RAW Recap: October 21, 2013

Show Opener: Big Show interrupts HHH/Stephanie – I like the new direction of The Big Show’s character. I like that his big blubbering personality has been replaced by an angry, pissed off persona. I think this is the best incarnation of The Big Show. He’s more loquacious, he’s not acting like a big angry giant and he has fire in his promos. His in-ring work will never get better than what it is, but that’s okay.

Opening Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Daniel Bryan
Hey man, any time these two can open things up, it’s a good start to a show. (No, I’m not counting the HHH/Steph snore-fest). It also means that you’re going to have a damn good match. This was a solid outing with some cool moves including Ambrose’s double under hook superplex. Oh, I loved the end sequence of a missed kick into a roll-up by Ambrose into the Yes Lock.

CM Punk Promo: I’m going to be negative here…this promo really did nothing for me. It was your basic “I’m going to kick this guy’s ass at the pay-per-view” promo. Not the usual stuff of CM Punk legend.

HHH/HBK Segment: I thought this was a really good segment. HBK drives home the point that neither he or HHH was ever considered a “face of the company.” It’s a point I really liked. I also liked the fact that he called The Game out about hanging.

Elvis Lives and I Wanna Die: Santino, Khali and Hornswoggle as Elvis impersonators. Slap me in the face with a brick. I’ll admit it, Santino does a great job in his role. He embraces every absurd aspect of his character and the crowd loves him him for it. His incorporation of Elvis’ mannerisms in his move set were funny. I think the part that I hated about this match was Khali, Hornswoggle and 3MB were involved in it. Then there was the dance party with Khali, Santino, Lawler and Swoggle…yikes.

Randy Orton beats Dolph Ziggler…but why?: These dudes can work, but the question is why does Dolph have to do the job? Why couldn’t have this been another loss by The Miz. Ziggler has been yoyo-ed throughout 2013 being thrust in and out of the spotlight. Right now he’s in this state of “meh” where he can’t seem to get out of mid card purgatory. I hope if Daniel Bryan wins the title or if Cena wins the title from ADR that Ziggler turns heel and challenges them and engages in a long program. I didn’t think Orton showed too much here tonight, which is ashame because he’s been killing it.

John Cena’s Recovery: I can’t believe Cena is already coming back to the WWE. I have a lot of respect for him as a competitor and as a performer. The dude just guts it out through injuries and gives it his all. Now with that being said, he could stay away from WWE till Survivor Series. I think if he was, say Daniel Bryan’s mystery partner for his Survivor Series team, that’d be over huge. Instead, he’s going against ADR? Eh.

Diesel and Shawn vs. The Bellas…err: Hey someone learned how to wrestle! The Bellas all of a sudden can work a little bit. Maybe Daniel Bryan is rubbing off on them. I think Tamina is great as the female Diesel. She’s a legit bad ass and the perfect enforcer for AJ Lee’s Shawn Michaels. AJ has done such a great job morphing from a glorified jobberette to one of the best female heels in ages. Seriously, I think she’s better than Melina, especially on the mic and I think she can work better than Beth Phoenix. Is she on par with Trish? Not yet. Brie Bella actually did a really good job working her ass off in this match. I’m very surprised this match was that good.

Paul Heyman’s Promo: THAT’S the promo the CM Punk/Heyman match needed. If it weren’t for Bobby Heenan, Paul Heyman would get my vote as the best manager of all-time.

The Wyatts vs. The Miz & Kofi: The Wyatts entrance gives me the chills every time. Wow, The Miz and Kofi don’t even get a televised entrance. Kofi’s really becoming a glorified jobber for talent the WWE wants to get over. I wish they’d find something good for him to do. Maybe have him team with Adrian Neville in the future or maybe reform AirBOOM with Evan Bourne? The Miz, still sucks as a face. Luke Harper is just a workhorse, love watching this roughneck work. Rowan is still a bit rough around the edges for me. Oh man, did they just make a SKINNER reference? It’s so funny that Skinner was portrayed by Steve Keirn, a member of the heartthrob tag team The Fabulous Ones. Anyways, back to the match, Luke Harper knows how to throw a clothesline and Kofi sold it like a billion dollars. Bray Wyatt delivers a damn good promo and I think this ability on the mic could propel him into the main event.

Big E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel….and it becomes a tag match: Big E. is Bobby Lashley and Tony Atlas — but with a personality. I like the fact he turned face by standing up for himself. I also dig his fire in his brawl with The Heyman Guys. He was way too silent and emotionless for too long, but now he’s coming into his own. I really doubted this guy’s ability, but man he’s really proven me wrong. I really love Ryback with Heyman as I think he’s blossomed into a nice heel. I think by Big E. scoring the pin the match and being aligned with Punk, the WWE is “doing what’s best for business” and really developing a future star.

R Truth is Don West: I can’t take credit for that, PWInsider’s Dave Scherer put that out there. It was a nice spot to plug merch and I should’ve hated this segment…but R Truth has so much charisma, you can’t help but enjoy.

Tons of Funk vs. The Real Americans in a The Big Swing is Why You’re Watching Match: Seriously, we want to see The Real Americans for Cesaro’s big swing and who better to do it to than the two biggest dudes on the roster? The Big Swing on Brodus was impressive, but the cameras did a bad job of catching it. I dig that Zeb Colter has brought back his Dirty Dutch Mantel whip.

Wrestling Main Event – The Usos vs. The Shield: Both teams have great, unique entrances. I like the fact that The Usos have worked their way up to main event status. This was a solid match, not as good as a lot of Shield matches, but good nonetheless. I think after last week’s epic main this was going to be a let down no matter what. A three-way dance for the tag titles is probably in the cards…this way The Shield can take the belts back by defeating one of The Usos.

The Ga Ga Main Event: Let me be blunt — I hate the contract signing gimmick. It’s the same thing EVERY SINGLE TIME. It’s a whole bunch of talk then things break down. Yawn-ski. However, this wasn’t bad. Orton was boring, surprisingly. Daniel Bryan did a great job, eschewing from his normal “Yes! Yes!” gimmick and really cutting a nice promo. Triple-H totally douched it up burying Chris Jericho, Edge and RVD. Uncalled for really, but it was a nice quasi-shoot to get people to really hate him. HBK did a great job of putting over Daniel Bryan and adding intrigue to Hell in a Cell’s main event. Not a bad segment.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named 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