We are less than 24 hours from another screwjob on Daniel Bryan. Randy Orton is your WWE Champion, thanks to the assist from Shawn Michaels. Triple H must be thrilled.
John Cena is also our new World Heavyweight Champion. One would think Alberto Del Rio will have something to say about that. Perhaps so will a certain Money in the Bank holder...
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Here we go!
We start out with video recaps of the major matches on the show from last night's Hell in a Cell. Looks like we're gonna get an explination from Shawn Michaels tonight. Plus, Randy Orton celebrates! Plus, CM Punk and Ryback are going at it. Again.
Kicking things off with John Cena. He hits the ring, belt in hand. He takes the mic, says he's used to the cheers. He's baaaack. A huge "Yes!" chant breaks out. Wrong guy. Cena says some people might be skeptics about his arm. He thanks one skeptic in particular - JBL. Cena does a JBL impression, talks about how his negative comments motivated him. Take a look: The Champ is Here, and he's back on Smackdown as the Friday Night Delight.
Cena talks about how later tonight they get to celebrate Randy Orton, so he's gonna stop talking now. But first, he puts Del Rio over, says he gave him a hell of a match, and when he wants his rematch, he gets it.
Damien Sandow interrupts! He's walking to the ring, briefcase in hand. Sandow has a purpose. He takes the mic - The Uncrowned Champ is here. He says Cena maybe he's fooling the fans, and maybe he's fooling the doctors. He's not fooling the Sandow. It's literally impossible for a triceps to heal so quick, and he's working hurt. He says he can cash in any time, any place... like right now! Just kidding. Cena puts his hands on Sandow and Sandow retaliates! He unloads on Cena with the briefcase and repeatedly attacks the arm! Sandow viciously slams Cena's arm into the ring post, then slams him into the barricade.
Is he gonna cash in? Not yet. He throws Cena arm first into the steps. Sandow separates the steps and then grabs a steel chair. He puts Cena's arm up on the steps, holds it down with his foot, and attacks with the chair. He says "My time is now." Sandow is officially cashing in the briefcase! Cena is in pain as we go to break!
Just gonna say - I called it on Twitter.
John Cena (c) vs. Damien Sandow for the World Heavyweight Championship
Back from break, and Cena is barely in the ring. The ref hasn't started the match yet, but he's about to. Cena is keeping the left arm behind him. Cena is on the run, and Sandow is aggressive. Cena fights with one arm, but it's not long before Sandow is able to get over on the arm. He throws Cena into the ring post. Roll-up and a two count.
Sandow working the arm with knees. Two count. Arm lock. Cena powers up and hits a belly to belly suplex. Sandow recovers and all the focus is on the arm. Cena hits a back body drop and gets some momentum. Another cut to break.
We're back, and this is far too competitive of a match. Cena is getting the charge, but he's still selling the injury. Boot to Sandow. Five Knuckle Shuffle? Nope. Sandow capitalizes. Near fall.
Ringside, Dr. Sampson looks very concerned. Sandow continues working over the arm, but Cena recovers. Sandow rolls out of the ring while the doc checks on Cena.
Cena heads out of the ring and throws Sandow back in the ring. Cena goes for a n STF with one arm. He doesn't manage. Sandow breaks out. Sandow hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Cena counters Sandows finisher, but Sandow kicks out. This is a pretty intense match.
Sandow locks in a Crossface on Cena, stretching the bad arm. Cena tries to power out, and he does! He goes for an STF, but misses. Reversal of finishers, and Sandow hits You're Welcome, but Cena kicks out!
The fans break out into a "this is awesome" chant. I agree. Cena up top on the turnbuckles, and he fights off a superplex attempt. Cena misses a top rope splash and lands bad on his knee. Sandow goes for a piledriver? Cena reverses it into an Attitude Adjustment, and gets the pin for the win.
Winner: John Cena to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Let me get out of the way that this was an excellent, excellent match. Lots of drama, lots of great near falls, and Sandow really shined. That being said, as a fan, I am extremely disappointed Sandow did not win.
Backstage, The Shield cuts a promo. Dean Ambrose states he's being forced to defend his title tonight. He puts over Big E Langston big, but tonight they are getting back to basics. Ambrose says he's the baddest man alive. Great promo.
Back from break, and we're in the ring. The Shield awaits. Out comes Big E Langston. Here we go!
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Big E Langston for the United States Championship
Langston immediately goes on the offense. Ambrose shows his viciousness and returns the offense. Both men have stitches from a nasty collision last night.
Langston runs the ropes and Roman Reigns pulls the ropes over, sending Langston tumbling outside. The referee calls for the bell immediately. Langston wins by DQ.
Winner: Big E Langston va DQ
Too short to amount to anything.
The beatdown proceeds, but The Uso's hit the ring to even the odds, and send The Shield outside the ring. Brad Maddox comes out and does his job - this is now a six man tag match!
The Usos & Big E Langston vs. The Shield
Match in progress already...Shield has control. Repeated tags, keeping Jimmy Uso in the ring. Ambrose gets kicked in the head. He manages to tag in Reigns, but Reigns gets planted with a DDT. Hot tag to Jey Uso. Jey is all over things. The fans are eating this up. Ambrose breaks up a pin attempt, and Langston attacks. Seth Rollins gets Jey Uso up top. Superplex attempt fails. Jey turns it into a face-first suplex.
Rollins and Reigns try to double-team Jey Uso, but Jimmy jumps in. They do some tag work, but Roman Reigns spears both men and gets the pin.
Winners: The Shield
My coverage doesn't do the match justice, but it's so hard to keep up with these crazy six men tag matches, especially when the teams are making tags so quickly. Good match, more of what you would expect from these guys.
Back from break, Shawn Michaels comes out to the ring. He says he knows he owes everyone an explanation for last night, but more importantly he owes Daniel Bryan one. He asks Bryan to come down to the ring.
The "Yes" chants start up, and Daniel Bryan comes out to the ring. He doesn't look happy.
Michaels says he has to understand he didn't intend for that to happen. He says he called the match right down the middle. The fans tell HBK he sold out. HBK says he saw what Bryan did to Triple H, but Triple H is HBK's best friend. That will never change. It will always supercede everything that goes on in wrestling. HBK says when everyone turned their back on him, Triple H was there for him. So, when Triple H needed HBK, HBK was there. He says he doesn't expect Bryan to be ok with it or understand, he just wants Bryan to accept his apology.
Bryan shakes his head.
Michaels says 10 years ago he built a foundation, but Bryan ran with it. HBK says he should consider last night a finishing lesson - don't trust anyone in the ring. He asks Bryan to show him the respect he earned, and to shake his hand.
Bryan shakes his head.
HBK goes full heel - "Let me tell you something you self-righteous little puke." Michaels says he listened to people for months calling Bryan a B+ Player and he defended him. He says he (HBK) is an A+ star and Bryan should be grateful, and he demands he shakes Michaels' hand. Bryan stares him down, then shakes his hand, then slaps the Yes lock on HBK!!! HBK taps out! Three referees run out to break the hold. HBK clutches his arm. The referees keep Bryan off. Bryan walks out of the ring on his own accord. HBK sells it in the middle of the ring.
Very good segment. Not what I was expecting at all. Haven't seen HBK go full-blown heel in a long time. Seems like they're teasing a return to the ring for one more match.
After the break, Renee Young interviews Daniel Bryan backstage. She takes off abruptly, and The Wyatt Family attacks Daniel Bryan. Another thing I wasn't expecting. Bryan is outnumbered. They throw him into some chairs. Bray watches nearby. He says "The Devil made me do it" before slamming Bryan's head into a nearby fence. He rams Bryan with a rolling cart. Bryan is twitching.
Los Matadores head to the ring, El Torito in tow. We're getting a 2-on-3 tag team handicap match. They're facing 3MB. Heath Slater walks out with a giant fish net. Ok.
Los Matadores vs. 3MB
3MB loses. The end.
Winner: Los Matadores
Prop comedy in a wrestling match? No thanks. However, it's worth noting that El Torito might be the best lucha WWE has had since Rey Mysterio.
We're back from break and it's AJ & Tamina heading out the ring for a tag match.
Tamina & AJ Lee vs. The Bella Twins
Brie Bella is very upset about the attack on Daniel Bryan. I'm too distracted by Nikki's trash talking to try to cover this. Tamina nearly ends it with a Samoan Drop, but she tags in AJ who locks in a Black Widow for the win.
Winners: AJ & Tamina
Up Next, Kane vs. The Miz! After the break.
It's after the break.
Kane vs. The Miz
Miz goes on early offense, but that's short lived. Kane starts dismantling The Miz. Miz gets some offense, but a Chokeslam ends that quick. It's over.
Post-match, Kane calls out Stephanie McMahon. Steph goes to the ramp but stays there. Kane says she's been on a power trip, has been manipulative, and has ruined lives. But, in this day in age, it's what's best for business. Kane says "the monster is her's to unleash." He walks up the ramp, then takes off his mask, and walks away.
After the break, The Primetime Players try to sell some WWEShop.com merch. Then, David Otunga, who hasn't been on TV in FOREVER, reads a lawsuit that The Big Show has filed against Stephanie and Triple H.
CM Punk comes out to great ovation. He's facing Ryback shortly. He takes the mic first. He says for the first time in over three months he slept like a baby. He promised us he would get Paul Heyman and he did. CM Punk says Paul Heyman is history.
Now, Punk's attention shifts to Ryback. He says without Paul Heyman, he stands zero chance against the best in the world.
We're back from break, and we get a recap of the Daniel Bryan attack earlier.
Now, we're fighting how WWE fans voted for the CM Punk/Ryback match. Looks like we're getting a street fight. Surprising.
Ryback vs. CM Punk in a Street Fight
Immediate Goldberg chants. Doesn't take long for the action to spill outside, and Ryback goes for a table. Punk goes for a Kendo Stick and he gets a few shots in, but Ryback counters. Ryback powerbombs Punk into the turnbuckle.
Ryback catches Punk as he dives off the top rope. Kick to the head, and Ryback falls onto the table. Elbow off the top, then Anaconda Vice! Ryback taps!
Winner: CM Punk
Punk celebrates, but The Wyatts interrupt. Looks like they're on a rampage tonight. Harper and Rowan have the ring surrounded, and Punk has the Kendo stick, but it's not enough of an equalizer. The fans chant for Daniel Bryan. Not sure if he'll be helping. Punk's head gets kicked off. He's been busted open.
Wyatt himself heads into the ring. He talks trash, but Punk headbutts Wyatt. It's not enough. Wyatt picks Punk up, kisses the forehead, and hits Sister Abigail. Punk is left lying in the ring.
Well, the match was a significantly neutered version of last night's match. They even did the same, exact, table spot. It's the stuff after the match that counted most - The Wyatt Family targeting Punk and Bryan? It's an internet fan's dream to see them team up.
We're back from break, and The Real Americans hit the ring, Zeb Colter in tow. They're facing against the Tag Team Champs, Cody Rhodes & Goldust!
Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. The Real Americans (Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro)
HUGE Goldust chant. He's starting against Cesaro. The fans chant "You still got it." I find that kind of insulting. Sorry, I do.
Cody's in the ring, stomping a hole in Cesaro's stomach. Typical tag match, but the action is good. Cody launches Swagger over the top rope as we go to break.
Back from break, Swagger is working over Cody in their corner. Tag to Cesaro, and he deadlifts Cody. Two-count. Rapid fire tags from The Americans. Nice European Uppercut from Cesaro, and he nearly gets the pin until Goldust breaks it up.
Cody fights back. Hot tag to Goludst. Goldust is on fire. He's hitting on all cylinders on Swagger. I cant keep up with the action, it's all over the place. Bodies go flying, but Swagger manages to lock in the ankle lock on Goldust for the win.
Winners: The Real Americans
Very good tag match. You have to think this victory will put The Real Americans in line for a tag title match at Survivor Series.
Alberto Del Rio heads out to the ring wearing a suit. He waves a Mexican flag, then places it on the ramp. He speaks from the ramp. Del Rio says he doesn't care about what Damien Sandow did. He only cares about John Cena. He wants a rematch. Short and sweet.
Quick plug for WWE2K14, and then Fandango & Summer Rae come dancing out to the ring. Summer Rae has her first singles match on Raw ever! But first, we gotta pay the bills. Commercial time.
We come back, and Natalya comes out to Khali's music. Disappointing.
Summer Rae vs. Natalya
Two divas matches on one show. I'm ok with this, if it goes somewhere. There's a spot or two that's a bit sloppy, but Summer Rae has the makings of a good heel. Summer works over Natalya's leg.
This match is going on a bit long and the fans are getting restless. Khali gets involved and punches Fandango. Summer Rae talks trash and Nattie gets the Sharpshooter locked in. She taps out.
Summer is green, but I see loads of potential in her. She has great heel tendencies, just needs to get her ringwork to match. I'm looking forward to seeing her get better and better.
We're back from break, and the entire roster is on stage, for better or worse. The Shield is guarding the ring, as they typically do. Triple H's music hits. The sea of superstars parts for Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. They step into the ring, so does The Shield.
Triple H say 10 years ago, the chairman of WWE asked him who he thought would be the face of the WWE in the future. He chose one man, brought him into Evolution, mentored him, and watched him become a star. Then he watched that star do horrible things to everyone, including Triple H and his family. Eventually, the monster matured into an A+ Player, and he won the WWE Championship last night. He introduces Randy Orton.
Orton comes out to the ring, title in hand. Nice little group hug. Stephanie addresses the people on the stage - calls Randy Orton "everyone's champion." Orton represents the superstars, and is what they aspire to be. She asks them to show him the respect he deserves.
Orton takes the mic. He says being WWE champion makes him better than us. He says the others fantasize about taking the title from him. "You're either born a success or you're not, and make no mistake, I'm a success." He refers to himself as their superior.
Right on queue, The Big Show's music hits. The Shield attemps to stop him, but Goldust, Cody, and The Uso's join in on the attack. A huge brawl breaks out on the stage. Orton, Triple H are left along in the ring. Show heads into the ring and they bail out.
Show grabs a mic, says he knows about the restraining order. He says the worst that could happen is he gets arrested - and he's got friends that can bail him out. His lawsuit will cost millions and bankrupt the company. He has nothing to lose!
Randy Orton attacks Big Show from behind with the title. Show goes down, but he recovers and hits the KO punch on Orton. Show stares Triple H down. Trips takes off his jacket, but jumps off the apron and stands down. Stephanie holds him back. The fans are into this as they stare each other down. The Big Show's music hits. He heads out of the ring towards the back. Triple H paces back and forth in the ring as the show comes to an end.
Well, that was actually a pretty good Raw. Everything seemed to make sense. Disappointing to see Sandow cash in unsuccessfully, but I feel like this is going somewhere. Daniel Bryan is being set up for a feud with The Wyatt Family, MAYBE even a match with HBK somewhere down the line. And, CM Punk looks to be paired up with The Wyatts as well.
The seeds are being planted for Survivor Series, and it appears, at least on the surface, that we will get a few traditional matches. We still have a few weeks of build, however.
Thanks for following along with me tonight, folks. Keep your eyes open for Bill Wentz Raw Afterthoughts tomorrow, as well as your Smackdown Spoilers, and much, much more!