MizTV but gets interrupted fights with Wyatt for two seconds before getting away from the Family. Wyatt tells Miz he can run, but he can’t hide.
^Looks like Bray Wyatt has his next feud as he elevates himself to stardom. A program with the Miz could honestly be really beneficial for his push.
Brad Maddox talks with Stephanie backstage. Triple H comes in and tells them he’s going to make sure the right thing happens in the main event tonight.
^Hunter is a great heel. Always has been, and always will be.
Daniel Bryan and the Rhodes brothers take on the Shield in the main event. Ambrose hits Cody with a chair and causes a DQ finish. Triple H grabs the mic and says he’s restarting the match with no DQ. Randy Orton attacks Daniel Bryan from the crowd and tosses him in the ring to be pinned by Rollins. The Shield attack all three men after the match as Triple H watches on. Big Show’s music hits and he comes down to the ring as Hunter hides behind the Shield. They end up beating show down as Hunter yells finish him. Show tosses them off and knocks out Hunter with one punch and leaves. Dbry stands over Hunter and leads the crowd in a yes chant to end the show.
^Now THAT is how you end an episode of Raw. Great finish with a solid match. Solid show across the board tonight with a fairly good balance(could’ve been better) of wrestling and talking. The storyline enhancements showed that the real focus is on Hell in a Cell, and Battleground was essentially pointless. That aside, I’m pleased with what we saw for a show this evening. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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