Daniel Bryan was put through more trials. Plus, more of the Night of Champions card was put in place.
Well, I want to start with some sad news and some happy news. Since the day I started writing, I’ve had my little black cat, Buster, at my side. Last week, he passed away from a stroke at the age of 18. My lovely wife, Dianna, and her daughter, Teresa, knew that I was really lost without my little buddy by my side. On Sunday afternoon, they presented me with a new little friend, tentatively named Sweet Baby. He’s sleeping on my lap, right now, as I type this. So let me introduce you all to my new little sidekick…
Triple H came out to start the show. He was all corporate in his suit and tie. The Shield members were standing guard at ringside. HHH brought out Randy Orton, the so-called “Face of the WWE”. HHH stepped back as Randy addressed the crowd. He said it was his responsibility to protect the image of the WWE. He told the WWE Universe that any disrespect of him was a disrespect of the company. He began to discuss Daniel Bryan but the crowd overwhelmed him with their chants. Randy whined about Daniel defacing his car, last week. A video from Smackdown showed Randy attacking Daniel and spray painting Daniel’s chest with the word “No”. Randy wanted to play an audience participation game with the crowd. He asked them if Daniel should face him at Night of Champions. He also wanted to know if people thought Daniel had any chance of beating him. He also asked if Daniel would amount to anything in the WWE. The crowd kept the “Yes” chant going. Randy then wondered if Daniel should give up his chance at the title at Night of Champions. The fans were certain that Daniel should not sacrifice his shot.
HHH then got back on the stick and played up to the fans. HHH said he was worried about the health of Daniel Bryan. He said Daniel’s ego kept getting him into trouble. HHH accused the fans of making it worse by egging Daniel on. HHH explained that popularity wasn’t what was best for business. HHH brought up Doink the Clown. HHH stated that Doink never won the WWE title because it wasn’t good for business. HHH thought about bringing back the European or Cruiserweight title…
Daniel Bryan came out to confront HHH and Orton. Daniel said he was happy to be compared to Doink. A huge “Daniel Bryan” chant erupted. Daniel said the only clowns that he saw were standing in the ring, now. Daniel accused HHH of giving up being a man to become a corporate sell-out. Daniel then said Randy only got the WWE title because it was handed to him. Daniel considered giving up the title shot. Daniel said Stephanie McMahon was more masculine than Randy. Orton wanted to know how many times he had to smack Daniel in the face before he would give up. Daniel said he couldn’t get to the WWE and he couldn’t be a top performer. Daniel explained that all the negative comments, over the years, molded him into the success that he has become. Daniel was certain he could beat Randy for the title. Daniel suggested that HHH was scared of Daniel’s abilities. Daniel accused Randy of not having the Heart of a Champion. HHH cut off Daniel, calling him a grumpy troll. HHH switched things around and said Daniel should be angry with Big Show. HHH decided to allow Daniel to unleash his anger on the Big Show. HHH had drawn the picture of Big Show just sitting back and watching Daniel get beaten down, week after week.
HHH and Orton were chuckling backstage over the chaos they had created. They came up on Cody Rhodes. HHH asked about Dusty Rhodes. Cody said the main event would be great, as long as no one gets involved. Cody asked Randy if he was scared of Daniel Bryan. Cody said Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton was what was best for business. HHH took exception to Cody’s suggestion. HHH brought up Cody’s wedding. HHH was somewhat offended that he and Randy weren’t invited to the wedding. He placed Cody in a match against Randy Orton. HHH then explained that if Cody didn’t win, he would be fired.
Fandango (w/Summer Rae) vs The Miz
Raw looked back at Miz interrupting Fandango’s match, last week. It allowed Cody Rhodes to beat Fandango.
Miz with hard kicks and punches. Hip Toss by Miz but Fandango with Back Elbow. Miz tried to go for the Figure Four but Fandango went to the outside. Baseball Slide by Miz to Fandango’s face. Miz then dropped Fandango on the barricade. Miz then danced with Summer Rae. Slide Up Small Package for a two. Flapjack by Miz. Side Headlock by Miz. Summer Rae wiped herself off from Miz’s touch. Fandango with a Whip. Float Over into a Clothesline. Miz with a Running Boot to the face. 1-2-no. Miz locked in the Side Headlock as Raw took a break.
Fandango was dancing and he then hit a Hammer Throw. That Running Boot, before the break, broke Fandango’s nose. Summer slapped Miz. Miz with punches and kicks. Whip to the corner but Fandango got the boot up. Dragon Screw Leg Whip, off the ropes, by Miz. Miz missed with the Full Body Clothesline. Fandango with a Springboard Legdrop. Miz locked in the Figure Four and Fandango tapped out at warp speed.
Your Winner: The Miz
Raw Ranking: 2.75 out of a possible 5
In the locker room, Booker T came in to talk with Daniel Bryan. Daniel didn’t really want to talk but he did agree. Booker told Daniel he was in a fight that he could not win. Booker suggested Daniel should give up the title match. Daniel said this was more important that the title. This was about his life. Booker said Daniel might have his career threatened or even ended because of this feud. Daniel basically dismissed Booker’s comments.
Michael Cole then brought up the C.M. Punk vs Paul Heyman feud. He sent it to a video about last week’s encounter between the two. Paul went ballistic on his former charge with a kendo stick.
Dolph Ziggler vs a mystery opponent
Brad Maddox told Dolph that he had a match but the Raw GM didn’t say who Dolph would have to fight. After a commercial break, Dolph was jumped by Dean Ambrose. The US Champ beat and kicked on the Show Off. Dean threw Dolph into the ring post. Dean wasn’t his opponent, tho…it was…
Dolph Ziggler vs Ryback
Dean told Dolph it was time for Dolph to learn respect. The ref checked on Dolph as the crowd chanted “Goldberg!” (for Ryback). Ryback rushed in and took a Back Elbow. High Overhead Release Belly to Belly. Ryback ripped at Dolph’s shirt and then pounded away. Ryback stood on Dolh’s chest. Biel that sent Dolph flying. Head Slams by Ryback. Ryback pulled at Dolph’s face. Stomps by Ryback. “You Can’t Wrestle!” broke out for Ryback. Ryback pitched Dolph into the corner. Dolph rebounded with a wicked Dropkick. Corner Mount Punches by Dolph. Ryback took out Dolph’s momentum with the Meat Hook Clothesline. He then iced the cake with the Shell Shocked.
Your Winner: Ryback
Raw Ranking: 1.5
Stephanie and Triple H were talking. Brad Maddox came in and said Big Show was refusing to fight Daniel Bryan. Stephanie said she would handle things, in the ring.
Another promo video for Los Matadores ran. They are sure making it sound like Los Matadores are going to be bringing a bull to the ring. I just can’t imagine that. The freaking insurance and the paperwork to transport such an animal would be a nightmare. I mean, I have to have a permit to take either of our horses, Lacey or Gracie, to the vet over in the next county. Maybe they are going to be bringing a stuffed bull, which (of course) the fans would be able to purchase at the concession stands or at wwe.com’s shopping area. Smile.
Stephanie McMahon made her way to the ring. JBL felt Big Show was being a big baby. Stephanie talked about Big Show teaching her life lessons, when she was a child. She considered him to be her friend. The announcers brought up a clause in Show’s Iron Clad Contract that stated if Show refused to compete, his contract would be nullified. Stephanie went for the emotional angle by bringing up their friendship. Stephanie discussed about all the bad investments that Big Show had made. Show was now dead broke. Steph pushed the fact that if Show didn’t perform, he would be in breach. Steph then said that Show didn’t have too many other options. Steph kept bringing up Show’s family. She then really pushed the envelope by mentioning that Giants don’t live as long as other people. Steph ordered Show to face Daniel Bryan. She did feel sorry that Show was hurting. Steph then gave Show a huge hug and said she was hurting too. What a load of baloney. “You’ll be OK!” rang out from the crowd as Raw went to break.
Edge is coming back to the WWE, next week. There was no explanation as to why he was returning.
Backstage, Big Show had a major meltdown.
Heath Slater and Jindar Mahal (3MB) vs Daren Young and Titus O’Neil (The Prime Time Players)
Titus started against Heath. Heath with a punch and some mocking of Titus’ barking. Titus pitched Heath into the corner. Titus retrieved his whistle and blew it in sync with stomps to Heath’s chest. Tag to Darren. Double Team Shoulder Block by the PTP. Tag to Jindar. Jindar and Darren traded punches. Shoulder Tackle by Jindar. Inverted Atomic Drop by Darren into a Clothesline. Jindar reversed a Whip. Jindar pulled Darren off the ropes and then tagged in Heath. Drew even got a shot in. Heath with a Slingshot to send Darren into the bottom rope. Darren was punching away until Heath hit a Flying Neckbreaker. Tag to Jindar. Repeated Kneedrops by Jindar. Heath tagged back in and punched away. Heath choked Darren on the bottom tope.
Darren with Headbutts but Heath with a kick. Overhead Throw by Darren. Tag to Titus and Jindar. Titus threw Jindar around and then hit the modified Fallaway Slam. Big Boot by Titus but Heath made the save. Darren took out Heath and Drew. Sky High Powerbomb by Titus to take the win.
Your Winners: Titus O’Neil and Darren Young
Raw Ranking: 2.5
Brad was on the phone when Paul Heyman walked in. Heyman told Brad to call the person back. Paul was ticked off that Brad let the fans vote on a stipulation that allowed Punk to get his hands on him. Paul then complained about the Night of Champions match where it was almost a certainty that Punk would get to beat on Heyman. HHH came up and said he gave the green light for the match. Heyman wondered why HHH would do such a thing. HHH said Paul has been able to weasel his way out of so many situations. HHH said he didn’t see an “out” for Heyman. HHH made it clear that Heyman deserved the beating of a lifetime and it was best for business.
Michael Cole sent it to a video package from Bray Wyatt. Wyatt talked in circles about what happened to Kane. He brought up Icarus. Glad I took that class in Classical Mythology, all those years ago. Bray didn’t actually say where Kane is. He did say Kane was burning in the bed that he made. Creepy. I expect a twisted version of Kane to eventually show up with the Wyatts.
Cody Rhodes vs Randy Orton
Career Threatening Match
The announcers, again, brought up Cody’s upcoming wedding. They haven’t said who Cody is getting married to. I did a little research and found out it is one of the WWE Divas that he is tying the knot with. I wish them many years of joy and happiness. Raw went to break before this epic match began.
The two hooked up and went to the corner. Back Elbows by The Viper. JBL played the corporate man and talked positively about the new regime. Clothesline by Orton. Orton Suplexed Cody onto the top rope and then ran him into the corner.. Randy threw Cody to the outside but ended up being run into the ring steps. Cody rolled Randy into the ring but only got a two count when he went for the pin. Modified Hammerlock/Crossface combo by Cody. Dropkick by Cody. Cody with straight shots to Randy’s skull. Randy reversed a Whip but Cody exploded with a Clothesline for a two.
Randy went to Cody’s eyes and tried for a pin. He only got a two count. Crossfaces by Randy. Orton stomped Cody in the face. Randy kicked Cody in the chest. Corner Mount Punches by Randy. Cody reversed a Ship and hit a Front Drop Suplex. Corner Mount Punches by Cody. Randy slid under and hit the Twisted Sister Backbraker, off the ropes. Raw went to break.
The two were slugging it out, on the floor. Cody threw Randy in the ring but The Viper slid out the other side. Randy attacked Cody, on the floor. He Back Suplexed Cody onto the Bullpen retaining wall. Randy rolled Cody back in but he could only got 2. Kneedrop by Randy. Rear Chin Lock by Randy to further weaken the 2nd generation superstar. The entire locker room was watching the match. Whip by Orton but Cody got the boots up. High Elbows and the Goldustin Uppercut. Missile Dropkick by Cody to get 2 ¾. Cody missed the disaster kick. He had to settle for a Springboard Dropkick. 1-2-no. The fans were going wild for Cody. Randy dodged the top rope Moonsault. Randy tried for a pin but only got 2/3rds of it. Randy with the Rope Assisted DDT. Randy went into his Special Place. Cody countered the RKO into the CrossRhodes. Randy barely kicked out. Cody was so frustrated. Randy kicked Cody away. Randy snapped Cody’s neck on the top rope. Back Elbow and School Boy for a two. Rhodes went for the Disaster Kick but Randy ducked. Cody tweaked his knee on the landing. Randy kicked the hurt knee and then took him out with the RKO.
Your Winner: Randy Orton
Raw Ranking: 3.75
I have to think this is a way to give Cody some time off for his wedding. I can’t imagine they would build up the Rhodes vs Damien Sandow storyline, only to throw it all away to push HHH’s Regime.
Triple H came out and got the crowd to cheer for Cody. HHH admitted that Cody fought with all the heart in the world. HHH said he really respected Cody but this was a business. HHH said he had to do what was best for business. HHH then fired Cody Rhodes! That is just such BS.
C.M. Punk came out to a monster pop. Punk had a kendo stick in hand. Punk told the crowd that he promised the fans that the games were over. He was having a hard time even saying what he felt he was supposed to say. Punk told the fans that he was dressed to compete but he didn’t want to wrestle. He wanted to fight…Paul Heyman. Punk said he didn’t even mind having to go through Curtis Axel to get to Heyman. Punk said there would be a “biblical *ss beating” at Night of Champions. The crowd began to chant Punk’s name as he talked about all the signs made to support him. Punk guaranteed he would get past Axel and he would get his hands on Paul Heyman. Punk said he would be showing a side of himself that the fans might find uncomfortable. Punk promised to break Paul’s face, at Night of Champions.
The announcers sent it back to the video of the assault on C.M. Punk (from last week).
Big Show was in the locker room to speak with Daniel Bryan. Show tried to explain that he didn’t want the match but he was under pressure. Daniel said he had to do what he needed to do and he didn’t care about Show’s issues. Show tried to explain his “no win situation” but Daniel just turned it into a way to take verbal shots at the giant one.
The WWE Rewind showed A.J. Lee insulting the various Total Divas stars.
Natalya vs Naomi vs Brie Bella
Triple Threat to determine the Number One Contender to the Divas Championship
Before the match started, A.J. Lee skipped around the ring. She took a seat at the announce table. Brie kicked Nattie but Naomi took the fight to Brie. Roll up by Nattie on Naomi. Brie focused on Nattie. Double Trip into a Jackknife Pin attempt by Nattie. Brie kicked Naomi and then hit a Running Knee to Nattie’s face. Naomi with a Butt Drop on the outside and then went for the Sunset Flip. Nattie sent Brie to the floor. Natie went for the Sharpshooter but Naomi fought out. Naomi worked to the corner. Brie flew off the ring but Nattie caught her. Rear View by Naomi, on Nattie. A.J. hit the ring and attacked everyone. That was a dumb move as the three women kicked the stuffing out of the skinny little championette.
Your Winner: No Contest
Raw Ranking: N/A (but it was on pace for a 3)
Damien Sandow vs Rob Van Dam (w/Ricardo Rodriguez)
I still can’t stand Ricardo doing the intros for RVD. RVD will get a shot at the World title, in his home state, at Night of Champions. Damien moved RVD to the corner and then kicked and punched away. Rolling Leg Lariat by RVD. The two traded hard punches but RVD took control with hard kicks. Powerbomb by Sandow. 2 count. Damien stomped away and then whipped RVD to the ropes. Rolling Leg Scissors Pin for two. Big Boot by Damien. Damien with a hard Crossface and a Quarter Nelson. RVD got to his feet but Damien used the ponytail to pull RVD down. Damien choked RVD with his shin. RVD with a Crescent Kick and Thrust Kick.
Suddenly, Alberto Del Rio strolled out . Damien sent RVD out to the floor. Raw went to break.
Damien with the Rear Chin Lock. RVD got to his feet and punched away. Damien hit the back of RVD’s neck. Back Drop Suplex by Damien that led back into the Rear Chin Lock. Slop Drop by Sandow but only a two count. Damien punched away until
the ref made him get back. RVD came off his back to hit a Spinning Kick. Awesome. Side Russian Leg Sweep into the Elbow of Distain. 2 count, yet again. Ricardo rallied the crowd. Drop Toe Hold by Damien that sent RVD into the middle rope. Damien rushed into RVD and then went for a pin. 2 count, yet again. Rolling Neckbreaker by Damien but he couldn’t get the 3. The two went back and forth with punches. Small Package by RVD. Clothesline and Thrust Kick by RVD to set up the Rolling Thunder. Damien with a School Boy for two. Damien threw RVD to the outside. RVD snapped the neck and then hit the Five Star Frog Splash!
Your Winner: RVD
Raw Ranking: 3.0
During the break, Natalya, Naomi and Brie confronted Stephanie about the match, earlier. Steph decided that since A.J. messed up the end of the match, she would just have to face all three women in a Fatal Four Way.
After showing the end of the Cody vs Randy match, Josh Mathews interviewed Cody in the back. He went on a serious venomous rant on the McMahons on how they butchered his dad’s and brother’s careers by putting Dusty in polka dots and making him dance and turning “The Natural” into gold paint and forever changing him. Cody accused the McMahons of hating the Rhodes. Josh asked Cody if he had spoken with his fiancé. Cody just left without comment.
The Superstars walked out on to the stage to watch the Main Event.
Daniel Bryan vs Big Show
Show, obviously, did not want any part of this match. He took a long time to get to the ring. Raw looked back at the events of Smackdown where Big Show stepped in to stop The Shield from beating on Daniel Bryan. HHH went wild on Show for not following his order of no interference. Daniel ended up getting planted with the Sword of Justice Triple Powerbomb.
Show tried to talk with Daniel. Show explained that he really didn’t’ want to do this. Daniel just attacked with punches and kicks. Show shoved him down. Daniel attacked again and Show begged Daniel to stop this. Daniel got in and Dropkicked Show’s knee. He then hit repeated kicks to Show’s chest and then nailed a Dropkick. Show threw Daniel off, easily. Hesitation Dropkicks, to the corner, by Daniel. ON the third one, Show with a Thrust Kick. Show hit repeated Open Hand Slap and then Bieled him. Scoop Slam by Show. Show screamed “See what you made me do!”. Daniel came up with more hard kicks but Show Shoulder Tackled him. Show told Daniel to stop but Bryan kept going. Show didn’t want to hurt Daniel but he laid him out with a vicious Headbutt.
Daniel with a Dropkick to Show’s knee as Show rushed at Daniel. Chest Kicks by Daniel but Show caught the Knockout Kick. Goozle but Daniel converted it into a Kneeling DDT. Daniel went to the top and flew…right into a Spear by Show! Show cocked his fist but then decided he had done enough. He started to leave, but…
Triple H and The Shield came from the back. HHH ordered Show to get back in the ring and finish things. Show said he wouldn’t do it and he started to walk away. The Shield started to mug Daniel but Show came to his aid. HHH told Show to really think over what he was going to do next. HHH threatened Show’s job, again. HHH told The Shield to hit the Sword of Justice Triple Powerbomb. Show was in tears as he saw the damage done. HHH then ordered Show to ball up his fist and hit the Knockout Punch on Daniel. Show absolutely refused. The crowd erupted as Show got out of the ring. Big Show begged HHH to just leave him alone. Stephanie McMahon came back out and talked to her “old friend”. She brought up his family and how they were relying on him. Eventually, he got back in the ring. He started to blast HHH with the Knockout Punch but Steph stepped between them. Show did nail the Knockout Punch and then left, under orders, from HHH and Steph. “You Sold Out!” rose from the crowd. Randy Orton then walked from the back. He looked at Show and then went to the ring. Randy checked out Daniel and then put a foot on the downed man’s chest and held the WWE title high in the air.
–Jay Shannon (and Sweet Baby)