Monday Night Raw – October 21, 2013: Picking Up The Pace

Monday Night Raw
Date: October 21, 2013
Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the final show before the Cell pay per view this Sunday and almost everything is set. Actually everything has pretty much been set since Battlefield, hence why this show isn’t likely to be very interesting. Tonight we have Big Show losing his name to HHH (whatever that might mean) and the contract signing for Orton vs. Bryan. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the tag titles changing hands last week.

Here are HHH and Stephanie to get us going. Stephanie runs down the card for Sunday’s show and HHH talks about Shawn guaranteeing a new champion. HHH mentions the word respect and Big Show hacks into the satellite feed and rants about respect. For some reason his eyes are looking just to the left of the camera. Stephanie isn’t sure how he’s on the screen but HHH and Big Show yell at each other about money and lawsuits. Big Show says HHH must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, but any side of Stephanie is a bad side to wake up on. Stephanie cuts the feed and HHH says on with the show.

Daniel Bryan vs. Shield

Dean cranks on the arm to start but Daniel armdrags out of it and puts on an armbar of his own. A running clothesline gets two for Bryan and it’s back to the arm again for some psychology. Bryan fires off a kick to the arm and cranks on it even more. Dean blocks the running dropkick in the corner and drops an elbow to take over. A suplex gets two for Dean but Bryan comes right back with a knee to the chest and a suplex of his own. Ambrose rolls to the floor to avoid the headbutt and we take a break.

Back with Bryan fighting out of an Ambrose chinlock, only to be caught by a knee to the ribs to put him down. A running dropkick against the ropes drops Bryan again and it’s off to a quick armbar. Dean drops him with a back elbow and it’s off to a triangle choke. Bryan rolls out and counters into the full surfboard hold before pulling Dean’s neck back for an added choke. Dean goes to the eyes to send Bryan to the apron, only to have Daniel pound away with right hands.

Bryan goes up top but gets pulled down with a superplex for two. We hit the chinlock again but Bryan counters into a backslide for two of his own. A double cross body puts both guys down but it’s Bryan up first with right hands. He backflips over Dean in the corner and takes him down with the running clothesline. The running dropkick in the corner connects and Bryan snaps off a top rope hurricanrana for two. A tornado DDT of all things is countered by Dean into a spinebuster for two.

Daniel backdrops him to the floor and there’s the FLYING GOAT for good measure. Back in and a missile dropkick takes Dean down yet again. Bryan nips up and fires off the YES kicks to the vested chest. The big kick to the head is countered into a rollup but Bryan counters into the YES Lock for the submission at 16:20.

Rating: B. Good match here and a good way to put Bryan over before he goes into the title match on Sunday. However, the usual complaint about a single champion losing holds true here. Rollins or Reigns could have done the job here and the result would have been exactly the same. Really good stuff though and a good way to start Raw.

Here’s Punk for the hard sell for the match on Sunday. He talks about the Cell defining legacies and how his legacy will be defined by what he does to Heyman inside the Cell. Heyman thinks Ryback can help him, but there is nothing Punk won’t do to win. The point isn’t to make Paul submit or pin him, but rather to put Ryback to sleep and then torture Heyman with every single inch of the Cell that he can. The winner of the match will be the best in the world.

HHH and Stephanie give Vickie some directions before going into their office to find Shawn Michaeles. Shawn and HHH hug like old friends and Shawn cracks some jokes about HHH being a powerful businessman. HHH says Bryan can be the champion but not the face of the company. Shawn says people said that about both he and HHH back in the day but Stephanie cuts them off and rants about Big Show. Shawn points out that Stephanie used to think it was funny when DX hacked the feed but Stephanie doesn’t think it’s funny now. Luckily Shawn didn’t have to grow up so he’s going to go have some fun.

Santino Marella vs. Heath Slater

Santino, Khali and Horny are all dressed as Elvis. We start off with some Marella Martial Arts as the announcers make music jokes, including a Gentrys reference by JBL (Jimmy Hart’s band). Slater takes him down and puts on a quick body vice before sending Santino into the corner for some shoulders. Heath misses a charge into the post and Santino comes back with the usual. The Cobra has an Elvis wig on too but Slater kicks him in the ribs. Slater goes to the middle rope but Santino nips up and Slater jumps into the Cobra for the pin at 3:27.

Rating: D+. Do I really need to explain this one?

Post match Santino says there’s just one King in Memphis and has Jerry get up on the announce table for some Elvis dancing.

The fans want to see Punk vs. Undertaker from Wrestlemania simulated in WWE 14 instead of Shawn vs. Razor, Rock vs. Austin (WM 15) or Savage vs. DiBiase.

We recap the opening segment.

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler throws Orton to the floor to start but Dolph makes the mistake of following, allowing Orton to send him into the barricade and clothesline him down. Back inside we go but Orton takes it right back to the floor. Ziggler escapes the Elevated DDT and drives Orton into the barricade to stomp him down. Orton kicks Dolph away and heads back inside to keep up the fast opening pace.

Ziggler pounds on Orton in the corner and a clothesline is good for two. Orton takes Ziggler down again and grabs an armbar which transitions into a chinlock to give us a breather. Back up and Ziggler scores with a neckbreaker and the Fameasser gets two. Ziggler’s Stinger Splash is caught in a t-bone suplex and the Elevated DDT lays him out again. Orton takes forever to load up the RKO and Ziggler comes back with a dropkick for two, only to charge into the RKO for the pin at 7:48.

Rating: C+. I was liking this match for the most part with the pace being very fast throughout the match. Ziggler didn’t have much of a chance but at least he was showing some fire out there instead of just going through the motions. The false ending with the dropkick before the RKO was a nice touch as well.

Video on Cena’s rehab.

Bella Twins vs. Tamina Snuka/AJ Lee

Brie takes Tamina down to start but the Twin is knocked to the floor with ease. Back in and a snap suplex gets two on Brie before we hit the cravate. Off to Nikki who is easily slammed down before it’s off to AJ, who gets the biggest reaction of the match. Nikki fights out of a chinlock and makes the hot tag off to Brie, sending the fans back into their coma. Brie speeds things up and dropkicks Brie down, only to get caught in a half crab. Brie hits a bad looking knee to the ribs before accidentally kneeing Tamina in the head. Not that it matters though as the Bella Buster pins AJ at 5:27.

Rating: D. The Bellas look good in their outfits but man alive this face turn isn’t working. The problem is the double turn by the Bellas and AJ depends on if you like Total Divas. If you like the show, you buy the double turn. If you don’t like Total Divas, you side with AJ, even though there aren’t any shades of gray in the story. AJ is meant to be the heel and Brie as the girl who is fighting for what she wants, even though no one seems to care.

We look at Big E. Langston’s face turn on Sunday before Paul Heyman and Guys run into Renee Young in the back. Heyman goes into a full blown over the top sales pitch about why you would want to see an execution live on Sunday. He doesn’t stop for air for about 45 seconds, ranting and raving about Punk fantasizing about killing him and then going into a story about being a volcano erupting and villagers running while worshipping CM Punk.

Heyman then stops and says he’s totally in control of his monster Ryback, meaning Punk can’t get his hands on Heyman. He won’t be locked in a Cell with Punk, but rather Punk is locked in a Cell with him. Langston comes up and asks who is a marginal talent now. The Heyman guys step up to him and Langston vs. Axel is made for later tonight. Find this Heyman promo if you can as it’s very entertaining stuff.

We get a video from 2007/2011 of Shawn talking about training Daniel Bryan. We even get really rare clips of Daniel Bryan in the Texas Wrestling Alliance, which was Shawn’s indy company.

Wyatt Family vs. The Miz/Kofi Kingston

Rowan runs over Miz to start and takes him down with a quick backbreaker. Harper comes in and puts on a front facelock while rolling around on the mat. Off to a traditional headlock for a bit before Miz pops up, only to charge into a Michinoku Driver for two. Harper is kicked away and it’s finally off to Kofi to speed things up. Kofi jumps up into the corner for a nice hurricanrana followed by jumping back to the top for a cross body for two. Rowan misses a big boot and is knocked to the floor before Trouble in Paradise takes him out again. Not that it matters as Harper takes Kofi’s head off with the clothesline for the pin at 4:48.

Rating: C. This was another fast paced match and that’s what Raw needs to do this week. They had a very dull offering last week so fast paced stuff with characters like the Wyatts is a good idea. Miz vs. Bray will be a good squash for Wyatt and it’s kind of nice to see a build like this for a change.

Post match the Wyatts take out Miz and tie him in the ropes so Bray can talk about the afterlife being real.

Big E. Langston vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel

The Heyman Guys jump Langston before the bell and they fight out to the floor with Langston being caught in the numbers game. Langston manages to fight back and clothesline Axel down, only to have Heyman blast him with a kendo stick as a distraction. Ryback runs Langston over with a shot to the back but here’s Punk with the stick for the save. Vickie pops up to make it a tag match.

Big E. Langston/CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel/Ryback

Joined in progress with Punk in control of Axel before bringing in Langston for a double hiptoss. Quickly back to Punk who is taken down by Ryback as JBL talks about what a great agent Heyman is. Off to Axel for a chinlock but Punk fights up and hits a spinning cross body for two. Ryback comes in again and powers Punk down, only to be caught by the high kick to the head. The hot tag brings in Langston to clean house and hit the Warrior Splash. There goes the strap and Punk hits the springboard clothesline to Ryback. The Big Ending finishes Axel at 6:35 shown.

Rating: D+. The expiration date on this feud was a few weeks ago, but it looks like it’s finally done this Sunday. There was just nothing to see here from Punk vs. the Heyman Guys, but Langston gave things a breath of fresh air. He’s SO much better as a face and giving him a feud with Axel at least gives him something to do. Match was there at best.

Punk chases Heyman into the crowd post match.

R-Truth shills WWE merchandise. He’s energetic if nothing else. You can get 20% off tonight only if you use the promo code “Truth”.

Tons of Funk vs. Real Americans

The Real Americans charge the ring and throw in black flags before posing with them up on the ropes. Colter is on commentary again here. Tensai chops Swagger into the corner but Cesaro comes in off a blind tag to take over. A jumping seated senton gets two and it’s back to Swagger as Colter rants about Los Matadores. The Vader Bomb/double stomp combo gets two on Tensai and it’s off to a Cesaro chinlock. Tensai fights up and tags in to Brodus, only to have him get caught by an uppercut, setting up the Cesaro Swing to Clay. Swagger comes in for the Patriot Lock and the submission on Brodus at 3:34.

Rating: D. The match was nothing of note and was just there for a way to do post match stuff with Colter. The shine that the Swing had given Cesaro is already gone and WWE has no problem with just letting it go by because we need to use the Americans to put over Los Matadores. Nothing match.

Post match Colter pulls out a bull whip to use on Torito. When he wrestled as Dutch Mantell, Colter’s trademark was a bull whip.

We get a retrospective on Cena’s career. Think they’re pushing his return hard enough?

Here are Cody and Goldust for commentary, complete with a remixed version of their combined themes.

Usos vs. Shield

Despite the Usos winning the #1 contendership fairly, this is for the title shot on Sunday. Jey starts with Rollins and gets a quick pair of near falls off some rollups. They slug it out with Jey sending Rollins to the floor and nailing a great looking dive. Back in and it’s off to Reigns vs. Jimmy with the twin cranking on Roman’s arm. The announcers talk about JBL being the new GM of NXT as Jimmy has to fight out of the Shield corner. Rollins speeds things up and drops Jimmy throat first on the top rope for two before dropkicking him out to the floor.

Cody: “If you built a liar from the ground up he would loo just like John Bradshaw Layfield.” Goldust: “OH SNAP!” Back in and Reigns puts on a front facelock but Jimmy fights out and gets to the apron. Roman can’t suplex him into the ring but some Ambrose interference brings Jimmy to the floor as we take a break. Back with Reigns getting two off a suplex and getting frustrated at Jimmy kicking out again. We hit another chinlock before Jimmy fights up and DDTs Roman down. Rollins comes in but gets backdropped to the floor, only to have Roman make a blind tag as Seth goes over.

Jimmy catches Reigns with an enziguri and there’s the hot tag. Things speed up with Jey cleaning house but Reigns takes his head off with a clothesline out of the corner for two. Reigns breaks up a pin off the toss in the air Samoan Drop and a powerslam puts Jimmy down. Jey comes back with the superkick to Reigns but the Superfly Splash hits knees. Ambrose gets in a fight with the tag champions, drawing in Rollins and the Usos for the no contest at 14:15.

Rating: C+. Match was your usual good stuff with Shield but the ending was pretty clearly going to a three way at the PPV. Shield winning unfairly screws over the Usos and there’s no way they were doing face vs. face for the titles. Hopefully the Usos FINALLY get their title reign out of this though.

Post match the four good guys clear the ring of the Shield.

HHH and Stephanie are in the ring for the contract signing and are soon joined by Orton, Bryan and Shawn. There isn’t much special to see here: Orton talks about how he’ll be the face of the WWE after Sunday, Bryan says he’ll prove how great he really is and both guys sign. HHH says that Bryan is just like Edge, Jericho or RVD: popular and talented but not the one. “If any of those guys had been the face of the company back in the day, we’d all be working for Ted Turner right now.” Oh good grief.

Bryan tells HHH to put on some ring gear and he’ll show him how great he can be. HHH says when he gets back in the ring, he’ll be doing it against a star like Undertaker or Rock or Lesnar. Bryan isn’t even worth his time because Bryan is a B+ player. Shawn shouldn’t have wasted his time training Bryan and that’s enough to get Shawn into this chat. He vouches for Bryan and says he’s very good before asking HHH what happened to him.

What happened to the guy that raged against the machine with him? What happened to HHH over the years? Randy is worried, but HHH says Shawn will do what’s right at the end of the day. Shawn says he’ll do what’s right for the business he loves and asks why HHH hates Bryan. Is it because of the beard, or because HHH has been proven wrong?

Orton says Bryan can’t beat him and they get in each others’ faces, but a semi truck is shown on the screen driving into the arena. Big Show is driving and running over various objects in his path. He gets in the arena and does the Bryan finger point while telling Orton to turn around. Bryan lays out Orton with the running knee to end the show. That’s quite the bizarre ending.

Overall Rating: C+. Tonight’s show was a nice change of pace from last wee. They kept things moving tonight and that’s exactly what Raw lacked last week. Nothing really came off as great but they did a decent enough job of setting up what they’ve got for us on Sunday. It still doesn’t feel like an important PPV, but at least they built it up somewhat tonight. So much better than last week.

Results

Daniel Bryan b. Dean Ambrose – YES Lock

Santino Marella b. Heath Slater – Cobra

Randy Orton b. Dolph Ziggler – RKO

Bella Twins b. Tamina Snuka/AJ Lee – Bella Buster to Lee

Wyatt Family b. Kofi Kingston/The Miz – Clothesline to Kingston

CM Punk/Big E. Langston b. Curtis Axel/Ryback – Big Ending to Axel

Real Americans b. Tons of Funk – Patriot Lock to Clay

Usos vs. Shield went to a no contest when Cody Rhodes and Goldust interfered

 

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8 comments

  1. Killjoy says:

    Remember when Jerry Lawler and Santino hated each other and Santino stole Jerry’s Subway sub? WWE doesn’t. Then again, it was 2008.

  2. Jay H. (the real one) says:

    I think HIAC will be a much better PPV than Battleground.

  3. ted says:

    Triple H is in his element getting to spew his bullshit week after week.

    PPV looks ok but nothing spectacular.

  4. aj rodz says:

    if uso’s win the title wouldn’t that make people hate them?,the rhodes brothers are pretty popular right now

  5. james gracie says:

    They are even using the distraction finish in contract signings now!!! Good show but Hell in a Cell is completely filler. I also got a bad feeling with how often they kept saying, ‘We GUARANTEE there will be a winner’ or ‘we WILL have a new champion Sunday’ With how much they kept saying it almost makes me think that once again we wont get a new champion til Survivor Series.

  6. M.R. says:

    Why all the negative reaction to Triple H’s Jericho/Edge/Van Dam comment? While hyperbole, it isn’t exactly untrue. How many guys have been ‘the one’ in the modern history of the company? Hogan, Austin, Rock, Cena…..maybe throw Bret or Shawn in there for a short period? It’s not exactly a long list.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    For me it’s because it’s HHH saying it. This would be the guy who decided that he should be the guy dominating the company for two years and destroying everything they had built up in the Attitude Era. Other than Shawn, he’s about as least successful at being THE GUY as anyone ever.

    M.R. Reply:

    Although he techinically was, I’ve never really considered Triple H as ‘the guy.’ Maybe because Brock was being groomed for the position over on the other show at the time, but Triple H always seemed like a placeholder for me. It was a DARK period for Raw between Rock and Cena.