WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Twitter Reaction and Highlights from Sept. 9

Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterSeptember 9, 2013

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Grades, Twitter Reaction and Highlights from Sept. 9

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    This is it. The final countdown. WWE's last chance to sell the Universe on a Daniel Bryan versus Randy Orton main event at Night of Champions, airing live on pay-per-view this Sunday.

    Does pent-up hate for Triple H and the McMahons translate to heat for Bryan and his desperate babyface gimmick? Responses from the live crowd seem to indicate the answer is "yes."

    But you can't take a pop to the bank and cash it. Proof is in the pudding—if that pudding is made up of pay-per-view buys.

    Say this for WWE: This was a great go-home show. For three hours the show delivered excellent segment after excellent segment. Even the much-maligned Divas killed it. All told, this was one of the best Raws of the year.

    As always, I graded each segment from A to F. Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

The Cutting Edge

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    An overly excited Edge opened the show in his hometown to an enormous response. He's glad to be home. Especially since his home is, well, home to millions of devoted fans who might want to watch his new show Haven.

    Triple H, it seems, wanted Edge to have Randy Orton as his guest on the "Cutting Edge." Instead, citing Orton's status as a completely lame and boring loser, Edge invited Daniel Bryan out to a big pop. 

    Eventually, because this is wrestling, Orton and Triple H came out and went back and forth with Edge. While Edge dismissed Hunter's ability to pick talent, Triple H cut to the chase:

    "You never drew a dime, buddy."

     

    Result

    Edge is having fun dissing Triple H, who can't do anything about it because of Edge's recurring health problems. Edge is untouchable. But Christian is not. The segment ended with the Shield dragging Edge's former partner out onto the ramp. Triple H, as always, got the last laugh.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Every time I come out here, you guys remind me of why this is home." —Edge.

    "My problem with Randy is that he's a hand-picked puppet." —Edge.

    "What a shame that your body failed you at such a young age." —Randy Orton.

    "You were running around backstage talking about how this Vanilla Ice wannabe John Cena wouldn't make it." —Edge on Triple H's  track record as a talent evaluator. 

    "I didn't marry into my success...you're not a dictator. You're a dick."—Edge.

     

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    Edge books his OWN guest for #TheCuttingEdge ... @WWEDanielBryan! #YES! #YES! #YES! #YES! #RAW

    — WWE (@WWE) September 10, 2013

     

     

    It's a shame that Edge isn't medically cleared. I think any fan would pay to see him vs HHH after that opening segment. #RAW

    — Curt Hawkins (@TheCurtHawkins) September 10, 2013

     

     

    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    Another excellent opening segment. The crowd was insanely hot and Edge, too, was on fire.

    I enjoyed the back and forth between Triple H and Edge. It blurred the lines between work and shoot nicely. Unfortunately, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan were mere spectators.

    It made for good television, sure. But did it sell any pay-per-views?

Kofi Kingston vs. Curtis Axel

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    Edge confronted Triple H backstage but was met by the Shield before things could get physical. Hunter demanded Edge leave the building, telling the former champion this wasn't his show anymore.

    In the ring, Kofi Kingston got a second chance at Curtis Axel. 

     

    Result

    Kofi Kingston beat Curtis Axel by disqualification.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Get off of my show. You don't want to go on your own? I can always have you escorted out." —Triple H.

    Axel refused to break when ordered by the referee and was disqualified.

    "If I'm alone with CM Punk, this is all over." —Paul Heyman.

     

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    Grade

    C

     

    Analysis

    This segment hammered home the idea that Axel is operating in a zero-defect environment at Night of Champions. If he's disqualified or counted out, Heyman is in trouble.

    As a match, this didn't really get the time to develop into anything special. Too bad. I would have liked to see it. 

Dolph Ziggler vs. Bray Wyatt

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    Paul Heyman allegedly slipped backstage, apparently injuring his leg. He's hurt, but he refused treatment from the WWE doctor. Hmm.

    Also backstage, Booker T gave Big Show a pep talk. He reminded Show that the big man is still, presumably, broke as a joke. He's going to need to play ball and continue going along to get along.

    Bray Wyatt comes out to his usual amazing entrance. Poor Dolph Ziggler is waiting for him in the ring like a common jobber. That's not good, Dolph.

    Either this is serious attention to detail or Ziggler's star is continuing to fade.

     

    Result

    Wyatt pinned Ziggler with his move, called the Sister Abigail.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I have my own doctor." —Paul Heyman.

    Bray Wyatt hanging in the corner yoga style.

    Wyatt clobbering Ziggler in the corner like a modern version of Vader.

     

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    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    What is it about Ziggler that brings out the best in his opponents? Wyatt looked like he was the son of Vader, not Mike Rotunda. For a big man, compliments don't get any bigger.

    He's already got the creepy entrance and natural charisma. If he can work too? Sky's the limit.

Paul Heyman Medical Evaluation

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    Poor Paul Heyman. Earlier in the night, he allegedly slipped on some water backstage. He refused, however, to allow the WWE doctors to look him over.

    Now we understand why. He has his own shifty-looking doctor who claims him unfit for competition. But just when things look grim, Brad Maddox comes to the rescue with the official WWE doctor.

    The doctor revealed Heyman was faking—a diagnosis Paul E. inadvertently revealed when he ran away from CM Punk at full speed when Punk charged the ring with a kendo stick. 

     

    Result

    Dr. Sampson proclaims Heyman fit for competition. Punk then charged the ring. When Heyman escaped, he took out his frustrations on Paul's phony doctor instead.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Regretfully, I am withdrawing myself from action at Night of Champions." —Paul Heyman.

    "I assure you, much like Edge once promised you, I will be back when I can." —Heyman. 

    "This is a family show." —JBL as the doctor pulled Heyman's pants leg up.

    "This is awkward." —WWE crowd.

     

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    Grade

    B+

     

    Analysis

    Heyman plays such a good cowardly heel. If a wrestling character is your real personality multiplied by 10, what does that say about Heyman? 

Natalya, Naomi and Brie vs. Alicia Fox, Aksana and Layla

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    It's WWE Raw, sponsored by Total Divas! Only on E!

    E! 

    WWE has a good thing going here. The Divas division has never been better. 

     

    Result

    Natalya makes Alicia Fox submit to the Sharpshooter. 

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "They know I am right and I'm getting to them." —AJ Lee.

    "I have the date I won the title tattooed on the back of my neck." —AJ Lee.

    "I think I'm a little too old for you, Jerry. I'm 26. I know you like them younger." —AJ.  

     

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    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    Wow. I didn't think AJ Lee could top her pipe bomb. But she let Jerry Lawler have it on Raw, going after his well-known reputation for liking younger women and generally laying waste to the announcing team.

    AJ Lee is my favorite character right now. That's never been true of a WWE Diva before. 

Alberto Del Rio vs. R. Truth

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    There's no storyline reason for Alberto Del Rio to be wrestling R. Truth. It's just a wrestling match. Because they are wrestlers. That's good enough for me.

     

    Result

    Del Rio made Truth submit to his armbar.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    R. Truth's dive out of the ring to the floor.

    Del Rio's flying enzuigiri-style kick.

    "There's no one on the roster more aggressive than Alberto Del Rio right now." —JBL.

     

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    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    Wow. Del Rio has been the stiffest and hardest-hitting performer in the entire promotion since turning heel.

    Sure, he looked great against Christian. Anyone can. But looking great against the likes of R.Truth is a different kind of challenge—and Del Rio was up to it.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella

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    Zeb Colter came out and dissed Canadians for their love of maple syrup and grits. Wait, there are people who don't like those things?


    Result

    Santino Marella pinned Cesaro after being dominated for almost the entire match.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Canada, it's not too late. If you can find some passion for something other than a stupid hockey game." —Zeb Colter

    Santino's power walk to the ring.

    Antonio Cesaro's delayed gut-wrench suplex

    Cesaro's crazy giant swing and Marella's equally comical bump.

    Colter stroked his own beard like a supervillain.


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    Grade

    A

     
    Analysis

    That was a really fun television match. Cesaro is arguably the best worker in the business and Marella had enough energy to hold up his end of a short but action-packed bout. This is what a time-filling match on Raw should look like. Well worked and a joy to watch.

The Miz vs. Damien Sandow

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    The crowd in Canada hates the Miz. It's understandable but also a little unfair. He could come out in a match and wrestle like Ric Flair circa 1989 and still get booed.  

     

    Result

    Sandow rolled up Miz when he was distracted by Fandango.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I remain your uncrowned world champion." —Damien Sandow

    Huge kneedrop by Sandow.

    Miz's running dropkick to the leg as Sandow was trapped in the corner.

     

    Tweet Tweet

    Oops my bad..

    — Fandango (@WWEFandango) September 10, 2013

     

    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    Sandow had a very knee-heavy attack tonight. He looked a bit like a prime Triple H, minus the beautiful flowing locks. Just knee after knee. Maybe he's been watching vintage Anderson Silva fights?

    Normally I'm happy when a Miz match is cut short. But this one was developing into something pretty interesting.

    Dare I say it? "More Miz!"

Goldust vs. Randy Orton

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    Last week Triple H fired Cody Rhodes after the son of the son of a plumber lost to Randy Orton on Raw. Now Cody's older brother Dustin, a.k.a. Goldust, has the chance to earn his brother's job back.

    All he has to do is beat, you guessed it, Randy Orton.

     

    Result

    Orton pinned Goldust with the RKO.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "It's no secret that I'm the screw-up of the family." —Goldust. 

    "Good luck." —Triple H. I don't think he meant it.

    "Who, Davy?" —Jerry Lawler after JBL mentioned Crockett. Longtime fans, of course, knew that he was referring to failed 1980s wrestling promoter Jim Crockett Jr.

    Goldust with a Dustin Rhodes-style bulldog.

    Goldust getting a near fall with Cross Rhodes.

    "Looks like your dream of saving your brother's WWE career is shattered. Just like Daniel Bryan's dream of taking this away from me will be shattered at Night of Champions." —Randy Orton. "This" being the WWE championship.

     

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    Grade

    A-

     

    Analysis

    Considering he hasn't been a regular on Raw for years, Goldust didn't look half bad out there. With no storyline, this isn't anything special. But the ordinary can become extraordinary if fans care about the outcome. We cared here. And that made all the difference.

Rob Van Dam vs. Ryback

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    Before the match, Stephanie McMahon rubbed salt in Goldust's raw wounds.

    I'm sorry. Did I say salt? I meant battery acid.

    Then it was time for us, collectively, to get into a time machine for 1999. Old man Rob Van Dam is still over, and he's still got it. Pretty remarkable if you ask me.

     

    Result

    Van Dam wins by disqualification after Ryback runs him crotch-first into the ring post multiple times.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Cody doesn't have a job anymore and that's all because of you?"—Stephanie McMahon

    "How does it feel to be a loser? Just like your brother...why don't you go join him in the unemployment line. And Dustin? Tell your dad I said 'Hi.'"—Stephanie.

    "At the Night of Champions you won't be chanting 'RVD! RVD!' You'll be chanting 'ADR!'" —Alberto Del Rio. That one, um, didn't catch on.

    Belly-to-belly suplex by Ryback.

    Van Dam's dive to nowhere.

    Ryback crushing the little Van Dams.

     

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    Battle of the airbrushed singlets! @Ryback22 @TherealRVD #RAW

    — Curt Hawkins (@TheCurtHawkins) September 10, 2013

     

    The @TherealRVD seems a lot more valuable & important currently.. A change of surroundings has certainly helped him.

    — Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) September 10, 2013

     

    Grade

    B

     

    Analysis

    For a guy with a reputation as a bad worker, Ryback sure ends up in a lot of good matches. I'm just saying. It might be time to revisit our presumptions with this guy.

Daniel Bryan (with Big Show) vs. Dean Ambrose (with Shield)

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    Dean Ambrose had the Shield in his corner. Daniel Bryan had the Big Show.

    I don't hate those odds except for one caveat—if Big Show lays a hand on the Shield, he's getting fired.

    When he heard the news, Show started shaking. He ended up throwing a TV to the floor. Well, at least he didn't cry.

    After an amazing match, Bryan managed to pin Ambrose and neutralize the Shield. But when Randy Orton came out, the numbers got the better of him. Eventually Orton hit him with an RKO.

    And then, the gut punch.

    Triple H and Stephanie came down and demanded that Big Show knock an already prone Bryan out. But while Show delayed, Bryan slowly recovered. As Orton argued with Show, Bryan sneaked in a huge flying knee, ending Raw with the underdog triumphant. Will we get the same ending at Night of Champions?

     

    Result

    Daniel Bryan pinned Ambrose with a small package after a great match. After the match, Randy Orton came out and Bryan dove out of the ring to meet him.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I can't have you lay a finger on the Shield tonight...Show, if you touch the Shield, you'll be terminated. It's what's best for business." —Stephanie McMahon to Big Show.

    Bryan works the arm. Yes, I was digging the rest hold.

    Dean Ambrose with the Great Muta-style elbow drop.

    "The Big Show has options. It's just none of them are very good." —JBL, speaking truth.

    Bryan breaks out the top-rope hurricanrana and the belly-to-back superplex.

    "This is awesome." —the crowd.

    "What you're going to do is pick him up and knock him back down." —Randy Orton.

     

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    I don't think any obstacle can get in Daniel Bryan's way. He's way too driven. And his beard is awesome. #RAW

    — Jen/Sylvia Soska (@twisted_twins) September 10, 2013

     

     

    Grade

    A+

     

    Analysis

    Talk about firing on all cylinders! First Bryan and Ambrose had a truly great match, something that's becoming par for the course with Raw these days. But then things, somehow, got even better. After teasing it for week, Bryan finally got the better of Triple H and company.

    It felt pretty good—but does it mean Orton goes over on pay-per-view? I think it does. And you know what? That's probably best for business. Let the chase begin!