11/4 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: C.M. Punk, John Cena, The Wyatt Family, Big Show, and a bunch of other stuff WWE didn't bother to advertise
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members will be listening to my WWE Raw audio review later tonight. They are currently listening to the loaded, two-hour Dot Net Weekly audio show that Chris Shore and I recorded on Thursday. 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 Greenville, South Carolina at Bon Secours Wellness Arena
[Q1] Michael Cole welcomed viewers to WWE Raw, then C.M. Punk's entrance music played. Cole was joined on commentary by JBL and Jerry Lawler. Cole narrated footage of the Wyatt Family attacking Punk on last week's show. The Wyatt Family music played and they made their way to the ring...
Powell's POV: Apparently, no one bothered to tell the ring crew that it's November. They still have the pink rope for breast cancer awareness month.
1. C.M. Punk vs. Luke Harper (w/Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan). Wyatt took his usual seat in the rocking chair at ringside and Rowan stood behind him. Harper got off to the fast start, but Punk came back and caught him with a suicide dive. Rowan walked toward Punk as they headed to break. [C]
After the break, Harper was back in control. Punk came back and went up to the top rope, then opted to dive onto Rowan on the floor. Punk kicked Harper and went for a springboard move only to take a big boot to the face. Harper went for his clothesline finisher, but Punk ducked it and rolled him up for the win...
C.M. Punk defeated Luke Harper in 11:10.
[Q2] After the match, Rowan attacked Punk from behind. Rowan and Harper beat on Punk as Wyatt made his way into the ring. The live crowd chanted "yes" in anticipation of Daniel Bryan making the save. Sure enough, Bryan, with his hair slicked back in a ponytail, ran out with his right arm heavily taped up. Punk and Bryan cleared the ring and the live crowd roared. Wyatt held back his men at ringside...
Powell's POV: A good opening segment that gave the live crowd what they wanted with Bryan making the save. It will be interesting to see whether they go with a tag match or if they add more people to the mix and make it a traditional Survivor Series match.
Cole set up footage of Triple H announcing in a sit-down interview that Big Show is banned from WWE for life.
Powell's POV: And he also said he couldn't use the Big Show name anymore. WWE isn't doing a great job of covering their bases, as Show remains advertised prominently for the European tour.
The announcers announced a poll to determine Randy Orton's opponent. The options are Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston, and The Miz... Lawler hyped John Cena, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust vs. Damien Sandow and The Real Americans in a six-man tag match... [C] An ad for Smackdown focussed on John Cena...
Powell's POV: I'm happy to see the Smackdown six-man tag main event rematch. I had a technical issue with the DVR and missed out on the show this week. And by "technical issue," I mean I accidentally deleted the show from my DVR. Stupid thumb.
The broadcast team recapped the opening match... Backstage, Renee Young interviewed C.M. Punk, who said he's used to being outnumbered because he's been dealing with Paul Heyman and his goons. "What I didn't realize, what I don't think anybody realized is that I am not the only one who has an issue with the Wyatts," Punk said...
Powell's POV: Something tells me the fans who were chanting "yes" were pretty aware of Bryan's issues with the Wyatt Family.
The broadcast team conducted a phone interview with Paul Heyman, who said he is in Europe seeing specialists seeking alternative treatment for the injuries he suffered at Hell in a Cell. He said he is traveling with his physician Dr. Evron of Tel Aviv. He ran through a long list of injuries that included spinal damage and a nasal fracture.
Heyman laid it on thick by talking about how Punk beat up the father of two small children. He said what Punk did to him is inexcusable. He sobbed as he said Punk and the entire WWE Universe owes him an apology. Cole asked Heyman if he was crying. He sobbed a bit more and then hung up...
Ryback made his entrance. Footage aired of Ryback hazing Hornswoggle in catering. Santino Marella showed up and told him to pick on someone his own size, then pointed to Great Khali, who was standing behind him. "I plan on it, freak," Ryback replied. Cole said Ryback would face Khali after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Richie Incognito's favorite wrestler continues to do the bulk of his bullying in catering. The WWE physician should check to see if a food allergy could be causing his mood issues in catering.
[Q3] 2. Ryback vs. The Great Khali (w/Hornswoggle, Santino Marella). Ryback got the win with the Meathook clothesline. After the match, Ryback whipped Santino into the guardrail...
Ryback defeated The Great Khali in 2:30.
Highlights aired from Raw of Big Show costing Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns the WWE Tag Team Championship... Kofi Kingston made his entrance for a match... [C]
3. Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston. Del Rio dominated the early offense with Kingston working in a couple of hope spots.
[Q4] Kingston avoided a kick in the corner and then Kingston got a near fall. Kofi followed up with a cross body block off the top rope for another two count. Del Rio came back with the Cross Arm Breaker. Kingston went after Del Rio's hands and tried to break it, but ended up tapping out...
Alberto Del Rio defeated Kofi Kingston in 6:45.
Powell's POV: As much as I think WWE should be pushing Kofi Kingston, I don't think it was wise to give him much offense here if Del Rio is getting a rematch with John Cena at Survivor Series. Fans already have a hard enough time believing that Del Rio is a threat to Cena, and having him work what turned out to be a fairly competitive match with Kingston isn't going to help that matter even though Del Rio got the win.
A video package focussed on Big Show's issues with The Authority and the lawsuit that he filed against them. It showed footage of Triple H and Stephanie forcing Show to do things against his will and showed key legal phrases in graphic form. It concluded with a graphic that read, "Big Show (plaintiff) vs. WWE (defendants). Cole and Lawler agreed that Show has a good case...
The announcers spoke about the poll to determine which wrestler will face Dolph Ziggler. Cole's notepad was shown and he gave viewers a look at the second screen appearance. He talked about all the things he likes about the WWE app... [C]
Powell's POV: Is the Randy Orton poll the company's way of testing to see whether their misuse of Dolph Ziggler is paying off in the form of a smaller number of votes compared to the last time he won a poll to earn the right to face Orton?
The broadcast team spoke about David Ortiz wearing a WWE Championship belt during the World Series celebration...
Randy Orton made his entrance. Jerry Lawler stood up to read the poll results. Orton interrupted him and said he wanted a minute with the people. Orton mocked the idea of the fans having a choice. He said they have absolutely nothing. He told them to look to their left and right.
[Q5] Orton said the fans see a girlfriend, wife, or mother and they are all fantasizing about him. He said the men in the crowd will never amount to being even half the man he is. Orton said the only thing the people voted for was determining who would be The Viper's next victim. Lawler announced the winner of the poll was Big E Langston with 75 percent, while Miz got 13 percent, and Dolph Ziggler got 12 percent...
Powell's POV: 12 percent? Mission accomplished, WWE.
4. World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Big E Langston in a non-title match. Langston delivered a shoulder block that knocked Orton off the ring apron heading into the break. [C] After the break, Langston missed a shoulder block and went through the ropes and tumbled to ringside.
Langston came back with a big splash on Orton for a two count. Orton came back with a backbreaker, then ran Langston through the ropes and shoulder first into the ring post. Orton followed up with the hanging DDT. "What do you call this, Michael?" JBL asked. Cole paused and replied, "A DDT." JBL then said, "Vintage Orton." Stay hot, Cole.
Orton struck the Viper's Pose. He went for the RKO, but Langston pushed him away and caught him with a clothesline. Langston played to the crowd and got a decent response, then set up Orton for The Big Ending. However, Orton slipped away and hit the RKO for the win...
Randy Orton defeated Big E Langston in a non-title match in 12:05.
Powell's POV: A good showing for Langston despite losing the match. Most of the live crowd didn't seem to think he had a real chance to win the match based on their lack of enthusiasm for his big spots. There were fans into the match and all, but it just didn't seem like they really thought Langston was going to win. I'm not sure whether Langston gained enough in defeat to justify having him lose while they are trying to build him up.
[Q6] Footage aired of Triple H talking about the Big Show lawsuit during his last interview with Michael Cole. The footage once again showed Hunter saying Show is banned from WWE for life... At ringside, JBL set up footage of Big Show knocking out Brad Maddox
Powell's POV: I won't give two shits about a storyline lawsuit unless Rusty The Bailiff shows up. It would be really impressive if WWE could pull that one off since Rusty died over a decade ago.
The latest WWE video game fan vote led to footage of John Cena vs. The Rock airing...
Powell's POV: WWE 2K14 voters, was it everything you thought it would be and more?
Fandango and Summer Rae made their entrance for a mixed tag match... [C]
5. Fandango and Summer Rae vs. Tyson Kidd and Natalya. Cole hyped the return of Total Divas for Sunday night on E!. Footage was shown of Tyson and Natalya getting married on Total Divas. Cole said the drama leading up to the wedding was great and he's sure the drama will be great once Total Divas returns.
Kidd had a nice offensive run on Fandango. Summer distracted him and Fandango recovered and tripped him up on the ring apron. Fandango went for the top rope leg drop, but Kid avoided it and put him in the Sharpshooter for the win...
Tyson Kidd and Natalya defeated Fandango and Summer Rae in 3:40.
Powell's POV: Cole is so half-assed and insincere with his promotional hype. It's a real turnoff when the play-by-play guy feels like he's going through the motions and/or reading copy. Meanwhile, it was good to see Kidd back on Raw. I'm not sure the public marriage thing does him any favors, but hopefully WWE will do something with him going forward.
[Q7] Footage aired of Damien Sandow cashing in his Money in the Bank contract and coming up short in his match against John Cena...
Renee Young interviewed Sandow in the backstage area. Sandow said that when a man is stripped of everything, he has to look at himself. He said he saw a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Zeb Colter and The Real Americans walked into the picture and spoke about it being an opportunity for the trio to beat the World Hvt. Champion and the WWE Tag Team Champions. Colter led his men in saying We The People. Sandow said, "Me, the uncrowned World Champion"... [C]
John Cena headed to the ring for a promo. He spoke about the Susan G. Komen Foundation. He said they raise funds for a cause he believes in, the cause of life. He said the pink gear will be available for purchase all year so they can continue the fight. He thanked the wrestlers for wearing pink along with him. He thanked the fans for joining him in the fight for life.
Cena introduced breast cancer survivors and their families who were in the building. "They are the true champions," Cena said. He thanked the families for joining them and said the best way he can thank them is to get his partners out there so they can do what they do best. Cody and Goldust made their entrance for the six-man tag match... [C]
[Q8] An ad for WWE Main Event hyped Curtis Axel vs. Big E Langston as the featured match...
6. John Cena, Goldust, and Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow, Jack Swagger, and Antonio Cesaro (w/Zeb Colter). Alberto Del Rio and Colter sat in on commentary. Colter said it's not fair that Cena returned from an injury and was handed a title match. At 6:15, Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment on Sandow, who slipped away and rolled to ringside. [C]
Powell's POV: As much as I get a kick out of Colter on commentary, did they really need two guest commentators during a match that featured the World Heavyweight Champion and the WWE Tag Champions?
[Q9] There was an awkward spot where Swagger was supposed to slip away from Cena, but instead ended up being dumped on his face. Cena took a beating from the heels and eventually made the hot tag to Goldust. Cody hit Swagger with the Beatiful Disaster kick, then Cena gave him the Attitude Adjustment. The four illegal men ended up at ringside.
Cesaro performed the Cesaro Swing on Goldust. Moments later, Cena dodged a charging Cesaro on the floor, causing him to run into Colter. Back inside the ring, Cody performed a moonsault on Sandow, and Cena hit a Cross Body Block off the top rope on Cesaro. Goldust followed up with the Final Cut on Cesaro and got the pin for his team. Del Rio stood up and glared at the babyfaces...
John Cena, Goldust, and Cody Rhodes defeated Damien Sandow and The Real Americans in 18:45.
Powell's POV: A good, crowd pleasing match with some really good rapid fire high spots at the end. I don't think Del Rio clowning around and talking about gringos and then glaring at Cena afterward makes anyone look at him differently, but at least the match was entertaining. My only concern coming out of the match is that I don't think they really know where to go with Sandow coming off his impressive match against Cena.
More footage aired of Big Show being humiliated by The Authority...
Powell's POV: The lawsuit is a storyline that only Jonathan Martin could love. Look him up, overseas readers.
Footage aired of Big Show entering the building and being greeted by The Prime Time Players, Zack Ryder, and R-Truth...
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero told Triple H that Big Show was in the building. Hunter questioned how he got into the building. Stephanie McMahon entered the room and said she let him in the building. She said the board of directors demanded it. She said the board doesn't want to take any risks with the lawsuit. Hunter got upset and said he banned him for life. Steph said it isn't about them, it's about WWE.
"We just can't afford to take any risks, specifically as it relates to personal business," she said. Hunter mockingly said the McMahon personal business comes into play again. "You know, you've never had any problem taking McMahon family money," Steph replied. She said the board is demanding that they settle with Big Show without any attorneys involved. She said she had to invite Show and apologized for not being able to call him. Hunter sent Vickie to get Big Show...
Powell's POV: Let me guess, the settlement will include an ironclad contract for Big Show? Sigh.
[Q10] The top five in the WWE Twitter count graphic was shown...
7. Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel vs. Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match. Ziggler got off to a fast start, but Axel dodged him in the corner and then pulled him down off the second rope, and Ziggler took an impressive back bump from there. Latein the match, Ziggler hit the Fameasser and only got a two count. He came back a short time later with the Zig Zag for the win...
Dolph Ziggler beat Curtis Axel in a non-title match in 4:55.
Powell's POV: The broadcast team had the benefit of knowing that Ziggler was going to beat the Intercontinental Champion in a non-title match, yet they spent most of the match rehashing Paul Heyman's fictional injuries rather than playing up the in-ring action.
Footage aired from earlier in the show of Punk and Bryan clearing the Wyatt Family from the ring...
Backstage, Renee Young went into Stalker mode by popping up out of nowhere and asking Daniel Bryan about the Wyatt Family. He said he saw an opportunity for payback and he took it. "And it looks like there's someone else who has an issue with the Wyatt Family," Bryan said...
The Uso Brothers made their entrance... [C]
Powell's POV: I keep waiting for Jey Uso to yell, "Listen all y'all it's a sabotage" before they got to he part where they their name.
[Q11] Backstage, Triple H told Stephanie that if they write a big enough check the lawsuit will go away. Vickie entered the room and said Big Show is willing to meet them, but not inside their office. Steph told Vickie to tell Big Show to be a man. "Actually, he wants to meet you in the ring," Vickie said. The crowd roared. Hunter said Show wants witnesses. Lawler said Show will have more witnesses than Jehovah...
Powell's POV: Apparently, the worldwide television audience are not credible witnesses, but the good people of South Carolina are.
8. The Uso Brothers vs. Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater (w/Jinder Mahal). Slater leapt into a superkick, then took a top rope splash...
The Uso Brothers beat Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater in 2:45.
Powell's POV: Okay, so I got the match description from the replay. Quite frankly, one of my dogs chewing on her bone somehow stole my attention from what was surely an 18-star classic. This show sucks.
Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Los Matadores. First, a highlight package was shown. El Torito showed up and ran around. Fernando said El Torito was a bit horny. Nacho Barrera or whatever the hell the other guy's name is said Fernando meant that Torito might horn her in the knees...
The Bella Twins and Eva Marie made their entrance... [C] An ad for Total Divas aired...
Highlights aired from last week's Raw of Kane giving Stephanie McMahon his mask and wig...
Powell's POV: Stop what you are doing and tell your significant other that the monster is his/hers to unleash.
9. The Bella Twins and Eva Marie vs. A.J. Lee, Tamina, and Aksana. Late in the match, Tamina missed a top rope splash. Eva tagged herself into the match and rolled up Tamina for the win. Cole played up that it was Eva's first win in WWE...
The Bella Twins and Eva Marie beat A.J. Lee, Tamina, and Aksana in 3:15.
Powell's POV: Eva's Total Divas character showed no redeeming qualities, yet they turned her babyface on Raw because the Bella Twins turned babyface. I'm confused. I'm even more confused by badass Tamina being pinned. Hopefully it's a setup for her to destroy Eva.
[Q12] A shot aired of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon walking backstage... [C] Cole announced Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper for Friday's Smackdown television show...
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon entered to the "King of Kings" theme song. The broadcast team stopped dicking around and got serious for a change as they attempted to sell the lawsuit storyline. Hunter took the mic and said Show wanted to waste everyone's time and make it all about him again. He called him out to "get this over with."
Big Show's music played and he came out smiling and dressed in a suit. Stephanie asked Show what he wants for a settlement. He told her he wants a broom so she can hop on and fly back to Connecticut. Hunter said that if Show wants to trade sophomore barbs then he can hang with the best of them. Hunter asked Show how big the check has to be for him to sell his dignity.
Show said it's not about money. He said he doesn't have any money problems because he doesn't have any money. Show said he simply wants his job back. Hunter got worked up and was about to tell him where he could stick his job when Stephanie intervened. Stephanie told him he has his job back.
"Hey, I got my job back," Show said. Big Show then led the crowd in a "yes" chant. He said it feels good to have his job back. He said there's just "one more little thing." Show said that in order to make the world's largest athlete go away, the world's largest athlete deserves the world's largest bonus.
Show said it's not about the money because he's not worried about it. He said it's about something he's never had before. Show said he's been with the company for 18 years and he's never been the face of WWE. Steph asked him if he's looked in the mirror lately. She started getting worked up and then Hunter pulled her back. The Shield's music hit and they made their way through the crowd. Show asked if it was a trick. "Do you realize what's at stake?" he asked. [C]
[Overrun] After the break, Hunter mockingly said he was sorry and then noted that Show was about to ask him for something. Show said Hunter is going to give him a WWE Championship match at Survivor Series. Hunter told him he's lucky to have his job back and he better leave the ring before he leaves him in a puddle of his own blood. Show got in his face and asked him if that was his final answer. "Absolutely," Hunter said sternly.
Show left the ring and said his attorneys would be in touch. Hunter called out for him to wait. "You've got your match at Survivor Series," Hunter mumbled. Show made him repeat it. Hunter did clearly. Show walked back to the ring and pretended again like he couldn't hear what Hunter said. Triple H repeated himself.
Show asked the fans if they heard what Triple H said. He got back inside the ring and got in Triple H's face. "How about you try one more time in a clear, coherent voice," Show said. Triple H responded, "You have your job back, you have a WWE Championship match at Survivor Series against Randy Orton."
Show laughed and broke into Sheamus mode. "Now see, that wasn't so hard now, was it, fella?" he said. Show asked Hunter if he wanted to shake on it. Hunter said that now that Show works for him again, he's going to put him in a handicap match. Hunter said Show would face The Shield and Randy Orton. Randy made his entrance...
10. Big Show vs. Randy Orton and The Shield in a handicap match. Show removed his jacket and unbuttoned his shirt. All four heels were in the ring together to start the match. Show held his own until he took a spear from Roman Reigns. The Shield set him up for a Triple Powerbomb, but Show fought his way out of it.
Show was about to get his hands on Orton when he was attacked from behind again. Show once again fought off The Shield. He removed what was left of his shirt as Orton backed into the corner. Kane's music played and he came out dressed in a suit and tie. Orton tried to RKO a surprised Show, but Show shoved him away.
The Shield returned and got the better of Show. Orton waited for Show to get up and then put him down with the RKO. Kane tossed chairs into the ring. The heels struck Show with repeated chairshots, then dragged him to the floor at ringside where Kane was busy clearing off the announcers' table.
Reigns picked up the steel steps and rammed them into Show's head. The Shield teamed up and performed a Triple Powerbomb that drove Show through the announcers' table while Orton, Kane, Stephanie, and Hunter watched. Orton stood over Show with the WWE Championship as his music played to close the show...
Powell's POV: If the goal of the show was to leave me feeling totally apathetic to the WWE product then mission accomplished. The new suit wearing Kane character was mildly intriguing, but I can't get over how dull the show was. They barely kicked in the Survivor Series hype so hopefully things will improve next week once that really begins, but I can't get excited about Show challenging Orton for the WWE Championship regardless of how many wrestlers he borrows lines from.
Overall, this was one of those shows that just couldn't end quickly enough. I felt like it was never going to end. The Show settlement was idiotic and the beatdown that followed was ridiculous. He agreed to terms and then got beat up. Wouldn't you get that in writing before you go for the gang style attack? There are so many logic holes in this single storyline that I am embarrassed for WWE. Believe me, I will have a lot more to say about this show in Dot Net Members' audio.
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