Raw: Big Show snaps and Triple H takes a nap in Pittsburgh
NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
Well, we didn't get a WWE Champion Sunday night after Big Show knocked out darn near everyone. There's bound to be some consequences in Pittsburgh tonight, so let's check out the fallout as Raw goes live from the Consol Energy Center on USA.
As expected, Stephanie McMahon wants to address the main event shenanigans right away, and she says Big Show will have to answer to everyone for his actions. The giant wants to say something, but he's quickly told to shut up. Steph calls his actions inexcusable, and he offers just a weak "sorry." That doesn't stop her from continuing to berate him, saying it's time for him to man up and take responsibility for his actions. She wants him to get down on his knees and beg for forgiveness. He doesn't seem like he's going to do that, claiming he knocked out Daniel Bryan by her orders. Steph starts slapping him before dropping the (obvious) bomb: he's fired.
Match 1 - Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow is all over Ziggler in the early going, grinding knees into Dolph's back on the mat. Meanwhile, the announcers are debating whether Show acted on his own. One guess which one thinks Steph is innocent. One commercial break later, Sandow is still taking it to Ziggler on the floor. The Pittsburgh fans try to get Ziggler going, and he finally does when Sandow flies into the post. A baseball slide allows Dolph to gain some momentum, and he uses corner punches and a dropkick to get a near fall. Several minutes later, a Fameasser allows Ziggler to get a come from behind victory.
A nervous looking Brad Maddox gets chewed out by Stephanie as she runs down exactly how wrong the plan went at Battleground. He tries saying something about Triple H, but she's not hearing any of that. Steph orders Maddox to publicly apologize and to tell the WWE Universe how he's going to make it up to them.
During the break, Jerry Lawler led the fans in a Happy Birthday song for the living legend, Bruno Sammartino. I'd say I hope I look that good at 78, but I already know I won't.
Match 2 - Rosa Mendes, Oksana and Alicia Fox vs. Natalya, Eva Marie and Jojo
This marks the first time we've seen Eva Marie and Jojo in the ring. Actually, just kidding, because Jojo doesn't even get to work before Eva Marie tags in Natalya, who gets Fox to tap out to the Sharpshooter.
To no one's surprise, Maddox comes out to make his public apology. He declares a rematch for the WWE Championship to take place inside Hell in a Cell. Furthermore, three WWE Hall of Famers will be presented later in the show, and fans will be able to vote on which one will be special guest referee using the WWE app (#ProductPlacement). The first candidate is introduced right away, and it's Booker T. He makes his case by simply stating that the people already know he'll do the right thing for the people, as well as what's best for business.
Match 3 - Los Matadores vs. 3MB (Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre)
Remember when McIntyre was getting a big singles push? Yeah, he probably doesn't either. Los Matadores are always ready for Breast Cancer Awareness Month thanks to their ring gear, and they quickly win this one by pinning McIntyre with their finisher. El Torito gets a rise out of Heath Slater, and the little bull ends up giving him a hurricanrana off the top turnbuckle. Really.
Paul Heyman introduces himself once again as the "Best in the World" thanks to his feat of beating CM Punk with both hands tied behind his back. Of course Punk did beat Ryback last night, but only because he's a cheater as well as a bully. Pictures are shown on the big screen as evidence, but Punk comes out to the stage to answer those charges in person. Punk admits to no wrongdoing, saying the only thing he did last night was win, and the only reason he kicked Ryback in the, um, grapefruits, was to see if he had any. He goes on to accept whatever challenge Heyman and company want to issue. Ryback wants Punk to come to the ring right now, but R-Truth comes out to ensure the odds are more even. Charles Robinson is in the ring too, so it looks like we've got ourselves a tag team match.
Match 4 - CM Punk and R-Truth vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel
Ryback makes Punk wait for a confrontation, sending Axel out to work until the commercial break. We return to find Truth in some trouble, far from his own corner. There's also an extended discussion among the announcers about what does and does not constitute bullying. Hey, Truth is still getting beat up. Ryback has him in an abdominal stretch while Robinson looks on. Truth finally escapes a corner move and hits a dropkick, and the serious hot tag is made to Punk. Axel takes the top rope elbow and the Go To Sleep, and Ryback gets a high kick to the face. After pausing for a moment, Punk tags Truth back in so he can pin Axel with the corkscrew scissors kick.
And the next candidate to be the special referee for the Bryan-Orton rematch is... Bob Backlund. He screams his reasons why people should vote for him, including the fact that he'll do what's right for the match. He'll also put someone in the crossface chicken wing if he gets out of hand. Stand up when Bob Backlund addresses you!
Match 5 - Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton
Orton no doubt has some frustration to work out after Battleground, and he goes right after Kingston. Alas, there's a commercial break in this match too. All that means is that Kofi gets punished some more. Kingston's first burst of offense is halted promptly by a dropkick, but he hits a DDT off the top turnbuckle to get some momentum going. A high cross body finds the mark, but Orton kicks out at two. Kofi gets another fall with the S.O.S., but his springboard move from the apron backfires when Orton catches him and pivots into a power slam. The battle goes to the floor, and Orton manages to hit an RKO when they get back between the ropes that brings the proceedings to a close. After the bell, Bryan hits the ring and goes wild, hurling Orton over the announce table and beating him down until a gaggle of referees and other officials can intervene. Bryan breaks free and chases Orton backstage, but that seems to be it for now.
Alberto Del Rio tries to butter up Vickie Guerrero to get the night off. He seems pretty confident as he walks away, but he may not have gotten to her the way he assumed.
The final candidate for special referee is... well he's the man who's probably going to win this voting, the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. He admits that he's close friends with Triple H and that he trained Bryan, but he won't let either of those things or his dislike of Orton sway him. Michaels guarantees that he'll make sure there is a WWE Champion because he cares about what's best for the fans.
Match 6 - Alberto Del Rio vs. Ricardo Rodriguez
This doesn't look good for poor Ricardo, but Vickie has one more announcement to make: Del Rio will defend his championship at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view - against John Cena! That surprise affects ADR so much that Rodriguez is able to roll him up for the three count. But his triumph is temporary, as an enraged Del Rio smashes him over by the announce table before stomping away on his arm while it's trapped in a steel chair.
Match 7 - Zack Ryder vs. Fandango
Fandango evades an early Broski Boot but still takes a kick to the head on the outside. That only slows him for a bit, as the dancing superstar rallies back in the ring and hits the flying legdrop to give Ryder another 'L.'
It's time to find out who won the voting, and all three candidates are gathered backstage. Here's the drum roll, and in a landslide victory, HBK gets the gig. #NoSurpriseThere
Match 8 - The Real Americans vs. The Great Khali and Santino Marella
Well what do you know? Antonio Cesaro gets Khali off his feet, and the giant swing takes the big man for a spin. That makes him so dizzy that he can't kick out of the pin, and the match is over early. After the bell, Hornswoggle goes for a swing as well, but Santino comes to his rescue with the Cobra after only a few revolutions.
Miz TV doesn't even get started before the Wyatt Family decides to make an entrance. Bray Wyatt tries to block the ramp while his henchmen attack from the ring, but Miz is barely able to escape.
Triple H has arrived, and he chastises Maddox a bit before announcing that he's going out to make sure what happens in the main event is best for business.
Main Event - The Shield vs. Goldust, Cody Rhodes, and Daniel Bryan
Goldust starts the match against Seth Rollins, and The Game is indeed at ringside. Cody and Dean Ambrose also get tagged in early, with Rhodes getting knocked off the top rope to the floor. Have to step out for one last batch of ads. Rhodes is still absorbing damage and is trapped in the Shield corner. Ambrose tries to take him up for a superplex, but he gets knocked down and eats a moonsault instead. Bryan finally gets tagged in, and he unleashes on Rollins. The top rope Frankensteiner has Rollins down, but he's saved from the pin and everyone gets involved. Only Bryan and Rollins remain in the ring, where Bryan administers the Yes Lock. Roman Reigns brings in a chair, causing the ref to call for the DQ, but Triple H orders the match restarted with no disqualifications. It quickly turns chaotic as Orton comes down and hits Bryan with an RKO on the floor. Rollins pins a helpless Bryan, but the fighting isn't over. Goldust is about to get triple-teamed, but the Big Show appears on stage and starts walking down the ramp. HHH hides behind The Shield, but will they be enough? They rush him three-on-one, and the numbers wear the giant down. The Game screams for them to finish him, but Show shrugs them off and levels the COO with a knockout punch. Bryan can only laugh as he leads the fans in a broadcast-ending cheer. See you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk is planning on a wrestling journalism first: covering Hell in a Cell from inside his own homemade cell! For pics of his sweet set-up, follow his Twitter feed @nick_tylwalk, follow him on Google+, or just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.