RAW Recap: 9/16/13 – The American Dream Gets RAW

Bill Bodkin fills in with a stream of conscious live blog report.

 

I love that song, hands down one of my favorite WWE produced them songs.

And it’s fitting that we have “The American Dream” on tonight’s episode RAW, because we’ve got a “Dusty Finish” on our hands there.

What’s a “Dusty Finish” you might ask… “It’s is the nickname given to a specific ending to a wrestling match in which one wrestler appears to have scored a win only to have the decision reversed, often on some small technicality.”

 

And thanks to Triple-H forcing Scott Armstrong to lie and admit he was in cahoots with “The American Dragon” Daniel Bryan, the WWE title is now vacant. (Just a thought, since they fired Scott Armstrong, will his real-life brother, Road Dogg implore his pal HHH to save his job> Now that would be a cool little moment.)

Seriously, can we stop screwing around with Daniel Bryan? The dude cannot be any more over with the crowd and to keep screwing his title victories is going to end up killing his momentum. The WWE is going to shoot themselves in foot and much like Big Dust did to Jim Crockett Promotions with his feud with Ric Flair, a good thing is going to be ruined by overbooking.

I’m on the fence on Triple-H’s new role as Vince McMahon Jr. On the microphone I think he’s probably at the best he’s been in a longtime. He’s a better orator and character as a talking head than as “The Game.” However, he should not be the center of attention, which he certainly is right now. Randy Orton and I can’t believe I’m saying this, can carry this feud without HHH’s constant interference. He’s proven himself more than capabe in the ring with D-Bry and on the stick, he can hold his own. And the heat between these two is off the charts. So, basically, we don’t need this overload of Triple-H. He’s not making this feud, the wrestlers are.

Speaking of this whole McMahon overload, the one aspect of the angle I do like is where they are taking this whole McMahon vs. Rhodes war. First off, having The American Dream come out and cut one his classic “Son of a Plumber” type promos was amazing…if you will. I think this guy can cut a promo better than 90% of the wrestlers today. Then, in the only time I’ve actually enjoyed “The Billion Dollar Princess,” she brilliantly asks Big Dust which son (Dustin/Goldust or Cody) he wants to have employed by WWE. Of course, a father can’t decide this and it absolutely fuels a terrific future program. Cody, Dustin/Goldust and Dusty taking on The Shield in a bunkhouse brawl. Good lord!

 

The Shield’s Dean Ambrose took on Dolph Ziggler in a damn good match. Dean Ambrose is a future champion, no doubt about it. He’s a legit bad ass (he took an electric saw to the forehead in Combat Zone Wrestling’s Tournament of Death), he can wrestle his ass off and man can he talk. To me, he’s Arn Anderson with Cactus Jack’s persona lurking in the shadows. I think the WWE has really dropped the ball with Dolph Ziggler. This dude has gone from a Spirit Squad member and Kerwin White’s caddy to a super over fan favorite and a terrific wrestler. Personally, I feel his “face” persona has a short shelf life, he is the future #1 heel in this company and could main event ‘Mania in a few years. He’s got the athleticism and charisma of a young, healthy HBK. And the 10 consecutive elbow drops…NICE. Love that. Ziggler needed the win, but Ambrose looses nothing (title or heat) with the loss.

After this match we cut to the announce booth…man does it suck. I wish Jim Ross was still around…he would be selling the Daniel Bryan angle like a million bucks.

Then it’s mother f’n Fandango. Do me a favor, listen to his interview with Colt Cabana on The Art of Wrestling Podcast when he was still Johnny Curtis…completely different dude. He’s a Bahston accented, swear like a sailor mad man. I’d much rather see this than Mr. Dancing With the Stars. I think he’s a good wrestler, I just hate the gimmick, but I also hated The Honky Tonk Man. He takes on K-Kwik, I mean R-Truth. BTW – in that Smackdown rewind it was nice to see a reunited Awesome Truth tag team. What I don’t get about R-Truth is that he’s rarely on TV and when he is he’s usually staring at lights BUT he’s super-over with the crowd. This match was passable, nothing amazing. I really don’t like Fandango’s top rope leg drop, it seems so awkward. Summer Rae has a bright future, she was great as a stuck up heel in NXT and I think she can be successful with that gimmick post-Fandango.

 

The Big Show, the reluctant enforcer. It’s an angle that I like but I think they need to tighten up their time on the segment. Show tends to wait a bit too long before knocking his victims out and it kills the heat from the crowd.

Divas 6-Woman Tag: There’s only good wrestler in this match, Naomi, The Funkadactyl. Alicia Fox and Aksana are decent but Laya El, The Bellas and Candace…woof. This match was just a damn train wreck. I look forward to the NXT Divas like Paige, Emma and Ric Flair’s daughter to get called up and show that women can actually wrestle.

So Damien Sandow has the money in the bank briefcase…and no one cares. If you keep jobbing the guy out, no one is going to take him seriously when he cashes in his title shot. Rob Van Damm is ridiculous, he should not be this good at this age in his life. Speaking of RVD, Ricardo Rodriguez is not Bill Alfonso. He does not fit with RVD. I thought maybe he would stooge RVD out and help Alberto Del Rio retain at Night of Champions. Oh and way to go WWE you played the wrong guy’s music at the end of the match.

Randy Orton battled The Miz. How many craps do I give about The Miz as a face? None. This guy is a natural born heel, stop forcing him down our throats as a face. I think he’s come a hell of a long way since he was the “Chick Magnet” in (W)ECW. The same can be said for Orton, who has bored me to tears in the past. Wait…a COUNT OUT. That is beyond lame. But in the grand tradition of the WWE they give the hometown hero a raw deal. By the way, Miz’s parents…well, The Miz lucked out he didn’t get his looks from either of them. Oh and if Randy Orton was punching me in the face in front of my dad, he would’ve tried to clock The Viper. I think most dads would. And if you want to make Orton an uber heel, why not have Miz’s dad try to protect his boy and then get CLOCKED by Orton?

 

Paul Heyman managing Ryback and Curtis Axel is gold. First, Ryback will finally get some legit heat and will regain all the momentum he lost. Second, Axel and Ryback could make one hell of a tag team. Heyman is also a slice of fried awesome on the microphone. I really love this angle with he and Punk — he keeps feeding Punk members of his, well let’s face it, “Dangerous Alliance.” Brock, Axel, Ryback…then who knows. And maybe CM Punk recruits some people to help even the odds. Maybe real-life pal Kofi Kingston? Maybe former indie pals Corey Graves, Sami Zayn or Kassius Ohno? Of course, I’d love to see Colt Cabana return, but that’ll never happen. That man kiss on Ryback’s cheek…yikes.

Los Matadores = Kai En Tai 2013. Glad they’re stealing El Generico/Sami Zayn’s “Ole!” gimmick and giving it to the former Colons.

Tag Team Triple Threat: Is Tensai happy that he left the comforts and the push he had in Japan to be in Tons of Funk? Eh, he’s probably making good money. Brodus Clay is sloppy with a capital S. Antonio Cesaro on the other hand is a well oiled machine in the ring. His leap frog double foot stomp is AWESOME. Swagger will always be a Kurt Angle rip-off to me. Was it a bit scary that Cleveland likes cheering “We the People?” The Usos are a fun team. They remind me of the ol’ Samoan SWAT Team. I would love to see them get the belts from The Shield.

The Wyatt Family promo made me realize they haven’t been on TV in some time. That’s ridiculous.

 

The Main Event: How many weeks in a row has The Dazzler headlined RAW? I don’t care to know the answer and I hope he continues to do so for months and years to come. Roman Reigns is the weakest link of The Shield, but he sold for Bryan like an absolute champ. With the right manager (Heyman) and some more seasoning, he could have a nice post-Shield career. Bryan is just absurdly over. He got the crowd to pop for a spinning toe hold. Outside of Terry Funk, I don’t think anyone’e ever made that move exciting. JBL’s commentary during this match was nearly unbearable. So he’s better than JR? Nope. As a match this probably the weakest in D-Bry’s main event run, but that’s what happens when you’re in their with a less experienced, less polished opponent. By the way Seth Rollins took a HELLACIOUS bump off that dropkick, holy Jesus.

Post Match Pier Six: FINALLY the locker room comes to the aid of Daniel Bryan. I’m a sucker for locker room clearing brawl and this was a good one. The Primetime Players push is ON as they were front and center in this one and the crowd was amped for Titus O’Neal to hit his finisher on Rollins. It was nice to see Justin Gabriel and Zach Ryder get some on-air time. Ziggler was fantastic as an over-hyper participant, loved his energy. The Usos shined too getting their licks in. Kofi eats a spear though…who’d he piss off? The show ends with the faces of the RAW locker room and the entire crowd pointing in the sky and chanting YES! YES! YES — it was an awesome site.

 

Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites