Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: Edge trades insults with Triple H, Goldust returns to face Randy Orton, Paul Heyman tries to worm out of the handicap match, Bray Wyatt vs. Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose
By Jason Powell
Chris Shore's audio review of WWE Raw is available on the main page as an All Access. Dot Net Members are listening to my 60-minute Q&A audio show, and will be listening to our exclusive WWE Night of Champions audio review on Sunday night. If you enjoy our All Access audio, help support Dot Net by signing up for membership to the ad-free version of the website via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
WWE Raw Hits
Opening segment with Edge: The Toronto crowd gave Edge the same special treatment that Washington Redskins fans gave Robert Griffin III in his return from knee surgery on Monday Night Football. The back and forth insult exchange between Edge and Triple H was very well done, and they made good use of the concussed Christian via the phantom attack.
Randy Orton vs. Goldust: A very good main event with strong storyline support. I liked the idea of all the video packages on Goldust, but I could have done without the silly comedy bits simply because that's not the mood they were going for here with Goldust trying to get his brother's job back. I've said on and off for a long time that I would love to see the full-time return of the serious Goldust character. Here's hoping the performance he and Orton delivered will lead to that happening. I realize WWE is in the midst of a youth movement, but surely there has to be a spot for a popular veteran who worked hard to get clean and in shape. As good as Goldy was, Orton showed once again why he's an elite in-ring performer. I assumed from the start that Orton was going over, but you couldn't help but get into the great near falls down the stretch.
Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose: Another quality main event with Bryan facing a member of The Shield. Big Show's involvement this week was pretty pointless. Hunter told him that he couldn't touch any member of The Shield, but I thought he might find the hole in his line by attacking Randy Orton afterward since Hunter never mentioned him. I guess we need to look for something involving Big Show on Sunday since they continue to include him in this storyline even though he isn't even advertised for the pay-per-view on Sunday.
Paul Heyman fakes a knee injury: A good throwback bit with the cowardly heel trying desperately to weasel his way out of the match. Punk's obsession with getting his hands on Heyman, and Heyman's growing fear of Punk getting to him has been more effective than all of the other Night of Champions storylines.
Bray Wyatt vs. Dolph Ziggler: I question the logic of WWE just throwing this match out there without any buildup, but I did enjoy the first meaningful Wyatt win. Ziggler didn't lose anything because he was distracted by Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. However, I can't really remember the last time Dolph really gained anything either. What happened to his program with Dean Ambrose? Will it be added at tonight's TV taping? Speaking of which, we're still in need of an Ottawa correspondent. If you're going to the show and want to help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro: How could they? Don't they know how great Cesaro is? Go ahead, get it out of your system. Now take a deep breath and accept that this was Santino's return in front of his hometown crowd. The underutilization of Cesaro is frustrating, but it was logical to have Santino get the feel good win.
WWE Raw Misses
Go-Home Show: There were plenty of entertaining individual segments (along with some filler), but this show did very little to get me excited about the Night of Champions pay-per-view. The build for the handicap match has been good, but everything else is lacking. The main event should be a hell of a match, yet it's flawed going in because the viewers haven't been given any reason to believe the McMahons won't just screw Daniel Bryan out of the WWE Championship again. I'm sure the talent will hold up their end of the bargain on Sunday, but this feels like a missable pay-per-view.
Big Show storyline gap: WWE responded to critics who found the obvious storyline gap regarding Show's ironclad contract by saying that he could actually be fired if refused to take matches. Then they turned around and had Hunter tell him he would be fired if he touched any member of The Shield last night. Which is it? Is a little storyline consistency too much to ask for? I know Vince McMahon likes to think that the fans don't remember things like this. My email in-box and Twitter page assure you that they do.
Rob Van Dam vs. Ryback: A lousy match with an embarrassing finish. Ryback was supposed to crotch RVD on the ring post for the DQ, but RVD blocked it with his leg, only to have the referee call for the bell anyway. These two showed zero in-ring chemistry. That said, the RVD leap off the top and crash into the guardrail was a cool spot, yet for some reason it drew a loud one-man, obnoxious "Goldberg" chant. Seriously, people, let it go.
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