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   October 01, 2014



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Raw: Love for Bryan and fire from Cena before TLC
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


Iím not sure if youíve heard or not, but the two main WWE titles are going to be unified (allegedly anyway) this coming Sunday. Weíve got one more Raw to get through first, originating from Daniel Bryan country in Seattle. Letís go live on USA to see whatís what.

Michael Cole and JBL are rocking tuxedos tonight for the Slammy Awards. And before you ask, yes, the WWE app is a big part of this.

Match 1 - Daniel Bryan vs. Fandango

Both of these gentlemen are up for crowd participation Slammys of some sort. Only one is sporting new ring entrance wear though, and it's not the hometown boy Bryan. JBL won't let go of this idea that Bryan should join the Wyatt Family. Fandango misses his move to the floor, but Bryan does not. However he does get caught and power bombed coming off the top rope, forcing him to kick out of a pinfall attempt before a commercial break. We return to see Fandango getting tattooed by kicks, but the dancing superstar is able to earn another near fall before long. He looks for the top rope legdrop, but Bryan evades it and nails his flying headbutt. The running knee is on target, and Bryan is victorious. You didn't think Bray Wyatt was going to say something after the bell? You must be new here. The leader of the Wyatts appears on screen to promise destruction and pain at TLC, along with showing Bryan he's a monster like them.

Booker T and Jerry Lawler are our hosts tonight for the Slammy Awards segments. They introduce the New Age Outlaws in some super garish tuxedos to present the LOL! Moment of the Year. Also, poor Billy Gunn is prevented from saying the two words he's always had for us if we're not down with that. Vote now darn it! #OnlyOnTheApp

The Rock wins the first trophy for his rendition of "Horrible Tonight" that he used to serenade Vickie Guerrero earlier this year. He's not here of course, so Vickie claims the award.

Match 2 - Santino Marella vs. Damien Sandow

Even with a Big E Langston on guest commentary, this doesn't last long. Sandow wins with the You're Welcome before having a short staredown with Big E.

The Shield is presenting an award? And they even dressed up for the occasion! They're presenting Double Cross of the Year, something they claim to know nothing about. Mark Henry, Shawn Michaels, Paul Heyman and Triple H are in the running though. And the winner is... HBK. He says he's been told he can't talk too long, even though he's surprised he's never won an award for double crossing anyone before.

Match 3 - Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz

Kingston and Miz have no love lost for each other right now, as evidenced by the series of stiff kicks Kofi dishes out. JBL loves the aggression he's seeing from the high flyer, but Miz does not, attempting to walk out on the match. Kingston us having none of it, and they eventually return to the ring, where Miz grabs a handful of tights to help steal a win. Yet Kofi gets the last laugh, administering a dose of Trouble in Paradise after the bell.

Eve Torres comes out to hand out the Diva of the Year honor. Somehow it goes to the Bella Twins. Wait, isn't this an individual award? I'm confused...

Match 4 - Rey Mysterio, Goldust, Cody Rhodes and The Big Show vs. Ryback, Curtis Axel and the Real Americans

No point in recapping what happens before the inevitable break for ads. Goldust finds himself in trouble on the outside, and the heels work effectively as a four-man unit. The Real Americans try to stop the Bizarre One from making a tag, but he hits a double DDT and gets his brother into the action. A springboard dropkick almost finishes Axel, and action erupts out on the floor. Rey tags in and hits a 619 before Dropping the Dime on Axel to finish this one.

Cole walks everyone through the steps to install the WWE app. You mean there are still viewers who haven't downloaded it yet? Out on the stage, Michaels returns to present the Superstar of the Year award. Usually the biggest one is saved for the end of an awards show, but whatever. Shawn suggests renaming the award the "HB-shizzle" trophy. Making things super awkward, the trophy goes to Bryan, a.k.a. the man HBK double crossed to earn his award. Oh, the drama! Daniel points out that The Authority doesn't want him to be in this position, but the people do. He promises an even better 2014 and says go Seahawks.

Match 5 - Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio

Can we call him the new and improved Sin Cara? I think that'd be fitting under the circumstances. ADR seems a little peeved about his loss to the masked man last week. Sin Cara springboards to the floor and takes it to Del Rio, then rolls him back into the ring. Alberto connects with an enzuigiri but misses his next move, giving Sin Cara a chance to go up top. ADR rolls outside and we step out for sponsor messages. Sin Cara counters a cross armbreaker and heads for the top turnbuckle, and he's able to power bomb Del Rio and hit a senton bomb to get his second straight win.

The Prime Time Players are looking dapper, ready to give out the Fan Participation of the Year Slammy. And the winner is... Bryan again. He also won the Beard of the Year, Catchphrase of the Year and shared Couple of the Year with Brie Bella before the show. He's going to need an extra mantle for all those statues.

Match 6 - Brodus Clay vs. Xavier Woods

Clay wins this bout quickly with a big splash. He decides to assault the rookie after the bell too, obviously still irritated with Woods for some reason.

Appropriately, The Miz is the presenter for Insult of the Year. The trophy goes to Stephanie McMahon for her bit degrading and slapping Big Show on Raw.

Match 7 - CM Punk vs. Dean Ambrose

Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are ringside, perhaps giving Punk a sneak preview of what he'll be facing on Sunday when he faces all three Shield members in a handicap match. Cole says Punk also has bruised ribs courtesy of a recent Reigns spear. After the break, Punk rallies with a jumping kick and his running corner knee. He's slow to climb to the top, but he still drops the big elbow. Ambrose kicks out at two, and the match continues. Ambrose gets his own near fall courtesy of a suplex, and he tries to follow with a superplex. Punk shoves him down and hits a cross body plus a kick to the head, but neither can keep Ambrose down. Dean sends his foe to the floor, right between Rollins and Reigns. There appears to be a brief moment of dissent, after which Ambrose's teammates head to the back. Right after that, the Go To Sleep wraps things for Punk. But Reigns returns and delivers another spear, making those tender ribs that much worse, one would assume.

Mick Foley is next up to present the Extreme Moment of the Year. Punk captures this statue for the revenge he got on Heyman at Hell in a Cell, and he limps out to accept. He laughs about receiving an award while not wearing pants and also suggests people tune in Sunday for something even more extreme when he takes on The Shield.

Match 8 - The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family (Erick Rowan and Luke Harper)

This is a really competitive bout that looks like it might go the Usos' way. But even after Rowan gets taken care of by getting superkicked off the apron, Harper is waiting to deliver a ridiculously huge clothesline that picks up the victory for his clan. The lights go out after the match, but it appears we're going to be spared anything too creepy.

Booker and The King bring out Bret Hart for his turn to present a Slammy, this one for Match of the Year. The votes have been tallied, and the winner is John Cena versus The Rock in their "Twice in a Lifetime" match at WrestleMania 29. The Seattle fans let Cena have it, obviously upset that a Bryan match didn't take the honor.

Match 9 - Natalya vs. Tamina

Nattie wins quickly with a Sharpshooter. Have to wrap this up quickly so we can get on to whatever the championship title ceremony entails.

Former WWE and World Heavyweight champions fill the ring, and Triple H tells them they've all etched their names in wrestling history. The fans let the COO have it with chants for Bryan until he has to relent and recognize him. Cena and Orton join the group and hand over their belts so they can be suspended above the ring. And then what? PiŮata time? Probably not, as Orton suggests Cena no longer has the ruthless aggression he displayed while first breaking in. He also rejects the idea that he got lazy, saying he merely got complacent from being that much better than his peers. Randy thinks his image conscious opponent will be upset that he'll be known as the man who lost the biggest match on WWE history, and he has some taunts saved up for Michaels, Foley and Hart too. Cena answers by going the cheap pop route and using Bryan as an example of someone who worked for everything he got, as opposed to Orton who has always hid behind Triple H and others. He also points out that he's the only one who gave Ziggler and Bryan title shots, because he really will take on all comers. Cena finishes by saying that he'll be at his best on Sunday and hopes Orton will too. He offers a handshake, Orton starts a fight, and chaos reigns as Punk, HHH, Michaels and Bryan all get involved. Orton accidentally takes out Stephanie, which earns him a Pedigree from an enraged Triple H. Could this be an elaborate setup? We'll see on Sunday, and see you back here in seven!