The show is already stacked. Edge will be making his return to WWE television. You can nearly guarantee the Rated R Superstar will have plenty to say to Randy Orton and Triple H. Will he side with them or Daniel Bryan?
Also, Triple H has accepted the request of Goldust, who will be making a rare appearance on WWE TV as he fights for his brother's job. If Goldust wins a match against Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes gets his job back. Can he do it?
All this and more, starting at 8pm EST!
We are not wasting any time today. Edge comes out to a massive pop. He looks like he’s in great shape. The ring is covered with his logo. He’s hosting his talk show, The Cutting Edge.
Edge thanks the audience. He says he was requested by Triple H to come to the show because it’s “good for business.” He wanted Edge for a reunion, but not with Christian. With Randy Orton. The fans are not amused. Edge says he’s known Orton a long time, and he’s got nothing interesting to say. “It’s like watching paint dry.”
Edge doesn’t blame Orton for cashing in - he’s done it himself. Edge says Orton is just a puppet, so he’s not going to have Orton as the guest tonight. He’s gonna have someone different, someone else who is good for business. It’s Daniel Bryan!
Massive Daniel Bryan chant from the crowd. Toronto loves him. Edge thanks him for coming out. Bryan plays up to the crowd. He talks about Triple H’s threat last week. He says no matter how many times he gets attacked, ambushed, etc., he will beat Randy Orton, he will regain the title, and he will be WWE champion.
Edge says Bryan looks at an obstacle as an inspiration. He sees a lot of Bryan in him. Edge puts Bryan over huge. He says he doesn’t know if Bryan can beat Orton, but he deserves a fair shot. He asks Bryan if he thinks he can beat Orton. Yes! Does he think he can shove it in “the man’s face” and become champ? Yes! Can he show that he’s the face of the WWE? Randy Orton interrupts.
Orton says the only place that gives a crap about Edge is a place like Canada. He says it’s a shame that his body failed him at such a young age. Edge goes with some childish humor. He says Orton’s dad ran around with a cast for years, and while Edge has problems with his spine, at least he has one.
Edge starts ripping into Triple H, and just as he begins, Triple H’s music hits. Triple H asks Edge to say whatever he has to say to his face. Edge says he’s not an employee, so he’ll say what he wants. Edge says H doesn’t have an eye for talent, says H didn’t think he, Jericho, or Cena couldn’t make it. He said H needs to look past his huge nose to recognize talent.
Triple H says he’s glad to have Edge here because it’s best of business, and he plugs Edge’s show Haven (10pm Friday nights on SyFy). He puts down Edge’s career and says the Rated R Superstar was a failure.
Triple H says that tonight, Dean Ambrose will face Daniel Bryan. Since Ambrose will have The Shield in his corner, Daniel Bryan will have someone in his corner too - not Edge, but The Big Show.
Triple H says it would be easier if people just learned to get along with him. He said he’s not a dictator. Edge said he didn’t marry into success, he earned it. Triple H says he can’t hurt him, but he can hurt the ones he loves. Right on cue, The Shield drags out a beaten up Christian and dumps him on the stage. We go to break as officials help Christian.
- Decent enough segment. Edge is still magic on the mic, and Triple H has filled his role well. I’m hoping some more faces step up to the plate though. Triple H has the potential to damage the faces long-term.
Backstage, The Shield and Triple H are conversing. Edge busts in and is furious. He wishes he was medically cleared to wrestle. Triple H calls Toronto “his town” tonight and tells him to get out, or he will “escort” him out.
In the ring, it’s Kofi Kingston. He’s facing Curtis Axel.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel vs. Kofi Kingston in a non-title match.
Axel is quickly on the offense. A huge CM Punk chant breaks out. I don’t see him in the ring. It distracts Axel and Kofi gets some offense, but Kofi picks up some momentum. Axel goes for a rollup, and grabs the botton rope, but the ref sees it.
Axel repeatedly knees Kingston in the back of the head in the corner, and ends up getting DQ’d.
Winner: Kofi Kingston via disqualification
Heyman pulls Axel off of Kofi and tries to talk some sense into him. It doesn’t work out too well. Kofi comes to and nails Trouble in Paradise on Axel.
Our illustrious announce team talks about Cody Rhodes’ firing last week, and Dustin Rhodes’ return as Goldust, challenging Randy Orton later tonight. It should be a good match, interference aside. Anyhow, we cut to a vignette for Goldy himself. They focus mainly on his androgynous side, which has been seriously downplayed over the years.
We’re back from break, and Paul Heyman is on the ground. Looks like he might’ve slipped on some water. Axel and a ref help him to the trainer’s room. The trainer wants a doctor to take a peek at it. Heyman refuses, says he has his own doctor. They ice it instead. It’s pretty obvious Heyman is trying to sneak out of this one.
Backstage, The Big Show is crying. Well, not really. He might as well be. Booker T comes up to him and talks to him. Booker tries to give him a pep talk. I think. Honestly I tunes him out half-way through. Booker tells Show not to let his pride get in the way of things. He tells him to stay professional.
Vignette for The Wyatt Family. They’re up next.
We’re back from break, and Dolph Ziggler is in the ring. No entrance. Not a good sign. Also, he’s facing The Wyatt Family, in some capacity. Ziggler’s back on the job squad.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Bray Wyatt
I can’t imagine this ends well for anyone. Wyatt can’t lose. Ziggler needs the win. Well, the crowd is into it, at least.
Wyatt has some nice offense. He sets Ziggler up, but Ziggler hits a nice dropkick. Bray hits a nasty running cross-body as we go to an early break.
Back from break, Ziggler’s still bumping all over the place. This is the longest non-gimmick match Bray Wyatt has had to date. There isn’t too much more here. Rowan and Harper get on the apron and Ziggler gets distracted. Wyatt sets him up for his finisher, and it’s over.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
- It was foolish to throw Ziggler out there for this match, and they could’ve easily done this to Zack Ryder or any number of lower card acts. Even if you don’t have a main event plan for Ziggler right now, he needs to be protected.
Another Goldust vignette, this one focusing on more of the silly times - mostly his days of teaming with Booker T.
Paul Heyman, Curtis Axel, and some weird guy come out to the ring. Heyman’s got crutches. I’m guessing the other dude is his “doctor.” Heyman says he’s not an advocate for socialized medicine, and he doesn’t believe in the Canadian health care system. He says he brings his doctor with him to Canada just in case. Anyhow, his doc confirmed his fear that he has either torn his ACL or meniscus, and he is withdrawing himself from competition at Night of Champions.
“If you’ve never believed me before, believe this.” Brilliant. He says he wishes he could put CM Punk in his place during the match, but he’s going back home to New York. He will be back when he can.
Brad Maddox comes out to the ramp, and he walks out with a fully licensed medical staff member (Dr. Sampson). He says if Heyman is truly injured, the only way to be removed from the match is to be fully evaluated by a WWE doctor.
They grab a chair, and ask Heyman to sit for a knee examination. “This is awkward,” chants the audience. Heyman flinches a ton, but the doc says he’s fine. Heyman is pissed. He starts chewing Maddox out, but CM Punk hits the ring. Punk has a kendo stick! He smacks the “doctor” in the head, attacks Axel, and Heyman RUNS out of the ring and over the barricade!
Punk holds the rope open for the doctor as the fans chant “hit the doctor!” As the doc steps through the ropes, Punk beats the crap out of him with the kendo stick.
- Good segment to wake up the crowd. After the hot opening, the show dragged up to this point. Heyman, as always, was brilliant. Kudos to the “doctor” for taking a sick beating.
Hello, AJ Lee. Skip to me. Or the announcer’s table. Whatever.
Six Diva tag match commences.
Natalya & Naomi & Brie vs. Aksana & Layla & Alicia Fox
The match feels somewhat rushed from the get-go. Layla hits a nice scissor submission on Naomi, over the ropes, but it’s an illegal move, so she can’t hold it. Naomi hits a tag to Natalya, and Layla tags Alicia Fox. Nattie’s got some fire, the most I’ve seen from her in some time. Natalya locks in a Sharpshooter on Alicia, and the place goes nuts.
Winners: Natalya & Naomi & Brie Bella
- I wish they gave these girls about five more minutes. It felt very rushed and Brie didn’t even participate in the match.
Another vignette highlighting Goldust’s accomplishments over the years. They’re doing a wonderful job of building him up tonight.
We are back, and R-Truth is in the ring, singing to his intro. Alberto Del Rio hits the ring. They have a match!
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth in a non-title match.
RVD cuts a HORRIBLE inset promo about how he’ll be the champ. The only reason to keep Ricardo with RVD is because RVD can’t talk.
Not much to say about this match. Its kind of back and forth. R-Truth dives over the top onto Del Rio. They do not go to break. Surprising.
Del Rio with an enzuigiri while Truth is on the apron. Del Rio’s doing just fine but noone cares about this match. They could’ve given Del Rio the squash and given the ladies five more minutes.
The fans are shitting all over this. They’re chanting for JBL, Michael Cole, The Undertaker, and anyone else. Del Rio finally locks in the cross arm breaker to mercifully end this match.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
We go to commercial.
Looks like the kickoff match for Night of Champions will be a tag match to determine the #1 Contender for the Tag Titles later in the night.
In the ring, it’s Zeb Colter and Antonio Cesaro. I love Cesaro’s cape. Colter is ripping into Canada. Before he can finish, Santino Marella makes his triumphant return!
Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella
Cesaro hits a quick dropkick and has the offense immediately. Santino gets some offense in, but Cesaro breaks out the giant swing. It’s the longest swing I’ve seen in ages. Fantastic!
Santino can’t even stand up. I’m surprised Cesaro can. Santino continues to kick out of the impossible. He goes for a Cobra, but Cesaro grabs the puppet and tosses it. Cesaro jaws with him and threatens him, but Santino hits a hip throw out of nowhere and scores the surprise pin. Cesaro is PISSED.
Winner: Santino Marella
Zeb Colter is face down, pounding the mat with his hands. Best sell for a loss I’ve seen in ages.
A fun match. Nice to see Cesaro get in some of his more unique offense. Santino winning is not unexpected. He’s essentially in his hometown, and he’s been away for months. And, let’s be honest, he’s super over.
Damien Sandow is in the ring after the break. He says when he cashes in his briefcase, he will assume his throne, but until then he is the uncrowned World Champion. The Miz interrupts him.
Damien Sandow vs. The Miz.
WWE should pull The Miz off TV for a few months and reinvent his character. He can still do PR. He’s great at it. Anyhow… the match!
Back and forth. Miz hits the running clothesline in the corner. He’s getting booed. Sandow hits a Russian Leg sweep, then the spinning elbow thingie I can’t spell. Y2J chant. Fans need to stop hijacking shows.
Fandango interrupts, and Sandow gets the quick roll-up for the pin. Fandango says his name, Summer Rae looks hot, and The Miz stares on in disbelief.
Not a terrible match. Just… another match no-one really cared about.
Backstage, Renee Young interviews Goldust. She asks if he’s mentally prepared for the match. He says it’s no secret he’s screwed up all his chances, but Cody has been straight and narrow since day one. Tonight, he gets his second chance. He says Orton will never forget the name G….. Triple H interrupts. He says Goldust has the weight of the world on his shoulders, since he’s fighting for his brother and his wife’s future. He says he “really, really” hopes he doesn’t let them down. Goldust vs. Orton is next!
- Rhodes is, pardon the pun, Gold on the mic. I hope they find something good for him with the company, even if it’s off camera. He’s got value.
Orton comes out to the ring to mild applause. Goldust’s pop is tough to read with all the special effects on his entrance.
Randy Orton vs. Goldust
Goldust crouches in the corner and waits. He comes out of the corner on fire. They trade punches, but Goldust sends Orton out of the ring. A “You still got it” chant breaks. He never lost it, folks. He still wrestles.
Chops to Orton in the corner. Orton gets a thumb to the eyes and is in charge. Stomp to the hand. Orton goes for a powerslam, but Goldust has him scouted. Goldy sets Orton up for Shattered Dreams, but Orton ducks out and we get a commercial.
Back from break, Orton has a headlock on Goldust. They end up outside the ring. Orton back in the ring, he tosses Goldust into the ring post from the apron. Ref’s counting. Goldust in the ring. Orton stomps everything he can.
Goldust gets the momentum and the fans are super into this match. It shows that when matches have importance and impact, they can mean something and get people invested. Goldy hits a drop-fist on Orton. 10 punches in the corner. Near fall on a roll-up when Orton almost runs into the ref. Orton hits his DDT on the ropes.
Orton starts chanting “Yes!” and sets Goldust up for an RKO, but Goldust reverses it into CrossRhodes. He gets a very near fall. He jaws with the ref, and it’s enough for Orton to recover and hit an RKO for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
- What a great match, and the highlight of an otherwise pretty boring go-home show thus far. Goldust proved why he’s one of the most underrated workers of the past twenty years, and Orton proved why he is one of the best wrestlers today. The fans ate up every single near fall.
- When you put something worthwhile on the line, matches have meaning. This is a perfect example.
Orton stands over Goldust and says his dreams of saving Cody’s job have been shattered, just like Daniel Bryan’s dreams will be at Night of Champions.
After commercial, another promo for Los Matadores. Aldo Montoya wants his mask back.
Backstage, Goldust is practically crying. Stephanie approaches him, says he must be disappointed, Cody and his wife must be too. It’s all because of him. He let everyone down. How does it feel to be a loser? She tells Goldust to go join him in the unemployment line. “Tell you dad Dusty I said hi.”
Please welcome “Numero Uno Amigo” Ricardo Rodriguez. Oh, and RVD too.
Rob Van Dam vs. Ryback.
Del Rio comes out before the match even starts. He calls RVD a “looser.” Says the fans won’t be chanting RVD. They’ll be chanting ADR. Ok. Sure.
RVD’s innovative offense doesn’t compare to Ryback’s strength, at least initially. The “Goldberg” chants start up soon. RVD works out of a stretch and hits Rolling Thunder.
Ryback ends up outside the ring. RVD dives off the top turnbuckle at him, but eats the barricade instead. Ryback thrusts RVD crotch-first into the ring post repeatedly. The ref DQ’s Ryback.
Winner: Rob Van Dam via DQ.
Backstage, The Big Show heads to the ring, but Stephanie tells Show that he can’t lay a finger on The Shield. If he touches The Shield, he’s fired. Show is so pissed, he smashes a 40 inch CRT television.
We’re back from break, and The Shield makes their way through the audience. Big Show mopes his way to the ring. Daniel Bryan Yes’s his way to the ring.
Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose
Bryan immediately attacks Ambrose. Ambrose takes control early. Bryan hits some nasty kicks to the back. Easy kickout.
Big Show is a seven-foot tall cheerleader. Bryan sets Ambrose up for a Mexican Surfboard. He doesn’t quite get him up. Ambrose grabs the rope and they abort. Ambrose feeds into Bryan’s offense. Snap suplex. Ambrose ducks out and we go to break.
Back in the ring, Ambrose sizes Bryan up with each punch. Bryan hits running dropkicks, and then unloads with some roundhouses. Hurricanrana from the top! Two-count. Ambrose takes more kicks to the chest. He ducks the big one and tries to get Bryan over for a Boston Crab. Bryan reverses it. Bryan whips Ambrose into a Yes Lock, but Ambrose grabs the rope. More kicks!
Bryan misses a running dropkick in the corner. Ambrose goes for a roll-up with a fist full of tights. Two count. He unloads on Bryan’s face. Ambrose goes up top but Daniel Bryan slips between the legs and hangs Ambrose in the Tree of Woe. Multiple kicks, running dropkick, and a top-rope German Suplex. Two count.
The fans appreciate the match with a “This is Awesome” chant. Ambrose sends Bryan outside the ring. While Bryan is outside the ring, Roman Reigns runs around and goes for a spear. Bryan avoids it and Reigns runs into the steps. Seth Rollins misses an attack and hits the announcer’s table. Dean Ambrose hits Bryan from behind. He rolls him into the ring for a two-count. Big Show watches on and cries.
Out of nowhere, Daniel Bryan rolls Ambrose up and gets a surprise 3-count. Ambrose charges him after the match and he sends Ambrose over the top rope. Orton comes out to the ring, but Bryan leaps through the ropes and attacks him. The Shield swarms all over Daniel Bryan as The Big Show does nothing. He finally gets up and walks towards The Shield. He has a chair. He stares them down then drops the chair and starts to walk away.
Orton rolls Bryan into the ring. He stands over him and picks him up, then hits an RKO. Bryan is lying in the ring. Big Show stares him down but does nothing, as Randy Orton holds the belt high.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon come out and tell Big Show to be a professional, pick Daniel Bryan up and knock him out.
Big Show heads back to the ring and steps in. Bryan is still laid out. Show paces in the ring. He starts crying. Orton gets in his face. He picks up Bryan and tells him to do it. He doesn’t. Orton is pissed. Show is getting pissed too. The two argue back and forth. Orton tells Show what to do, but just as Orton turns around to get Bryan, Bryan hits Orton in the face with a running knee. He grabs the WWE Title and holds it high as the fans chant Yes!
- Excellent main event match, ending an otherwise mediocre show. They’re clearly setting up Big Show to be the next challenger for the title after Bryan. Law of WWE says Bryan is losing this Sunday.
- Overall, a poor go-home show for Night of Champions. The pay-per-view doesn’t feel like it’s must-see, and this Raw certainly wasn’t either. Orton vs. Goldust was excellent, however.
- WWE is in paint-by-numbers mode right now. Bryan will lose on Sunday. Big Show steps up and is next. He’ll lose too. Somehow, Cody Rhodes will end up back again and will get a shot at Orton for the title as well. It’s crystal clear. And really, it’s ok, but at the same time, the Triple H Power Play is getting pretty old.
- I will have lots more to say in my WWE Raw Roundtable tomorrow night. Keep an eye out for Bill Wentz’s Afterthoughts, and let us know what you thought of the show!
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