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RAW Review for 9/9/2013

RAW Review for 9/9/2013
Joshua Smothers

What a wonderful Monday Night Raw! There were returns, epic promos and we didn’t have to hear Triple H say “It’s best for business” a thousand times. Based on that alone I give this Raw an A grade. Let’s get to the details!

Opening the show: Edge Returns.

The Rated R Superstar returned to a huge pop from the crowd. He began with his in-ring talk show, The Cutting Edge. According to Edge, Triple H asked him to return so that he could interview one of Triple H’s former tag team partners. Edge said he wished it could be Christian but Triple H has advised him that it “isn’t good for business”. Instead Triple H suggested his former tag team partner from another tag team tandem.That tandem was Rated RKO and the partner was Randy Orton. Edge didn’t want to interview Randy because, according to Edge, Randy is as boring as watching paint dry. Instead, Edge wanted to interview Daniel Bryan. When Daniel Bryan came out, he said that he would beat Randy Orton at Night of Champions and that no on would stop him. Edge said he liked Bryan because he was reminded of when he was chasing the WWE championship. Bryan started a “Yes!” chant and then suddenly Randy Orton’s music is heard. When Randy comes out, he makes fun of Edge and Canada to some major heat from the crowd. Edge taunted Orton and Triple H, but Triple H came out and cut him off. Triple H insults Edge and Bryan, and said that Randy is what’s best for business. Triple H the decides to put Bryan in a match with Dean Ambrose where the Shield is in Ambrose’s corner. Triple H then said that Bryan needed an ally too so he put the Big Show in Bryans’ corner. Triple H and Edge go on to insult each other a bit more until the Shield brings out a beat-up Christian. Edge’s best friend, Christian, is lying on the ramp so Edge runs down to see him. We go to a commercial break while Edge is yelling for someone to help Christian. After the break, Edge is visibly angry as he runs into Triple’s H office. Edge goes on to insult Triple H until Triple H can’t take it anymore and kicks Edge out of the building.

First match: Kofi Kingston VS Curtis Axel (With Paul Heyman)

This match was more about how vulnerable Curtis Axel is and how Paul Heyman is a victim to CM Punk. Paul Heyman came off as scared and distraught. Kofi and Axel had a short match as Axel got disqualified for not listening to the referee when the referee told Axel to stop kneeing Kofi in the corner. During the match, Paul Heyman pulled Axel off of Kofi and tried to get Axel to calm down. Axel said it’s okay and he turned to continue hitting Kofi. Suddenly, Kofi nailed Axel with the Trouble In Paradise finisher while Heyman sat in the corner, disgusted. We go to commercial break. Winner: Kofi Kingston by DQ. After the commercial break, we see that Paul Heyman has slipped on some water in a backstage hallway. Curtis Axel proceeds to help him to the doctor’s room where an ice pack is put on Heyman’s knee.

2nd Match: Dolph Ziggler VS Bray Wyatt (with the Wyatt Family)

This match was pretty pointless to me. I don’t understand if it was to get over the Wyatt Family or show how weak Ziggler is. Ziggler has been involved with the corporate storyline for a few weeks and the Wyatt family has been beating down jobbers. No connection here that is relevant. Still, this match was all about Bray Wyatt. Ziggler barely had any offense. Bray Wyatt hit the Sister Abigail to win by pin fall. Winner: Bray Wyatt by pin fall.

Paul Heyman Promo

During this segment, Paul Heyman walks out to the ring with Curtis Axel and an unnamed doctor. Heyman says he’s hurt and can’t compete at Night of Champions. He goes on to say that his doctor is there to confirm. The Raw GM, Brad Maddox, comes out with the WWE head doctor and says that in order to be ruled out of a match he has to be checked out by the WWE head doctor. Paul Heyman reluctantly agrees. The WWE head doctor checks Heyman out and comes to the conclusion that he is medically okay. He can fight at Night of Champions. Heyman gets mad, and accuses Brad Maddox and the WWE head doctor of having a personal problem with him. Then CM Punk comes out with a kendo stick and goes after Heyman. Heyman jumps out of the ring and runs through the crowd, uninjured. Then CM Punk hits Axel until Axel falls out of the ring. Then he turns his attention to Heyman’s doctor. Punk hits the doctor many times with the kendo stick until the doctor rolls out of the ring. CM punk celebrates as we go to commercial. Really good spot here. Punk gets the top spot leading into the PPV.

Match 3: Natalya, Naomi & Brie Bella VS Aksana, Alicia Fox & Layla

Very quick and very boring match up. Not much to say here. The diva story lines are really crappy if AJ isn’t involved. Winner: Natalya, Naomi & Brie Bella won by Natalya getting Alicia to tap out by the sharpshooter.

Match 4: R truth VS Alberto Del Rio

Decent match, as R truth gets Alberto to fight really well. R truth is just a jobber so he was going to lose anyway. Alberto is in a feud with RVD but sadly Rob was a no-show. Good match with some near falls, but pointless to the story lines. Winner: Alberto Del Rio by submission.

Match 5: Antonio Cesaro (With Zeb Colter) VS Santino Marella

The return of Santino! Yes! I am such a huge Santino fan. He brings so much comedy to the show and is also a great wrestler and showman. There are no story lines involved here, but it was a great match. One-sided, as Antonio pretty much crushed Santino to the end. I have to give props to the Big Swing move Antonio used on Santino. That is so old school and an amazing throwback by Antonio. In the end, Santino wins by a roll up pin. Sound the trumpets! Winner: Santino by pinfall.

Match 6: Damien Sandow VS the Miz

Great wrestlers, boring match. Sandow has been on a losing streak since winning Money in the Bank. Miz is in a dancing feud with Fandango. Overall, it was a pretty decent seven minute match with the exception of Fandago interrupting the match by dancing on the ramp. During his dance, Sandow steals it with a roll up pin as Miz is staring at Fandango. Winner: Damien Sandow by pinfall.

Match 7: Randy Orton VS Goldust

The one-time only return of the weird character Goldust! This was a great match. They threw punches and chops back and forth, Goldust even paid tribute to his brother, Cody Rhodes, by hitting a Cross Rodes finisher on Randy. Goldust gave it his all, but in the end Randy hit the RKO and pinned Goldust. This was a match for Goldusts’ brother, Cody. If Goldust were to win, Cody would get his job back. After the match Goldust was seen backstage crying while being humiliated by Stephanie McMahon. Winner: Randy Orton by pinfall

Match 8: Rob Van Dam (With Ricardo Rodriguez) VS Ryback

I thought for sure Alberto Del Rio would interrupt this match to get one over on Rob. I was wrong. RVD had an excellent match with Ryback, as all Ryback did was charge and suplex. The match ended by Ryback throwing RVD into the ring post and then the referee calling for the DQ. Match 9: Winner: Rob Van Dam by DQ

Dean Ambrose (With the Shield) VS Daniel Bryan (With the Big Show)

Yes! Yes! Yes! It is a Daniel Bryan match! I can promise you this: If Bryan is fighting; it will be a great match. Bryan and Ambrose fought extremely well and this was by far the match of the night. I recommend  that you go watch this fight because it’s good. Bryan fought hard against the power moves of Ambrose. During the fight, Bryan kicked and drop-kicked Ambrose many times. He got Ambrose in the “Yes!” Lock but Ambrose was able to make it to the ropes. Ambrose kicked him out of the ring and distracted the ref while the other members of the Shield tried to attack Bryan. Bryan countered them but was then hit by Ambrose from behind. Ambrose rolled him in the ring for a two count. He then screamed at Bryan telling him to stay down, but Bryan surprised him with a roll up pin for the win. Winner: Daniel Bryan by pinfall.

After the match, Ambrose tried to attack Bryan but failed to do so. Randy Orton came out to help the Shield but before he could, Bryan suicide dove on Orton outside the ring. Bryan, overwhelmed by their numbers, is beat down.Randy Orton then ordered Big Show to get in the ring and knock Bryan out. Big show refuses. After Randy’s long lecture, he turned around to get Bryan but Bryan slammed a running knee to Randy’s face.The show went off the air as Bryan, “Yes!” Chanting with this fans, is shown holding the WWE championship over Orton.

This was the last RAW before Night of Champions, so producers of the show had to progress the story lines a bit. They did it with a few of them and left Bryan on a high note. Obviously, Bryan won’t win at Night of Champions. They will progress that story line into two, maybe three PPV’s. Punk and Heyman’s story line will more than likely come to a close at Night of Champions as it has gone on for a long time. This RAW wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. I give it a grade of A-. The returns are what made it great. That is the only reason it gets an A.