Monday Night Raw
Date: November 4, 2013
Location: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Grenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield
We’re back to the red show after last week’s solid outing. There are a lot of things going on at the moment so it’s hard to guess what the focus is going to be tonight. Maybe they’ll even explain why or how Big Show has been doing everything he’s been doing. It would be nice for a change. Let’s get to it.
CM Punk vs. Luke Harper
Punk fires off some right hands to start but Harper easily runs him over with a hard forearm. Naturally Punk fires away as well as he can, backdropping Harper up and over the ropes to the floor. The suicide dive is broken up by a forearm to the head, stopping Punk cold again. Harper puts on the Gator Roll (rolling front facelock) and stops Punk’s comeback with a HARD shot to the face. Punk avoids a charge in the corner though, sending Harper to the floor. Now the suicide dive connects and we take a break.
Back with Harper ripping at Punk’s face before choking him with a boot for a bit. We get another Gator Roll into a chinlock but Punk fights up with some elbows. They slug it out a bit until Punk takes him down with a leg lariat. They blow the swinging neckbreaker spot so Punk hits the running knee in the corner but dives on Rowan instead of hitting the Macho Elbow. Punk loads up the springboard clothesline but dives into Harper’s boot. Luke loads up the discus lariat but Punk ducks underneath and rolls Harper up for the pin at 11:12.
Rating: C. This was fine. I have no problem with Punk beating the help because they’re just impressive minions for Wyatt himself. Harper got to look good out there and that’s what Punk is good for in this feud. The monsters will have their day soon enough and the blowoff match with Wyatt himself will be awesome.
Post match the beatdown is on but Bryan makes the save with a chair to a BIG reaction.
We get a clip from a sitdown interview with HHH where he bans Big Show from WWE for life.
You can pick Orton’s opponent tonight. It’s either Dolph Ziggler, Big E. Langston or The Miz.
Post break Punk says he’s not the only one who hates the Wyatts and he know what it’s like to be outnumbered.
Paul Heyman calls in to say he’s in Europe due to the injuries he suffered at Punk’s hands on top of the Cell. He has herniated discs in his back, bruised kidneys and a broken nose. Heyman starts crying and hangs up.
Earlier tonight Ryback messed with Hornswoggle and Santino until Khali intervened. Ryback called them freaks.
Ryback vs. Great Khali
This is a pretty far fall for Ryback. Khali shoves him down to start and there’s the loud chop in the corner. Ryback is picked up by the ear and chopped over and over in the corner. He comes back with a clothesline but Khali kicks him in the face. The big chop misses and Ryback hits the Meat Hook for the pin at 2:26. This was what it was.
Post match Ryback goes after Hornswoggle and Santino.
We get another clip of Big Show coming in when he was banned. I sense a theme here tonight.
Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Alberto fires off kicks to the leg to start and easily stops a comeback attempt. Kofi’s jumping back elbow puts Del Rio down and a clothesline puts him on the floor. Kingston totally overshoots a flip dive and only grazes Del Rio with his arm. Back in and Del Rio blocks the pendulum kick in the corner and hits a nice double stomp to the chest. The enziguri gets two and we hit the chinlock.
That goes nowhere so Alberto gets two off a German suplex. Del Rio mocks Kofi’s hand slap and gets two off a snap suplex. The tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets the same and we’re off to the chinlock. Back up again and Del Rio’s corner enziguri misses, allowing Kofi to hit an ax handle from the middle rope for two. Kofi’s middle rope cross body gets two more and things speed up a bit, only to have Del Rio kick him in the ribs. A rollup gets two on Alberto but he counters into the armbreaker for the submission at 6:50.
Rating: C. Not bad again here but the ending was never in doubt. That’s what Kofi is best at: making people look good while losing almost all the time. He’s fine with not getting a major push up the card because his legacy is already firmly set. Del Rio is still the same guy he’s been for years though and that’s not good.
We get a video on Big Show’s reasons for a lawsuit, including individual charges.
The announcers tell us all the cool things we can do on the WWE App.
Randy Orton vs. ???
Lawler goes to announce the winner of the poll but Orton says hang on a second. The people don’t have a choice because they’re all failures. All they can do is pick his next victim, which is Langston in a major landslide. Non-title of course. Langston runs Orton over to start, sending him out to the floor. Back in and Langston puts on a front facelock before ramming some forearms into Orton’s face. The champ bails to the floor again and gets knocked HARD off the apron as we take a break.
Back with Orton being rammed into the steps but avoiding another charge from Langston, sending the big man out to the floor. Back in and Orton very slowly stomps away before putting on a chinlock. Langston fights up and rams Orton back first into the buckle before hitting a hard shoulder in the corner. A belly to belly puts Orton down and the Warrior Splash gets two. Orton’s backbreaker gets the same and there’s the Elevated DDT for no cover. The RKO is countered with a big clothesline but Orton escapes the Big Ending and the RKO gets the pin at 12:07.
Rating: C+. This worked though they booked themselves into a corner (again) because you don’t want to job Langston but you also can’t have Orton get pinned without setting up a title program. At least Langston looked good before jobbing, but he shouldn’t have been an option in the stupid poll either.
We see HHH banning Big Show again in case you didn’t get the idea already. We also get more clips of Big Show defying HHH’s regime.
Here’s Cena vs. Rock from Wrestlemania 29….in WWE 2K14.
Fandango/Summer Rae vs. Natalya/Tyson Kidd
Naturally we get to look at a clip from Total Divas before the match starts. The guys get us going with Fandango getting kicked in the ribs. Off to the girls with Summer slapping Natalya in the face and catching her in a body scissors. The announcers spend part of the match reading Tweets, including one from Natalya.
The hot tag brings in The guys with Kidd flying around and pulling Fandango to the floor. A HARD kick to the face from the apron drops Fandango again but a Summer distraction lets Fandango drop Kidd onto the apron. Back in and the guillotine legdrop is countered into the Sharpshooter on Fandango for the win at 3:43.
Rating: D+. Kidd looked good and Summer’s legs were as amazing as ever, but this was a four minute ad for Total Divas and nothing more. That’s been the theme tonight: what can we showcase with wrestling as a backdrop? We’ve gotten plugs for the reality show, the video game, the App, and any other WWE product they can think of other than focusing on the stories.
Damien Sandow looks at a clip of losing his cash-in last week. He’s been looking at himself and doesn’t see an intellectual savior but rather someone who is doing whatever he has to do to get what he wants. The Real Americans come in with Zeb praising Sandow before their six man tag tonight.
The announcers continue their Big Show debate. Seriously, each is getting to present evidence of whether he should be banned or not.
Here’s Cena for his match but beforehand he talks about how great WWE is for partnering with the Susan G. Kommen Foundation to help cure cancer. Some breast cancer survivors are here tonight.
John Cena/Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Real Americans/Damien Sandow
Rematch from the great main event on Smackdown. Colter and Del Rio are on commentary so the bickering can continue. Cena and Sandow get us going but it’s quickly off to Cody with a sunset flip out of the corner for two. Off to Goldust who cranks on Swagger’s arm before bringing in Cody for a double back elbow. Tyson Kidd is the #1 trending topic in the world, which Cole says, and I quote, “shows the power of Total Divas.”
Anyway, Cesaro comes in for a showdown with Cena as the announcers continue their mindless bickering. Cesaro shoves him into the corner for an uppercut but walks into a fisherman’s suplex for two. We hit a chinlock on Antonio before Goldust comes back in with a bulldog for two. Cena comes back in and chases Sandow to the floor as we take a break. Back with Cesaro hitting Swiss Death on Cena for two. Swagger comes in with the Vader Bomb for the same and it’s quickly back to Sandow.
Cena takes him down with a shoulder but Swagger breaks up the hot tag attempt. The announcers are now using one word Spanish insults on each other, making it sound like a bad sitcom. Swagger’s Patriot Lock doesn’t last long on Cena so it’s back to Antonio, only to have Cena score with a hurricanrana. Sandow breaks up the tag attempt again by going after the bad arm for two. Cena powers out of a top wristlock but can’t hit the AA. Sandow clotheslines him down but Cena counters another one into a powerbomb of all things. There’s the hot tag to Goldust as things speed up.
Cesaro gets caught by the top rope crossbody for two as everything breaks down. Everyone hits their finishers with Swagger and Cena being sent to the floor. There’s the Cesaro Swing to Goldust with JBL counting in Spanish for absolutely no apparent reason. Goldust falls to the floor so Cena sends Cesaro into Colter. Back inside and Goldust hits the ugliest springboard bulldog ever for two. Cody’s moonsault press puts Sandow down and Cena hits a high cross body on Cesaro. Goldust’s Final Cut (spinning suplex into a neckbreaker) pins Antonio at 15:20.
Rating: B-. The original on Smackdown was better but I really liked the action here. On the other hand, the commentary was absolutely horrendous. It wasn’t funny, it didn’t add ANYTHING to the match, it distracted me from what was going on in the ring, and ignored the match for the sake of stupid Spanish jokes. The commentary felt like a scene from a sitcom which was trying WAY too hard. Absolutely horrible waste of a solid match.
In case you didn’t get the idea earlier, here’s the EXACT SAME VIDEO on Big Show’s lawsuit.
Big Show, the man banned for life about five times now, is of course here.
HHH is furious but Stephanie comes in and says she let him in at the board of directors’ insistence. It’s not about HHH and Stephanie anymore but rather the business. Stephanie throws in a line about HHH never minding to take the McMahon money but not liking the responsibilities that come with it.
Curtis Axel vs. Dolph Ziggler
Non-title again. Axel takes him down to start and drops some elbows to the back of Dolph’s head and we hit the chinlock. The announcers continue the debate about Big Show’s charges because the fans watch wrestling to hear a legal debate, right? Ziggler fights back and pounds away in the corner but gets caught with a clothesline to the back of the head for two. Not that it matters as the Zig Zag connects for the pin on Axel at 4:47.
Rating: D+. The match wasn’t horrible but there’s no value in beating Axel anymore. I’m guessing the story is that Axel can’t win because he doesn’t have Heyman to guide him, but considering he hardly ever wins anyway, why is this supposed to be anything of note? Ziggler continues to float around doing nothing of note.
We recap the opening segment. Bryan says he was out for payback tonight.
Vickie doesn’t bring Big Show to HHH’s office as ordered but says Big Show wants to meet HHH in the ring.
3MB vs. Usos
Slater and McIntyre here with 3MB starting off fast with Slater hitting a springboard dropkick of all things. A double suplex puts Jimmy down and we hit a quick armbar on the Uso. Back to McIntyre who gets kicked in the face, allowing for the hot tag to Jey. The Superfly Splash is good for the pin on Drew at 2:20. Absolutely nothing here.
Los Matadores are in the back with Renee Young when Torito comes in. Apparently he’s horny and might gore Renee in the knees. She is WAY too talented for this.
Bella Twins/Eva Marie vs. Aksana/AJ Lee/Tamina Snuka
Tamina starts with a Samoan Drop to Nikki before it’s off to AJ for a guillotine choke. Nikki slams her down and brings in Brie to clean house. Tamina will have none of that though and runs over Brie and Eva, only to miss the Superfly Splash. Eva tags herself in and steals the pin on Tamina at 2:45. I really think WWE expects us to care about this.
Here are HHH and Stephanie to call out Big Show. The giant trades a few jabs with them before saying this isn’t about money, but rather just wanting his job back. Stephanie gives it back to him so Big Show starts a YES chant. Oh and he wants a huge bonus too. He doesn’t want money though, but rather to be the face of the WWE since he’s been here 18 years (It’s 14. He debuted 18 years ago). This brings out Shield and we take a break.
Post break Big Show tells HHH to tread lightly because of what he’s got hanging over HHH’s head (the lawsuit I believe?). Big Show demands a title shot at Survivor Series but HHH gets in his face and threatens to leave Big Show laying if he doesn’t drop it. Big Show leaves but threatens to sue WWE for ownership of the company. HHH gives him the title shot after Big Show makes him say it four times. On top of that, HHH makes a match right now.
Big Show vs. Shield/Randy Orton
Show is in a suit and Orton’s music hits at 11:04pm. The four of them swarm Big Show and there’s a spear about 15 seconds into the match. Shield beats him down and Orton tells them to pick him up. Show fights out of an attempted TripleBomb and chokeslams Reigns down. The other Shield guys are taken down by a double suplex, leaving us one on one.
This brings out Kane in a suit with some very short hair (the look really works for him actually) for a distraction, allowing Seth to hit a top rope knee to the head. The RKO connects but Orton wants a chair, drawing the DQ at 3:07. If you’re expecting a rating you haven’t been paying attention.
Post match Orton wants Big show put through the table. The TripleBomb (not a bad looking one either) through the table ends the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This is a REALLY tough one to grade. I actually liked most of the wrestling tonight which kept some stories going and came off more like an episode of Smackdown in a good way. On the other hand though, there’s everything else. To begin with, the constant plugging of everything on the planet is annoying, though understandable. WWE is a business after all and they need to shill stuff. I can live with that.
Then there’s the stuff that you might have noticed getting on my nerves tonight. Above all else, there’s the commentary. It has reached the point where it’s making good matches a misery to sit through because of how unbearable it is. Cole, JBL and Jerry aren’t funny and have the most unnaturally forced “chemistry” I’ve ever heard. They spend WAY too much time on unfunny jokes that most people aren’t going to get and even fewer people are going to care about at all. It needs to stop and stop soon. I understand the idea of trying to sound like people watching the show, but it’s not working in the slightest.
Finally there’s the story that dominated the show. This Big Show vs. HHH story is just not working and a lot of that is due to the overuse of the lawsuit idea in recent months. I can probably come up with four different instances of someone in WWE suing someone else in the last year and a half. That’s reaching the level of stable wars in TNA and that’s not good.
We had to sit through video package after video package about Big Show being suspended and then he just strolls into the arena, making the rest of the show a waste of our time. That’s not going to get people to watch and it’s hard to sit through. Good wrestling, bad everything else tonight.
CM Punk b. Luke Harper – Rollup
Ryback b. Great Khali – Meat Hook
Alberto Del Rio b. Kofi Kingston – Cross armbreaker
Randy Orton b. Big E. Langston – RKO
Tyson Kidd/Natalya b. Summer Rae/Fandango – Sharpshooter to Fandango
John Cena/Goldust/Cody Rhodes b. Real Americans/Damien Sandow – Final Cut to Cesaro
Usos b. 3MB – Superfly Splash to McIntyre
Bella Twins/Eva Marie b. Tamina Snuka/AJ Lee/Aksana – Rollup to Snuka
Big Show b. Randy Orton/Shield via DQ when Orton and Shield used chairs
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete Monday Nitro Reviews Volume I at Amazon for just $4 at:
And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at: