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WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Twitter Reaction and Highlights from Sept. 2

Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterJanuary 11, 2017

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Twitter Reaction and Highlights from Sept. 2

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    Last week, "Stone Cold" Daniel Bryan went straight Steve Austin on the McMahon family and their handpicked champion, Randy Orton, laying waste to a poor, blameless automobile in the process.  Meanwhile, Paul Heyman gave CM Punk the kind of beating that, for once, wiped that smug look off his face.

    It was a hot show, but then again, the WWE needs all the heat it can get right now. John Cena, the face of the company for years, is out of action until the end of the year. Every month, WWE could count on Cena carrying a heavy load on pay-per-view and in the lead segment of almost every edition of Raw. That crutch is gone. If WWE creative has any tricks up its sleeve, now is the time.

    Monday night, it swung for the fences in Des Moines. And, after putting together quite a show on the undercard, when it mattered most, it whiffed and whiffed badly.

    The Big Show, tears in his eyes, would have needed to be an Emmy-caliber actor to breathe life into the nonsensical material he was handed to work with. Of course, he's the Big Show and not Peter Dinklage. He failed—and badly. Here's hoping he didn't take the entire angle down with him.

    As always, I graded every segment of Monday night's show from A-F. Disagree? Sound off in the comments.

Randy Orton Promo

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    Raw opened with Triple H in the ring, The Shield on guard to prevent any possible distractions. Orton came out to explain just why he found it necessary to beat up Daniel Bryan on SmackDown last week.

    Bryan, you see, had defaced his new Escalade on Raw. In return, Orton defaced his, well, face. But, despite their bad blood, Orton doesn't want to face Bryan at Night of Champions. Triple H compared Bryan to Doink the Clown, or worse, a cruiserweight.

    That, rightly, brought Bryan out to take up his own cause. He was told he was nothing but a good little hand. Orton, he said, doesn't understand why Bryan won't quit because he's been given all he has. He didn't earn it and doesn't know what it takes to scrap and claw your way to the top.

    "Randy Orton may have the genetics of the champion," Bryan said. "But Randy, you don't have the heart of a champion."



    Everyone argued and then Triple H books Bryan in a match with Big Show for the main event.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I would like to introduce to you the face of a company."—Triple H on Randy Orton.

    "If you disrespect me, you disrespect the entire WWE and you need to be dealt with."—Randy Orton.

    "Popularity has nothing to do with what is best for business."—Triple H.

    "Here comes the next cruiserweight champion."—JBL as Bryan comes out.

    "Is Randy Orton more masculine than Stephanie McMahon? No! No! No!"—Daniel Bryan.


    Tweet Tweet

    There is no doubt The #SeaOfYes is here in Des Moines, right @MichaelCole ?? pic.twitter.com/jdDA5fF4jT

    — Justin Roberts (@JustinRoberts) September 3, 2013






    I don't think I've ever enjoyed Triple H better. He's basically trolling every single hardcore wrestling fan and having a ton of fun with everything that has been written and said about him over the years. From taking a shot at cruiserweights to comparing Bryan to Doink the Clown, this was pure gold, and I ate up every minute of it.

Fandango vs. The Miz

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    Cody Rhodes confronted Triple H and Randy Orton about why they are such foolish men. Triple H didn't appreciate the input and booked Rhodes in a match with Orton later on in the evening.

    The catch?

    Rhodes' career was on the line.

    Fandango and The Miz follow that superlative segment with an average wrestling match. Wake me when it's over.



    Miz beats Fandango with the figure-four leglock.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "With due respect, Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton is what's best for business."—Cody Rhodes.

    "If you don't win tonight Cody, I doubt you'll be here very long. In fact, I know you won't be here very long."—Triple H on the Rhodes vs. Orton match he made.

    Miz busts Fandango's nose. Or so they say. When they return from commercial, it's not even bleeding any more.


    Tweet Tweet 

    Sounds like its time for @CodyRhodesWWE to maximize his minutes...if you weilll. @WWEDustyRhodes #OpportunityKnocks. #WWERAW

    — Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) September 3, 2013






    I get a little perturbed anytime a less-than-great worker gets what I call the "workrate" spot, the match early in the show that continues through a commercial break and into the next segment. That's a place I want to see Daniel Bryan, The Shield or even Alberto Del Rio. I don't want two segments of average work.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Ryback

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    Booker T tried to warn Daniel Bryan that messing with the McMahons could ruin his career. Booker, speaking from experience, said that if Bryan just keeps his head down, he can make a lot of money with the WWE, even if he isn't champion. Bryan wasn't hearing it.

    Dolph Ziggler was booked with a mystery opponent, but before he could come out, Ziggler got roughed up by Dean Ambrose. That'll teach Ziggler to question Triple H.

    The opponent turned out to by Ryback. Well, that went from bad to worse for young Mr. Ziggler.



    Ryback pinned Ziggler with the Shell Shock.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I know you want to rage against the machine...but that's a fight you can't win."—Booker T to Daniel Bryan.

    "Tell me you did not just say that?"—Daniel Bryan.

    Ryback hip tosses Ziggler halfway across the ring.

    "You can't wrestle."—crowd to Ryback.


    Tweet Tweet

    Since @HEELZiggler chucked @WWEAJLee out of his life....I am beginning to cheer for him again!  #wwe  #RAW  #cougarincharge

    — Vickie Guerrero (@ExcuseMeWWE) September 3, 2013






    Dolph Ziggler took some typically insane bumps, but this was less a match than a continuation of the "power mad Triple H" angle. It did it's job, but it sure would have been nice to see Ziggler, you know, wrestle.

Stephanie McMahon Promo

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    Big Show told Brad Maddox that he wasn't going to wrestle Bryan. Triple H was prepared to step in, but Stephanie McMahon took control herself. Maddox tried to direct her to Show's locker room, but she said that's not how she rolls.

    Out in front of the world, she revealed that Show was broke, likely to die early and had no choice but to do exactly what the McMahon clan asked him to do. Brutal.



    Show will have to fight Bryan or find himself in breach of contract.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "You know that you are flat-out broke...you have nothing right now."—Stephanie McMahon.

    Poor Big Show starts to cry.

    "Show, I'm sorry that you're hurting. But the only person hurting more than you right now is me."—Stephanie.


    Tweet Tweet 

    Steph might as well have told Big Show's kids that Santa isn't real. Even the whole "giants don't live as long" thing was probably enough

    — K8LYN (@KaitlynWWE) September 3, 2013

    DAMN....@StephMcMahon cutting to the case w/ @WWETheBigShow.  Sometimes the truth hurts. #WWERAW

    — Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) September 3, 2013






    Stephanie talked about Big Show being a mentor to her when she was just a 12-year-old little girl hanging around the locker room. That's pretty funny considering they actually both debuted in the WWE back in 1999. Both were in their 20s.

    That would have been a pretty compelling speech if it had been made to Andre the Giant. But Big Show, who is just five years older than Stephanie? That's just solid comedy.

3MB vs. Prime Time Players

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    Prime Time Players, riding the wave of Darren Young's international publicity, really got a chance to show their stuff on Raw against 3MB.



    Titus O'Neil pinned Jinder Mahal with a Sitting Powerbomb.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Prime Time Players got this whole crowd rocking with them."—Jerry Lawler as the camera cuts to the crowd doing no such thing.

    Jinder Mahal's series of knee drops off the first rope.


    Tweet Tweet

    Don’t hinder Jinder…or tinder. #Raw

    — Zack Ryder (@ZackRyder) September 3, 2013

    Does Heath have a 5 o'clock shadow or did he just have Starbuck's pumpkin latte? #RAW

    — K8LYN (@KaitlynWWE) September 3, 2013






    We have preconceived notions about some wrestlers. 3MB are used as enhancement talent, so we think of them that way. But when given a chance, like they were Monday night, they can really deliver. This was a solid match, the kind I'd love to see more of from both teams.

Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton

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    Paul Heyman confronted Brad Maddox, hot that the Raw general manager had allowed his fate to be decided by the WWE Universe. But before he could do much but voice his displeasure, Triple H snuck up behind him and let Heyman know that he had officially sanctioned this match. Best for business, you know.

    Then we were treated to another creepy Wyatt promo. Bray said Kane thought fire was his friend and paid the price for that hubris. Where is Kane? If he knows, he isn't saying.

    Finally, it was time for the match of Cody Rhodes' life, his career on the line against the WWE champion.



    Randy Orton pinned Rhodes with an RKO clean as a whistle. Triple H then fired Rhodes.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "CM Punk gets his hands on Paul Heyman. Tell me Brad Maddox, is that what's best for business?"—Paul Heyman.

    "I don't see an out in this. Maybe you rise to the occasion. Maybe you surprise me...Or maybe C.M Punk gives you the beating you richly deserve. Either way, I win. And isn't that what's best for business?"—Triple H

    "Oh where, oh where has my monster gone?"—Bray Wyatt.

    Cody Rhodes gets a two count and immediately goes for another cover. Love that spot.

    Randy Orton's brutal backbreaker off the top.

    "It's with deep regret that I have to tell you, you're fired."—Triple H.


    Tweet Tweet 

    Ready for the fight of my life. #AllIn #RAW

    — Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodesWWE) September 3, 2013

    The Wyatt Family gives me chills #RAW

    — WWE Sasha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) September 3, 2013

    Thank you Cody. #RAW

    — Justin Roberts (@JustinRoberts) September 3, 2013

    Wait. Whoa. Whoa. Not cool @TripleH...don't make a grown man make a grown woman cry. @CodyRhodesWWE #raw

    — Renee Young (@ReneeYoungWWE) September 3, 2013






    Cody Rhodes has been handed the ball, and I'll be danged if he hasn't run with it as far and fast as humanly possible. He's a smooth worker in the ring, has some presence and has the name and pedigree to make it big in this business.

    No, he didn't win this match with Orton and suffered serious storyline repercussions. But in real life, he's proving he can hold up his end of a big league match. Better still, his promo backstage after losing was passionate and compelling. That's two big steps on the path to getting a serious and sustained push.

CM Punk Promo

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    CM Punk came out with a kendo stick like the world's best version of Sandman, the iconic ECW star Paul Heyman created from smoke and mirrors. This feud has layers on layers.

    Punk is tired of talking. He wants to get his hands on Paul Heyman and is willing to go through Curtis Axel to do it. But he knows he has to wait for pay-per-view. There he promises Paul Heyman a beating of "biblical proportions."



    Punk promised to put a hurting on Heyman at Night of Champions.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I promise. And those are two words that still carry a lot of weight with me..."—CM Punk.

    "No wrestling. No talking. After what was done to me last week, I want to fight. I want to fight Paul Heyman."—Punk.

    "I'm in such a dark place, I wouldn't even want to fight me right now."—Punk.

    "Last week, he said I broke his heart. At Night of Champions, I'm going to break his face. I promise."—Punk.


    Tweet Tweet

    If my father beat me with a Kendo stick when i was younger, maybe i'd have turned out a little more serious! #RAW

    — Scott Stanford (@scottstanford1) September 3, 2013 






    I've been watching wrestling for decades. I've seen all the great promo men, from Ric Flair to Jim Cornette to Mick Foley to The Rock. And, on a week-by-week basis, CM Punk is every bit as good as any of them. I buy what he's saying. It never feels manufactured or like the product of a committee. He makes me want to say, time and again, it's still real to me.

Brie Bella vs. Natalya vs. Naomi

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    AJ Lee doesn't care for the reality television stars being created by Total Divas. In many ways, the E! network sensations are overshadowing even the WWE Divas champion. Last week, she told the world exactly what she thought of the show and its participants.

    Now she will have to take on one of them in the ring for the strap. The winner of a Triple Threat match will challenge for the title on pay-per-view. If she allows a challenger to be crowned, that is.



    AJ Lee ran in and eventually got beat down by all three Total Divas stars. By the end of the night, Stephanie McMahon announced a Fatal-4 Way match for the PPV.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "They're too dumb to know what's good for business."—AJ Lee.

     "You don't deserve my title. None of you do."—Lee.


    Tweet Tweet 

    No... THIS is reality. #RAW

    — K8LYN (@KaitlynWWE) September 3, 2013

    #WWEDesMoines #Raw Daang Drama all over the place HAHA #TotalDivas n AJ

    — Tamina Snuka (@TaminaSnuka) September 3, 2013






    There wasn't much match to rate, but this is a brilliant angle, a great way to play up the mixed feelings engendered by the reality show. It has created some serious bad blood in some circles of fandom. This is the first time I can remember the Divas having a storyline worth celebrating. I can't wait to see how it plays out.

Damien Sandow vs. Rob Van Dam

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    Rob Van Dam has earned a spot as the top contender for the World Championship. Lurking in the wings, however, is Damien Sandow, whose Money in the Bank briefcase allows him to challenge the champ at a time and a place of his choosing.

    Might this match be a prelude to a future confrontation? Perhaps at Night of Champions? I wouldn't be shocked.



    Rob Van Dam pinned Damien Sandow with the Five-Star Frogsplash.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    Rodriguez introducing Rob Van Dam—it doesn't quite feel right yet. Neither does Rodriguez in a T-shirt.

    Van Dam's brilliant leg scissors pinfall attempt.

    "Sandow's teeth are going to be like the Ten Commandments. All broken."—Jerry Lawler. Jokes. They've got them.


    Tweet Tweet

    I can't get used to Ricardo in a T-Shirt #RAW

    — Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) September 3, 2013






    I was worried about Rob Van Dam when he first came back. But credit where credit's due—he's proven to me that he has what it takes to deliver on a nightly basis. This was a really, really good match. In fact, the chemistry between Van Dam and Sandow is actually better than between Van Dam and Del Rio.

    This is likely just the first shot fired in what will be a monthslong feud over the belt between Van Dam and the world's smartest man.

Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan

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    Big Show was very upset about having to wrestle Daniel Bryan. It isn't clear what makes this different than any other match on any other Raw. But announcer Michael Cole assured us that this is the worst thing since whenever the last time Ric Flair mooned the audience on a roll-up attempt.

    The entire locker room, once again, gathered at the top of the ramp to witness the reluctant warriors.  Or, more accurately, reluctant warrior. Because, while Show wasn't pleased about having to fight Bryan, the smaller man seemed plenty happy to take on the big man but was eventually overmatched by the giant's sheer size.



    Big Show refused to finish off Bryan, causing Triple H and The Shield to run in and put a whupping on Bryan. After initially refusing, Big Show eventually knocked out a helpless Bryan.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Daniel Bryan is one of the most popular WWE Superstars ever."—Michael Cole. Whoa. Hold your horses. 

    "Don't make me do this."—Big Show before tossing Bryan from the ring.

    Big Show counters Bryan's kick with a chokeslam, only to be countered himself with a DDT.

    "Paul, you know I do not want to do this."—Triple H. Shoot, names were uttered. This is serious business. Do what Paul tells you!

    "Leave me alone please."—Big Show, straight blubbering.


    Tweet Tweet 

    Uncomfortable feeling watching @WWETheBigShow forced to compete tonight against @WWEDanielBryan the Superstars look tense as well watching.

    — Josh Mathews (@wwejoshmathews) September 3, 2013






    I don't understand what's going on with this angle, and I'm not real comfortable grading it as a whole. Instead, let's separate it into two parts.

    I loved the match. I also enjoyed Orton coming out after the henchmen had done his dirty work and standing over a prone Bryan. That was a powerful image. The McMahons as the overarching villains? Loved it to pieces.

    But the stuff with the Big Show? 

    That was painful to watch and made no sense. Why was Big Show driven to tears by a wrestling match? He wrestles someone every week. What made this particular match with Bryan so awful, especially considering Bryan welcomed it, and it was a competitive match between two top pros?

    And then there were the tears. Oh so many tears. Give it to Show. He tried to bring his Emmy game. But when Stephanie McMahon is blowing you off the screen, something has gone horribly wrong. This just wasn't his finest moment. And it had to be.

    Anything less couldn't hope to overcome the nonsensical and inexplicable storyline.

    I'm torn here because I want to see the WWE delve into areas beyond either anger or snark—in the worst way. But this wasn't a good start. This could all be redeemed by some amazing performances next week. But I'm a bit skeptical of that happening based on what I saw Monday night. This was bad, even by wrestling standards. And that, friends, is saying something.

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