WWE Monday Night Raw opened backstage with the Miz telling Paul Heyman that he was quitting CM Punk’s team at Survivor Series because Punk ran away last week. That is an interesting development, especially since the Miz is on the poster for the pay-per-view.
I hope he still gets a spot on the event. Perhaps he’ll captain his own team in another traditional elimination tag team match.
We then went to a recap of last week’s events with a dramatic voice telling us what happened. For a second I thought I was watching TNA Impact Wrestling as they do the exact same thing on Thursdays before the show starts.
I wonder if Kurt Angle will accuse WWE of stealing the idea, much like he previously did with another WWE angle.
Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and R-Truth vs. Prime Time Players and Antonio Cesaro
The face team would pick up the victory after a good opening match. With some nice action throughout and a pretty cool ending, these six superstars delivered a solid six-man tag team match.
I was happy to see Raw open with a match as it doesn’t happen that often. Too many times has the show opened with somebody talking; it just gets boring after a while.
The Mysterio and Sin Cara/Prime Time Players feud is developing into an entertaining one. Both teams are talented and they give the fans a show when they wrestle. Unfortunately, I don’t see the feud continuing past Survivor Series.
The R-Truth/Cesaro feud kind of came out of nowhere. Truth came out last week to help his former partner Kofi Kingston, and that’s apparently how it was setup. I was hoping that Justin Gabriel would continue to fight for the title, but overall I’m just glad the United States Championship is getting a storyline.
Vickie Guerrero then made her way out to present more proof of the John Cena/AJ Lee affair. This time AJ walked into a hotel room wearing a robe, and Cena came out of one in a towel but at a different angle. In both videos, you can’t see the room number. Cena denied it, AJ threatened Guerrero and Ziggler put in his two cents as well.
Well, at least some pregnant woman didn’t come out to accuse Cena of being the father.
Some interesting developments in the storyline, but I still have zero interest in it. Guerrero was her annoying self on the mic, while Cena delivered his usual promo.
What I liked most about this was that Vickie’s past of giving world titles to guys like Edge and Ziggler was brought up. Who is she to accuse someone of, in her own words, “hanky panky” when she herself has done the same?
I have a feeling that AJ did have an affair with someone, but it’s not John Cena. I think that it’s Dolph Ziggler and the Showoff is doctoring the footage himself to hide it from Vickie, or Vickie is covering it up just to hurt the reputation of Cena.
I was hoping that this would lead to Cena vs. Ziggler at Survivor Series, but as we learned later in the show, that wouldn’t be the case.
Backstage, Paul Heyman managed to recruit Wade Barrett for Team Punk, but according to do so, he would owe the bare-knuckle brawler a favor.
I’m quite happy with the addition of the Barrett Barrage to Survivor Series. With him having no real storyline, it’s a good way to get him onto the annual November PPV. I’m curious to find out what the favor is, but I’m more curious in seeing if that favor will still count since storyline developments later in the show changes things up even more.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes
After some distractions caused by Kane and Damien Sandow on the outside, Cody Rhodes would pick up the win.
The match was going very well before it was abruptly ended. It had a great pace while the action was also looking good. The match was just too short! Both Bryan and Rhodes are two of WWE’s most talented all-around wrestlers, so I wanted to see this one go for a good 10 minutes.
If given the time, these two superstars could tear the house down and deliver a great back-and-forth match.
What the contest lacked in time, though, it made up for in storyline development. One-half of Rhodes Scholars now own a victory over one of the tag team champions, while their respective partners fought a little outside the ring as well.
Post-match, Rhodes got on the mic and inadvertently volunteered Sandow for a match against Kane. Some decent mic work by Rhodes, but he seemed really out of breath.
Kane vs. Damien Sandow
Kane would pick up the victory in a decent match after their partners were kicked out of the ringside area. A good half of the match was during a commercial break, so it’s hard to tell how the match went as a whole.
Much like the previous contest, the storyline between their respective teams was advanced here. The match quality wasn’t that great, but the advancement of the feud was. It’s now tied at one a piece in terms of singles matches.
I’d imagine that they’ll be involved in some sort of multi-man match next week and then of course the elimination match at the PPV. When it’s all said and done for the month of November, I think they’ll be about tied.
I can see things coming to an end for Team Hell No and Rhodes Scholars at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs next month.
Brad Maddox then made his way to the ring to explain his actions at Hell in a Cell. He wasn’t working for CM Punk; he was working on his own free will. He wanted to make an impact, called himself famous for doing so and then wanted a contract and a match with Ryback.
Vince McMahon than made an appearance to say that he could have a million-dollar contract if he could defeat Ryback next week.
I thought this was kind of boring. Maddox showed some strong mic skills, but I just couldn’t get into what he was saying. He couldn’t get me to care. I wanted Ryback to come out and just destroy him to liven up the segment, but that obviously didn’t happen.
McMahon accused Maddox of lying and I thought that he was, too. I feel that he was working for Punk and Heyman, and that will ultimately result in Punk screwing Ryback out of the match next week, thus giving Maddox a contract.
I have to wonder, though, where is he going to go after this? He’s a bit player in the Punk/Ryback feud, so that pushes him aside once it ends. I’m curious to see what WWE does with him in the long run.
The segment wasn’t over yet, though, as McMahon went back to grab Vickie Guerrero. After coaxing her, a WWE Championship match for Survivor Series was made between CM Punk, Ryback and John Cena. I got so confused when that was announced.
After spending all of last week’s show building up Team Punk vs. Team Foley, everything was pulled apart! The team captain of Team Punk was taken away while a major member of Team Foley was pulled out as well. That also puts the Cena/Ziggler feud aside.
WWE seems to have changed their minds completely with Survivor Series, and that gets me wondering if they even know what they’re doing anymore!
Sheamus vs. The Miz
After that last segment left me confused, Sheamus and the Miz delivered a very good match. Both superstars had a solid outing as Sheamus picked up the victory. With a lot of great action, Sheamus and the Miz just put on a show.
I was particularly impressed with the Miz here. While his mic work is as solid as ever, he hasn’t been the same in the ring since his WWE Championship reign ended. When he returned and eventually won the Intercontinental Championship, he was starting to get back up to the level he was previously at.
After seeing this match, not only is he back to it, but I think he’s gotten even better! The Miz is ready to take his main-event spot back and I can’t wait when he does.
As for Sheamus, he’s been consistently giving strong performances and this was no different. While he helped deliver a good match, the feud over the World Heavyweight Championship with the Big Show was advanced by the champion on commentary.
While the cameras cut away too many times, I liked the Big Show on commentary. He added a lot to the match and to his feud with Sheamus.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero informed Dolph Ziggler that Team Punk was now Team Ziggler. CM Punk then appeared to complain about the situation and Vickie revealed Punk and Ziggler vs. John Cena and Ryback as the main event.
For me, this just got a little more confusing. Mick Foley is now kind of irrelevant at Survivor Series. The whole point of the elimination tag team match was Punk vs. Foley, but now that Punk is out and Ziggler is in, where does that leave the Hardcore Legend?
A vignette was then shown for Fandangoo. That’s not a typo; the letter “o” is really there twice. Who and what is a Fandangoo? It looks like a newer version of Rico to me. I am intrigued, though, to see who this is. Perhaps the gimmick will pay off for whoever’s behind it.
Backstage, Sheamus and William Regal are having a polite conversion that ends with them leaving for a pint. It was good to see Regal on Raw in a segment that wasn’t comedy. When I’m able to watch NXT, I really enjoy his commentary. He could make a great addition to the SmackDown announce booth if John Bradshaw Layfield isn’t a permanent member.
Eve and Aksana vs. Layla and Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn would pick up the victory for her team after she pinned the Divas champion, Eve. I thought that this match was just awful. It was slow, boring and sloppy at times. Aksana should really be sent to NXT for a lot more training as most of the sloppiness came from her.
If this match did anything, it helped set up Eve vs. Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship at Survivor Series.
Backstage, Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez were complaining that his team was now Team Ziggler before Rosa Mendes appeared out of nowhere to bump into Del Rio.
As expected, there’s going to be a lot of tension on Team Ziggler. While Del Rio won’t walk out on the team, he may make things difficult for the Showoff. As for Rosa, I’m curious to see if it leads to anything between her and Del Rio, or if she actually bumped into him by accident.
Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Kofi Kingston would defeat Alberto Del Rio after Randy Orton’s music distracted the Mexican superstar. I thought this match was a good one, which is a nice change of pace in a Kingston/Del Rio match.
I’ve noticed that Del Rio has faced Kingston quite a bit this year. Most of the matches were short and resulted in Del Rio beating him in about two minutes. This match, though, featured some nice back-and-forth action.
I think Del Rio is a lot more talented than some people give him credit for. Sure, his gimmick has gotten so stale that he’s growing mold, but his in-ring work is solid, especially this year. While he continues to be the jobber of the main event, he consistently gives strong performances.
I was so glad to see Kingston win the match. I was worried that his momentum was going to be stopped here, but thankfully the Kingston train keeps on rolling. Hopefully this push leads to something more unlike his other ones.
Post-match, Orton would hit Del Rio with an RKO. That was a good way to advance their feud and build up the Falls Count Anywhere Match on Super SmackDown Live.
Team Co-Bro vs. Primo and Epico
Santino Marella and Zack Ryder would defeat the former tag team champions in a decent match. The match was nothing special, which is a shame.
While Santino and Ryder don’t get featured prominently as a team, they’re hard working singles performers. I’d like to see them work a good tag match and get a fair shot in the tag team division. I just wish Santino would get rid of that stupid sock.
Primo and Epico are a great team, but they rarely get the chance to work Monday Night Raw. Even though they are former tag team champions, they had the belts at a bad time. The division now has more of the spotlight, but when they had the titles, the light wasn’t even on.
Nobody cared about the belts and nobody cared that they were the champions. I hope to see them as champions at least once more, especially since the division is actually getting attention now.
Wade Barrett vs. Brodus Clay
The Barrett Barrage would run over the Funkasaurus here in a match that wasn’t the greatest. Brodus did his usual thing while Barrett got his chance to shine in his home country.
The Funkasaurus gimmick is stale. While it still seems to be popular with children, Brodus is getting nowhere with it. I’d like to see him repackaged as the monster we were promised before WWE sicced the Funkasaurus on us.
I felt that Barrett was wasted in this match. He’s way too talented to have to have a match with the Funkasaurus. Thankfully he’ll be having a match that should be worth watching on Main Event against Sheamus.
Heath Slater vs. Jey Uso
The leader of the 3MB would pick up the victory here in a match that I enjoyed. There was some decent action as both superstars did what they could in the time they were given.
The 3MB storyline intrigues me. I loved Slater’s “One Man Band” gimmick, even if it was mostly comedy, and the addition of two more guys spices things up.
Both Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre are talented inside the ring. The work they have done on NXT and Superstars is great. Their matches are sometimes the best of the show. I’m happy to see them finally get a bit of spotlight.
It was great to see the Usos on Raw. I love their entrance and it’s even better live. I remember being at the final three-hour in June before three hours became the norm, and seeing their entrance from the third row was awesome! They’re a great team, but they unfortunately don’t get featured enough.
CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena and Ryback
After CM Punk recapped everything that has happened to him, he and Ziggler would lose after Ryback just destroyed both of them.
Most of the match saw John Cena as the “face in peril,” which is different. In terms of the Punk/Ziggler teamwork and Cena selling for them, this match was quite good. The WWE champion and Mr. Money in the Bank worked very well as a team here and really added to the match.
Cena sold for the heels like a champ. He made them look dangerous as they beat him down and wouldn’t allow the tag to Ryback. Punk, Ziggler and Cena made this match an overall enjoyable one.
Once Ryback was tagged in, he just ran over both guys like they were nothing. He didn’t add anything to the match quality, but it was good storyline development to see Ryback pin the WWE champion and to see him face-to-face with John Cena afterwards.
Overall, I thought this was a good episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. There were a few good matches, while I also enjoyed one or two more. The build for Survivor Series continued to be strong, though it was a bit confusing.
As long as WWE doesn’t decide to change anything again, the build for the current card should be very good.
Right now, Survivor Series looks good on paper, so hopefully the event itself will deliver. There are still a number of shows left before the PPV, though, and I expect the hype to just get stronger now that WWE has their main matches in place.
Well, that’s it for me. Thanks for reading!
Don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter, where I always follow back fellow wrestling fans and usually tweet during the shows!