9/30 Shore's WWE Raw live coverage: Final hype for Battleground, Wrestlers wear pink gear for breast cancer, Los Matadores debut, The Rhodes family meets Triple H for a business proposition
By Chris Shore
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WWE Raw on USA Network
Aired live from Biloxi, Mississippi at Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
[Q1] The show opened with CM Punk's entrance as Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry "The King" Lawler checked in on commentary. The middle ring rope was pink for breast cancer awareness, though Punk didn't appear to have any pink on. A video recapped what happened between he and Ryback last week.
Punk cut a promo and said people think wrestling is its best when it's unpredictable. He said last week they were in his home town and it was predictable that he would get beat up, and he did. He said that was OK because he knew how the story ended, and it ended when he put down everyone in his way and finally got his hands on Heyman. He said it ended when Heyman realized there was no one there to save him.
He said that might happen Sunday at Battleground, or next week on Raw, or maybe even tonight because he wanted a fight and he didn't care if it was Curtis Axel or Ryback. He let the crowd chant "Ryback sucks" before continuing. He said he was going to put Heyman out of his misery.
Brad Maddox came out with a mic and Punk mocked him for not having entrance music. Maddox said he understood why Punk wanted to get his hands on Heyman and company tonight, but that wasn't what was best for business, which drew a few boos. He said he could give Punk a match, but Punk wasn't going to--
Punk cut him off and said Maddox wasn't going to tell him what he could or couldn’t do. He said he was looking for an outlet for his aggression. Big E Langston's music hit and he came top the ring. He had Maddox hold the mic and said, "You're looking for aggression? I'm your guy," and attacked Punk. He knocked Punk into the corner and went for a spear, but Punk moved and Langston hit the post. Maddox called for a referee to come down and one did…
Shore's Slant: A lukewarm start to the go home show. They went with the hottest angle they have, but the Langston inclusion makes no sense so it derailed what they were doing. I assume the bell rang right after the show went to commercial so my time will reflect that.
1. CM Punk vs. Big E Langston. Langston wasn't wearing pink nor was the ref. What the hell WWE? Not even an arm band for the refs? Punk hit several kicks on the floor and rolled Langston back in the ring. He tried to jump on Langston, but Langston caught him and slammed him to the ground.
[Q2] Langston hit his standing splash for two. He hit a belly-to-belly suplex for two. The crowd chanted for Punk, but they didn't get all that excited for his hope spots, even when he hit the roundhouse kick. They finally woke up after a spinning neckbreaker and the top rope elbow. He followed with GTS for the win…
CM Punk defeated Big E Langston at 9:01.
A video recapped the Cody Rhodes saga and hyped the Rhodes family appearing later in a "family summit…"[C]
Shore's Slant: Cole made a point of saying the match proved Punk could put away a big guy with the GTS. No shit Cole, we saw him put away Ryback with it several times already when Punk was heel champion. I hope that wasn't the only reason they randomly sent Langston out there to lose to Punk, but it probably is.
Fandango made his entrance as JBL and Cole trotted out their lame "Mrs. Fandango, Summer Rae, that's what I said" gimmick. Give it a rest guys. At least Fandango was wearing a pink version of his shirt. Kofi Kingston was out next with a WWE/Komen pink t-shirt…
2. Fandango (w/Summer Rae) vs. Kofi Kingston. Fandango had Kofi setup for the top rope leg drop but Kofi rolled out of the way. Fandango hopped down and went after Kofi, who hit Trouble in Paradise for the win…
Kofi Kingston defeated Fandango at 3:00.
[Q3] Post-match, the Wyatt Family made their entrance. Kofi grabbed a chair to defend himself as they came down the aisle. Bray sat in the rocking chair and said he spent his life trying to figure out why horrible things happened to him. He said he would wake at night wondering when his nightmare would end, but it never did. He said he finally understood what he must do. He said, "One by one they must all fall down." He closed with "Follow the buzzards" and the show went to commercial…[C]
Shore's Slant: What the hell was all that? A meaningless match followed by a promo that had nothing to do with what happened in the ring and they didn't even attack him? The good news is that it does appear that the Wyatts have a direction, but it isn't all that clear. Bray said all would fall, but I guess just not Kofi right now? Do I have that right? I don't understand.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow was announced for the Kick-Off Show…Backstage, Brie and Nikki talked about Brie facing AJ on Sunday. Randy Orton walked up and congratulated Brie on her engagement to "little" Daniel. He asked her when the big day was and she wouldn't answer. He asked again and said he only wanted to know so he could recommend she schedule it sooner than later because if they have it after Sunday, Bryan won't be able to walk down the aisle…
Renee Young interviewed Paul Heyman backstage and asked him about what Punk said earlier. Heyman did have a pink ribbon on his tie. Heyman said it must be hard to watch a man descend into insanity. He said Punk was a nobody who became a Paul Heyman guy who became a WWE Champion who forgot what made them the best in the world. Young asked him about Ryback and Curtis Axel hiding around the corner and asked if Heyman was planning another trap. Heyman laughed about it and said he had a huge night planned and if Punk wanted to break it up he should be a man and try…A Los Matadores hype video aired. They debut next…[C]
Shore's Slant: A good promo from Heyman who didn't have a random wrestler come out at the end to confuse everyone like Punk did.
[Q4] 3MB was in the ring. Los Matadores made their entrance and then smoke filled the stage. A midget in a bull costume, El Torrito apparently, ran out and they did their bull fighter gimmick with him. They tossed him up on the apron and he hit a springboard jump into the ring. What the fu…
3. Los Matadores vs. 3MB. Los Matadores are Fernando and Diego. I think that's Epico and Primo respectively but I could have it backwards. They hit a combo slam for the win…
Los Matadores defeated 3MB at 3:59.
Post-match, El Torrito jumped around and used the ropes to help him as the matadors celebrated…A video recapped Big Show knocking out Dusty Rhodes last week. Their family summit is next…[C]
Shore's Slant: I honestly have no words. I don't even know where to begin. First a cobra charming gimmick and now this. Maybe there aren't any words.
[Q5] Triple H and Stephanie McMahon made their ring entrance and called out the Rhodes family. Hunter said they would be protected just like every other WWE star. I'm sure that's encouraging. They made their entrance to Dusty's music and stood in the ring. Stephanie said she hoped Cody got their Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift card.
Hunter said he didn't understand the ugly faces. He said he gave them all chances and they blew them all. He got in Cody's face when he mentioned Dusty getting knocked out. He said they were now on chance number four. Steph said it was time for the offer. She said they wanted to give Cody his job back and give Dustin a job. She said all they had to do was beat the tag champs at Battleground.
Hunter said there was a but, like always. He said if they lost they would never work in WWE again and Dusty would join them on the unemployment line. Dusty snatched the mic out of his hand and said Hunter liked to get in people's faces. He got right in Hunter;s face and they stared off. Stephanie tried to reach between them and Dusty pushed her hand away. Hunter wanted him not to cross the line. Dusty said he was going to cross it because if he got to be in his boys' corner he would be Hunter's huckleberry all night long. The crowd popped big for that.
Steph said they had a deal and then warned Dusty to be careful because he was looking for a fight and he just might get one. They left and the Shield ran in and speared Goldust. They beat up Cody and Dusty slid a chair in the ring. He tried to roll in and The Shield beat him down. They hit a triple powerbomb on Cody and put the boots to Dusty one more time before ending their assault…A graphic hyped Orton and Bryan face-to-face in the ring for later…[C]
Shore's Slant: Good promo exchange, and booking 101 says the Rhodes boys win on Sunday. I'm not convinced that it will play out that way, but that's the signal they sent so we will see Sunday night. The crowd is going to go nuts when Dusty hits the bionic elbow. No question about that.
[Q6] R-Truth finished his entrance as JBL did the gimmick too. I used to love JBL on commentary. What happened to him? Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman were out next. Everybody watch the entrance ramp…
3. R-Truth vs. Curtis Axel (w/Paul Heyman). Truth danced to start and Axel facepalmed him. I popped. Axel started getting heat on Truth and Punk's music hit. Axel stared up the ramp for Punk. Truth recovered and hit his finisher for the win…
R-Truth defeated Curtis Axel at 4:22.
Post-match R-Truth danced some more as Heyman looked first disgusted, then somewhere between disgusted and impressed at Punk's cleverness…Brie and Nikki were shown heading toward the ring…[C]
Shore's Slant: Speaking of predictable. They have added a number of matches to Battleground tonight, but nothing about this show is making the actual PPV a "must see" event. Having Truth win a meaningless non-title match certainly doesn't help.
The announce team congratulated Trish Stratus who gave birth to her son Maximus today…A video celebrated the Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan engagement. Alicia Fox was in the ring. The Bellas made their entrance to deafening silence. Ouch. A video recapped Orton's threat from earlier…
[Q7] 4. Alicia Fix vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki). Alicia got the bulk of the offense, but Brie hit a faceslap and X Factor for the win…[C]
Brie Bella defeated Alicia Fox at 3:17.
Shore's Slant: Wow. I was stunned at the lack of reaction for Brie. They just showed the video about her engagement to the top babyface star (which I am assuming aired in the arena since that's how it usually works) and they couldn't even get a noticeable change in the audience. It was simply nothing. People may have already headed for the hills as Alicia made her entrance, and maybe they didn't show the video in the arena because of that entrance, but if that crowd saw it and didn't react any better than that it isn't a good sign for her going forward.
Backstage, Axel paced while clutching his belt. Heyman tried to calm him down by saying his name and then yelled it to finally calm him down. Heyman said Axel was looking at this all wrong. He said Punk thinks he's got them where he wants them but it was all theatrics because he wasn't in their league. Ryback walked in and said no one should worry. He said if Punk wanted them they should give them to him. Axel asked if he meant to go to the ring and call Punk out. Heyman sent Ryback to eat and then told Axel he was going to do what he should have done the night Ryback saved him, he was going to propose to Ryback. Axel looked very confused…
Shore's Slant: Is that legal in Mississippi?
A video recapped Big Show knocking out Miz. Renee Young interviewed Show and played the video of Hunter messing with him from Smackdown. She asked him if he was about to snap. Show said his financial situation was being held over his head like the sword of Damocles. Show said everyone is saying he should do the right thing, but it was easy to say when it wasn't their next on the line. He said he was forced to choose between the lesser of two evils and nobody can do that.
Show lamented his knockout of Dusty Rhodes. He said he couldn't help Dusty when he was attacked by the Shield and now he couldn't even look Dusty in the eye because of everything that happened. He said he couldn't take it anymore, and then changed it to he wasn't going to take it anymore. Young asked him what he meant and Show said he was going to knock Triple H "the hell out." He cocked his hand and walked off like he was insane…[C]
Shore's Slant: Good promo from Show. Now we have to see how this plays out. I can't imagine Hunter takes the punch tonight, but I don't know how many times they can pull this trick. The crowd popped for Show's pronouncement, but if he flakes on that promise tonight it could push him past redemption with the WWE audience. Speaking of, I wonder how many people got the Sword of Damocles reference. That sounded like a Damien Sandow line instead of Big Show.
[Q8] Backstage, Truth was asking Maddox for an Intercontinental Championship match when Big Show stormed in. Truth split and Maddox tried to calm Show down. Show jacked him way up against the wall and told Maddox to go find Triple H and bring him back to the office. Maddox went to look for Hunter…
5. Alberto Del Rio vs. Zack Ryder. Ryder got in a ton of offense, but Del Rio racked the arm on the rope and locked in the cross arm breaker for the win…
Alberto Del Rio defeated Zack Ryder at 4:06.
Del Rio kicked Ryder after the bell but no attack. Guess he's learned from the RVD saves the past few shows…Heyman's proposal to Ryback is next…[C]
A video recapped the Rhodes family summit and attack from the Shield….
[Q9] Justin Roberts welcomed all the breast cancer survivors and Susan Komen staff in attendance…Ryback and Heyman made their entrance. Heyman said that in addition to being the Best in the World, he was also an expert on political science. He said you can't put down an insurrection in its own territory, yet he went against his own theory and took out Punk in his hometown last week. He had the video recap played.
Heyman said he gives Punk credit for his dedication to break Heyman's face, but the reason his face was still there smiling for everyone was the big beautiful man Ryback. Ryback took the mic and said he hated a bully more than anything. He said to see Punk take all the wisdom, friendship, and sacrifices that Paul Heyman made for him, he couldn't let that stand. He caressed Heyman's face as he said there was nothing he wouldn’t do for Heyman.
Heyman said he was glad he felt that way. Heyman said it was 2013 and a progressive era. He said it was time people came out with their real feelings. He said he wanted more between them than just superstar athlete and advocate. Heyman said since Ryback saved him he felt more like a man and he need to say something to him. The crowd chanted "Get a room" and Heyman let it run before mocking it.
Heyman said he was looking for a commitment to Ryback from the opening match to the main event, for sickness and in health, till death do they part. He said he wanted to make an honest man out of Ryback. Heyman got on one knee and the crowd went wild. They chanted "No" and Heyman started and stopped proposing a few times before finally asking Ryback to become a Paul Heyman guy. The crowd chanted "No" again, and Punk's music hit before Rback could answer.
The music played as they looked around for Punk. Punk finally came through the audience and jumped the railing, but he immediately collapsed and held his knee. Punk continued to sell the injury as Heyman held Ryback back and murmured to him. Punk tried to climb in the ring, but his knee gave out again and finally a trainer came over and checked on him.
Heyman walked over to the side where Punk was and looked down. Punk suddenly pulled a kendo stick out from under the ring and hit Heyman in the leg with it. He slid in the ring and hit Ryback. Curtis ran in and took a beating with the kendo stick as Ryback pulled Heyman from the ring and they headed up the ramp. Punk hit a GTS on Axel and celebrated in the ring…Big Show was shown pacing backstage…
Shore's Slant: That was the first thing I've seen tonight that made me want to buy the PPV. I don't think it’s enough to sell many PPVs, but it was finally something. Kudos to CM Punk for his acting as I legit thought he was hurt when he first went down. On the other hand, shame on WWE for not sending the trainer over immediately to give it some realism. They have no problem using shoot names but we can’t get a doctor checking on the injured star? Lame. He laid there for so long that it became obvious it was a work. It didn't kill the segment, but it’s the little things that are the difference between good and great.
[Q10][C] The Shield were in the ring. Their opponents made their entrance…
6. The Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler and The Usos. The match broke down quickly and the Shield were dumped to the floor. The Usos hit tandem dives into the break…[C] Back from commercial the Shield had taken control and worked over Jimmy Uso.
[Q11] Dolph got the hot tag as the Usos took out the tag champs and he hit the elbow drops on Ambrose. Reigns ended up with a blind tag as everyone cleared each other and he hit a spear on Ziggler for the win…
The Shield defeated Dolph Ziggler and The Usos at 12:02.
Shore's Slant: An OK match but I feel like we've seen this a million times already. The strong win does point yet again to the Rhodes boys going over on Sunday.
Backstage, the police entered the office and threatened to arrest Big Show for threats. Steph walked in and asked the cops not to arrest him because he had a big mortgage payment due. She said she spoke to Show's wife and she said he hadn't been measuring up at home either. She left with the cops and Show sat down on the couch in frustration. He saw something and walked over to a picture of the cover of Triple H's new DVD hanging on the wall. He punched it down, leaving a big hole in the wall…
Renee Young interviewed RVD and a YouTube video showed RVD's "Top 10 Hardcore moments." RVD said Del Rio was a great champion, but he had no idea what a hardcore match was like. He said ADR was going to understand what it meant after Sunday because it was the same in every language: Rob Van Dam…Khali, Santino, and Hornswoggle were shown heading toward the ring…
Shore's Slant: The video did more to sell the World Championship match than RVD's promo did. It wasn't bad, it was just formulaic. At least he didn't have Ricardo there to make things worse.
[Q12][C] Zeb Colter cut a promo saying Mississippi was just below Alabama on the evolutionary scale. He did the "We the people" gimmick and the crowd only half did it. The three stooges were out next…
7. Antonio Cesaro (w/ Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter) vs. Santino Marella (w/Great Khali and Hornswoggle). Cesaro did his giant swing and Santino rolled him up for the victory…[C]
Santino Marella defeated Antonio Cesaro at 2:47.
Shore's Slant: Well, at least they didn’t do the stupid snake charmer gimmick. The look on Cesaro's face after the match pretty much mirrored my own.
Jerry Lawler stood in the ring and showed a graphic hyping Daniel and Brie's engagement. He said we would learn more once Total Divas returned to E! Daniel Bryan made his ring entrance. Orton was out next.
[Overrun] King said this was supposed to be a verbal confrontation only. He said Hunter made a controversial decision when he stripped Bryan of the title. Orton said he didn't like it at first when the title wasn't returned to him, but he realized now that it was for the best because it gave him the motivation to become the Viper again and quit caring what the idiots thought. He said he would win the title back on Sunday because he was genetically superior.
King asked Bryan for his response. Bryan said Orton was a pretty good talker. He said he was a little monotone and sounded like he practiced in front of the mirror a few times, but otherwise an A+ performance. He asked Orton why Hunter needed to inspire him. He said it might be because Orton was marketable, but it might be because he knew Orton couldn't reach his full potential without it. Bryan said he's never needed anyone to motivate him and he would prove it Sunday when he won the title.
The crowd chanted "Yes" and Orton chanted "No" before screaming for the crowd to shut up. Orton said just because the crowd chanted for him doesn't mean he was going to win. He said Bryan was on a roll recently, what with his engagement to Brie. He asked what was wrong with Brie that she would settle for a troll like Bryan. He said one day Brie was going to wake up and realize she wasn't sleeping with a virulent champion like him, she was sleeping with a barnyard animal.
Bryan attacked and knocked Orton over the top rope. He continued the attack, but Orton shoved him into the stairs and went on the offense. He slammed Orton into the post like he did Miz and then dropped him on the barricade. He rolled Bryan in the ring and setup for the hung DDT on the floor. Brie ran out and watched in horror as Orton hit it.
Orton cleared the announce desk and Brie begged for him to stop. Orton asked her if she wanted him to stop and then dragged Orton onto the desk. He hit an RKO on the table and the table actually broke. Brie yelled at Orton to leave him alone and Orton walked away. Some guy in the crowd yelled for Orton to kiss Brie. Brie checked on Bryan to close the show…
Shore's Slant: A hot finish to the show, but was it enough to sell the PPV? I don’t think it was, and I think they made a mistake by concentrating on the personal instead of the Championship based on the reaction Brie got earlier. I'm pretty sure this guarantees Brie's involvement on Sunday, but I'm not entirely sure how. Best guess right now is she gets used as a distraction, but who knows. I doubt she turns on him considering this is the main storyline for Total Divas, but anything else is on the table.
Overall a weak Raw with an even weaker build for Battleground. If I had to make a wager on this, I would go with a terrible buy rate buys for this PPV. As Jason said on Thursday, I think we will find out who orders these PPVs simply out of habit when the numbers come out. I will have more later tonight with the All Access audio and tomorrow with the Raw Hitlist. Thanks for watching along tonight.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
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