WWE Monday Night Raw
-Raw is Country tonight, which is something I’m growing to try to ignore for the most part. They didn’t even bother with a special set or maybe a cowboy hat on HHH as he enters the ring with Steph to start the show and claim that all is well since they’re back. There will be no more chaos, because fun isn’t what’s best for business. So, Vickie and Brad step out and are punished for their actions. Vickie gets to compete against AJ Lee and Brad is about to get the crap kicked out of him by Randy Orton, who came down to the ring to complain about his aches and pains and his inability to remember his lines.
Randy Orton vs. Brad Maddox
This is no DQ. Brad tries to run away and call Randy off. Brad runs away, but Orton catches him. Maddox stuns him with a microphone to the head and gets a DDT for two. There’s some face heat for Maddox, since he plays his character so well. “Let’s Go Maddox” chants rain down before Orton flings him out of the ring and tears him apart on the outside. Orton hits the handing DDT off of the barricade but can’t find Maddox’s parents to taunt.
Orton rolls Maddox into the ring and brings a microphone with him to beat him in the head with. Ouch. The referee stops the match since Maddox is half dead.
Final Thoughts: Poor, poor Brad. The crowd seems hot, but they’ll be dead by the middle of the second hour.
-Vickie watches Brad be wheeled out, and is super-duper concerned.
Intercontinental Championship Match – Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel ©
Welp, Langston is certainly over. Langston grabs a rear waistlock that Axel elbows out of. They run, and Big E runs him over and follows with a backbreaker for two. Another two count follows from a belly to back suplex. Axel bails to the outside, and cowers in the corner when they reenter. Big E catches a boot and hits a clothesline. Axel sells the hell out of some body punches. Langston effortlessly slams Axel for two, but gets choked on the top rope and clotheslined for two from Axel. We take a break from this match for the “prestigious” IC title.
We’re back with Axel holding a chinlock. Langston shrugs him off, but runs into a perfect dropkick from Axel. We get another chinlock from Axel. This is where we would be better served with some work on a limb. The fans get behind Big E as Axel gets thrown off and leveled with clotheslines and a belly to belly. Big E hits the Big E Splash for two. Axel gets out of The Big Ending, but Langston gets out of the neckbreaker and bowls Axel over. THE STRAPS ARE DOWN! The Big Ending makes Langston the Intercontinental Champion and Nashville goes crazy.
Final Thoughts: **. This certainly felt like a watershed moment in Big E’s career. He’s on the way to huge things. It’s exciting, but they should have sold this on PPV. Then again, it’s just a midcard title. Still, the ending sequence gave me chills, and I’m happy about that.
-Orton and The Shield make an alliance backstage. This alliance seems like news to me.
-It’s time for the Divas to play musical chairs to some super popular country music. They wear the corresponding outfits. The game lasts just a few turns until WWE tells us that it employs women incapable of correctly playing childhood games. It turns into a stupid brawl while JBL tells us this is the stupidest thing he has ever seen. Thank you, JBL. Of course, Team Total Divas stands tall in the ring. We’ll probably get THAT survivor match, but not the 6 on 6 that was properly set up at the end of last week.
The Big Show vs. Ryback
Nothing happens for a bit. Big Show overpowers Ryback into the corner and pounds away. Big Show hits the big chops. Ryback takes a shoulderblock and takes a walk. Ryback comes in and slugs away, but takes more of the same from Big Show. Ryback chops the knee and stomps away. Ryback hits a splash and puts on a long headlock. Ryback grabs a DDT for two. This match is pretty bad. Lots of chinlock here.
Big Show powers out with a suplex. Big Show hits some clotheslines and a corner butt splash. Ryback hits a spinebuster for two. That spinebuster was pretty damned cool. Ryback goes for the Meathook, but Big Show reverses. Ryback hits it and thinks he’s about to hit Shell Shocked. Ryback actually hits it! Big Show kicks out at two. Ryback slowly drags Big Show to his feet, but gets knocked the fuck out. Big Show crawls over and gets the win. After the win, Orton runs in, but gets scared away after taking the Dick Spear (from the WM match where Big Show speared Cody Rhodes in the groin).
Final Thoughts: *3/4. All of these are for Ryback’s efforts and carrying the injury slowed Big Show. Oh, and carrying him through Shell Shocked.
-Backstage, 3MB (now The Rhinestone Cowboys) meet that country band that’ll be performing later on. 3MB were given an inch and took a foot with this segment.
-Randy Orton must be hearing voices in his head, since The Shield didn’t have his back during his run-in. He sends the doctor scurrying from the training room.
The Real Americans w/Zeb Colter vs. The Miz and Kofi Kingston
Miz and Cesaro start, with Cesaro getting some control and getting some strikes. Miz gets the corner clothesline and the double axe handle from the top for two. Miz goes to a headlock. Cesaro catches Miz on a crossbody on hits a sick backbreaker that sends Miz outside. Swagger enters and gives Miz a WELCOME TO AMERICA clothesline and rolls him back in. Swagger gets some shoulderthrusts and follows with the Swaggerbomb, stomp combo with a returning Cesaro.
Swagger returns and beat the crap out of Miz a bit more. Miz flips out of a suplex and Kofi enters with the hottish tag. Kofi takes it to Swagger and gets The Boom Drop. A distraction from Cesaro allows Swagger to catch Kofi and slam him down for two. Kofi flips out of a clothesline and hits a DDT to bring back Miz. But, Miz turns heel and leaves Kofi to die. The Patriot Lock finishes the match.
Final Thoughts: **. Kofi pulled out some sweet new moves, and The Real Americans churned right along. Miz’s heel turn is much needed, and the face he made after turning on Kofi was terrific and is the perfect 1980s teen movie villain stuff he needs to get back to.
-Vickie fakes an injury, passing out at the training room door. I wonder if it’s poking fun at AJ Lee passing out in London. It continues after break with Steph making Vickie, strapped to a stretcher, still compete. So, Vickie is wheeled to the ring. I guess Linda isn’t running again.
Vickie Guerrero w/stretcher vs. AJ Lee w/Tamina Snuka
And, Vickie faints again in the ring. She asks for water. Vickie drinks some and runs outside past Tamina. AJ grabs her, and after some delay, locks in The Black Widow for the win. We get more fainting stuff.
Final Thoughts: That went a bit far.
-HHH pits Damien Sandow and Dolph Ziggler in a Broadway Brawl. HHH doesn’t even know what that means.
Broadway Brawl – Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
There’s a bunch of musical instruments in the ring to be used as weapons. Sandow clubs away to start and tosses him from the ring. Outside, Sandow misses a swing with an electric guitar and Dolph skies to splash him against the barricade. Sandow comes back with an instrument stand and beats away in the corner. Ziggler fights back with a dropkick that sends Sandow outside. Dolph goes through a keyboard for two. We hit a break.
This is an unnecessary match that is dangerous since these are actual instruments. Also, I feel like this might be one of Dolph’s last WWE matches, with HHH telling him to show him what he has as some sort of a shoot statement. We return with Sandow hitting Dolph in the corner and yelling a lot. Sandow drives a chair into Dolph’s ribs and wedges it into the corner for him to fly into. Ziggler gets two from a small package and slugs away. But, he takes a small guitar to the jaw for two. Dolph fights back with a DDT for two. Dolph breaks a fiddle over Sandow’s ribs and hits a Fameasser for two. This is a brutal match, really. The table is treating this a comedy match. Ugh..
Sandow runs Dolph into that wedged chair after avoiding the Zig Zag. That gets two. Sandow runs him into a cello, knee first. Sandow hits him with a bass guitar for two. Sandow misses a guitar charge and gets rolled up for two. Dolph breaks a snare drum through Sandow’s head and grabs the bass drum and does the same. Dolph has the acoustic guitar, does the Double J strut, and breaks it over the bass drum wrapped Sandow for the win.
Final Thoughts: **1/2. This was fun garbage in that Dolph had some fun at the end. I enjoyed the strut from Ziggler, but that’ll probably get him in deep trouble with the office. What a mark. Also, this was a stupid match to put these guys through. Brutal weapon shots, really.
-Backstage, Orton asks HHH and Stephanie if he has their confidence. They say that they’re thinking about it. It’s funny that the face of the WWE has now taken to wearing hoodies.
-Cena sucks up to the band performing on Raw later on. At least Cena referenced 3MB. Oh, the band is called Florida Georgia Line.
-And, John Cena comes out to the ring, arm in a sling. Cena thanks them for the response since he’s been beaten up the last couple of shows. So, Cena pretty much cuts the promo he always does when he’s done but totally going to win. Alberto Del Rio comes out and tells Cena that his speech was totally amazing. Cole is all “Not now!” when Del Rio steps out. This is Raw, Cole. When, then? Del Rio challenges Cena to lift his title with his left arm. This is like Adam Banks joining the injured list in Mighty Ducks 2! Such drama! It turns out that the smoke and mirrors that Cena was so against earlier in his promo, tactics of a fake champion, are just fine for him, as he loses the sling and sends Del Rio from the ring, frightened.
The Rhinestone Cowboys (3MB) vs. R-Truth and Xavier Woods
Hey, this is Wood’s Raw debut. Truth and Woods were partners in TNA once upon a time. Jinder and Truth begin the match. Woods is in and gets a dropkick. Drew enters and gets his leaping big boot and batters Woods in the corner. Drew delivers some hard chops and brings back Jinder for a double teamed suplex for two. Drew returns for an armbar. Truth gets the tag when Woods escapes and gets the side kick and falcon arrow. Colonel Slater distracts, but Woods dumps him. Woods gets the tag from Truth, yells “It’s Morphin’ Time!” and hits a rolling clothesline and a short armed boot to the face for the debut win.
Final Thoughts: This was just a simple debut for the guy. Maybe a video package or two would have been nice. But, he has definite charisma and we’ll see how long it takes before creative has nothing for him.
-Randy Orton does have the confidence of Stephanie and HHH, but has to win at Survivor Series without help. I feel like I’ve heard this one before.
-Florida Georgia Line performs a song. They are introduced as Nashville’s own. So, that’s a great band name to represent your roots with.
Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, The Usos, Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Shield and The Wyatt Family
Jimmy and Dean start the match. The crowd is hot to begin. Jimmy gets a clothesline and a slam to begin the match. Jey enters with a sliding right hand. Ambrose gets an elbow up and brings in Reigns. Jey works in the corner, but they trade rights. Cody tags in and brings in Goldust after wringing the arm. Reigns gets Goldust in the corner and bring in Rollins, who gets backdropped and kicked around for a two count. Jey returns with a kick to the stomach but eats an elbow on a corner charge. Jey rolls out of the ring in pain, and Harper tags himself in. The Shield doesn’t enjoy this and there’s dissention as we go to break.
We’re back with Goldust slugging at Rollins in the corner. Cody returns and slugs at Rollins. Rhodes gets two from the corner sunset flip. Rollins counters and sends Rhodes into the second buckle. Ambrose returns and stomps away. Reigns enters with a headbutt and beats away before bringing back Rollins for an elbow drop. Rollins holds a headlock and brings in Reigns. Cody gets some punches, but gets knocked down. Ambrose comes back with a clothesline, and gets two. Rollins comes back in, but Cody tries to fight back. Cody blocks a suplex and hits a face first version. Harper tags himself in. During the argument, Cody is able to get some separation and hit The Disaster Kick. Bryan enters with the dropkick and kicks at Harper.
Shit goes crazy, with Rollins taking a German, dropkicks everywhere…until Harper hits a running powerbomb for two. Wyatt enters to beat away at Bryan. Wyatt cooperates with Reigns and tags with him. It’s quick tag time, with the heels taking their turns. Rowan grabs a neck vice. Bryan fights back, but eats a back elbow. Ambrose enters with stomps and puts Bryan in a stretch. The crowd is completely invested in this. Bryan catches Ambrose with a knee and goes to the corner. The entire heel side clears the faces from the apron and we hit another break.
Bryan is getting the business as we return. Bryan begins to fight back on Reigns, and gets a big DDT. The face corner hops around waiting for the tag. Punk flies in and takes care of business. Ambrose and Rollins get knees and Punk goes up and hits the elbow on Ambrose. Punk calls for the GTS, but the action breaks down. Anaconda Vice is broken up by Rowan and Harper. The Usos take care of them, and splash out to the floor. Ambrose fights out of the GTS and gets the headlock driver. Goldust breaks it up, but gets speared. Reigns takes Cross Rhodes. Rollins hits the turnbuckle bomb on Cody. Punk and Bryan get a Hart Attack on Rollins. Bryan dives out on Reigns as Rollins is dumped. Finally, Punk hits the GTS on Ambrose for the win. Wow.
After the match, Cesaro and Swagger enter to beat down Punk and Bryan. But, Rey Mysterio returns and gets a double 619 on Harper and Swagger. Harper gets a GTS and a Cena Killer to be dumped as the crowd goes apeshit at the finish of the show.
Final Thoughts: ****. This had time, a terrifically hot finish, a couple of great heat segments, and a terrific crowd. This was certainly great, but it’s a shame that this just didn’t happen at the PPV. You shouldn’t be just giving this away. Still, I’ll reap the benefits with the rest of you. Now, Rey was clearly hobbling on the way to the ring. It makes me think he tore up his knee again before coming out.
–So, there was some forgettable stuff on this show, but also a lot of stuff that could have been saved for a PPV. Big E Langston had a great moment, and the main event was sure worth the wait. Still, I feel that no one is going to be watching Survivor Series. The main event matches just aren’t going to do it.