Raw: Going country in Nashville with a 12-man main event
NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
The Authority may have been away last week, but the vacation is over now. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H are back tonight, for a special Raw Country show in Nashville. We've got a live performance from Florida Georgia Line on tap, so get your cowboy hats ready as we go live from Music City on USA.
As expected, Steph and The Game walk out holding hands on the way to the ring. They're happy to be back despite being disappointed with how last week's show turned out, and Trips promises to deal with Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero for the chaos they presided over. Randy Orton comes out in an accusatory mood, blaming The Authority for failing to protect their most valuable asset. Tempers continue to flare until Maddox comes out and tries throwing Guerrero under the bus. Triple H thinks both of them need to pay, so Steph announces that Vickie will take on AJ while Trips books Brad to face The Viper. Just to make it fair for Maddox, his bout will also be no disqualification. Kane prevents Brad from having any thoughts of running away.
Match 1 - Brad Maddox vs. Randy Orton
I need to have one of the SLAM! Wrestling research interns look up the record of wrestlers forced to compete in business clothes. It can't be good. Maddox actually gets the upper hand with a microphone shot and a DDT, but all that does is make the WWE Champion mad. Orton DDTs Maddox on the floor and throws him back into the ring to suffer through a series of microphone shots to the face. The ref calls for the bell as Maddox is out cold.
Vickie looks a bit concerned as she sees Maddox get wheeled out on a stretcher. A look into the future, perhaps?
Match 2 - Big E Langston (challenger) vs. Curtis Axel (champion) - Intercontinental Championship Match
Langston immediately subjects Axel to a series of power moves, forcing the champ to kick out several times. Axel swarms his challenger, trying to keep him off balance as we step out for some commercials. A few minutes later, Langston is able to hit a splash, a big clothesline, and the Big Finish to pick up his first singles title.
Backstage, Orton and The Shield come to a bit of an understanding. It appears they will be watching each other's backs going forward. After more ads, Jerry Lawler is in the ring with the WWE Divas for a game of musical chairs. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like.
Match 3 - Big Show vs. Ryback
Nothing too fancy in this battle of big bald guys. Ryback tries chopping Show down to size with a dive at his legs, and he stays on the attack with punches and a splash. Big Show fights his way off the mat and buys himself a breather, but Ryback manages to sort of hit a spinebuster. He calls for the Meat Hook, and after connecting with a clothesline off the ropes, he actually manages to get Show up for the Shell Shock. Impressive, but not enough to get the pin. Ryback attempts another Shell Shock, but Show shoves his way out and uses the knockout punch to earn the win. Orton attempts a post-match ambush but runs right into a big spear.
Florida Georgia Line has a run-in with artists formerly known as 3MB, now calling themselves the Rhinestone Cowboys. Ahem. In the training room, Orton nurses his injured ribs and angrily wonders why The Shield wasn't out there helping him.
Match 4 - The Real Americans vs. Kofi Kingston and The Miz
Miz starts things out for his side and ends up taking a beating right out of the gate. Kofi finally gets tagged in, doing his thing until he's caught and slammed by Jack Swagger. Kofi crawls over for a tag, but Miz refuses to re-enter, and Swagger forces Kingston to tap out to the Patriot Lock.
Vickie tries feigning an injury, but Stephanie sees through her charade. Ah well.
Match 5 - Vickie Guerrero vs. AJ Lee
Guerrero sticks to her act, pretending she's dehydrated. Tamina Snuka won't let her run, and AJ skips up the ramp to make her return to the ring and face the music. AJ applies the Black Widow and gets a quick tapout, and Vickie decides to faint again.
Match 6 - Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow - Broadway Brawl Match
Triple H said he wasn't even sure what a Broadway Brawl Match was. Apparently it involves lots of instruments that can be used as weapons. Reminds me of the guitar room from an old WCW pay-per-view match with Jeff Jarrett. Several get used before and after the commercial break. A fiddle shot and a Famouser get Ziggler a near fall, but soon after he finds himself flying into a cello. He rallies to break a snare drum over Sandow's head, and the bass drum follows right behind. With Sandow trapped inside the bass drum, he eats a big guitar shot and is down for the three count.
Orton complains to The Authority again about the lack of respect he's been getting, and he asks if he has their confidence as the face of the WWE. Steph tells him they'll think about it. Backstage, John Cena chats up Florida Georgia Line.
Cena comes to the ring with his left arm in a sling, the result of several attacks last week by Alberto Del Rio. He wonders if he came back too soon following his surgery, but he really wanted to compete at a Survivor Series in front of his family and friends in Boston. Cena plans on retaining his belt despite the adversity, but Del Rio is unimpressed with his inspirational speech. Alberto says a real champion takes advantage of every opportunity, and the champ agrees. They have a brief skirmish that ends with ADR hightailing it back up the ramp.
Match 7 - The Rhinestone Cowboys (Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal) vs. R-Truth and Xavier Woods
Hey it's the former Consequences Creed. Woods neutralizes Heath Slater's attempted interference before hitting the Lost in the Woods to get his first win.
Steph and Triple H tell Orton they do have confidence in him, which is why there won't be any help from The Shield for him on Sunday. That seems to have fired him up.
Florida Georgia Line performs live. Now it's time for all the introductions for the 12-man main event.
Main Event - Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, and The Usos vs. The Shield and the Wyatt Family
I'm not going to try recapping every move and tag in this one. It doesn't take long for The Shield and the Wyatt's to start arguing, which is the perfect time for commercials. Who will be the first of the faces to get into extended trouble? Looks like it's Rhodes, who ends up stuck over in the enemy corner as the Shield members take turns working him over. Luke Harper finally tags himself in, but that backfires as Bryan enters and starts flying around like a maniac. Harper halts that barrage with a power bomb and yields the floor to Bray Wyatt. Now it's Bryan's turn to absorb some punishment, and the heels finally seem to be working together. And there's another break for ads. Bryan nails Roman Reigns with a DDT, and it's Punk who gets the hot tag. He hits Dean Ambrose with an elbow off the top and locks him in the Anaconda Vice. Everyone gets in on the act, and bodies are flying everywhere. Punk finally outlasts the craziness and administers the GTS to Ambrose to get the pinfall. The Real Americans try to get involved after the bell, but they're countered by the returning Rey Mysterious. Harper ends up taking a trio of finishing moves as the faces get the last laugh. Enjoy Survivor Series, and we'll see you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk wouldn't admit this in public, but the country aspects of Raw Country weren't that bad. Oops, he just did it. Anyway, follow him on Twitter (@nick_tylwalk), on Google+ (+NickTylwalk) or fire him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to talk all things wrestling.