Raw: Big Show gets what he wants, and also more than he bargained for
NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
As my SLAM! Wrestling colleague Dale Plummer put it, the WWE kind of hit the reset button at Hell in a Cell. Now that we've had a week to absorb the new feuds, the scene shifts to Greenville, South Carolina. Let's see what awaits as we go live on USA.
Looks like it's right to the ring tonight. CM Punk is now officially entangled with the creepy Wyatt Family, and he's facing one of them in singles action to kick off the show.
Match 1 - CM Punk vs. Luke Harper
Bray Wyatt is in his rocking chair looking on as Punk takes on Harper. The big man's physical strength is enough to keep the best in the world at bay for a few minutes, but that ends after a dive between the ropes. Erick Rowan moves in from across the floor and Punk watches warily as we break for commercials. Despite the obvious numbers problem, Punk defies the odds and manages to pin a somewhat astonished looking Harper by rolling him up when he goes for his clothesline finisher. That earns him a quick two-on-assault, but a heavily bandaged Bryan comes sprinting from the back with steel chair in hand. Bryan drives off the Wyatts, and the WWE's two most over faces stand together as Raw comes to an end. Good night everyone! What's that? That was just the opening match? Okay then, let's continue.
Triple H gave WWE.com an exclusive interview last week, but we get to see part of it now. The big takeaway is that Big Show is banned from WWE for life. Also, viewers get to pick Randy Orton's opponent for the night: The Miz, Big E Langston, or Dolph Ziggler.
Punk tells Renee Young that since he has been dealing with Paul Heyman and his goons for months, he's used to being outnumbered. But he's pleased that he's not the only one with issues with the Wyatts. After that, Heyman is on the phone with Michael Cole detailing all his injuries at Punk's hands. Well, more like whining about the beating he took, really. Cole asks if Heyman is crying, and as he hangs up, it really sounds like he was.
Match 2 - Ryback vs. The Great Khali
This one came together after Khali objected to Ryback's bullying of Hornswoggle, and... Wait, there's a WWE kids magazine? I did not know that. Ryback makes short work of Khali with a Meat Hook, and he has a little pain for Santino Marella after the bell as well.
Match 3 - Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio is looking to take out some of his frustration after losing the world heavyweight championship to John Cena eight days ago. Kingston dumps him out to the floor and flies over the ropes to greet him. ADR shakes that off to hit a double stomp in the corner and a double ax handle off the turnbuckle. Kofi eats kicks as he's tangled in the ropes, but he kicks out of the ensuing pin. A German suplex earns Del Rio another near fall, and he mocks his opponent before taking things to the mat. Kofi uses a sunset flip to get a quick two but is scrambling to kick out again following a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Del Rio pummels Kingston with headbutts but misses an enzuigiri, and Kofi flies in for yet another near fall. Kingston's high cross body finds the mark, but it's still not enough. Del Rio kicks out of one more pinfall attempt and pivots into position for the cross armbreaker, and Kingston can only fight it for a few seconds before tapping out.
We're going to hear now from Big Show's attorney about why he's suing a Triple H and Stephanie. The reasons include discrimination, slander, breach of contract, intimidation, extortion and exploitation, along with everyone's favorite, wrongful termination. Out by the ring, Cole and Jerry Lawler tout the second screen experience provided by the WWE app.
Randy Orton comes out for his match still not knowing who he's going to face. And the winner is... Orton interrupts Lawler's reveal so he can cut a promo. The WWE champ runs down the fans and claims the women in attendance are fantasizing about waking up with Orton, and that the men will never measure up to be even half the man he is. All he sees is disgusting faces of envy and jealousy. The only power they have is picking the Viper's next victim. By a landslide, it's Langston.
Match 4 - Randy Orton vs. Big E Langston
Orton gets an early taste of Big E's power and promptly retreats to compose himself on the outside. Langston grabs a couple of near falls and drives Orton to the outside again. A dropkick finally gets things going the champ's way, but his attempt at a DDT backfires, and Langston flips him out to the floor. After a commercial break, Orton takes it to Langston on the outside. Big E powers his way out of a sleeper hold once they move back inside, and his belly-to-belly suplex sets up a splash that forces Orton to kick out. The Viper recovers to hit his signature DDT, but he spends his time staring down the fans instead of pressing his advantage. Langston shoves his way out of an RKO and nails a big clothesline. He tries for his finisher, but Orton counters with an RKO and gets the pinfall.
Match 5 - Fandango and Summer Rae vs. Tyson Kidd and Natalya
The newlyweds look like... well, newlyweds as they tag together against the dancers. Kidd is making his return to in-ring action after a serious knee injury last year. Summer stops him from going off the top rope with Fandango out on the floor, but that only delays the inevitable Sharpshooter. Fandango taps out and the married couple gets the win.
Young welcomes Damien Sandow and makes him watch his unsuccessful attempt to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. That's not a pleasant memory for him, one he's been reliving over and over. Sandow says he'll stop at nothing to get what he wants, and Zeb Colter tells him he'll get a chance for payback along with the Real Americans tonight.
John Cena hits the ring to give one more mention to the WWE partnership to the Susan G. Komen foundation and announcing that the pink gear will be available for the rest of the year to support breast cancer awareness. He points out survivors in the crowd so they can get some acknowledgement from the fans.
Match 6 - John Cena, Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Damien Sandow and The Real Americans
Both Colter and Del Rio join the announcers and find themselves reluctantly siding with each other in their contempt for Cena. That means both of them are happy when Antonio Cesaro nails Cena with a huge uppercut and Jack Swagger delivers a Swagger Bomb after a commercial break. Cena needs to make a tag, but he ends up in the Patriot Lock first and remains in trouble. I mean, for quite a while. He does eventually tag out, and all heck breaks loose with all six men getting involved. Goldust ends up going for the Cesaro Swing as JBL counts in Spanish. Goldust rolls out to the floor, and Cena sends Cesaro crashing into Colter. Goldust hits a corner bulldog on Cesaro to force a save from Sandow, but Cena comes flying in to even things back up. Goldust executes the Final Cut on Cesaro, and it's enough to get the three count.
Despite the ban, Vickie Guerrero informs Triple H that Big Show is in the building. He is livid, but Stephanie informs her hubby that the Board has demanded that no risks be taken with Show since the lawsuit is pending, and they want it settled. Hunter isn't happy about it, but he sends Vickie to summon Show to his office.
Match 7 - Dolph Ziggler vs. Curtis Axel
With Heyman in Europe, Axel goes it alone here. Ziggler hits him with an early dropkick and makes him kick out, but the IC champ quickly takes control after that. His own dropkick gets a two count, and he tries to control Ziggler on the mat. That tactic doesn't work for long, and Ziggler is able to get the win a few minutes later with the Zig Zag. Guess Axel does need the Paulrus around.
A stern looking Bryan is stopped by Young and asked if he should be here with his injury. He says it may not have been smart, but he saw an opportunity for revenge and he took it. Also it looks like there's someone else with an issue with the Wyatts.
Vickie informs The Authority that Big Show will meet with them - but out in the ring, not in the office. HHH muses that Show wants witnesses.
Match 8 - The Usos vs. 3MB (Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre)
Um, I looked away for a minute and the Usos had already won this one. Oh well!
Back to a busy Young, who watches some of Los Matadores' biggest highlights with the tag team. El Torito is a little bit horny. That means he might horn Renee in the knees. Get your minds out of the gutter! #RememberItsPG
Match 9 - The Bella Twins and Eva Marie vs. Tamina Snuka, Aksana, and AJ Lee
I'm contractually obligated to recap this match, so I will. But I don't have to be thrilled with yet another six-woman tag match. Brie Bella has a nice flurry that ends with a dropkick to Tamina, and she rolls away from the Superfly Splash. Eva Marie tags herself in and rolls up Tamina to earn her first WWE win.
Triple H and Stephanie oblige Big Show and wait for him in the ring. He comes out dressed in a suit and flashing a bit of a smile for the first time in quite a while. Steph asks him what he wants from the settlement, and he cracks that a broom would be good so she can hop on it and fly back to Connecticut. The Game angrily intervenes and demands to know how much money it will take to shut him up. Show doesn't want money though, he just wants his job back. Steph agrees, but Show has one more little thing: the world's largest bonus. Scratch that, he wants to be the face of the WWE. Now it's Hunter's turn to calm down his wife, and right at that moment, The Shield's music hits. And we abruptly go to commercial. After the break,Show makes it very clear that he wants a title shot against Orton at Survivor Series. Triple H digs his heels in and refuses, to which Show says his attorney will be in touch tomorrow morning. His back against the wall, Triple H grants the big man his match at Survivor Series. Clearly relishing having the upper hand for a change, Show makes him repeat it multiple times. Since he's an employee again, Hunter wants him to compete in a handicap match against The Shield... and Orton. We're doing this now? Okay then.
Match 10 - Big Show vs. The Shield and Randy Orton
Things quickly turn bad for Show, who finds himself under assault from all four of his opponents. He fights his way out momentarily, and Orton wants no part of him. Now Kane's music hits, and he comes out sans mask and in a suit and tie. That strange sight distracts Show long enough for Orton to hit an RKO, and Kane starts tossing the heels some steel chairs. Shots rain down from every direction as the ref calls for the bell. The announce table is cleared off, and Roman Reigns clobbers Show with the steel steps. It's not easy, but The Shield gets Show up for a triple power bomb through the announce table. Orton lords it over the downed giant as the carnage finally ends,as does the broadcast. See you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk was raised by lawyers, so he's ready to assist Bg Show with legal counsel if necessary. Discuss wrestling or the powers of attorneys with Nick on his Twitter feed @nick_tylwalk, his Google+ page +NickTylwalk, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.