Mark Henry got injured at a house show over the weekend, which does not bode well for any championship hopes WWE may have planned to bestow on him before hanging up the boots for good. Henry is a tough gut and will come back, but this is yet another straw on the camel’s back, just playing a waiting game until said back finally breaks.
Continuing his newfound corporate power, Triple H again angers fans by putting Daniel Bryan up against Big Show and putting the recently-turned fan favorite Cody Rhodes in a potential career-ending match against the current Corporate-chosen Champion, Randy Orton. Triple H compares the rationale for Doink the Clown never being WWE Champion as to why Daniel Bryan will never be WWE Champion. Triple H suggests bringing back the European or Cruiserweight Championship. Bryan talks about how he had to scrape and claw his way to get into WWE, while Orton was handed everything. Funny thing is, there is a reality to these truths.
In a form of acknowledging WWE is recycling the ol’ Corporation gimmick, WWE.com posted an interview with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin about his time pitted against a power-hungry Vince McMahon. Nothing exciting but a fun trip down memory lane.
Back to RAW, with Bryan, Miz, Big Show, and Dolph Ziggler, already having targets painted on their backs, now joined by Cody Rhodes. It certainly looks like Survivor Series will shape up, with Triple H and his corporation against Daniel Bryan and his underdogs.
Miz defeated Fandango
A feud which is pretty damn funny to watch turned graphic as Miz clearly crushed the nose of the resident dancing man, stopping the match for a few moments. Giving credit where due, Fandango finished the match, tapping to the Figure Four leglock. I see a protective face-mask gimmick in the near-future, similarly to when Rhodes broke his face about two years ago.
Ryback defeats Dolph Ziggler
Originally we are told Ziggy gets a mystery opponent, resulting in the Show-Off being mauled by Dean Ambrose, only for us to find out Ambrose is not his opponent. Out comes Ryback who eats what is left.
Stephanie McMahon confronts The Big Show
If you wondered how “iron-clad” a contract was held by the Show, wonder no more as somehow Stephanie reveals the contract essentially stipulates Triple H owning him, and thus also controls his income. Apparently Big Show does not have any money due to some bad investments, and if he does not do what is ordered, well, income no more and the Show is stolen property.
Shocking comments from Steph, saying how “giants” don’t live as long as normal people, so he should think about his family being taken care of. Wow, that was harsh.
If you did not notice by now, the new corporate regime is asserting itself as the show-runner, with those dissatisfied at their way of “doing business” recipients of a corporate beat-down. Entertaining, yes?
Remember a few years ago when the WWE Roster walked out on Triple H when he was newly appointed as COO? Wonder why they haven’t thought to do that again?
Prime Time Players squash 3MB
3MB really should watch some tapes from the early 90’s. See jobbers who are better than they could ever be. Titus and Young look great, with Young taking a sick turnbuckle bump during the match. Titus owns the match, throwing one over his head with a fallaway slam, just without the fallaway part. Wow. Titus ends the match, pinning one of the losers with the sit-out Powerbomb called Clash of the Titus.
Backstage: Triple H tells Heyman he looks forward to Punk beating him up at Night of Champions. Interesting.
Creepy Wyatt promo: Where’s Kane?
Randy Orton defeated Cody Rhodes
If anyone ever doubted the main event potential for Cody Rhodes, this match would erase it all. I was damn shocked as to how well Orton kept pace with him. I will not lie, when Rhodes dodged the RKO and hit Cross-Rhodes, I jumped to my feet. The match was epic, Rhodes putting on what might have been the best match of his career, even better than his performances in Money in the Bank and his one-on-ones with Damien Sandow.
It was revealed earlier in the night Rhodes is getting married soon, so it is likely this is a way of writing him off television for awhile… unless he follows in the steps of Ted Dibiase Jr., who recently went public about not renewing his WWE contract in order to be a better family man.
CM Punk cuts another great promo. Wielding a kendo stick and teasing a “biblical ass-beating” which awaits Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman at Night of Champions. He is in a dark place, and he wouldn’t even want to face himself right now. He says anyone who watches Night of Champions might get uncomfortable with what he does to Heyman.
It is WWE after all, so I don’t know what Punk will be allowed to do, unless he throws him in a meat-grinder. That could become cringe-worthy.
Biblical ass-beating. I don’t recall those words written in the Torah. I’ll have to check again.
A few promos for Los Matadores. Poor Colons. Having to raid Tito Santana’s 90’s wardrobe closet.
Big Show and Daniel Bryan talk backstage: Show pleading to Bryan he is in a no-win situation, while Bryan tells the giant he has to beat the big man to send a message to Orton and The Game. Show, is not happy.
Diva’s Triple Threat match goes to a no-contest
Natalya, Naomi and one of the Bellas had a match, but AJ interfered. Everyone beat up AJ.
Rob Van Dam pins Damien Sandow
Ricardo announces RVD, which is sort of odd, but somehow it works. The pairing seems random, but it makes sense given the angle. Great match, even though Sandow does the job. Alberto del Rio comes out to try and throw Mr. Highlight Reel off his game, put the plan does nothing. RVD crushes his opponent with a huge Five Star Frog Splash, sending a message to the World Champion.
One has to wonder if this is all a big setup. Maybe Ricardo is still in league with Del Rio, and all this is a plot to double-cross RVD.
Backstage: Stephanie decrees since AJ interrupted the match, she will now have to defend the Diva Title against all three of them, in a Fatal-Four Way match at Night of Champions.
Backstage: Josh Matthews is a tool while interviewing Cody Rhodes. Interesting comments, Rhodes claiming this is the McMahons continuing their battle against the Rhodes family, beginning with putting his former NWA Champion, father Dusty in polka dots, and putting Dustin “The Natural” in gold paint and screwing him up with an absurd gimmick.
If Cody comes back in a month with Dusty and Dustin in tow, this might be the greatest Corporate feud ever.
Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show ends in a No Contest
Triple H orders the entire roster out to the stage to watch. Show does not want to fight, and tries to convince Bryan not to do this. Show repeats over and over he does not want to hurt him. Bryan is not convinced and starts his barrage of kicks and strike, but Show overpowers the former Ring of Honor champion. Bryan rallies back, and again Show claims he is being forced to do this and does not want to hurt him. Show levels Bryan with a spear, but instead of hitting the WMD Punch, he steps out onto the ring apron. Triple H comes out with The Shield to force Show back, but he turns away. Shield members begin to assault Bryan, and Show rushes back in to make the save. Triple H warns the big man not to interfere or face consequences. Shield then Triple Powerbombs Bryan. The COO then orders Show to hit Bryan with the WMD Punch. Big Show leaves the ring in refusal, but is met by Stephanie McMahon, who tells Show he has to think about his family. Show, crying, should get an Oscar for his performance, returns to the ring, and does the dirty deed. We close the show with Randy Orton standing over Daniel Bryan.
This episode of RAW is squarely focused on Triple H and Stephanie abusing their power and running amok of the WWE roster. Controlling Big Show, firing Rhodes, having Ziggler and Bryan senselessly beaten up, it is clear this will lead to something big down the road. I see Night of Champions serving more of a shift to the direction of the angle, and I expect some major events unfolding by Survivor Series.