Monday Night Raw – November 11, 2013: Handicapped By Too Much Authority
Date: November 11, 2013
Location: Phones4u Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield
It’s a rare taped show tonight as the company is over in England. The main story coming in is Big Show being the new guy to stand up to the regime, having forced his way back into a job. Kane has also joined the bad guys and is now the director of operations, a position which hasn’t exactly been defined yet. Let’s get to it.
We open with a video honoring American’s military veterans narrated by John Cena. Classy as always.
We recap the angle at the end of last week’s show with Big Show getting his job back as well as a title shot at Survivor Series. The video also includes the handicap match and Big Show being put through a table.
The Authority (the official name for HHH and Stephanie) isn’t here tonight so it’s not clear who is in charge.
Here’s Orton to open the show. He thinks he’s going to win at Survivor Series and says that since the Authority isn’t here, he’s in charge tonight. This brings out Brad Maddox to say he’s the GM and therefore in charge, but here’s Kane before he can make his first match. Kane says that he’s in charge in the absence of the Authority.
Maddox says he’s actually in charge, so the opening match is Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes. Kane says no, because it’s Orton vs. Goldust. Maddox says not so fast and Orton says pick an opponent because he can’t fight them both.. Here’s Vickie to suck up to the Authority a bit before saying she’s confident in Orton’s authority. The crowd shouts her down so much that you can barely hear her, but she makes Orton vs. Goldust and Rhodes in a handicap match.
Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton
Goldust gets things going and quickly hiptosses and armdrags Orton down for two. Off to Cody to stay on the arm as the fans are all behind the Golden One. The release gordbuster gets two and it’s back to Goldust who is stomped down in the corner. The fans chant Randy’s Boring before starting what I believe was a JBL chant. Now it’s a Jerry chant. Orton runs into a boot in the corner but kicks Goldust off the middle rope as we take a break.
Back with Goldust fighting out of a chinlock and catching Orton in a powerslam. A double clothesline puts both guys down and there’s the hot tag to Cody who comes in with a missile dropkick. A spinning sunset flip out of the corner gets two for Rhodes and the moonsault press gets the same. Everything breaks down and Cody fights out of the RKO before a double clothesline puts Orton on the floor. Orton takes the countout at 8:50.
Rating: C-. This was ok but the ending was obvious. I’m glad they didn’t have either side do the job as it would mess up too much momentum that has been built over the last few months. It’s interesting to see Vickie act like something resembling a face, but she’s not exactly the right choice for it.
Post match here’s Big Show (said to not be here in a story that lasted 20 minutes) to destroy Orton and chokeslam him through the announce table.
Big Show left during a break to go get a pint.
Los Matadores/Santino Marella vs. Union Jacks
The Union Jacks are 3MB (no masks or anything) in British flag attire. Santino has bull horns on his head. Slater and Diego get us going but Mahal makes a blind tag and gets two off a knee to the head. A 3MB triple team takes Diego down and it’s McIntyre with a stomp to the head.
Santino tags himself in and pounds away on Mahal but his headbutt hits knees. Torito distracts Slater and chases him around, allowing Santino to gore Slater from behind. McIntyre finally catches the bull but Los Matadores dive through the ropes for the save. Torito goes up top and dives onto Slater, allowing Santino to hit the Cobra (with horns) on Mahal for the pin at 2:55.
Brad Maddox apologizes to Orton when Vickie comes up to apologize as well. Orton doesn’t want to hear it but Kane comes in and tells Orton to quit mouthing off. Randy sends them all off because his shoulder is messed up.
Damien Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston
Damien is still very aggressive and pounds Kingston down to start. He puts on a chinlock before dropping a knee for two. The Wind-Up Elbow gets two more but Kofi avoids a legdrop. Kofi fights back with some right hands and a kick to the head but gets knocked off the top and walks into You’re Welcome for the pin at 3:50.
Rating: D+. This was just an extended squash but that’s what Kofi is good for. He’s probably never going to get past this level but he’s capable of putting on a good match with just about anyone and can make anybody look better. Sandow being aggressive is a decent idea and having a new finisher is the best thing that could happen to him.
Intercontinental Title: Curtis Axel vs. Dolph Ziggler
Cole goes into his Hall of Fame stat sheet as Axel grabs a headlock to start. An elbow to the jaw puts Ziggler into the corner and Axel stomps him down. They trade dropkicks for two each and Ziggler swivels his hips a bit. Ziggler takes him down again and drops the ten elbows for two. Curtis sends him to the floor and slaps him around back inside but Ziggler scores with a jumping DDT to put both guys down.
Ziggler avoids a charge and sends Axel shoulder first into the post before another elbow gets two. Axel comes back with a nice catapult into the buckle for two but Ziggler hits a Fameasser for the same. A Saito Suplex gets two for the champion but he takes too much time going up, allowing Ziggler to hit a middle rope X Factor for two. The Zig Zag is countered into a kind of release flapjack, allowing Axel to hit the neckbreaker into a faceplant for the pin at 9:09.
Rating: C+. This was MUCH better than I was expecting here with both guys hitting a lot of big spots for some nice near falls. Axel is a guy who can have good matches but he’s such damaged goods at this point that it’s almost impossible to take him seriously. Ziggler is clearly not going back to the main event scene anytime soon so having him do stuff like this is the right call.
Kane demands respect from Brad Maddox so Brad makes the Real Americans vs. John Cena in another handicap match. Kane one ups him by making Shield vs. Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. No handshake is given.
Zack Ryder is the WWE merchandise schiller of the night.
Tamina Snuka vs. Nikki Bella
Nikki gets thrown around as the announcers plug Total Divas. Tamina bends Nikki over her knee in the most awkward backbreaker you’ll see in a long time. We get more choking and chinlockery before Nikki makes a comeback with a backdrop from her knees and a headscissors where Tamina flipped over when Nikki wasn’t touching her. AJ gets in a cheap shot to put Nikki down, allowing Tamina to hit the Superfly Splash for the pin at 4:18.
Rating: D-. This division sucks but Nikki looks great so it’s not a failure. That is all.
Brie cleans house post match.
WWE 2K14 stuff.
Shield comes in to see Orton, who yells at them for not saving him from Big Show. They say it’s none of his business where they were during Big Show’s attack because they don’t work for anyone.
Fandango vs. Tyson Kidd
This is set up from a clip of a Total Divas episode that hasn’t aired yet. Fandango is in Union Jack tights for no apparent reason. Feeling out process to start until Fandango throws Kidd out of the corner and out to the floor. Back in and Kidd hurricanranas Fandango into the middle buckle. A springboard dropkick sends Fandango to the floor and a bad looking hurricanrana off the apron takes him down again. Back in and a springboard sunset flip is countered into a Fandango rollup for the pin at 2:59.
John Cena vs. Real Americans
Colter runs down England to start, saying that there are some bad people over here, ranging from monarchs to soccer hooligans to, dare he say it, Mr. Bean fans. Swagger goes after the bad arm to start as Cena’s underwear is sticking out. Here’s Del Rio with the Mexican flag as Cesaro throws Cena to the floor. Back from a break with Del Rio on commentary and Cesaro bringing in Swagger for a chinlock.
The running Vader Bomb hits Cena’s knees and John shoulder blocks both guys down, only to run into a European uppercut from Cesaro. The Swing is countered into an STF attempt but Antonio makes the tag off to Swagger. Jack can’t get the Patriot Lock but Cesaro goes up top, only to have his cross body rolled into an AA attempt. Swagger makes the save with a chop block to the leg but Cena backdrops out of a Neutralizer attempt.
Cena hits his finishing sequence on Swagger but the AA is countered into the Patriot Lock. John rolls out and hits the AA but Cesaro breaks up the pin at two. A powerbomb gets two on Cesaro but he comes back with Swiss Death for the same result. Cesaro loads up what looked to be a top rope huricanrana but Cena shoves him into a tag to Swagger. Jack’s running suplex is countered into a top rope cross body from Cena and the STF makes Jack tap at 12:56.
Rating: B-. This was good but was there ever any doubt as to how this was going to end? That’s one of the big problems with matches like this and how far down the Americans have been pushed: no one believed the team had a chance and even though there were some good spots, the ending was never in doubt.
Post match Del Rio goes after Cena and puts him in the armbreaker with a chair around the arm. Big E. Langston makes the save and gets a nice chant from the audience.
Del Rio complains to the bosses about Langston and a match is made for later tonight.
R-Truth vs. Ryback
Truth does an unfunny rap about Ryback on the way to the ring, talking about how Ryback is a bully with bad breath. Truth grabs a headlock to start and kicks Ryback in the face, only to be driven into a few corners. Ryback keeps pounding away with his power stuff, but the Meathook misses, allowing Truth to grab a quick rollup for the pin at 4:00.
Rating: D. And yet they wonder why Ryback isn’t over. He jobs to Punk over and over again, gets a win last week where he gets to show off, and now loses to R-Truth. The match was junk though with no one caring and mostly dominance until the quick ending. I’m assuming Ryback eventually gets his win back though, meaning we’ll be right back where we started.
Big E. Langston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Langston pounds on Alberto but Del Rio comes back with some shots to the head and a chinlock. The fans sound like they’re at a funeral for this match. Langston fights out with suplex and the Warrior Splash as the Wave has begun in the crowd. Del Rio hits the enziguri in the corner but Langston runs him over with ease. The Big Ending is countered into the armbreaker for the submission at 4:04.
Rating: D. GAH WHY DO THEY KEEP DOING THIS NONSENSE??? They want to push Langston as a big deal so their solution is to put him in match after match that he isn’t allowed to win because it would hurt the other guy. SO STOP PUTTING HIM IN MATCHES AGAINST THAT KIND OF COMPETITION ALREADY!!! Why is that so freaking complicated???
Veterans video again.
Axel is with a very damaged Heyman in the ring. Paul is in a neck brace, a cast on his leg and his arm is in a sling while sitting in a wheelchair. He blames Ryback for this beating because Ryback messed up by not being there to save him. Ryback bit off more than he could chew and Punk used the chance to destroy Heyman. However, the real blame is on every fan in the audience for cheering Punk on as he climbed the Cell.
Tonight though, Heyman is here to have every member of the audience as a witness to this statement. He’ll be back with a vengeance and hang over CM Punk like the sword of Damocles. Heyman talks about driving the sword into Punk when Punk’s music hits. Heyman: “OH NO!” Punk charges to the ring and beats up Axel, laying him out with the GTS. CM stares at Heyman and pulls a kendo stick out from under the ring. Heyman is spun around in the chair and then dumped onto the mat so Punk can destroy him with the stick even more. Heyman is also in a back brace to complete the list of injuries.
CM Punk/Daniel Bryan vs. Shield
Punk clotheslines Ambrose down to start before bringing Bryan in for a double suplex for two. Rollins comes in and is almost immediately caught in the surfboard. Punk gets the tag and kicks Seth in the chest for two but the GTS is escaped. Off to Reigns for a staredown but Bryan comes in for some stereo kicks to the legs. Reigns shrugs them off and clotheslines both guys down before taking Bryan into the Shield corner.
Rollins comes in but gets caught in a release German suplex and a top rope hurricanrana gets two. A kick to the head puts Bryan down again and we take our last break. Back with Ambrose working on Bryan in the corner before handing it over to Reigns for a headbutt. Back to Rollins as the slow attack but fast tags continue. A slam puts Bryan down and we hit the chinlock. Bryan fights up and sends Rollins into Reigns, allowing for the hot tag off to Punk.
Everything breaks down and the Macho Elbow gets two on Ambrose. Bryan’s top rope knee takes down Rollins and the FLYING GOAT drops Ambrose. Reigns takes out Bryan but Punk hits a suicide dive to take out Roman. Punk and Ambrose trade some insanely fast counters until Punk hooks the Anaconda Vice. Ambrose is about to tap when we’ve got Wyatts. We’ll say the match was thrown out at about 13:00.
Rating: C+. This took awhile to get going but the last few minutes were hot. Not a great match or anything though as the fans were entirely burnt out by the end. Also it didn’t help that everyone was waiting on the big appearance by the Wyatts but at least they waited until the last possible second.
Punk and Bryan wisely bail to the floor, leaving Shield to argue with the freaky dudes. Bray and Reigns get in an argument on the floor before fighting into the ring. Both teams get in a huge brawl but Bray eventually separates them, saying Punk and Bryan are the common enemies. Punk and Bryan get in the ring for a brawl and get beaten down until the Usos, Goldust and Cody make the save to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This really didn’t do it for me. The constant handicap matches got old in a hurry and the show felt like it didn’t matter at all for the most part. I’m not sure where they’re going with the Shield due to their actions with Orton but turning all three at them at once isn’t the best idea. Nothing at all on here felt important though and that can make for a very long three hours.
Cody Rhodes/Goldust b. Randy Orton via countout
Santino Marella/Los Matadores b. Union Jacks – Cobra to Mahal
Damien Sandow b. Kofi Kingston – You’re Welcome
Curtis Axel b. Dolph Ziggler – Neckbreaker into a faceplant
Tamina Snuka b. Nikki Bella – Superfly Splash
Fandango b. Tyson Kidd – Countered sunset flip
John Cena b. Real Americans – STF to Swagger
R-Truth b. Ryback – Rollup
Alberto Del Rio b. Big E. Langston – Cross armbreaker
Daniel Bryan/CM Punk vs. Shield went to a no contest
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