WWE Monday Night Raw
Des Moines, Iowa
-HHH is happy to introduce Randy Orton to the ring. The Shield covers the entrance way as usual. The term “Reign of Terror” is now being tossed around by Cole and Lawler. Orton starts by saying that as the face of the company, he is there to protect the image of the company from being tarnished. So, Orton talks bad about Bryan for a bit and they recap a beatdown from Smackdown. Orton thinks that Bryan should give up his opportunity to wrestle for the title at NoC. HHH equates Bryan’s rise in popularity to Doink The Clown’s. Sure…but what about Hulk Hogan? HHH says that Bryan can compete for something like the Cruiserweight Title or the European Title. Bryan comes out at this point to interject. He points out that Randy and HHH are clowns, themselves. Bryan gets serious and answers to Randy on why he keeps coming. Bryan lives for the struggle, which is something that the heartless Orton knows nothing about. HHH interrupts him and books him against The Big Show for the main event.
-Backstage, HHH and Orton all walking big and tall and Cody comes to respectfully say that Orton vs. Bryan is what is best for business. HHH disagrees and notes that he didn’t get a wedding invite, and neither did Orton. He puts Cody in a match against Orton, but with the stipulation that his job is on the line.
Fandango vs. The Miz
Miz hits a hiptoss to start, but walks into an elbow in the corner. Fandango bails after a failed dive from the top. Miz knocks him out and follows. Fandango gets dropped against the barricade and thrown back inside. Miz hits a pancake that gets two one he returns to the ring. Miz takes a headlock. Fandango pounds away in the corner, but Miz retakes control and hits a grounded big boot for two as we hit the break.
We return with the heel in control, surprise, surprise. Fandango suffered a nosebleed after the big boot, it turns out. Miz fires back with some offense but walks into a corner boot. Miz hits a legwhip from the top. Fandango reverses out of the figure four and dodges the corner clothesline. He hits a slingshot legdrop, but a delay helps Miz get the figure four for the win.
Final Thoughts: *1/2. Well, so much for this feud.
-In the dressing room, Booker T wants a word with Bryan. He tells him to calm down and play ball, and not have to go back to working for fifty bucks a night. Booker warns him to tread lightly and to do what’s best for his career.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Ryback
Before the match, Ambrose hops into the ring and beats down Ziggler to set up a US Title match that makes no sense. Ziggler goes head first into the ring post and then it’s time for Ryback to head out to picks at the carcass. Dolph refuses to quit on the match and gets hit with a belly to belly suplex. Ryback kicks him when he’s down. Ryback hits a hair toss and tosses Dolph into the mat a couple of times. Ryback keeps beating on the limp Ziggler. Dolph gets some token offense of a dropkick and some punches in the corner, but Ryback comes back with the Meathook and Shell Shocked for the quick pin.
Final Thoughts: ½*. Ziggler sure can make others look good. It’s stupid to reward Ziggler with the U.S. Title shot that he’s getting. I understand that it’s Night of Champions, but c’mon…
-Brad pops in and tells HHH and Stephanie that The Big Show refuses to face Bryan. Steph is off to take care of it.
-Steph comes out to convince Big Show to wrestle tonight. She brings him out and reminds him of what he told her when she was a child. 22, I guess. Well, she claims that she was twelve. She tells him that he needs to do what he is told for the cash, like he once told her. She reminds him that he’s broke and that his ironclad contract isn’t ironclad. Big Show is shaken as Steph walks off. During the following commercial break, Big Show freaks out and breaks things backstage. That’s not in breach of his contract, however.
Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal vs. Prime Time Players
Titus and Heath start. Heath hits a couple of jabs to begin, but Titus gets mad and pounds away in the corner. Titus puts on the whistle and stomps away at Heath. Young comes in, and they hit a double shoulderblock for two. Heath fights back in brings in Jinder. They slug it out and Darren hits a spinning forearm and an inverted atomic drop for two. Drew distracts and helps Jinder take down Darren and then brings in Heath.
Heath catapults him throat first into the bottom rope and puts on a chinlock. Slater hits a neckbreaker for two and brings back Jinder, who drops a couple of knees. Heath returns and slugs away at Young. Young fights back with headbutts and a belly to belly suplex. In comes Titus and he goes after Mahal. He hits a big fallaway slam. Heath dives in to interrupt a pin from a big boot. It breaks down and Titus hits the Clash of The Titus for the win.
Final Thoughts: 1 ¾*. I like the name of Titus’ sitout spinebuster finisher. A couple of fun spots in here.
-Brad is backstage and speaks with Paul Heyman. Paul is unhappy at the match he set up, of course. HHH comes in and says that he approves of the match at Night of Champions. HHH wants to see if Paul can weasel his way out of another precarious situation.
Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton
They tussle in a lockup to start, but Randy hits some elbows. Cody answers back, but Orton comes off of a corner whip with a clothesline. Randy drops Cody on the ropes and tosses him outside. Cody reverses and puts Randy into the steel steps. Back inside, that gets two. Cody follows with a dropkick for two following a hammerlock. Cody goes into the corner, but charges out with a clothesline of his own for two. Orton gets a thumb to the eye and beats away at Cody’s chest. Orton hits a few punches in the corner, but Cody fights back with a face first suplex. Orton fights out of some corner punches and hits a second rope backbreaker. Cody rolls to the outside as we go to break.
Orton has a chinlock when we return. Cody gets a boot up in the corner, and hits a clothesline and follows with the Golden Right. Rhodes gets a springboard dropkick for two. Orton ducks the Disaster Kick, but Cody repositions and gets it for two. The crowd gets behind him, chanting his name as he heads up for the moonsault. Randy sidesteps and gets two from that. Rhodes is an underrated athlete. Orton follows with the hanging DDT but Cody reverses the RKO into Cross Rhodes for NEARLY three. Randy drags Cody’s throat into the ropes, but Cody rolls him up for two. Should have grabbed the tights. Cody messes up his knee on another Disaster Kick attempt and Orton hits the RKO for the win. After the match, HHH simply says that Cody is fired. HE TOOK HIS JOB! Cody gains some good sympathy heat after HHH fires 28 year-old Cody Rhodes for losing to the champion, because that’s what is best for business.
Final Thoughts: ***. This was a good match, but it’s still so funny for them to act like Cody will never wrestle again. But, they have to sell it.
-CM Punk is out to talk about his own problems, and completely ignores that the dude he walked past backstage has been fired. They may have wanted to lay this out a bit differently. His monologue is about how angry he is about getting beaten with a kendo stick, and how he is at a loss for words. Wrestling is not in his mind, because he wants to FIGHT! Punk panders to the crowd a bit, as faces do. He didn’t say anything about overweight dudes, though. He promises his fans that he’ll get by Curtis Axel and will get his hands on Paul Heyman at Night of Champions.
-In the dressing room, Big Show talks to Bryan about how much he doesn’t want to wrestle him. Bryan is unsympathetic to his problems, and really, this is just a badly written segment. It feels like it was written by someone who doesn’t watch the program. The crowd just seemed confused by this exchange.
Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Brie Bella
I guess this is a number one contender match. AJ skips out and sits at the table. Naomi hits a leg lariat, but Nattie gets a rollup for two. Brie gets some offense. She hits a running knee on a seated Nattie. Naomi works for a sunset flip, but Brie gets dumped. Naomi gets a rollup out of a Sharpshooter for two. Brie gets a crossbody, but Nattie rolls through. Naomi’s Rear View breaks the laws of physics and AJ runs in. Eventually, she gets beat down by the three of them.
Final Thoughts: So, is AJ a heel? Also, did Kaitlyn fall off of a cliff? Oh, Divas Division.
Damien Sandow vs. Rob Van Dam w/Ricardo Rodriguez
Sandow beats away in the corner, but takes a spin kick. RVD dodges a corner charge but has a ‘rana reversed into a powerbomb for two. RVD gets the leg rollup for two. Sandow answers with a big boot for two. Sandow stays in control, and stomps away in the ropes. RVD kicks out of the corner and gets a sidekick. ADR comes out to distract RVD. Sandow hits RVD and sends him outside as we hit a break.
Sandow has the chinlock when we come back. The belly to back suplex gets two for Damien and it’s back to the chinlock. RVD misses on a floatover and gets taken down by Sandow. However, RVD comes back with a dropkick. Sandow hits the Russian legsweep and gets The Elbow of Disdain for two. Sandow holds him with a double chickenwing. Damien gets a drop toe hold into the ropes and follows with a hip smash that gets two. A swinging neckbreaker gets two. RVD gets a small package for two and gets a couple of clotheslines. Van Dam gets Rolling Thunder but gets rolled up with his back turned for the frog splash.
RVD still gets up for the frog splash and gets the win. After the match, ADR poses on the stage with his big gold bet.
Final Thoughts: **. This was alright.
-Steph tells the girls that there will be a Four Way match for the Divas Title.
-Cody is interviewed on the way out, as he is escorted by security. Rhodes goes on a closing tangent about how this is all about the hatred the McMahons have for the Rhodes for the past twenty years. His dad had to wear polka dots and dance. His brother had to wear gold paint, and now, they tear his life away from him the moment he is about to get married. Good stuff from him.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Big Show
Until said otherwise, the rest of the roster is assembled on the stage, alright? Big Show doesn’t want to wrestle and just kind of shrugs off Bryan’s offense for a while. Yeah. Big Show is too busy crying, but then once he gets angry enough to get into the match, he dominates Bryan and can’t bring himself to slug out Bryan. The crowd is just not into this mess that makes Bryan, Show, and everyone look bad. So, Show reverses a dive from the top into a spear, but then can’t punch him. HHH comes on out at this point with The Shield. The Shield beat up Bryan, and hit the triple powerbomb. Bryan is just standing and lying around between beatings here. Eventually, HHH and Stephanie force Big Show to punch out Bryan. Here’s a haiku:
Bryan wants to fight
Paul makes Big Show punch and cry
Bryan is knocked out
…I almost forgot that Orton comes out to stand over Bryan again to end the show.
Final Thoughts: *1/2, I guess. This was just a poor main event segment that didn’t help anyone.
— ….Well, Cody had a great show! I apologize for getting this up so late, as I was letting it simmah’. I think I might have let it go on a bit long, however.