10/28 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: New World Heavyweight Champion John Cena opens the show, Randy Orton's WWE Championship celebration, Hell in a Cell fallout
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to the 48-minute audio review of WWE Hell in a Cell that I recorded last night, and the 48-minute Q&A audio show that I recorded earlier today. They will also be listening to my WWE Raw audio review later tonight. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live from Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
[Q1] Raw opened with still shot photos from Hell in a Cell... Michael Cole introduced the show and hyped that Shawn Michaels would explain why he cost Daniel Bryan the WWE Championship. Jerry Lawler hyped Randy Orton's WWE Championship celebration. Cole pimped a poll that gave fans the ability to pick whether Ryback vs. C.M. Punk would be a street fight, falls count anywhere, or tables match...
Justin Roberts introduced John Cena as the new World Heavyweight Champion. Cena looked into the camera and said he gained a little weight in reference to the World Heavyweight Championship. Cole noted that Cena proved his critics, including JBL, wrong. JBL said it was the first time in his life that he was wrong and labeled Cena's win one of the most incredible things he's ever seen.
There were some boos when Cena stood in the ring with the mic. He said he's used to that sound. "You all know what that means, I'm back," he said. He asked if the fans missed him and received more cheers than boos. A "Yes!" chant broke out. Cena said he's never seen so many hands waving in different directions in his life. He said it looked like synchronized swimming.
Cena thanked JBL. Cena said he had to listen to JBL state on Raw that he was making a mistake by returning too soon. He thanked him for the motivation. "I just want to say you were wrong and I want you to take a good look because the new World Heavyweight Champ is here," said Cena. Cena said it wasn't for one match, one week, or one month. "I am back on Monday Night Raw."
Cena added that he is back on Smackdown as well. He said the fans in Europe thought they were getting him for a special appearance, but he's going over their on tour to defend the championship. He said he had to check in with the trainer and ice his elbow once in a while, but he is back and is ready to go.
The WWE Championship celebration for Randy Orton was acknowledged by Cena. He said they would be hearing a lot of people talk and so he was going to stop. He said Alberto Del Rio gave him a hell of a match and tried to put him on the shelf. He said he knows Del Rio has a rematch, and told him if you want some, come get some. Cena said the CeNation runs the show.
Damien Sandow's music played and he headed to the ring with the Money in the Bank briefcase in hand. "You think?" Cole asked. Lawler immediately shot it down and said Sandow is smarter than that. "The uncrowned champ is here," Sandow said. He questioned whether a triceps could heal as quickly as Cena's did and accused him of hurting more than he was letting on. He said Cena was afraid that he would cash in on him.
Sandow said he could cash in anytime, any place. "Like right now," Sandow teased. "Then again, any night but tonight." Sandow started to walk past Cena, who shoved his shoulder. Sandow kicked Cena's knee out, then hit his bad arm repeatedly with the MITB briefcase. Sandow wrenched Cena's arm around the ring post. "Rise above this," Sandow yelled before throwing Cena into the barricade on the floor. Sandow ran Cena into the ring steps.
Sandow took the ring steps apart and placed Cena's arm over it. He grabbed a chair and slammed it down on Cena's bad arm. "My time is now," Sandow said. Sandow called for a referee. Roberts announced that Sandow was cashing in his MITB contract. [C]
Powell's POV: A strong opening segment. Cena delivered a good return promo that rallied his fans, and then he sold really well for the Sandow attack. Sandow looked really ruthless while working over Cena's bad arm. Viewers may see him in a new light if they don't screw it up by having Cena plow through him after the break.
[Q2] 1. John Cena vs. Damien Sandow for the World Heavyweight Championship. Sandow continued to attack Cena's injured arm. Cena came back with a belly-to-belly suplex at 1:30. Cole stressed that Sandow had cashed in his MITB contract and the title was on the line. Sandow went back to working over the arm. Cena backdropped Sandow heading into the break. [C]
Cena and Sandow traded blows coming out of the break. Cena got the better of it and slammed Sandow, then set up for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Sandow reached up and grabbed his arm and went right back to work on it. The announcers played up the decision of whether to allow Cena to continue falls on Dr. Sampson at ringside.
Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Sandow out of nowhere. Sandow rolled to the floor. Sampson stood up and checked on Cena, who then got Sandow back inside the ring and tried to apply the STF, but he couldn't use his bad arm. Sandow came back with his "You're Welcome" finisher, but Cena kicked out at two.
Cena came back with a neckbreaker of his own for a two count. Sandow applied the STF on Cena and wrenched back. Cena escaped the hold and went for the same move, but Sandow avoided it. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Sandow avoided it and hit "You're Welcome" again and got a near fall that fans were counting along with.
[Q3] Sandow placed Cena on the top rope as a "this is awesome" chant broke out. Cena headbutted Sandow off the ropes, then missed a cross body block off the top rope. Cena came up holding his knee, which the announcers played up. Sandow set up for a piledriver, but Cena slipped out and performed the Attitude Adjustment for the win...
John Cena defeated Damien Sandow to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in 13:15.
Powell's POV: An excellent match with great drama for Sandow's near falls. This was much better than the Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio match at Hell in a Cell. It was a very high energy opening half-hour of Raw. It's a shame that Sandow no longer has the MITB contract, but this was not a case of Cena steamrolling him. Sandow shined in defeat.
Backstage, The Shield delivered a promo. Dean Ambrose said he was putting his title on the line against Big E Langston. He said he would buy Langston if he was a stock, but he said it was a privilege for Langston just to be in the ring with him. Seth Rollins said they made a mistake in underestimating the potential of Langston, but they have an opportunity to rectify that mistake. He said they are getting back to basics. Roman Reigns delivered the "Believe in The Shield" line...
Cole hyped Ambrose vs. Langston for the U.S. Championship for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: WWE is really coming out guns a blazing for this Raw show. They really need a hot episode to get viewers excited again after the last few pay-per-view events and plenty of disappointing television shows.
2. Dean Ambrose (w/Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns) vs. Big E Langston for the U.S. Championship. Cole noted that Langston needed seven stitches to close the cut below his eye, while Ambrose needed eight stitches to close a cut on his chin from their pay-per-view collision. Cole also questioned whether Ambrose was taking a shot at his allies when he mentioned during the promo that his title was the only one The Shield have left. The match ended when Reigns pulled down the top rope, causing Langston to fall to the floor, leading to the DQ...
Big E Langston defeated Dean Ambrose by DQ in 1:45.
After the match, The Uso Brothers ran out to help Langston. Brad Maddox came out and announced an impromptu six-man tag match... [C]
Powell's POV: The title match finish was weak and the match never even had a chance to get going. They may have been better off doing an angle that set up a six-man tag rather than disappointing viewers with a quick and cheap DQ finish, though it did give the show a hot feel when they announced that they were coming out of the MITB cash-in attempt with another title match.
[Q4] 3. The Shield vs. The Uso Brothers and Big E Langston. The match was joined in progress and The Shield got the better of Jimmy Uso. Cole hyped that the Shawn Michaels segment was coming up next. Jimmy came back with a DDT on Reigns and made the hot tag to his brother Jey while Rollins tagged into the match.
Ambrose broke up a pin attempt, and Langston took him to ringside. Rollins set up for a superplex, but Jey dropped him face first and then followed up with a splash, only to have Rollins put his knees up. Rollins and Reigns set up for a double suplex, but Jimmy Uso caught his brother and they super kicked Rollins. However, Reigns came back with a spear on both Uso Brothers and got the pin for his team...
The Shield defeated The Uso Brothers and Big E Langston.
Powell's POV: A needed win for The Shield following their tag title loss and the loss in the Triple Threat tag title match at the pay-per-view. Now if only we could get some character development from the trio. It will be interesting to see if Ambrose's line about holding the only title they have left goes anywhere. I didn't think anything of it when he said it, but the fact that Cole brought it up says it's worth paying attention to.
The announcers hyped Orton's celebration and HBK's explanation... [C]
Shawn Michaels made his entrance. There were some scattered boos when the music stopped. He said he owed everyone an explanation, and more importantly he owed Daniel Bryan an explanation. Michaels asked Bryan to join him in the ring so he could explain himself. Bryan made his entrance and had a very serious look on his face. "I don't think Bryan is going to be doing any Yes chants tonight," JBL said. Good.
[Q5] HBK said he knows Bryan isn't happy about what happened. He said he didn't intend for that to happen. A "you sold out" chant broke out. HBK said he called the match right down the middle. He stopped to let the "you sold out" chant grow. He said all hell broke loose and then he saw what Bryan did to Triple H.
Shawn said he knows Bryan and the fans aren't going to understand, but Triple H is his best friend and that's never going to change. He said Hunter was always there for him, including during his darkest hours. "And last night he needed me to be there for him and I was," Michaels said. "I'm not asking you to be okay with that or even to understand that, I'm asking you to just accept my apology, shake my hand."
Bryan maintained the serious look and shook his head no. Michaels said he gave Bryan a great foundation, but Bryan took it further than he ever imagined he would. Michaels said he took Bryan to finishing school and gave him his final lesson. HBK said he was humbling himself and being gracious enough to apologize, so the least Bryan could do is show him the respect he has earned and shake his hand.
Bryan shook his head no again. "Let me tell you something you self-righteous little puke, I have been listing to people call you a B-plus player, and I stuck up for you and said he's an A-plus player." Michaels said he doesn't know if Bryan is, but he knows that HBK is and always will be. He said he was giving Bryan a chance to shake his hand and told him to do it.
Bryan shook Shawn's hand, then took him down and applied the Yes! Lock. Michaels tapped. Several referees ran out and pulled Bryan off while JBL said Bryan should be ashamed of himself for attacking a WWE Hall of Famer. The fans chanted "You Sold Out" at Michaels, who was writhing in pain on the mat. Bryan's music played and he headed backstage...
The announcers discussed the HBK and Bryan angle, then plugged Kane's return for later in the show... [C]
Powell's POV: A good segment. I didn't think Michaels would go full on heel, but that was the old cocky HBK character. Shawn was very good, and it was great to see Bryan finally get out of the happy go lucky mode and show the frustration that his fans have been feeling. Here's hoping we've seen the last Yes! chant led by Bryan on television for now. Save that for the house shows, and have him play things seriously on television until the time is right. This will surely increase the speculation of a Bryan vs. HBK match at WrestleMania. I'd love to see it, but I surely won't blame Michaels if he chooses to be the guy who retired and stayed retired.
A graphic listed WWE's top five wrestlers on Twitter in order of their follower count - The Rock, John Cena, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, and C.M. Punk...
Backstage, Renee Young set up to interview Daniel Bryan. She ducked out of the picture, then the Wyatt Family image appeared. After a few seconds of a black screen, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan were shown working over Bryan. Eventually, Bray Wyatt was shown watching the attack. He picked up Bryan and said, "The devil made me do it," and laughed before he performed his finisher into fencing that was backstage. Wyatt rolled a production cart into the fallen Bryan...
Powell's POV: An intriguing development. Is it just a case of WWE moving Bryan into a program with the Wyatt Family, or will the story be that Hunter somehow put Bray and company up to the attack?
Los Matadores and El Torito made their entrance...
[Q6] 4. Los Matadores (w/El Torito) vs. 3MB in a handicap match. 3MB's entrance was actually shown. Heath Slater brought a giant fish net to the ring with him. JBL accused Los Matadores of kidnapping a little person and stuffing him in a bull outfit. Funny.
Slater tried to catch the bull in the net, but Torito went under the ring to avoid him. When Slater looked underneath, he was given the fire extinguisher treatment and gored. Los Matadores got the win moments later. Afterward, Slater ended up in the net and Torito hit him with a move off the top rope...
Los Matadores beat 3MB in a handicap match in 3:40.
Powell's POV: The only entertaining part of the Los Matadores act is listing to JBL rant about El Torito.
WWE thinks you are a moron, so they had Michael Cole give the demonstration of how to download an app, then Lawler encouraged voters to pick the stipulation of the C.M. Punk vs. Ryback match...
The Miz narrated a video about "a lot of pink" and "everyone coming together." Oh, and it was for breast cancer awareness month... [C]
5. The Bella Twins vs. A.J. Lee and Tamina. Cole said Bryan was taken to a "nearby medical facility." He also said the rumor was that Brie was forced to compete in the match. She showed concern and acted distracted as the match started and the heels got the better of her.
Brie tagged out at 2:00 an Nikki got the better of Tamina briefly with some sloppy offense. Tamina caught Nikki diving off the ropes and swung her legs into her sister. Tamina powered Nikki up and performed a Samoan drop.
[Q7] Tamina tagged A.J. into the match and she applied the Black Widow for the win...
A.J. Lee and Tamina defeated The Bella Twins in 3:00.
The announcers hyped Kane vs. The Miz for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: If Brie was so distracted, why didn't Nikki at least start the match if not work the entire match? There were no signs of Nikki acting heelish despite taking the accidental running knee from her sister at the pay-per-view.
6. Kane vs. The Miz. Miz was wincing as he entered the ring, presumably selling the chokeslam at the pay-per-view. He ended up taking another chokeslam from Kane, who got the win...
Kane defeated The Miz in 1:15.
After the match, Kane called out Stephanie McMahon and said he had something to say to her. Stephanie's awful entrance theme played. Steph walked onto the stage and said she thought it was close enough and he could say what he had to say from the ring. Kane told her she's been on a power trip, has been manipulative, and has ruined lives. However, he said it's what's best for business, so the monster is hers to unleash.
Kane left the ring and joined Stephanie on the stage. He removed his mask and hair and handed it to her. Kane walked backstage without showing his face. Stephanie held up the mask and hair and smiled... [C]
Powell's POV: So it's either Kane vs. Daniel Bryan or Kane vs. Big Show. I don't care about the Dr. Shelby silly history between Team Hell No, I have no desire to see either program. It's worth nothing that Kane had a little bit of hair under the mask. We'll see if he keeps it once he shows off whatever his new look is, which may be as simple as him going back to the mostly bald look.
[Q8] The Prime Time Players replaced R-Truth as the pitch men for WWE merchandise this week. It's free shipping night with the code PTP...
The announcers spoke about Big Show announcing he had filed a lawsuit against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Footage aired from the website of David Otunga reading through the lawsuit. Otunga said the lawsuit could potentially cost the McMahons millions and loss of control of the company...
Powell's POV: It's okay. I know where the McMahons can buy another pro wrestling company at a discount rate.
C.M. Punk made his entrance for a promo and said that he slept like a baby for the first time in over three months. Punk said he did what he promised he would do by getting Paul Heyman. Punk said he caned Heyman within an inch of his life and then gave him the GTS. Punk said Heyman is history.
Punk said his focus shifts solely to Ryback. He said he stands no chance against him without Heyman. Punk said he can't wait to see how the people voted. Punk promised to beat up Ryback the way the people want to see him beat up. Lawler hyped the results of the poll for after the break... [C]
The announcers recapped the Daniel Bryan attack by the Wyatt family... Jerry Lawler announced the poll results. Street fight won with 59 percent, falls count anywhere got 26 percent, and tables match got 15 percent...
7. Ryback vs. C.M. Punk in a Street Fight. Ryback came out alone. No Paul Heyman. The Goldberg chants started immediately and were louder than usual, yet faded quickly. The kendo stick returned along with a table that was et up in the ring.
[Q9] Ryback caught Punk jumping off the ropes. Punk slipped away and caught him with a kick. Ryback fell onto the table, and Punk put him through it with a top rope elbow drop. Punk applied the Anaconda Vice and Ryback tapped out...
C.M. Punk defeated Ryback in a Street Fight in 4:00.
Powell's POV: The match woke up the live crowd, as they were behind Punk every step of the way.
As Punk was celebrating afterward, the Wyatt Family entrance played. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan headed to the ring. Punk hit Harper with the kendo stick and was quickly outnumbered by Rowan and Harper as Wyatt watched from his rocking chair. Harper put Punk down with his big boot.
Wyatt headed to the ring. Punk, who had a trickle of blood, was held up by Rowan and Harper. He broke free and headbutted Wyatt, but he was put down quickly by a Harper clothesline. Wyatt performed Sister Abigail on Punk. "The devil made me do it," Wyatt said... [C]
Powell's POV: It's nice to see them move the Wyatts into something meaningful with Punk and Bryan. Of course, there's a chance they are just setting up a Survivor Series match, but I'm hopeful there's more going on with the Wyatt's. Bray keeps saying the devil made him do it. It could be Wyatt rambling, but my guess is that someone is putting them up to these attacks.
Cole narrated footage of the Wyatts attack on Punk, and said Punk was undergoing medical evaluation... Ring entrances for the next match took place. Footage aired of Goldust putting his makeup on via Youtube...
[Q10] 8. WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Real Americans (w/Zeb Colter) in a non-title match. A loud Goldust chant started as the match got underway. The crowd followed up with a "you still got it" chant. Goldust caught Antonio Cesaro with a cool elbow shot off the second rope. Later, Cody performed a missile dropkick and clotheslined Swagger to the floor. [C]
After the break, Swagger and Antonio Cesaro went on an offensive run. Cesaro performed the leapfrog into the double stomp move. Goldust checked in and got the better of Swagger, including a good scoop slam. Later, Goldust performed a cross body block off the top rope. Swagger ended up applying the ankle lock, but Goldust flipped out of it and rolled him up for a two count.
Goldust got caught up in clearing Cesaro from the ring. Swagger clipped his knee from behind, then applied the ankle lock. Goldust tapped out to give The Real Americans the non-title win...
Cole hyped Randy Orton's championship celebration... [C]
The Real Americans defeated Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a non-title match in 12:20.
Powell's POV: It was hard to take The Real Americans seriously following their loss to Los Matadores at the pay-per-view. Obviously, the result of the match addressed that problem. Swagger and Cesaro are a quality team. I don't care if their act meshes with Los Matadores, I hope they keep them apart and give the Real Americans more of an edge.
[Q11] The announcers recapped the John Cena vs. Damien Sandow angle and match...
Powell's POV: There should be more questions about Cena's health status from the announcers considering the beating that Sandow gave his arm. They should be playing up that Cena won the battle, but it's still possible that Sandow won the war.
Alberto Del Rio made his entrance. He said he doesn't care what "that stupid gringo" Sandow did earlier. He said Cena stole his World Hvt. Championship. Del Rio said he's going to get his rematch and he's going to make Cena pay. He got the "What?" treatment from the crowd. He said he was going after the arm and wouldn't stop until he breaks it. Del Rio said the title belongs to him, but the fans already knew that...
Powell's POV: Generic and highly forgettable.
The announcers pimped a WrestleMania dream match for 2K14. The winner was Undertaker vs. Goldberg. Footage aired from the video game of the match...
Frank Ricard's POV: We're going streaking! We're going up to the quad and to the gymnasium.... But everybody's doing it.
Fandango and Summer Rae made their entrance. Summer is up in singles action after the break... [C] An ad for Smackdown hyped John Cena appearing as the new World Heavyweight Champion...
9. Natalya (w/Great Khali, Hornswoggle) vs. Summer Rae (w/Fandango).
[Q8] After a long stretch of Summer offense, Fandango stood on the apron and kissed her. Hornswoggle pulled him down, then Khali chopped him. I guess they don't like PDA's. Natalya applied the Sharpshooter and got the win... [C]
Natalya defeated Summer Rae in 5:15.
Powell's POV: I know I piss and moan about the short length of most Diva matches, but this one really overstayed its welcome. It's hard to take Summer seriously when she's working in the silly dancing spots. I know it's consistent with her character, but she doesn't have the act down quite like Fandango does. If the goal was to bring the crowd down before the main event, they definitely succeeded.
An ad hyped the return of Total Divas for November 10...
Powell's POV: Hey, whatever happened to Eva Marie and JoJo? It's as if they were Tough Enough contestants.
Another generic ad for Smackdown questioned who won the World Hvt. Championship match at Hell in a Cell...
The wrestlers stood on the stage. Hey, Eva Marie is alive after all. The Shield stood guard at ringside for the championship celebration. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon made their entrance and walked through the wrestlers on the stage. Hunter stopped to rub the furry mask of El Torito. Hunter motioned for The Shield to join them in the ring.
Triple H said it was a decade ago that the chairman came to him and asked him who he thought would be the face of WWE in the future. Hunter said he looked at everyone on the roster and he chose one man. He said he put that man in Evolution and mentored him and watched him become a star. Hunter said he watched that star do horrible and heinous things to everyone on the roster, including him and his family.
Hunter said the monster matured and became the A-plus player. He said that A-plus player became the face of WWE inside Hell in a Cell. He said it wasn't some B-plus player, a sawed off little troll who is sitting in a hospital bed. He said the A-plus player fulfilled his prophecy when he became the face of WWE and the WWE Champion.
Triple H introduced Randy Orton, who walked to the ring and shared a group hug with Hunter and Stephanie. Steph said Orton is the face of WWE and represents everyone on the stage, so the should give him the respect he deserves. Orton borrowed a line from C.M. Punk by saying the WWE Championship means he's better than Orton.
[Overrun] Big Show's music hit and he headed to the ring. The Shield stopped him and put the boots to him. The Uso Brothers, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust intervened and took The Shield to the stage. Show got up and entered the ring, causing Triple H, Steph, and Orton to flee to ringside.
Show took the mic and said he knows about the restraining order, but they can't expect him to sit by and let all of this turn his stomach. He said the worst that could happen is they could have him arrested, but he has friends who can pay his bail.
Powell's POV: Those friends could have spared us a lot of crap if they had just borrowed Show some money.
Show said his lawsuit could cost the McMahon's millions. Orton struck Show from behind with the title belt. Show got to his feet and Orton charged at him and ended up eating a knockout punch. Triple H stood on the ring apron and took his jacket off and unbuttoned his shirt, then backed down and joined Stephanie on the floor. The fans chanted "Let's go Big Show."
Big Show's music played and he left the ring. Triple H got in the ring. Orton struggled to get to his feet. Cole said Show embarrassed The Authority and ruined Orton's championship celebration...
Powell's POV: It's nice that the guy who has a restraining order against him can somehow get entrance music. I guess Hunter will have to announce more fake firings during his next interview with Michael Cole to cover that one. The Show and Hunter story isn't doing much for me, but the live crowd was into the Show and Hunter confrontation tease. One of the issues I continue to have with this angle is that the WWE Champion looks like a supporting actor.
Overall, the show started red hot early and faded as it went on. I really liked the Shawn Michaels and Daniel Bryan segment even though I really question whether it will lead to a match, and I also liked seeing The Wyatt Family get the spotlight. There was no sign of Vince McMahon even though he was advertised on the live event page and was rumored to be returning on this show. I will have more to say in tonight's Dot Net Member exclusive audio review, as well as on Tuesday in the WWE Raw Hit List. Thanks for watching along with me.
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