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   September 23, 2014



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Raw: Orton and Cena sign on the dotted line in OKC
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


In the amazingly short time between pay-per-views at this time of year, we’re somehow less than two weeks away from another one. Apparently the two main WWE titles will be unified again, as tonight’s show will feature a contract signing between the two champs. Oklahoma City will play host to this historic event plus other assorted foolishness as Raw goes live on USA.

CM Punk is in the mood to think out loud as he enters the ring to kick off the show. He's been wondering all week why he was attacked by The Shield, and he thinks it's because he dared to criticize Triple H. He hopes not, as that would be a mistake, as he describes in some not very nice words. Stephanie McMahon appears to offer a rebuttal, saying that even though her husband was a founding member of D-Generation X, he's matured since then - even if Punk hasn't. She claims that The Authority was just as upset as he was that The Shield attacked him, and says that if he has any further questions or grievances, he can take them up with the Director of Operations. That'd be Kane. Surprisingly eloquently, Kane says The Shield acted on its own and the issue is resolved. Punk asks when Kane became the Big Red Ass-Kisser, but the big man recommends he not go down this path. Though Punk tries goading him into a physical confrontation, Steph calms the Director down, and The Shield heads down from the stands instead. Steph orders them to stop, but Kane tells Punk he'll be facing all three members of The Shield in a handicap match at TLC.

You can vote right now on the WWE app for what the unified champion is going to be called after TLC. Or maybe that's the undisputed champ. It's up to us. Well, not you, because you're reading this after the fact. Sorry.

Match 1 - Damien Sandow vs. Dolph Ziggler - Intercontnental Championship Number One Contenders Match

Big E Langston joins the commentators, talking about how he and Dolph used to compete at Skip-It. JBL may need to look that up. I actually forgot that Ziggler held the World Heavyweight Championship briefly, something JBL dismisses as a "cup of coffee." He's getting no closer to the IC belt, as Sandow pins him with the You're Welcome.

Match 2 - Natalya and the Bella Twins vs. AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka and Summer Rae

I feel like the Divas never compete in anything but six-woman or more tag matches these days, with the occasional title match thrown in every now and then. AJ spends the first part of the match skipping nonstop around the ring while her partners work. Summer tries the worst sunset flip in recent memory. She wants to tag out, and AJ finally decides to enter the fray. All six women briefly get involved before Nattie rolls up AJ to get the pin. Hooray?

Ladies and gentlemen, it's Bad News Barrett. The bad news is apparently just an opening for him to run down the Oklahoma City fans. Backstage, Randy Orton apologizes a bit to Brad Maddox, but only because he wants something. He tells Maddox to tell The Authority that he is the greatest champ of all time, and bigger than the WWE itself.

Match 3 - Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan

Though Bryan was taken away by the Wyatt a Family last week, he seems to be showing no ill effects. That makes them slightly less scary. Also we learn that JBL thinks Bryan should have joined the Wyatt's, and that he doesn't like Shakespeare. Rowan controls the match up to and through the commercial break, and we're just waiting for Bryan to mount any kind of offense. Still waiting... Hey, now he's up and doing some damage. A missile dropkick finally tilts things in Bryan's favor, and when Rowan tries an overhead press slam, Daniel slides down and rolls him up to get the three count. Bray Wyatt appears on the screen to play some more mind games with Bryan. Is he trying to recruit Daniel into his clan? Sure sounds like it.

Bryan runs into Kane backstage, where he gets some bad news: he'll face all three Wyatts in a handicap match at TLC.

Match 4 - R-Truth and Xavier Woods vs. Tons of Funk

There's apparently beef between Brodus Clay and Woods after the rookie borrowed the Funkadactyls last week. Woods ends up getting the pin here, and it appears there may be some dissension among Tons of Funk.

Match 5 - Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio

These guys have wrestled before, no? Del Rio threatens to call immigration to send Sin Cara back to Mexico. Sin Cara flies off the apron, but ADR kicks him right back out to the floor. Did I mention I enjoy the way this match is being contested under Sin Cara's special lighting? Well I do. The masked wrestler hits a senton off the top rope after Del Rio misses an enzuigiri, and he gets a surprise clean win.

Match 6 - Cody Rhodes, Goldust and Big Show vs. The Shield

Big Show dominates the early proceedings, regardless of which Shield member is in the ring against him. Punk watches anxiously on a backstage monitor. Rhodes hits an impressive vertical suplex on Seth Rollins before tagging in his brother. To no one's surprise, there's a commercial break in the middle of this one, and Rhodes has to fight his way out of trouble on the other side of it. Cody hits both Rollins and Dean Ambrose with a dropkick, and he manages to make the tag to Big Show. Ambrose is able to hit the giant with the world's slowest low bridge, and Show just barely beats the referee's ten count. Rollins hits a flying knee but can't even roll his large foe over to make a cover. Ambrose makes sure Show is stuck in the unfriendly corner, where he gets worked over by all three Shield members. Goldust tags in and runs through his offense, including a hurricanrana (really!). But Reigns ends up spearing Big Show, and Rhodes ends up taking him out in turn. That leaves Goldust to superplex Ambrose, but Rollins is the legal man, and he pins Goldust to steal a win for his side.

Those "Christmas Bounty" previews though... (Shakes head in disbelief)

Renee Young has been strangely underused tonight, but she gets to ask Punk about his reaction to being booked to face The Shield in a handicap match. Sarcastically, he acts like he's excited and launches into a rendition of "I Feel Pretty." Turning serious, Punk says he knows he's going down, it's just a matter of how many Shield members he's taking with him. Out in the ring, Barrett delivers some bad news about the effects of a Thanksgiving dinner. Can we declare this gimmick a dud already?

Match 7 - Kofi Kingston and The Miz vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback

Hey, I thought Miz was a heel again? It's hard to keep track. Ryback gets the "Goldberg" chant as usual. He and Axel work as am effective team even without Paul Heyman to guide them, and Ryback ends up pinning Kingston with the Shell Shock. After the bell, Miz slaps Kofi. Okay, there we go.

Los Matadores get the call as product pitchmen tonight. El Torito furiously tries calling in an order by phone.

Match 8 - Fandango vs. Mark Henry

Fandango tries strutting his stuff in front of an unamused Henry. It goes about as well as you'd expect. The World's Strongest Man shows off his own moves in front of Summer Rae, but that's just a momentary distraction before he beats Fandango with a World's Strongest Slam. JBL and Jerry Lawler argue about what constitutes twerking.

Match 9 - The Real Americans vs. The Prime Time Players

Michael Cole informs us that Jack Swagger has renounced his allegiance to Oklahoma. He hits a Swagger Bomb on Titus O'Neil, which is followed by a two-footed stomp by Antonio Cesaro. The Cesaro Swing is in effect again, and Titus looks ill for the second straight week. Darren Young tags in and takes it to Cesaro, but he eventually runs into a huge uppercut and gets pinned.

In the words of the great KRS-One, we're not done yet. We're not done. There's a contract signing to handle, and The Authority heads down to the ring with that in mind. Orton and John Cena both report, and Triple H gives a little speech putting over the history of the titles. Both men sign on the dotted line, and Steph gives them both a chance to say something. Orton makes his claim that he's better than all of the past champions, and also says that like the majority of the people in the arena, he doesn't like Cena very much. Cena mocks the fact that Orton has glossed over their prior history, but Randy reminds him of kicking his dad in the head. In response, Cena points out that Orton never lived up to his tremendous potential, getting lazy once he got near the top. Cena tells Orton to leave or make a move - and if he picks the latter, he'll get a free TLC preview. Orton flips the table over, and the fight is on! They head to the floor, where Cena strikes with a ladder and a chair. Oh, there's a microphone shot or two in there as well, and the steel steps come into play. Orton finally makes his way to the ring, where he uses some of the weapons on hand to make a rally. It's Cena who gets the last laugh however, as he drives Orton through a table with an Attitude Adjustment and holds both belts aloft. See you in seven!

Nick Tylwalk is wondering if he should challenge SLAM! Wrestling Smackdown writer Dale Plummer to a write-off for the undisputed title of TV recappers. Give the thumbs up or down to this idea by following Nick on Twitter at @nick_tylwalk, on Google+ at +NickTylwalk, or with a simple email to ntylwalk7@yahoo.com.