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OO RAW RECAP
Fixing the Mess
October 8, 2013

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com

 

I use my "Inner Pyro" to give a letter grade to RAW at the end of each recap... but let me bust it out here in the precap, to talk about something I never do: videogames.
 
Well, not really videogame videogames (I gave up on console gaming with Playstation 2), but apps for your various devices.

 

Specifically, WWE's push for their John Cena Racing app made me realize that I might actually have some useful knowledge for you Constant Readers. Because if you saw the hype and though, for even one second, "Hey, that looks like it might be fun," I'm here to assure you that you're wrong.
 
There are dozens of drag racing games out there, and as tends to be the case, you only need one of them. Ergo, I suggest you get CSR Racing, and be done with it. Graphics are sweet, gameplay is challenging-but-attainable in single player, and you get infinite playability due to multi-player. And it's free. Well, "freemium," since you can buy stuff within the game to speed your advancement, but I swear there is NO reason to ever pay a dime on this game. It's a perfect implementation of "freemium" in that regard. It makes John Cena Racing, and pretty much every other entry in the genre, look like a turd by comparison.
 
[Note: yes, running out of gas might frustrate you, but you can hoax CSR by simply setting your phone/tablet time manually ahead by an hour. And then doing it again, and again, for however long you want to play a silly racing game. I think my own record is living 8 hours into the future before I remembered I have my pride and enjoy being a productive member of society.]
 
And since I'm on the topic, I'll also mention that PBA Bowling Challenge is an even better "freemium" implentation, if you're into bowling games. Graphics and gameplay are great (first bowling game I've played with realistic physics). You can succeed quite nicely without ever paying a dime. Multiplayer can be a bit dodgy, but not because of the game; because people are assholes who actually use the "Cheat Balls." Maybe they should put in a Gentleman's Agreement Mode for multiplayer?
 
ESPN Going Going Gone Home Run Derby is another really good one as far as freemium goes. If you just like playing the game, you need not spend a penny; but they'll be more than happy to take it from you if you insist on having special costumes or hats or other nonsense. Suckers.
 
Anyway, I'm a man who doesn't like paying for stuff. If you feel the same way, perhaps my frugality has been of assistance to you. If not, hey, I know my wrestling expertise will be. To wit:

 
Opening Video Package highlights the events of last night's PPV, via freeze frame. As per standing tradition, I see no reason to recap recaps.
 
And then we're live in Pittsburgh, PA, with assurances from Cole & the Gang that tonight will be an awesome show, including a huge 6-man main event (Bryan/Cody/Goldust vs. the Shield). In fact, Stephanie McMahon is already on her way to the ring, so let's not dilly dally...
 
STEPHANIE MCMAHON'S ADMISSION OF GUILT THEATRE
 
Of note, Steph is now introduced as the "Principle Owner" of WWE. Which is funny, since she's been dumping WWE stock like crazy over the past 2 or 3 months (even converting some of her special McMahon-only stock, which gets 10 votes per share, to standard peon stock, so she could unload it). I don't have the financial knowledge to understand what kind of shennanigans she might be up to (or not up to), but just as a wrestling fan who pays attention to such minor details, I think it's kind of humorous that NOW is when Steph becomes the "owner" of WWE in storylines.
 
Anyway, she's here to make a shocking admission: the main event of last night's PPV sucked. Plus 10 for honesty! But she's not taking responsibility, even though quality control over creative IS kind of her job. Nope, the fault lies entirely with the Big Show. So come on out here, Show, and take your medicine.
 
Show obliges, and even has a mic with him. But Steph cuts him off and launches into a tirade about what a pathetic excuse for a man Big Show is. Even after she and her husband have had his back all these years, he still manages to find ways to screw it up, and now we own your house, and yadda yadda yadda, it really descends into the realm of ham-fisted soap opera bad-actoring that just does not jibe with my perceived zone of Valid Wrestling Storylines.
 
Steph wraps up, and Show sarcastically asks, "Can I go now?" And Steph says, "No." Because she owns Big Show, she owns his house, and he owes her everything. So from now on, Show isn't allowed to do anything without explicit orders from her, or HHH. And right now, she's ordering Big Show to get down on his knees and beg for forgiveness.
 
Big Show won't be doing that. In fact, he kind of smirks (which is a huge step forward from his weepy bitch act), and says that people might have deduced that he punched Randy Orton last night just because he'd had enough of the guy... but what nobody knows is that he only punched Daniel Bryan because Steph had told him to.
 
Stephanie immediately flies into a rage, claiming that she wasn't even at the building when it happened. But Show says, "Yeah yeah yeah, Brad Maddox is the one who told me, but everybody knows he's just your puppet."
 
At this point, Steph started slapping the crap out of Big Show, who just calmly took it. Realizing she wasn't getting to him, Steph regained her composure, and did like her daddy: she fired Big Show. Steph leaves the ring, and Big Show looks only mildly miffed as we cut to....
 
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DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. DAMIEN SANDOW
 
During the opening moments, the story we're told is that Sandow insisted upon this rematch, because he's angry that Ziggler cost him a primo chance to cash in MitB. Sandow suffered a knee injury, and was still being tended to by doctors when the Hardcore Rules match for the WHT concluded.
 
As such, Sandow was ultra-motivated to start, and was in control for several minutes leading up to the first break for...
 
[ads]
 
Back, and Sandow still on the offensive, to the point where JBL calls Sandow dominant. Cole's too busy pushing the Show/Steph narrative to really dispute this (plot point: he does mention that Big Show had already been escorted out of the building). Nice little touch when Sandow triples up on the Elbow of Disdain, as sort of a dickish mocking of Zigglers 10 Elbows.
 
But Ziggler made a comeback, as is dictated by the formula, and started peppering Sandow with an array of fast-paced moves. Momentary derailment when Sandow caught Ziggler on the top rope, but Dolph recovered, and after a quick double-reverse-y, he hit a Fameasser.
 
And got the three count with it. Huh.
 
Your Winner: Dolph Ziggler, via pinfall, in about 12 minutes. Maybe a notch better than their pre-show match, thanks to the actual reason for the match existing. But distracted commentary undid a bit of that plot development, too, so... I dunno. Finish seemed quite sudden, too (the Fameasser felt more like a near fall that would lead to an actual finisher), but that was also part of the "story," as JBL noted that Sandow "won" 90% of the match, but simply failed to close.
 
Backstage: Stephanie is dressing down RAW GM Brad Maddox, placing all the blame on him for what went wrong at Battleground. Maddox briefly tries to explain himself by saying he was just doing as Triple H told him.... but Stephanie cuts him off, and once again deflects blame by saying she and HHH weren't even there, so quit pointing fingers at us. Maddox decides to fall on his sword, and admits, sure, it was all his fault. Steph tells him that's the only thing that saved his job, and suggests he get ready to apologize to the fans and tell them the great idea HHH set up to "make it up to them."
 
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During the Break: Pittsburgh's own Bruno Sammartino came out onto the stage, and the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" (Bruno turned 78 over the weekend). Nice touch.
 
NATALYA/THE ONE/THE OTHER ONE vs. AKSANA/ALICIA FOX/ROSA MENDES
 
So Nattie's stuck with the two newbs from the "reality" show, one of whom is very very cute, but who is already being pigeon-holed as a likely Lilian Garcia v2.0 (i.e. not gonna be a wrestler). Luckily, the de facto 2-on-3 handicap doesn't matter so much when no one on the other side has had a relevent match in forever.
 
Anyway, the Other One (with the flourescent red hair) actually handled the face-in-peril bit quite competently, then made the hot tag to Nattie, who got Alicia in the Sharpshooter.
 
Your Winners: Nattie/The One/The Other One, via submission, in about 3 minutes. I'd like for the headline here to be, "Nattie wins, once again in position for Women's Title Shot." I suspect WWE has other ideas. And if I had to guess, I'd say Pyro's headline would be "What the hell, Rosa?" Because she's suddenly bleached white-blonde.
 
Your Attention Please: Maddox steps out on the stage and, like a good little soldier, apologizes for screwing up the main event last night. As a result there is still no WWE Champion. But that will change at Hell in a Cell, when Bryan and Orton fight for the still vacant title inside a Cell match. And furthermore, there will be a special ref. A Hall of Fame ref.
 
Three HoF'ers are here tonight, and fans will get to vote on which one is the ref at HiaC... and the first candidate is: Booker T.
 
Booker comes out to a nice reception, but his phony smile, bland pleasantries, and use of the phrase "Best for Business" actually get him grumbles of disapproval towards the end of his little speech. D'oh.
 
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EL MATADORES (w/ El Torito) vs. 3MB
 
I can attest to the fact that this was a thing that happened.
 
Your Winners: El Matadores, via pinfall, in under 2 minutes. There is certainly a bit of goofy charm to Fernando and Diego, but I don't know if it's necessarily a good thing that a midget in a bull suit is the star of the act. He got a huge pop for hitting a top rope flying rana on Slater after the match. Oh, and Lawler busted out a "mini-Mantaur" reference, too. And you know how OO likes it any mention of Mantaur!
 
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PAUL HEYMAN CRIES "FOUL!", CM PUNK FAILS TO GIVE A SHIT
 
Heyman, accompanied by Ryback and Curtis Axel (or possibly "Ryback, accompanied by Heyman and Curtis Axle," but most definitely NOT "Curtis Axel, accompanied by Ryback and Heyman"), comes on out to the ring, and reminds us that he's the Best inthe World, because he beat CM Punk with both hands tied behind his back.
 
And furthermore, CM Punk is nothing but a cheater, because the only way he was able to beat Ryback was by kicking him in a very ungentlemanly place. He even had the freeze frame from the PPV to prove it.
 
So out comes CM Punk to respond. And he cops to it, saying all he did was win, baby. Just like Heyman only got his "win" thanks to outside interference from Ryback. All's fair, and so forth... plus, "I just kicked you in the balls to see if you had any!" BAZINGA~! But Punk's still so unsatisfied, since he didn't get Heyman. So if this is a call-out for a rematch or a challenge or whatever, just cut to the chase, because Punk accepts whatever terms they have. He can't wait to have another shot...
 
Heyman and Ryback confab, presumably trying to come up with another trap... and they finally break, with Heyman handing the mic to Ryback. "I would have kicked you in the balls first, if I thought you had any." I can't decide if that's ingeniously nonsensical heel bluster, or just plan dumb. Either way, Ryback resumes his scripted material by accusing Punk of being a bully right now, and Ryback doesn't like bullies. So how about Punk come to the ring and do something about it?
 
Punk takes a moment to assess his chances in the 1-on-3 situation, and is about to take his chances when R-Truth's music fires up. Truth dances out onto the stage, and uses the finest manner of all gesturing (Broad) to convey the idea that "Hey, you and me should face them." Remember the "Roxbury" guys from SNL? Well, it was a lot of "You? Me? Him?" and "Them? Us? Me?" before they finally agreed...
 
Punk yelled, "Hey, all we need is a ref," and Charles Robinson appeared, so it looks like we're on...
 
CM PUNK/R-TRUTH vs. RYBACK/CURTIS AXEL (w/ Paul Heyman)
 
Punk says he's gonna start, because he wants Ryback right here, right now. So as soon as the bell rings, Ryback tags Axel in, and laughs at Punk. Punk responds by immediately getting the better of it and tagging Truth in to join in the fun.
 
It's enough that Heyman calls for a summit outside the ring. As the heels regroup, we break for...
 
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Back, and Truth is toying with Axel for about 30 seconds, until a tag is made to Ryback. Truth almost immediately becomes your Face in Peril. Ryback's beatdown is back to his standard stuff (after I thought he'd stepped it up in terms of variety against Punk at the PPV), culminating in OO's second least favorite hold: the Abominable Stretch. Oy.
 
Luckily, Punk is really embracing the role of cheerleader, and keeping the crowd into it. In fact, as Truth powers out, the crowd's going nuts as Punk reaches for the tag, and gets it. Ryback also tags Axel, and so we're back where we started: Punk vs. Curtis, with Punk solidly in command.
 
Macho Man elbow hits. GTS hits. But Ryback breaks up the pin. A quick grapple, and Punk knocks Ryback out of the ring with a front kick, then tags Truth in. As Punk keeps Ryback occupied, Truth just hoists Axel up, then knocks him back down with the scissors kick. Fin.
 
Your Winners: R-Truth and CM Punk, via pinfall, in about 12 minutes. Not too shabby. I enjoyed the smooth segue from promo to match; that sort of seamlessness always scratches me where I itch. And Punk giving up the spotlight to Truth was just a nice change-up that costs Punk nothing, but might help Truth. Or maybe they just did it that way so Vince wouldn't have to pay for "Cult of Personality" a second time?
 
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Option #2: The second candidate for HiaC referee is Bob Backlund. He says he'd be a "heck of a good" ref, and digresses to point out that he always uses the word "heck" because he hates the word "hell" and all that other salty language. If there's an ounce of wit on twitter, I can only assume #heckinacell was trending immediately afterward. Anyway, Bob says he's been both a good guy and a bad guy in the business, so he sees both sides of the issue and will call it right down the middle. Furthermore, if anyone gets out of line, he will procure the Cross Face Chickenwing on them!
 
HA! That's the Bob Backlund I remember and love. #heckinacell and Cross Face Chickenwing Procurement. I have a pretty good idea who Option #3 will be, but I might still vote for Backlund anyway...
 
KOFI KINGSTON vs. RANDY ORTON
 
Kofi tried to start quick, but Orton took things outside the ring, and was in control from there. After Kofi crashed and burned on a bump to the outside, Orton preened, and we got some...
 
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Back, and Orton's still in control. Hope you like chinlocks! The announcers, apparently just as interested in Orton's lethargy as I am, use the lack of action as an excuse to talk about the overall Orton/Bryan/McMahons/WWE Title story, with JBL taking the side of management, and Cole/King taking the side of the preponderance of evidence.. Thrilling.
 
Kofi with a comeback (finally) around the 10 minute mark, fighting out of a superplex to turn it into a Steamboat Style Crossbody. More rapidfire offense, leading up to a springboard move by Kofi... but Orton catches him (sort of) and turns it into his pendulum powerslam. I say "sort of" because it didn't seem Orton was able to get full rotation and came within an inch or so of just driving Kofi's skull into the mat. Scary looking.
 
Orton tried to follow up with the Hangman DDT, but Kofi fought out of that to continue his rally. Match spills outside, and Orton ducks a charge and turns it into a stiff-ass clothesline. Randall surveys his options, and decides to do the Hangman DDT, but with Kofi hung from the barricade. Ouch.
 
At this point, the ref's count was up to 7, and Orton could have easily rolled in and taken the count-out, but instead, he hoists Kofi's deadweight into the ring, so he can prop Kofi up and RKO his already unconscious carcass. Dick.
 
Your Winner: Randy Orton, via pinfall, in 15 minutes or so. This is definitely becoming the new standard for Orton matches since his heel turn... you get two-thirds of patience-trying lethargy, followed by one-third of really good End Game. In a case like this -- where Kofi wasn't exactly a credible opponent -- the solution might have been to shorten things up a bit. But on the whole, it seems like Orton matches that are Five Minutes of Action in a Fifteen Minute Bag are here to stay. Still: that's better than the ratio the last time Orton was a heel.
 
After the Match: Orton was celebrating when Daniel Bryan sprinted out. The brawl quickly turned in favor of Bryan, who hit a Flying Goat Plancha that sent Orton tumbling over the announce table. Bryan had the intensity dial turned up to 11 and he mounted and punched Orton, and kept chasing him down and tackling him even as officials kept pulling the two apart. Hey, was that the first sighting of Billy Kidman as an anonymous WWE Suit? Hey, Jamie Noble, too? I think? Damned WWE shakycams making it impossible to tell what's going on (which I thought was the opposite of the goal of camerawork?).
 
Anyway, zebra officials help Orton scurry away, while suit officials keep Bryan at bay in the ring. Nice intense capper to the so-so match.
 
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Backstage: Alberto del Rio is talking with Vickie Guerrero. He says he thought he deserved a night off after his big win over RVD, but also understands that his public needs to see their World Heavyweight Champion, so he's here to do Vickie's bidding. She thanks him, and says she's got more than just a match for him tonight... she's going to reveal his next challenger for the title. ADR pauses to do a quick mental calculation, and then starts flirting with Vickie, noting how sexy she looks tonight, and how she's also so smart and fair and in-charge as a GM, and will always take care of her champion. Del Rio leans in and gives a little peck on the cheek, to which Vickie responds like a 15-year-old girl. Alberto registers her apparent lovestruckitude, and walks away, giving the camera a look that says, "What a silly bitch." So we're onto his manipulative ways!
 
But wait, the camera goes back to Vickie, who waits till Alberto is out of range, and then changes to an expression of mild disgust mixed with "He really thinks that'll work on a grown woman?" SWERVE~!
 
Option #3: yep, as I sort of expected, it's Shawn Michaels. But I'm still overjoyed: he just makes perfect sense to this storyline, and he even spells it right out in his little speech. He's best friends with Triple H, and he trained Daniel Bryan and got him started in the business. So he's got interests on both sides. But at the end of the day, his #1 interest is what it's always been: pleasing the fans. And at HiaC, that means guaranteeing a new WWE Champ, no matter what. No more cheap finishes, no more BS, just a clear-cut winner and champion. The crowd seems to approve of that campaign promise.
 
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ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. RICARDO RODRIGUEZ
 
Del Rio's already in the ring, awaiting his hand-picked-by-Vickie opponent. When Ricardo is introduced, del Rio starts beaming, clearly under the impression that she's lobbing him a softball due to her crush on him.
 
The bell rings, and ADR is ready to destroy Ricardo... which is when Vickie herself steps out onto the stage with an "Excuse Me" or three. She says she might as well tell Alberto who he's facing at Hell in a Cell right now... Alberto keeps beaming, assuming another softball from his little love muffin.
 
And then Vickie announces that it'll be John Cena.
 
Whoa. Either WWE is taking their false prognoses to all new levels (Cena's injury was set to keep him out "6 months" so that it'd be a surprise if he returned in 5, for the Rumble; but this would end up being only a 2 month break), or they are brushing up against "irresponsible" territory by riding their franchise guy too hard in terms of his comeback.
 
I guess the third option is that this is a decoy move, so Cena can show up on TV a few times for the Breast Cancer thing (it's his creation, you can imagine he'd want to participate), but then be re-written out before the PPV. WWE would even have a viable option to replace him in a satisfying way, as Rey Mysterio is supposed for-real healed, now.
 
Anyway, as surprising as this was to me, it was even more surprising for del Rio, who started yelling at Vickie, only to be schoolboyed by Ricardo.
 
Your Winner: Ricardo Rodriguez, via pinfall, in under 1 minute. The outcome isn't the story (although Ricardo did seem to enjoy getting the hell away from ADR so he could celebrate), John Cena is the story. In under 10 minutes, WWE just added Shawn Michaels and John Cena to the HiaC PPV. That's strong.
 
After the Match: yeah, so that thing I said about Ricardo getting out of dodge to celebrate? Forget it. He laid low for a bit, but then got up on the announce table to gloat. Alberto proceeded to destroy him, including the shoulder Pillmanization that he did to RVD (who is now taking time off to "reflect on things" according to the announcers).
 
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ZACK RYDER vs. FANDANGO (w/ Summer Rae)
 
We're all adults here. Let's not pretend this was something it wasn't.
 
Your Winner: Fandango, via pinfall, in under 3 minutes. Woo woo woo, at least Summer Rae's fun to look at.
 
And the Winner Is: Shawn Michaels will be the ref at Hell in a Cell, getting 61% of the vote. But apparently, I wasn't the only one who warmed to Bob Backlund's wacky charm: he got 31%. Poor Booker...
 
[ads]
 
SANTINO MARELLA/KHALI (w/ Hornswoggle) vs. THE REAL AMERICANS (w/ Zeb Colter)
 
If you didn't get the PPV last night, this was your chance to see Cesaro do the Giant Swing on Khali, which is not unimpressive.
 
I did get the PPV last night, so I already saw this and recapped it once. I'm not doing it again. Less shannanigans with the Cobra, but same exact End Game.
 
Your Winners: the Real Americans, via pinfall, in about 3 minutes. After the match, they deviated from the night before by having Cesaro do the Giant Swing on Hornswoggle, only to have Santino make the save with the Cobra, so that the good guys could celebrate when all was said and done. Whee.
 
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ALMOST MIZ-TV
 
We return to find Miz in the ring, introducing the latest installment of MizTV... except the lights go out before he can get through with two sentences. The Wyatts are here.
 
Bray comes out and sits on a rocking chair at the top of the stage, and when he "blows out" the LED lantern, the lights come on and reveal that Harper and Rowan are standing in the ring with Miz.
 
Miz backs away, but that means moving towards Bray, who gets out of the chair, and openly welcomes Miz to come his way. So Miz does, figuring he's got a better chance against one guy than against two. But it doesn't really matter, since it still ends up 1-against-3 either way.
 
Miz got his ass kicked on the stage, and then Bray did his upside-down-hang, using Harper and Rowan instead of the ring ropes, to taunt Miz as the segment closed.
 
A MizTV that lasts all of 90 seconds? I can dig that.
 
Backstage: Stephanie is begrudgingly admitting that Brad Maddox did OK tonight, but he's still a complete screw up and is totally on thin ice. Then HHH walks in, and she gets all smiley and happy and "How was your day, honey?"... HHH says it was grueling fixing all of Maddox's screw up, but all's finally well. Maddox offers to head to the ring to oversee the main event, so the two can enjoy the rest of the night. But HHH doesn't trust him, and says he'll personally oversee tonight's main event to make sure we get what's Best For Business.
 
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DANIEL BRYAN/CODY RHODES/GOLDUST vs. THE SHIELD
 
As promised, Triple H shows up just as the bell is about to ring, and takes a seat proximate to the announce table. Cole introduces the notion that he doesn't exactly understand what "mess" HHH would have been fixing, and that it's odd that he didn't show up to the building until after he knew Big Show was gone. FORESHADOWING~!
 
Basic back and forth start, with the Rhodes Boys working smoothly as a team to eventually gain a small advantage over Rollins. But the Shield are even smoother as a team, and took advantage of a momentary distraction so that Ambrose could get his two cents in and chuck Cody out of the ring. Good guy down, bad guys gloating, so here are some...
 
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Back, and Cody's getting his ass handed to him. The Shield are making frequent tags, and targeting the shoulder that Cody injured on his fall out of the ring. This went on for a couple minutes, until Ambrose went for a superplex, and Cody fought out of it to turn it into his picture perfect moonsault.
 
Only gets a 2 count, but with both men now injured, both are in the market for a tag... Cody gets to his corner, and tags Bryan in for the first time all match. Needless to say, Bryan's en feugo, making sure to dropkick Reigns off the apron before turning his full attention to Rollins (the new legal man). Flurry of kicks on Rollins, then a top rope hurricanrana...
 
But Reigns shows up to break up the pinfall, and a Pier Sixer breaks out, as a result. In the chaos, Ambrose just says "Screw it," and grabs a chair, and uses it on Goldust, resulting in a DQ.
 
Or did it?
 
The ref calls for the bell, but before the ring announcer can say word one, HHH rips the mic out of his hand and says, "No not like this. Not like last night. I want a winner. This match is restarting, and it's No Disqualification." Many purchasers of your Battleground PPV are now openly wondering, "If it's that easy, why did you just shit in my mouth and call it Sunday, last night?" D'oh.
 
Anyway, match resumes, but not for long... Bryan kicks the dial up to 12, and the crowd is going nuts as he almost single-handedly fends off the Shield. But then Randy Orton comes out of nowhere (presumably out of the crowd) and hit Bryan with an RKO on the floor.
 
Orton tosses Bryan into the ring, where Rollins makes the pin, while Ambrose and Reigns make sure there is no interference.
 
Your Winners: the Shield, via pinfall, in about 12 minutes (including the false finish). You couldn't go wrong with these 6, even if you tried. Very solid, albeit a bit short to graduate to the next level, where I actually recommend youtube'ing it. With the false finish, it was even more like 10 minutes (3 of them commercials) with a 2 minute post-match angle. But regardless, it was enjoyable.
 
After the Match: the Shield and Orton had designs on more punishment... but Big Show's music hits, and he heads towards the ring, notably unfettered by security (so did he go to someone at Titan Tower and invoke his "Iron Clad Contract" or is this just a major plot hole that we should ignore?). Bryan and the Rhodes are out and scattered around the ring... HHH repositions himself behind the Shield, while looking concerned.
 
For his part, Big Show has a huge grin on his face, and gets right into the ring, despite the 4-on-1 numbers. The Shield swarm, and start flailing away at Show, and suddenly HHH gets all comfortable and confident again. He starts barking orders for the Shield to finish him.
 
The Shield start setting up for the Triple Powerbomb, with Triple H standing right there with a front row seat.... and Big Show just hulks the hell up, and shakes off all three guys, who go flying. HHH is paralyzed as he stares up at the angry giant. Show just winds up and blasts him with the WMD. Huge pop.
 
Bryan now gets back in the ring, and has a little moment of eye contact with Show. Is he still punching anything that moves? Or is he now only punching people he hates? Show gives him the all clear, and leaves the ring, while Bryan makes a big deal out of "checking" on HHH's limp carcass and mockingly fixing his tie and stuff. Then, with Big Show's music still playing, Bryan surveys the scene and gets the entire crowd chanting "YES!", and to hell with Big Show's music. Satisfying.
 
And so ends the show. Definitely on a high note. Except for the part where it boggles my mind that WWE still shat the bed so badly the night before on PPV. This, right here, proves that the "Show ends with Big Show standing tall, after a screwy and unsatisfying finish to a main event" ending CAN WORK, if you just stop and think for 2 seconds.
 
We could have gotten to this exact same place without antagonizing the PPV buyers. And now, we have the concrete proof, rather than the theoretical rantings of a Great Wrestling Mind, such as my own. A crap finish to a match, followed by a superfluous angle featuring a guy not involved in said match... and it was great.
 
Rest of the show? Obviously, Shawn Michaels and John Cena suddenly becoming part of storylines is intriguing. HBK, as noted, just FITS, and that should be cool. Not sure what the exact plan is with Cena, but I'm willing to wait and find out if it's a good one, or if this is just some sort of desperation Stunt Casting move.
 
Several decent 10-12 mintue matches besides the stand-out main event addresses the decided lack of rasslin' on last week's show. But overkill on the replays and "moments ago" and other useless FF-able crap aimed at channel-flippers (but which are an annoyance to actual Show Watchers) remained an issue, and I again ran out of DVR Time Shift before the end of the show. So there is still work to be done there... if WWE ever wants me to use the App to see what happens during commercials, they need to consistently make what happens during Not the Commercials be much lighter on zero-value-add FF segment.
 
Put it all together, and look at the big picture... the Inner Pyro has this one pegged as another B+ show, because the Inner Pyro is able to look at RAW in a vaccuum, instead of factoring in the previous night. I assure you, regular ol' The Rick remains annoyed and confused over how the two shows fit together, and how one illustrates that the other need not have been so shitty. But taken on it's own merits, RAW deserves the B+.


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
 
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
 
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
 
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
 
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
 
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
 
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
 
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
 
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
 
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
 
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
 
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
 
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
 
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 
 
E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

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Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.


 

 


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