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WWE Raw Results: Winners, Report Card and Highlights Sept. 30

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterOctober 1, 2013

WWE Raw Results: Winners, Report Card and Highlights Sept. 30

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    Photo: WWE
    Photo: WWE

    Before the official bell rings for the grudge matches at Battleground, several Superstars took their shots on the Sept. 30 episode of WWE Raw.

    The go-home show for the inaugural pay-per-view featured the debut of Los Matadores, the continuation of the Rhodes family saga, Big Show's descent into madness and the CM Punk-Paul Heyman rivalry get a hefty share of the spotlight.

    The fans in Biloxi, Miss. saw a Raw where the flames of hatred climbed higher.

    WWE spent the night promoting breast cancer awareness and supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Superstars wore pink ring gear and fought between pink ring ropes. 

    The company may have been in the giving spirit, but the enemies on screen were not. Battleground's card grew in size and intensity. Broken tables, a fist-sized hole in the wall and a family wincing after an ambush were all products of the night's action.

    Starting with Punk besting Big E Langston, here are the grades, highlights and winners of Monday's Raw.

CM Punk vs. Big E Langston

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    Photo: WWE.com
    Photo: WWE.com

    After a video recap of Paul Heyman's broken-Rascal trap from last Monday, CM Punk told the Biloxi crowd how predictable it was for Heyman to come out last week and egg him on and for Punk to attack him.

    Punk was angry, but controlled. He analyzed the situation in a way that bordered on breaking kayfabe.

    He discussed when the audience expected this narrative with him and Heyman to end and said that he wanted it to end right now.

    Brad Maddox had other ideas. He told Punk that a showdown between Punk and Ryback was not what was best for business. He offered to give him a match, just not against the guy fans are supposed to pay to see him fight on Sunday.

    Punk demanded an outlet for his aggression and in sauntered Big E Langston.

    Langston didn't hesitate to clock Punk in the head. He pounded him for a moment, but before the brawl could fully get rolling, Maddox called out a referee to make this thing official.

    In the early part of the bout, Langston's power had Punk reeling. He tossed him to the mat, clobbered him with his forearms and crushed him with an impressive splash.

    A roundhouse kick helped Punk turn things around.

    The two battled, trading hard-hitting blows until Punk outlasted the big man and knocked him out with the Go To Sleep. Punk winced as he raised his hand in victory.

     

    Result

    Punk wins with the GTS.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "No one is coming save him," Punk talking about Heyman.

    "Don't be shy. If you think Ryback sucks, let the world know," Punk to the Biloxi crowd.

    "You don't even get music? You don't even have an entrance song?" Punk to Maddox.

    "He's about to be CM Pretzel here if Big E puts anymore pressure on his leg," Jerry Lawler.

    Langston selling the GTS like he's been taking notes during Dolph Ziggler matches.

     

    Grade

    A-

     

    Analysis

    This fresh matchup was a wise choice to open the show.

    Langston had great energy and intensity. He controlled Punk for much of the match and ended the match with momentum despite the loss. JBL went so far as to compare Langston to Lesnar and Undertaker.

    Punk looked resilient with the win.

    Enduring the punishment he did makes his Battleground match a tougher challenge while building up Langston for the future.

Fandango vs. Kofi Kingston

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    Kofi Kingston was excited to see the Trouble in Paradise YouTube compilation on the Jumbotron. Afterward, he took on Fandango.

    Fandango controlled the action. He hopped into a pin position after a snap suplex, squeezed Kingston in a headlock and grounded the high-flyer briefly.

    Kingston flipped out of Fandango's grip and hit an impressive counter.

    "The Wildcat" won thanks to hitting his finisher out of nowhere a la Randy Orton. He had little time to celebrate, though.

    Bray Wyatt emerged, lantern in hand, inspiring Kingston to grab a steel chair. Wyatt spoke about shaking off his nightmares and finally understanding what he must do—devour everyone around him.

    WWE cut to a commercial break, and when Raw was back, both Kingston and Wyatt were gone without a word of explanation as to what happened.

     

    Result

    Kingston earns the victory via pinfall.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Fandango is like Usher crossed with Randy Couture," JBL.

    "He took lessons at a nightclub at 8 o'clock on a Friday night," Michael Cole about Fandango.

    Kingston nails the Trouble in Paradise at an impressive speed.

    "One by one, they will all fall down," Wyatt.

     

    Grade

    C+

     

    Analysis

    A compelling promo from Wyatt followed a short, fast match and went nowhere. This was a squandered opportunity.

    Why cut to commercial just as the monster is about to snap his jaw at his victim and then completely ignore the situation going forward? It's like showing the audience half an act of a play.

    The match was fine with a few bursts of excitement, but it wasn't long enough to gain much momentum.

Randy Orton/Paul Heyman Backstage Segments

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    Photo: WWE
    Photo: WWE

    Brie Bella stood uncomfortably as Randy Orton growled at her about her getting engaged to Daniel Bryan.

    He slid into her personal space and aggressively asked when they would get married. When she didn't respond, he asked again, his intensity turned up a level.

    Renee Young later interviewed Paul Heyman who trashed his former best friend, CM Punk. He called him a nobody and his sneering, vindictive act was unforgettable.

    He furthered the feud with Punk with his trademark sliminess. 

     

    Result

    Orton intimidated Brie; Heyman waxed poetic.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "He won't make it down the aisle, because he won't be able to walk," Orton on Bryan.

    "Every breath I take in my life is with gleeful spite," Heyman.

    "Let him make a move to find the manhood to try," Heyman on Punk.

    "Watch a man of such promise descend into madness," Heyman about Punk.

     

     

    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    Orton came off as a threatening predator. The segment brings Brie further into the feud with Bryan, escalating the emotion surrounding the match at Battleground.

    Heyman was his usual emotive and sinister self.

    His involvement in the Ryback and Punk match provides a good chunk of its sizzle. He provided sound bites aplenty for WWE to play before that bout.

3MB vs. Los Matadores

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    Los Matadores made their debut if you don't count when they were Primo and Epico.

    Like Fandango, this was a gimmick that seemed too silly to be true. Their entrance reiterated that. A little person dressed in a bull's costume and a Luchador mask accompanied the bullfighters.

    Fernando and Diego's small friend is likely Mascarita Dorada from Mexico.

    The match was unimpressive, featuring little energy. 3MB and Los Matadores traded right hands, and fans didn't get to see any flying moves until late in the match.

    Los Matadores ended the bout with a double suplex with little response from the Biloxi crowd.

     

    Result

    Los Matadores defeat 3MB by pinning Slater.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    The bull's entrance acrobatics outshining Sin Cara's.

    "There's something about these guys that feels familiar," JBL about Los Matadores.

    "Tito Santana is smiling," JBL.

     

    Grade

    C-

     

    Analysis

    The goofiness of Los Matadores' gimmick won’t necessarily prevent the team from making an impact, but their debut was lackluster. The bull manager is as gimmicky as you get and makes the repackaged team feel like a Tons of Funk-level comedy team.

    The match was uninspired and gives Diego and Fernando very little momentum.

Family Summit

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    Lured by the offer of a lucrative business proposition, Cody and Dusty Rhodes and Goldust met with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H in the ring.

    Both McMahon and Triple H were infuriatingly patronizing. They talked about each man's failures, jabbing at their personal wounds in front of the live audience. 

    McMahon offered Goldust and Cody a job, but only if they are able to beat Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins at Battleground.

    Should Cody and Goldust lose, they never get to work in WWE again. "The American Dream," who will be in their corner, would be fired as well.

    The Shield then ambushed the family. Dusty tried to bring a chair to the fight, but soon found himself overpowered. "The Hounds of Justice" left the Rhodes family hurting, bruised egos all around.

     

    Result

    The Rhodes brothers get a match at Battleground and suffer a beating from The Shield.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I trust that your father gave you the gift card for Bed, Bath and Beyond," McMahon to Cody.

    "Dustin did what Dustin always does; he failed," Triple H.

    "I'll be your huckleberry all night long," Dusty to Triple H

    "Stay down, old man," Rollins to Dusty.

     

    Grade

    A+

     

    Analysis

    The story that has been more captivating than the headlining ones gets a big-time match. The segment set up the match beautifully by creating simple, dramatic stakes. It instantly becomes one of the most intriguing matches of the pay-per-view.

    There are a number of powerful video clips to use from this segment for the promo to air before the Battleground bout.

Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth

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    R-Truth made a statement that he should be in line for a shot at Curtis Axel's title.

    He endured Axel's blows to the back of his neck and controlled much of the match. At one point, R-Truth flipped Axel over onto his knee, looking to have injured him slightly.

    The short match soon ended when CM Punk's music hit. No, Punk was not coming down to lay a beating to whoever was in kicking range; it was only a distraction.

    R-Truth hits Axel with his finisher and got the win.

     

    Result

    R-Truth wins via pinfall.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "We're going to make an album together," JBL about R-Truth.

    Heyman's unimpressed face at R-Truth getting the crowd to scream, "What's up?"

     

    Grade

    B-

     

    Analysis

    An okay match ends in a surprise moment. It parallels what Heyman once did to Chris Jericho, so that's a nice touch there.

    WWE appears to be setting up a future Intercontinental Championship match between Axel and R-Truth, so Ryback may not be the only Heyman guy in action at Battleground.

Brie Bella vs. Alicia Fox

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    Photo: WWE.com
    Photo: WWE.com

    AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka watched backstage as Brie Bella battled Alicia Fox.

    Playing up Brie's real-life relationship with Daniel Bryan, WWE is suddenly presenting Brie as a babyface. After all the vileness she has exuded, it's a tough sell to start cheering for her so quickly.

    While the announcers squabbled, Brie nailed Fox with a number of dropkicks before getting the three-count.

     

    Result

    Brie pins Fox for the win.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Tell a story, I'm the play-by-play," JBL to Michael Cole.

    "That's an extreme makeover," Jerry Lawler when Fox slammed Brie's face to the mat.

     

    Grade

    C+

     

    Analysis

    WWE is rushing Brie's transformation into a fan favorite. She finished Fox easily and heads into a showdown with AJ for the Divas title.

    Little was done to build the story between those two rivals; Brie simply got a boost of momentum with a victory.

Big Show's Breakdown

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    Renee Young interviewed Big Show backstage. He clearly has reached his boiling point with how Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have treated him.

    He talked about balancing doing the right thing and taking risks. He then pulled a Howard Beale from Network and said he wasn't going to take it anymore. His eyes wild, his fist at the ready, he said he would knock Triple H out.

    He crushed Brad Maddox against the wall and then waited in Triple H's office to clock him.

    "The Game" never showed. Instead, a handful of police surrounded the giant.

    Stephanie McMahon called them off. She continued to drive the knife into his giant back, saying that his wife isn't happy with his performance at home.

    Big Show had to settle for punching a Triple H poster instead. 

     

    Result

    Big Show's quest to punch Triple H fails, for now.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I knocked out a WWE Hall of Famer, a man I idolized," Big Show.

    "I can't even look Dusty Rhodes in the eye," Big Show.

     

    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    This is the best acting we've seen from Big Show during this angle. It was cathartic to see him finally stand up for himself and heartbreaking to see him fall on his face yet again.

    The story is nearing the climax and is at its most interesting point so far.

Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio

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    Photo: WWE.com
    Photo: WWE.com

    Alberto Del Rio prepped for his Hardcore match against Rob Van Dam at Battleground with a bout against Zack Ryder.

    Ryder began the match dishing out the offense but missed when he dived to the outside. Del Rio's viciousness soon left Ryder writhing in the ring. The world champ stomped on Ryder and stretched his head backward.

    Ryder fought back, nailing a Broski boot that seemed to echo through the arena.     

    Eventually, though, Del Rio attacked Ryder's arm and clamped on the cross armbreaker for the win.

     

    Result

    Del Rio wins via submission.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "That could be the end of the woo, woo, woo," JBL.

    Ryder's Broski boot looked like it rattled Del Rio's jaw.

     

    Grade

    B+

     

    Analysis

    The surprisingly competitive match was one of the best bouts of the night.

    Ryder looked stronger than expected, and Del Rio got to show off his mercilessness. Del Rio looks a touch more dangerous heading into his bout, while Ryder had the idea of an upset creeping in the crowd's mind.

Ryback Proposal

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    Backstage, Curtis Axel was distraught about his loss and Paul Heyman looked wistfully at Ryback.

    Heyman told Ryback to go get something to eat so he could tell Axel he planned to propose to Ryback. He beamed with the thought of it as Axel looked on, confused.

    Later in the show, Ryback and Heyman had an intimate moment in the ring.

    Ryback tapped Heyman's face, and they stared lovingly into each other's eyes. Heyman's speech from then on sounded very much like a marriage proposal, but it was just a convoluted way to ask Ryback to be a "Paul Heyman guy."

    CM Punk's music hit, and while his foes looked around confused, Punk tried to jump over the barricade.

    He faked an injury to bait Ryback and then pulled out a kendo stick and went to work. He swung wildly, nailing Ryback and Curtis Axel like Miguel Cabrera hitting fastballs.

     

    Result

    Punk interrupted Heyman's proposal and left a kendo stick splintered after whacking Heyman and his crew with it.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Isn't he beautiful?" Heyman about Ryback.

    "I feel virile, I feel free, I feel liberated and that, damn it Ryback, that's because of you," Heyman to Ryback.

     

    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    Heyman nailed his performance. His and Ryback's segment was strange, unique and made sure the audience couldn't look away.

    Punk's trap and attack was predictable, but fun. WWE wisely gave us a sampling of what Punk's revenge would taste like it. The entire segment did its job to make the Battleground match more appealing.

The Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler and The Usos

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    Photo: WWE.com
    Photo: WWE.com

    The No. 1 contenders for the tag titles joined forces with Dolph Ziggler to take on The Shield.

    Ziggler sent Dean Ambrose to the outside with a Cactus clothesline, and The Usos flew around the ring as we've come to expect.

    The fan favorites had short bursts of offense, but Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Ambrose continued to regain control. They kept their foes isolated, taunting them from the corner.

    The match moved into another gear when Ziggler entered and the controlled match soon turned into a chaotic explosion. The trio that has thrived on chaos rode its foes' confusion to victory.

     

    Result

    Reigns pins Ziggler after a spear.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Come on Uso, you're so far away," Rollins to Jimmy.

    The Usos turning a potential bodyslam into a dropkick with an Uso falling on The Shield.

    Ziggler dropkicking Rollins out of the sky.

     

    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    An exciting match used near-falls and tag team strategy to steal the show.

    The Shield looked like formidable foes heading into Battleground, and The Usos did enough damage to maintain believability that they have a shot at dethroning the champs. The chemistry we've seen from The Usos and The Shield got a boost with Ziggler's athleticism.

Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro

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    Photo: WWE
    Photo: WWE

    Hornswoggle and Great Khali joined Santino Marella as he powerwalked down to the ring.

    This was a comedy match that wasn't funnya short, awkward bout that was the worst of the night. Cesaro hit some of his famous uppercuts and stomped on Santino and then spun him around in the Giant Swing.

    There was little story here as the ending came quickly.

    Santino rolled up Cesaro to earn his second consecutive win over the Swiss Superstar. At least, no one tried to charm a sock puppet, though, right?

    Cesaro likely didn't need to do any acting to display dejection on his face after the bout.

     

    Result

    Santino pinned Cesaro for the win.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "Here's our resident herpetologist," JBL about Santino.

    "I hear cobras get real dizzy," Michael Cole.

     

    Grade

    D

     

    Analysis

    Comic relief segments can be important to give the audience a break between dramatic segments, but this one stumbled.

    Santino didn't have much goofy fare to offer, and Cesaro didn't get much of a chance to show off his wrestling skills. The match felt like hurried filler.

Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton Segment

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    Photo: WWE
    Photo: WWE

    The two men facing off for the vacant WWE Championship stood in the ring together with Jerry Lawler moderating.

    Orton said he was no longer watered down and that he was again his true dark self. Orton bragged about beating down The Miz in front of his parents and claimed to be genetically superior to Bryan.

    Bryan grew loud talking about how he didn't need anybody to inspire him.

    As the crowd chanted "Yes!" Orton seemed legitimately annoyed. The verbal jabs soon turned to physical ones as the two began to brawl.

    Brie Bella came down to ringside just in time to see Orton DDT Bryan on the outside of the ring and send him crashing through the announce table.

     

    Result

    Orton left Bryan lying on a broken announcing table.

     

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    "I was The Viper; void of morality, relentless, remorseless," Orton.

    "Sounds like you practiced in front of the mirror a few times," Bryan to Orton.

    "She's sleeping with a barnyard animal," Orton to Bryan about Brie.

     

    Grade

    A

     

    Analysis

    Orton was a monster on the mic, and when things got physical, he came off as a heartless psychopath, seething and uncontrollable.

    The segment did its job to increase the animosity between the two rivals.

    Brie was incorporated just enough to elevate the personal nature of the feud, and Orton looked every bit the villain. Bryan's journey to the WWE Championship was made to look that much more difficult.

After Raw Went off the Air

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    Photo: WWE
    Photo: WWE

    Monday's Raw ended with Daniel Bryan at the mercy of a snarling Randy Orton. Orton left Bryan lying on a broken announce table and chaos erupted once the show went off the air.

    As reported by WrestlingInc.com, Orton looked to do further damage, but CM Punk rushed out to save Bryan.

    Curtis Axel, Ryback, Dolph Ziggler and The Usos soon got involved, brawling in front of the Biloxi crowd. Punk nailed Axel with the GTS. The fan favorites then stood their ground, pushing back the heels. PWTorch.com adds that "Ziggler gave some heavy fan service, posing for pictures with the fans."

     

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