What a visual to end on, no? Maybe I’m in the minority, because I didn’t HATE Battleground, but I thought this was a strong follow-up show to the PPV. Yes it sucks to build to moments on RAW on a pay-per-view, but the pay-off moment in tonight’s show was well worth it.
Let’s get to recapping.
John Cena is Back?!?
First up perhaps the biggest shock of the night. After trying to sweet talk Vickie Guerrero into giving him an easy road to Hell in a Cell, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio felt the wrath of the Cougar when she announced his challenger in 3 weeks would be…John Cena. Wha?! Clearly he’s not human right? John Cena, originally scheduled to be out 4-6 months, confirmed Guerrero’s announcement on twitter that he would be returning in Miami a little over 2 months into his recovery.
I’m vexed. I’m terribly vexed. Where does Cena fit into the current “Best for Business” storyline? Do they work a “Cena rushed back too quick” story by having Del Rio re-injure his arm with the cross arm breaker? Where does this put Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan? So many questions, you can’t say it’s not an interesting development.
In a perfect world, Cena takes the World Championship, works a light schedule to maintain his health, boosts the Smackdown show, and builds towards a unification match with whomever is the WWE Champion at WrestleMania XXX. But this is John Cena we’re talking about here. Love him or hate him, the guy doesn’t take anything light.
The “Principal Owner” of WWE Stephanie McMahon opened Raw to address the Big Show’s actions in the Main Event of Battleground. Long story short, the Big Show refuses to apologize and outs Stephanie as the culprit behind ordering him to take out Daniel Bryan. This sends the Billion Dollar Princess into a rage, smacking, screaming, and firing the World’s Largest Athlete.
But that wouldn’t be the last we’d see of the Big Show tonight, would it?
Stephanie has been knocking it out of the park lately as a heel. Her mocking of Big Show’s “I’m Sorry,” her poking of Show’s chest, slapping and screaming at Show, were all just fantastic. I’m not for violence against women but something about everything she’s doing makes me want to see her eat a knockout punch SO BAD. Putting aside the fact that you may hate the perception of the McMahons the internet has created, she’s a mother of two. The fact that she can evoke those feelings so well, that’s good heeling!
The Punch Heard Round The World
Before we get to the punch, the match that set the table: The Shield gets the win over Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, & Goldust when Seth Rollins pins Daniel Bryan. The pinfall was set up by Randy Orton’s interference/RKO on Bryan AFTER Triple H restarts the match as a No Disqualification contest. I love the current trend of quality WWE Six-Man Tag Team Matches. The Shield and their numerous combinations of opponents never fail to disappoint IMO. Yes, the restart/Orton interference ending was a bit cheap, but The Shield, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, AND Goldust wrestled each other on Free TV, I’ll take it.
After the main event, to the shock of no one, the Big Show stormed the ring making a beeline for the COO, Triple H. Fighting through the Hounds of Justice, the “fired” Big Show would finally get a measure of revenge on Triple H by delivering a knockout shot to the Game. This was a GREAT bit of wrestling television with Triple H cowering behind the Shield, screaming instructions and Big Show finally overcoming the numbers to take out some frustration on his now landlord
My only minor gripe would be having the fired performer come down the ramp to his music. Unless we find out Vince hired him back, it’s a little odd.
HBK is the Special Referee
In the least surprising outcome in an election since Reagan-Mondale in 1984, HBK got a healthy chunk of the WWE Universe vote to be the special Guest Referee for the Hell in the Cell match to decide the vacant WWE Championship between Randall Keith Orton and Daniel Bryan.
While I was not-so secretly pulling for Bob Backlund because it would be such a wildcard to throw into the works and we’d have to change the name of the PPV to Heck in A Cell, the obvious and logical choice is #Shawn. Between HBK’s history with Triple H, his history with training Daniel Bryan, and his past feuds with Orton, it really throws an interesting dynamic into the match. Will HBK side with his best friend and do what’s #BestforBusiness or will he call it right down the middle?
Side note: please never use “shizzle” ever again, Shawn.
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Damien Sandow with the Fameasser. These two work well together and it’s their 2nd consecutive fun bout in as many nights. With Ziggler having not much to do and two pinfalls over the current Mr. Money in the Bank, perhaps he should challenge Sandow to a match for the briefcase. Then, we could get that whole Ziggler as World Champion train back on track.
- Bruno Sammartino was in the house in a App Exclusive segment for his birthday. I get the anger over him not appearing on the main show, word is Triple H invited him last minute as the reasoning. We certainly could have been spared Eva Marie on the big show. However, Sammartino showing up is worth it for this picture alone.
- AJ Lee left the Arena earlier in the day with concussion-like symptoms from her match at Battleground with Brie Bella, canceling a scheduled AJ-Kaitlyn match. I’m going to guess that’s why we got the debut of the Total Divas, Eva Marie and Jojo tonight. I’m not going to be like everyone else and act like Eva was the worst thing ever, she wasn’t. It was just…there. Nattie looked great as usual though. I do hope NXT Divas like Paige get a call-up soon.
- ¡Olé! How great was that Toritocanrana? Heath Slater sold it so great. Shout out to the OMSRB.
- CM Punk & R-Truth defeated the Paul Heyman Guys- Ryback & Curtis Axel when Truth pinned Axel. Still wishing the IC title was more valued…
- Randy Orton defeated Kofi Kingston. Orton has really turned it on lately and is shedding his “boring” label that many pegged him with during his face run. The brawl with Daniel Bryan post-match was really fun as well.
- After being shocked by the Cena news, Del Rio got rolled up by his old employee, Ricardo Rodriguez for a upset win. Then, things went south for Ricardo. Ricardo Rodriguez was 27 years old. I hope El Local avenges his beating at the hands of Del Rio.
- Fandango beat Zach Ryder and all was right with the world. Suck it Shark and Frog.
- Antonio Cesaro took his Cesaro Swing up a notch last night by swinging the biggest and smallest men in WWE in one segment. I love the Swiss Superman.
- When “Live in Fear” hit during MizTV, I thought Christmas had come early. I’m figuratively foaming at the mouth for a Bray Wyatt-Daniel Bryan or Bray Wyatt-CM Punk match down the line.