-After an explosive and awesome SummerSlam last night, how will WWE screw it up? LET’S FIND OUT!
-Live from Anaheim, CA (home of great weather and ugly people)
-So, with huge stories like Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar/CM Punk, who kicks Raw off? If you said John Cena then punch yourself in the face and give yourself a gold star. Cena puts over Daniel Bryan huge and announces that his elbow swelling is the result of a torn muscle and he will have to take 4-6 months off to rehab. The crowd greets that awful news with a “YES!” chant. As Cena takes his leave, he gives a seriously classy intro to Daniel Bryan, who gets a superstar pop from the crowd.
Before Bryan can get a word out though, Stephanie McMahon joins us and tells Bryan that Triple H was just doing what was “best for business." Bryan says he expected better of Triple H, but when you lay with trash (motioning to Steph), you eventually stink…burn. Bryan promises that he will give the McMahons a very good reason to fire him after tonight. Stephanie responds by saying Bryan is talent, but not everyone can be the face of a company. She says that Daniel Bryan isn’t an “A,” but he’s a solid “B+”…does that make him better or worse than Mike Sanders?
The sad thing is you know the McMahons have had this conversation before behind closed doors about certain workers. Bryan continues to cut a pissed off promo on Stephanie until she calls security on him to kick him out of the building.
-Hey, when’s the last time the McMahons tried to hold down a babyface? Is this storyline finally old enough that it’s new again?
Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes
Yeah, screw you guys if you bought the PPV last night…we’re gonna show the match for free! Sandow attacks, but gets slugged down and Cody hits an elbow from the second rope for a two count. Cody hits a front suplex and hammers away, but gets back dropped to the apron. He springboards back in with a dropkick to zero reaction and a clothesline puts Sandow to the floor. Cody hits a suplex on the floor and gets another two count back inside as the announcers discuss Cody’s lack of a mustache as if it actually matters. Weird shoving sequence ends with Cody falling to the floor, but nothing really comes of it as Sandow just drags him back inside and gets a two count off a suplex. Cody comes back, but gets caught heading up top and gets slammed off for a two count as we head to break.
We return with Sandow stopping a Rhodes' comeback with a knee lift and hitting the Elbow of Disdain as the crowd chants for JBL. Sandow tries for a super back suplex, but Cody knocks him off and hits a really sloppy moonsault. He’s going to kill himself doing that move one day. Rhodes makes his comeback and hits the Goldust uppercut, but Sandow counters Cross Rhodes with an Edge-o-Matic for a two count. Cody catches him with a Disaster Kick, but is unable to make the cover as Sandow rolls to the apron. Sandow tries to recover, but Cody rolls him up from the corner for the win.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
-The crowd was totally dead for this as Cody’s face push continues to be dead in the water. Also, I still don’t get why jobbing Sandow is the right thing to do unless he’s going to lose his briefcase. Call it *1/2 and chalk it up to experience.
-Meanwhile, Brad Maddox announces that Dolph Ziggler will face the Shield in a handicap match due to his comments to WWE.com about Triple H.
-Paul Heyman, complete with an arm sling, is out to try to end his feud with CM Punk. He calls himself Punk’s father figure and promises to guide Punk back to the WWE title…as long as he apologizes. A surprisingly brief promo from Heyman.
-Meanwhile, the Bella Twins threaten the Funkadactyls and thousands of Total Divas viewers get all excited.
The Funkadactyls vs. Layla and AJ
Is Planet Funk the next over from Parts Unknown? The heels attack before the bell and AJ hits Naomi with a neckbreaker. Naomi tries to flip out of a suplex, but she runs into a spinning heel kick and gets trapped in the heel corner. You can judge how terrible Michael Cole thinks a match is by how much he talks about Twitter. Layla tags in and takes out Cameron on the apron, but Naomi rolls her up from behind and gets the pin even though Layla kicked out before the three count. Do any of these matches ever not have a botched finish?
Winners: The Funkadactyls
-Totally terrible, but are you really surprised? DUD.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Shield
Is Dean Ambrose officially too cool for his bulletproof vest now? Ziggler uses an amateur takedown on Ambrose, but Rollins tags in and takes a backdrop. Ziggler hammers away in the corner, but gets dropped with a kick and Reigns beats him down. The heels switch off on Dolph and Ambrose works a chinlock, but Ziggler turns it into a sleeper and hits a jawbreaker. Reigns tags in, but takes too much time attacking and Ziggler drops him with a dropkick. Rocker Dropper hits and Ziggler gets rid of Ambrose before dropping Reigns with a DDT for two. Rollins returns to interrupt the pin, but gets suplexed to the outside in an impressive spot. Dolph tries a Stinger Splash in the corner, but Reigns fires out with a HUGE spear and gets the pin.
Winners: The Shield
-The Shield drop Dolph with a triple powerbomb just because and will continue to fight injustice around the world…unless it’s Larry King cutting in line at SummerSlam Axxess. A couple good bumps in the match made it better than your typical handicap match **1/4.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara
Del Rio attacks immediately, but Cara armdrags him to the floor and dives through the ropes, knocking heads with Del Rio. Cara acts like he’s been hurt and calls the referee over to stop the match. Seriously? The guy botches every other move he tries and now you turn that into an angle? Total trash.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
-What was the point of this? DUD. Maybe they should sign the two guys who jumped him this past weekend and see if they can work a match. Ricardo Rodriguez makes his return and announces that he is now Rob Van Dam’s new manager. RVD charges the ring and floors Del Ri,o but Alberto rolls out before a Five Star Frog Splash can hit. I’m not against a RVD vs. ADR match, mostly because it’s something different.
Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger vs. Prime Time Players
Must…not…make…jokes. Cesaro beats on Darren Young and tags in Swagger, but he runs into a hiptoss and Titus beats him down in the corner. Titus gets a little anxious though and runs into a boot, allowing Cesaro to check in and hit a gutwrench suplex for two. Titus plays Ricky Morton and gets trapped in the wrong corner as Swagger hits the Vader Bomb and Cesaro leapfrogs into a double stomp for two. Titus finally comes back with a spinebuster though and gets the hot tag to TMZ’s favorite wrestler, Darren Young. He beats everyone down and hits Cesaro with a northern lights suplex for two, triggering a big brawl. Young is left alone with Cesaro and he hits the Gut Check for the win.
Winners: Prime Time Players
-Oh come on, you KNEW the push was coming and I’m totally fine with it, I’ve been a Prime Time Players mark for a while now anyways…not that there’s anything wrong with that. Call it **1/2 for a nice TV tag match. Hey, with John Cena gone, who’s a better replacement than BLACK John Cena?
-Meanwhile. Brad Maddox books Big Show in a handicap match against the Shield…again. Only this time, all members of the Shield can be in the ring at the same time. Are the Shield replacing Kane as the go-to guys when a heel authority figure wants to punish a babyface?
-After a break, Fandango interrupts a Footlocker commercial disguised as a backstage segment and hilarity ensues.
-Meanwhile, Ryback forces a jobber (who kinda looks like Tommy Dreamer) to fill his gear bag with water and then kicks him out of the locker room. If he starts stealing the Miz’s lunch money, I might start to like him.
Big Show vs. The Shield
Big Show dominates to start and uses Rollins as a weapon against Ambrose. Dean hits the floor and Rollins quickly follows before Show hits Reigns with a spear, causing the Shield to regroup. Ambrose tries a sleeper, but Show falls backwards to break and floors Rollins with a headbutt. He gets rid of Seth yet again and beats on Ambrose for a while before trying for the chokeslam, but Rollins chop blocks him to break. Ambrose hits a running kick and Rollins adds a knee off the top, but it only gets a two count. The Shield try a double suplex, but Show suplexes both of them and Reigns takes advantage by hitting a spear for a quadruple KO. The Shield recover first though and impressively hit the triple powerbomb for the victory.
Winners: The Shield
-Big Show was actually motivated out there after being out for so long, so this really wasn’t that bad *3/4.
-CM Punk hits the ring to respond to Paul Heyman and he’s in a foul mood tonight so he verbally buries some booing fan at ringside as only CM Punk can. He calls out Heyman, who answers and is flanked by Curtis Axel, but doesn’t get to respond because Punk goes nuts and demands that Heyman enter the ring and fight like a man. However, Heyman tells Axel to get ready for a fight because he’s going to finish the job that Brock Lesnar started last night.
CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel
This isn’t really a match because there is no referee, but Punk attacks right away and bounces Axel’s head off a chair before nailing him in the back. They brawl on the floor, but Axel gets the better of it and chops away. He sends Punk into the ring barrier and hammers away, but Punk dumps him into the front row. Punk starts chasing down Heyman, but changes his mind and dives on Axel before cracking him with the ring bell. Punk tries to finish him off with the GTS, but Axel takes out Punk’s leg and now "WOOOOOOO, WE GO TO SCHOOL!" Axel destroys Punk’s leg with the chair while Heyman trash talks from the ouside and Axel goes for the kill by trying to "Pillmanize" Punk’s knee. Punk gets out of the way just in time and nails Axel with the chair. They hit the floor again and Punk drops Axel face-first on the ring steps and Punk’s music plays for his symbolic win.
-I think Punk could have taken today off and everyone would have understood. Still, a great segment from Punk and his verbal undressing of the fan will be a popular YouTube clip this week.
R-Truth vs. Bray Wyatt
Wyaytt attacks, but Truth dodges all around until he gets distracted by the Family at ringside and takes a hard cross body to the gut. Splash in the corner connects and "Sister Abigail" finishes things very quickly.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
-Total squash as the Wyatt Family continues to be booked very strongly, *.
-And now, because they didn’t learn their lesson with Tito Santana, we get a vignette promoting Primo and Epico as wrestling matadors…good Lord.
3MB vs. The Usos
Jey knocks around Heath Slater a little before bringing Jimmy, who hits a pair of flying clotheslines before getting distracted by Jinder Mahal and getting hit with a cheapshot. Mahal tags in and hits a neckbreaker and a kneedrop for a two count. Jimmy continues getting beat up while the crowd goes wild with apathy and Slater slugs away. Jimmy goes up and over on a slam and hits a enzuigiri before getting the hot tag to Jey, who is indeed a house of fire. Running butt slam in the corner gets a two count, saved by Heath Slater, but he and Jimmy brawl to the outside. Mahal walks into a superkick from Jey and Jimmy follows with a splash from the top for the win.
Winner: The Usos
-The heat segment was boring since 3MB has nothing going for them, but the Usos always show fire and look committed to getting their characters over *1/2.
The Miz vs. Wade Barrett
It’s 10:45 p.m. ET and this match is on? Headlock spot leads to a flapjack from the Miz and his clothesline in the corner. He misses whatever off the top though and Barrett floors him with a big boot for two. Barrett pounds on him against the ropes and another boot sends Miz to the floor. Barrett drops an elbow from the apron and that gets a two count back inside. Miz gets a rollup out of nowhere for a two count, but an elbow stops that rally and Wade goes to the chinlock. Miz fights out of that while the crowd chants for Barrett and Miz goes to work on the leg to set up for the Figure Four. Miz tries a sunset flip from the second rope, but applies the Figure Four instead, but Fandango drops a leg from the top before Barrett can tap.
-Boring match (nothing new with the Miz) and it didn’t have a finish, so that means *1/4 is good enough.
-Meanwhile, Maddox informs Steph that Daniel Bryan is back in the building. He’s like reverse Elvis.
Main Event Interview
So Vince, Stephanie and Triple H are in the ring while the entire locker room stands on the entrance stage and the Shield run security. Triple H explains that last night was to ensure the survival of WWE in the future and it wasn’t anything personal against Daniel Bryan. The crowd obviously does not like this explanation, but Hunter brings out Randy Orton to a good heel reaction.
Orton gives everyone an “I told you so” and offers thanks to Hunter for the gift last night, which the crowd is less than appreciative of. Triple H invites Daniel Bryan out, but the Shield beat him down outside the ring. Bryan holds his own for a while until Reigns hits him with a spear and he starts taking a beating. They go to finish him with a triple powerbomb, but Hunter stops them and invites Bryan in the ring again. Bryan crawls into the ring, but Orton drops him with an RKO and the McMahon-Orton connection stand tall as we fade to black.
Well, the actual wrestling was rather weak this week, but the Punk-Heyman stuff and the Daniel Bryan storyline were enough to carry the show to “not that boring” status this week. I’ve said it a thousand times, but three hours is just far too long for a TV show and that’s not going to change. I love the booking of Daniel Bryan though and think he has the chance to come out of this a huge star if the momentum is maintained. Having John Cena gone for a long length of time will also give fans a glimpse at WWE without him…time will tell if that’s a good thing or not.
-Remember to follow me on Twitter @MikeShannon22 for all the latest in bad jokes, wrestling and occasional analysis.