Tonight, we get all the fallout of SummerSlam. CM Punk was in a war last night with Brock Lesnar. He was asked by WWE about his match with Lesnar, and he said that he was satisfied he got his hands on Paul Heyman at one point. Will he continue to pursue Heyman and his beast?
The news of the night though is what happened in the WWE Championship match. Daniel Bryan got the clean pinfall win over John Cena and the crowd went nuts. But in moments that celebration was snatched away. Randy Orton came out with the Money in the Bank briefcase and teased a cash in. Out of nowhere, Triple H turned on Bryan, kicking him in the gut and hitting the Pedigree. That allowed Randy Orton to cash in and become the new WWE Champion. How will Bryan react? How will Triple H explain himself?
Show Open, Live from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA
The show opens with a recap of events from SummerSlam. They start with the battle between Brock Lesnar and CM Punk. They shift gears to the match between Daniel Bryan and John Cena. They show the celebration and the eventual cash-in from Randy Orton, complete with Triple H's Pedigree. It ends with a still shot of Orton and Triple H together.
John Cena's music hits and he gets booed. He says it's early but the fans are rowdy. He says he's disgusted with what happened last night. He pauses to absorb a "Cena Sucks" chant and thanks them for the warm welcome.
Cena says that the next man to wear the WWE Championship would have to earn it. He says Bryan earned it. He thanks Daniel Bryan for bringing the best out in him. He says that Bryan reminded Cena that a WWE star should not be judged on race, creed, appearance, but should be judged by their commitment to excellence in the ring.
He tells us that the ball on his elbow is fluid that is the result of a torn triceps. The doctors told him he should go home immediately but he put off the surgery to defend the title. He is sure to say that it's not an excuse because he got beat by the better man.
Cena says that the surgery can't be put off any longer, and he has to leave. The fans chant "Yes!" and cheer. Cena says he'll miss that and sort of smirks. He says he will be gone for four to six months to get himself healthy.
Cena introduces Bryan, who comes out to a rousing ovation and "yes!" chants. Cena hands over the mic and walks away and Bryan is greeted with even more chants. It's gotta be loud there. Before he can speak, here comes Stephanie McMahon.
She apologizes and says that he had a hard-fought win over Cena, "clean in the middle of the ring." She is sorry his dream got ripped away from him. She says he hopes Bryan understands that Triple H was doing what was best for business. The fans chant "NO!" and Bryan says the fans disagree.
He says he expects things like this from her and Vince but not Triple H. He was a renegade at one time but now he has the suit and corporate image. He says "when you lie down with trash, sooner or later you start to stink." The fans reward that with a "yes!" chant.
Stephanie says he's upset and she'll let it slide. Bryan interrupts and asks the fans for three cheers and asks if he'll get fired. He says he'll go back to wrestling in armories and selling t-shirts from his car. He says he's not afraid of being fired, but he will give her a reason to do so before he leaves.
Stephanie says no one wants to fire Bryan, but his anger management issues are messing with his head. She calls him valuable and an ultimate underdog, but his expectations need to be managed. "Not everyone can be the face of the company. Not everyone can be championship material." She points out Bryan's height and weight and says that not everyone can be a supermodel. She tells Bryan he has a place, and that he's a "B plus."
"Funny, because you're starting to remind me of a word that starts with the letter B right now." Bryan says. He says Stephanie is trying to rationalize her husband's actions but he doesn't have ot accept that. He says he can be WWE Champion and doesn't care what she says or thinks. Stephanie goes to say something but Bryan knocks the mic from her hand.
Stephanie gets another mic and tells hiim to calm down. She says she won't be intimidated by him and calls for security to escort him from the building. Guards walk out and she gives the order. The fans get a loud "Daniel Bryan" chant going, and Bryan leads them in "NO!" at one point as they walk up the ramp.
Like him or hate him, Cena deserves respect for working with that mess of an arm.
Steph was good here. She hadn't been at times in the past but she got this one down. And for some reason I feel Bryan will be back on tonight's show in a big way.
Match #1 - Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
We get a rematch from last night between these two. No televised entrances for either man.
Rhodes hits a missile dropkick then clotheslines Sandow over the ropes. Rhodes hits a suplex out on the floor, then throws him in and covers for two. Sandow shoves Rhodes through the ropes. Sandow controls the match going into commercial.
Sandow continues control after commercial. Cody hits him with a moonsault off the top rope to get back into it. Lawler points out Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell is seated behind him and he had words with Sandow earlier.
Late, Rhodes teases CrossRhodes but Sandow escapes. Cody comes back with the Disaster Kick moments later, then puts Sandow away with a sunset flip off the second rope.
I am waiting for the "MITB briefcase is on the line" match...
Brad Maddox is shown in front of the set. He introduces himself and says there have been a number of individuals that expressed their opinions on what happened last night. He reads a tweet from Dolph Ziggler where he says he didn't really trust Triple H. Maddox says that Dolph will be given an opportunity to show off in a three on one handicap match against the Shield later.
Right into the normal heel authority figure gimmicks. Hard to get excited about what's going on with the WWE Championship at the moment.
Paul Heyman is shown walking, with his arm in a sling. We'll hear from him next regarding the future of Brock Lesnar and CM Punk.
Justin Roberts introduces Heyman to a chorus of boos. Heyman says that last night CM Punk was defeated by Brock Lesnar. Tonight, Heyman offers a lesson in life. He says like all rebellious children, Punk flew the nest and proved his self worth. He admits Punk gave Lesnar all he could handle.
He says that where we go from here is it's time to end the family feud. He says he's been more of a father figure to CM Punk than his own dad. He says it's no longer a time for retribution but instead is a time for forgiveness. He says "CM Punk, I forgive you."
He tells Punk he will take him back when he apologizes. He says that Punk is better with him than without him and together they will achieve more than they did before. He tells Punk he still loves him and is willing to put this behind them, because he will guide Punk back to the WWE Championship and the main event of Wrestlemania. "Together, CM Punk we will be the best in the world." Heyman lays the mic down and walks out. King calls it a bunch of bull.
Another good promo that opens the door for a lot of options in the future of this story.
Cameron and Naomi are stretching when the Bellas show up. They wish the pair luck because they're representing the Bellas' show, Total Divas. The Bellas hope they're more interesting on the show than they are on Total Divas.
Cole sells us the Championship Coronation segment for Randy Orton later tonight.
Match #2 - Cameron and Naomi vs. Layla and AJ
Cole tells us that AJ is the first Diva with a million followers on Twitter. AJ and Layla attack before the bell but the official resets things and the match gets started officially.
AJ works Naomi over and tags in Layla. Layla hits a drop kick on Cameron, but Naomi rolls Layla up and pins her. She sells shock as the Funkadactyls leave.
We get a shot of Dolph Ziggler walking backstage. His handicap match is up next.
Out of commercial we get a recap of the opening portion of the show with John Cena, Stephanie McMahon and Daniel Bryan.
Match #3 - Dolph Ziggler vs. The Shield; 3-on-1 Handicap match
Cole asks if this is retribution by Triple H and Brad Maddox for Dolph's remarks last night. King says yes, but JBL defends it a little bit.
The commentators talk over the early part of this action. They discuss at length the actions of Triple H at SummerSlam. Ziggler sells for the trio in the early going.
He hits Reigns with a drop kick then a fameasser. He clears the other two out, then hits Reigns with a DDT for a near fall that Rollins breaks up. Ziggler hits a suplex on Rollins over the ropes and he lands awkwardly. In the end, Reigns hits him with a spear to get the win. Afterward, the Shield hits Ziggler with a triple powerbomb and leaves.
Rollins did leave on his own and only visually assisted the triple powerbomb. I was entertained by the match more than most handicap matches.
Match #4 - Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara
Del Rio starts aggressively. Sin Cara hits an arm drag that sends Del Rio to ringside. Sin Cara hits a suicide dive, but he and Del Rio clunk heads. Sin Cara calls for the doctor almost immediately. The match is thrown out at that point due to medical reasons.
Del Rio cuts a promo afterward, saying he gives the Latinos someone to cheer for. He says the Mexicans had no heroes, but he will make sure that he does all he can to represent them.
Ricardo comes out and asks if Del Rio remembers him. He disagrees that Del Rio is a hero to him or the Latino community. He confesses that he is very happy that he doesn't have to represent Del Rio anymore. He is beyond proud that he represents someone new that will stand for people. He represents Rob Van Dam now.
RVD comes out and heads to the ring. He attacks Del Rio and the two battle. RVD hits a superkick and goes up for the Five Star but Del Rio bails. RVD and Ricardo do the thumb point routine from the ring as Del Rio yells from the ramp.
I'm not sure how much sense the RVD/Ricardo pairing makes. Sin Cara may legitimately be hurt, and this is just one more on his frequent injury list.
Cole reminds us of what Paul Heyman says and says that Punk will be here later to talk about Heyman's comments.
Match #5 - The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro, w/Zeb Colter) vs. The Prime Time Players
Before the match, Colter cuts a promo. He says WWE has made headlines lately and asks why his team hasn't been getting any attention. He complains about being at Disney and being behind illegals paying with a debit card funded by his tax dollars. He rags some more on Anaheim then the trio says "We the People" to close it out. The Players make their entrance to a mild face pop.
Young starts it off, but Titus tags in and sells for the heels. Young gets a hot tag and hits a nice overhead throw on Cesaro. A few moments later, Young hits his "Gutcheck" finisher on Cesaro for the win.
Wisely, the announcers left out the announcement by Young that his gay. It appears they're leaving his character alone, as it should be.
Renee Young is with Big Show. She asks him if there's truth to him and Mark Henry teaming up to face the Shield for their tag titles. Show says the rumors are true. Brad Maddox enters and tells Renee to shoo. He says he hears that Show made disparaging comments about Triple H. Show says it's America and he has freedom of speech. Maddox agrees and says the McMahons are supportive of that, then tells Show he wants him to express himself in a three on one match against the Shield. Show asks Maddox if he's sure he wants to do that to the Shield and walks away.
I guess we'll find out how well Rollins is in this one. Why is the heel authority figure thing always followed by a bunch of ridiculous odds handicap matches?
We get a strange backstage segment with Zack Ryder helping to shill a Foot Locker contest and some of their products. Fandango walks in and observes, and asks if the shoes can be danced in. The Foot Locker guy says it's approved and he dances.
We get the same video package that opened the show again.
Bully Ry...errr..Ryback walks in and talks to two guys. He torments one in particular with his bag, tossing it around and telling him to pick it up and put it down and such. They end up in the shower and he tells him to turn the water on. He makes the guy fill his bag up with water and tells him to leave. He laughs.
Match #6 - Big Show vs. The Shield; Three-on-One Handicap Match
Show makes his entrance before commercial. Cole reminds us that all three members of the Shield will be in the ring at the same time in this match.
Things start off with the normal chaos. Big Show gets the better of all three, disposing of Ambrose and Rollins and hitting Reigns with a big spear that leaves him laying. The Shield goes out of the ring and regroups for a moment.
Ambrose tries a sleeper that doesn't work too well. Rollins gets dumped to ringside and is still favoring that leg. A bit later, Show cues up a chokeslam on Ambrose but gets clipped by Rollins. Rollins hits a flying knee from up top. Show fights back, but Reigns slips back in the ring and hits a spear. The Shield hits their triple power bomb to get the win.
For those concerned, Rollins appears to be fine - I doubt he'd have worked this if it was something serious. Show and Ziggler both ended up looking good in defeat, even if I think the Shield looks a bit soft for working these matches.
CM Punk's music hits and he limps his way out to the stage. Cole says he can't believe Punk is even walking at this point. He gets a strong reaction from the fans. Punk gets the mic and says he doesn't know what to say because he has too many things going on upstairs.
Punk says Heyman said a lot of things and pushed a lot of buttons. A fan is booing pretty intensely and it grabs Punk's attention. He dares the fan to be a man and climb in the ring so he could "render (him) a toothless shell of a man." Punk tells him to either be a man or sit down and shut up.
The live crowd ate that up. It was awesome.
Punk says that perhaps an apology is in order. He calls Heyman out to see him face to face and he might just get the apology he's looking for. Heyman walks out to the stage, with Curtis Axel in tow. He motions to Punk to go ahead.
Punk says the doctor deemed him unfit to compete, yet he was in his gear and taped up because it's all he knows, and all he has. He says he lost a fight last night at SummerSlam but he is still standing.
Punk says he's sorry for taking his eyes off of Lesnar for a split second so he could seek revenge on Heyman. He says he's sorry he didn't break Heyman's arm off and take it home with him. He says next time he will spit in Heyman's face, rip his arm off, and take it home. He says he's going to get his revenge and challenges Heyman to do what "this big fat guy" didn't have the balls to do - fight him like a man.
Heyman says he is the person who should apologize. "I am sorry for what is about to happen to you," He tells Axel to go tape up and says he's not the fat guy sitting in the front row. He says he can be the worst nightmare Punk has ever seen. Heyman tells Punk if he is still in the ring after commercial, Axel will finish the job that Lesnar started last night.
After the break, Axel comes out with fists taped. Punk is sitting on a chair smiling. Axel gets in the ring but Punk assaults him in the early going. He dumps Axel to the timekeeper area, then goes after Heyman. He turns and hits Axel with a running dive and hits him with the timekeeper's bell.
Punk cues the GTS but Axel slips out and clips Punk. Axel works over the leg, hitting it with the chair. He wraps the chair around it and goes up top to try and break it but Punk rolls out of the way. Heyman was yelling at Punk about being a prodigal and breaking his heart.
Punk beats Axel with the chair again and Axel rolls out to the floor. Punk throws Axel into the stairs a couple times then hits Axel with the GTS using the stairs. Punk and Heyman glare at each other as Punk's music hits.
Great intensity from Punk. There's more impact if Axel was built up right rather than a lackey. Heyman needs a bigger stable - so why not bring in Matt Morgan or Luke Gallows?
Match #7 - R-Truth vs. Bray Wyatt (w/Eric Rowan and Luke Harper)
This is Wyatt's first Raw match. As Wyatt comes out they recap his win against Kane last night at SummerSlam and talk about not having seen Kane since the Wyatts dragged him out last night.
Wyatt takes a kick early from Truth. Wyatt comes back with a running tackle. Wyatt yells "witness the new face of fear!" at one point. In the end, Wyatt gives Truth a kiss and hits his "Sister Abigail" finisher.
They could stand to do something about blowing out that LED lantern. That said, the Wyatts are a fun act.
We get a teaser video for a new tag team, called Los Matadores. They will debut soon.
Match #8 - 3MB (Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal, w/Drew McIntyre) vs. The Uso Brothers
Late in this one, the one brother hits a superkick on Jinder. He hits a dive on the other two members of 3MB out on the floor, while tagging the other brother. The other brother hits a splash off the top rope to get the win.
We get another sell for the Randy Orton Championship Coronation still to come.
Match #9 - The Miz vs. Wade Barrett
Before the match, we get a recap of the backstage segment at SummerSlam between Fandango and The Miz where Miz punched him for interrupting.
Barrett gets a chant while Miz is making his comeback. Miz throws a couple kicks to set up the Figure Four. He eventually locks in, but Fandango attacks him and hits a top rope leg drop on Miz. Fandango and Summer Rae dance afterward.
Sigh. Barrett deserves a real push.
We get a shot of Brad Maddox walking. He approaches Stephanie and tells her that the head of building security just informed him that Daniel Bryan has made his way back into the building. Stephanie smiles and tells him thank you for the update. She walks into Vince's office.
Randy Orton's Championship Coronation
Back live, all the roster is on the stage. Triple H is making his entrance, with Vince and Stephanie in the ring already. Triple H stops at ringside to look at the Shield, who is standing at the bottom of the ramp.
Vince tells everyone to "give it up for the Game" and says that he saw the light and did what was right for business. He gives Trips a hug then the mic.
Triple H says "I guess this is the part where I'm supposed to explain myself." He says he did it to ensure the future of the WWE. He did it for the fans, the talent, and Vince McMahon, "the genius that created this global empire you all enjoy today." He says he also did it for his wife and children, and for the fans to ensure this exists in their future.
Triple H says he considers Daniel Bryan a friend and likes what he does in the ring. He says Bryan is a good little technician and gave Cena a hell of a match. He deserved to win. He says "let's be honest - WWE Champion...face of the WWE?" The fans chant "yes" but Hunter says the fans deserve better than that.
Hunter says the fans deserve the complete package, and A-plus, which is what they got. "And Daniel Bryan comes out here and says he has a personal problem with that?" Hunter says he's willing to make that sacrifice and asks the fans if he wanted to do that to Bryan because he overachieved.
H says it hurt him to do that to Bryan. He says there's no love lost and lots of bad blood between him and Orton but he buried his personal feelings to do what's right for business and for the fans. He says he buried all that past to do what was right. He says he doesn't care about Bryan having a personal problem with what he did and calls it "just self" if he does
Triple H says Bryan needs to check his ego at the door like he does when he comes to work. "It's not just about me and it's not about what I do, it's about the fans; you put your personal feelings aside and do what's best for business." Hunter says he would put aside his personal feelings one more time and introduces Randy Orton as the future, the face of WWE and "the coal that has become a diamond."
Randy Orton's music hits and he comes out between the wrestlers gathered on the stage, stopping to glare. He walks to the ring and shakes hands with everyone, hugging Stephanie instead when he offers the handshake.
"I told you so. I told you that when I cashed in, you would not see it coming." He says he is now the apex predator for the tenth time. He says he's not one for saying thank you, but he would make an exception on this occasion. He tells Triple H that he owes all of this to him. He asks the fans to stand and applaud Triple H and give him the respect he deserves.
H says he knows Daniel Bryan is in the building. He asks him to come out and get it all off his chest. "You can come out and have a good cry, whatever it takes so that you can move on with your little career." Triple H tells the Shield that they look kind of intimidating and they need to move to the side. He tells everyone to not touch Bryan, and if they do there will be consequences. Hunter starts a "Yes!" chant and gets his music playing to encourage him to come out.
Bryan emerges from the side, slowly. He walks down the ramp and the Shield jumps him from the side. Bryan fights them off at first, throwing Reigns into the steps, taking Rollins down with a kick to the head on the ramp, and hitting Ambrose with a deep arm drag on the ramp as well. He heads back to the ring, slowly, only to get speared by a recovered Reigns. The three gang up on him and set up for the triple powerbomb but Trips stops them.
He tells Bryan to get in the ring and Bryan struggles up the apron. H is condescending as he tells him to fight for it and show his guts. Bryan struggles through the ropes, only to get hit with the RKO from Orton. Bryan is laid out as the four in the ring hold their arms up high over a fallen Bryan with Orton's music playing to end the show.
If you are a fan of, like, or wanted to see another McMahon Family heel run, you're loving this right now. And to be honest, this could be a great way to build Bryan up into that huge babyface over time.
The ONE concern that I have - constant 3 on 1 matches against the Shield, bizarre lopsided stipulations, and constant tomfoolery from the authority figures. That's going to end up taking some of that heat away over time. It worked 15 years ago, but it's been so beaten into the ground over the past couple that it's going to cause a revolt rather than give a lift to Bryan.
All in all, we got a little bit of direction coming out of SummerSlam as to where things are heading as we move toward fall. It looks like RVD will challenge Del Rio in a program, Mark Henry and Big Show will be going after the Shield, and Daniel Bryan has a mountain to climb.
I will have more to say in Raw Afterthoughts tomorrow, as will the rest of the staff with their Raw Roundtable. Be looking for those pieces later. Thanks for watching along tonight, and remember you can always join in the conversation on Twitter.