WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Oct. 28, 2013) from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, featuring the fallout show from the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV) this past Sunday night in Miami.
Click here for full results and the live blog from the show if you missed it. Let's get right to reactions. Remember, these were written as the show moved along with real time reactions to everything that occurred hour-by-hour.
- Thought John Cena was acting really, uh, different. He was talking and acting a whole lot like the old heel John Cena from 2003 or so. It was kind of refreshing too, if not a bit of a tease.
- Thought the Damien Sandow fake cash in before the real cash in was great if only because there were rumors printed on it RIGHT HERE on this very website and WWE went out and played right into that with the fake swerve. Loved that.
- Sandow's beatdown of Cena was fantastic, particularly the "RISE ABOVE THIS" line before sending the champ into the barricade. They even had a really good, super hot match, no one can argue about that. But the same old complaints will come rolling right out once again, that Cena went over a young talent again and LOL CENA WINS and all that good stuff. I'll just say this: it was a good match. I'm not sure what the future holds for Sandow and after this it doesn't look like much, but we'll see. He wasn't buried, but not being able to beat a one-armed man who also tweaked his knee during the match is a really bad look for a guy who was already booked like absolute shit for the past three months. That's without mentioning how strong Cena was kicking out of his finishers, killing those too. I guess all finishers are kind of dead anyway.
- Oh god, no. They're now teasing dissension within The Shield. Can you imagine how much worse WWE programming would have been this year if The Shield weren't consistently tearing the house down with great matches on nearly every show? I'm really not ready for them to break up, or even come close to it. I know it has to happen, I just don't want it to happen yet.
- Dean Ambrose's break up of the pinfall attempt from Jey Uso on Seth Rollins is one of the best things I've seen this year. Another one of the best things I've seen this year? Roman Reigns' double spear on both the Uso brothers. They can't break these guys up anytime soon. It's just not okay. It's not, you hear me! It's not!
- The photoshop job WWE did on Shawn Michaels' superkick on Daniel Bryan at Hell in a Cell was so bad it was good. I understand the need to correct it and what not but it's like they thought we didn't all see Michaels miss by a mile.
- Holy shit, heel Shawn Michaels who is really into it and cares is the very best Shawn Michaels that exists. He started as the guy who didn't realize he was being a dick but was being an awesomely dickish dick and seamlessly transitioned right into understanding completely that he's being a dick and then being an even bigger dick. I know this opinion won't be shared by many others, but the 1997 heel version of Shawn Michaels pre-back injury and finding god was the best wrestler who ever existed, in every area. He was phenomenal and he kind of sort of returned last night, if only for a segment, and it was glorious.
- Please, please, please bring back pissed off Daniel Bryan, the destroyer of worlds. And this time, you know, actually let him destroy the worlds.
- And just as I mention that, here comes the Wyatt Family and the eater of worlds, Bray Wyatt. I don't understand why this happened and there has been nothing before it to make me think it would, save for his prior connection to Kane and the fact that the Wyatt crew is feuding with the "Big Red Monster". But I don't know and I'm not going to worry about it too much right now because there isn't anything there right now.
- Los Matadores is back working with 3MB again, which means all is right in the world.
- Enjoyed the tag team Divas match for what it was, but that finish felt weird.
- Kane squashing The Miz? Yeah, okay. Enjoyed JBL's line: "Did you ever stop to think maybe everyone just hates Miz TV?"
- Kane pledging his allegiance to "The Authority"? Takin the mask off, with the wig and everything? Stephanie McMahon holding it high with a twisted smile on her face? The fuck are we even watching right now? This makes the attack on Bryan by the Wyatt Family look even more odd.
- The Prime Time Players selling WWE Shop merchandise to us was given an entire segment. They actually dedicated a couple minutes to this. And you know what? It was great.
- CM Punk's promo was inspired, at least. He seemed interested in what he was saying and all that good stuff. Delivered his message with conviction. All good things. I just could not care any less about Punk vs. Ryback. I really couldn't. I don't want it now, I don't want it ever again.
- That was a rough second hour after a really hot first hour.
- You know, the Goldberg chants at Ryback are a different beast than most derogatory chants at wrestlers because, well, there's actually a chance of seeing a match between the two, shitty as it would probably be. But they are wearing a bit thin. We get it, he's kind of like Goldberg. We get it, you know that. We just get it, okay?
- I love those spots in matches like Punk vs. Ryback where one guy hits the other leading to one completely choreographing a spot by just laying down on a table without getting it onto it. That's what we got with Ryback laying down to take the flying elbow before getting submitted with the Anaconda Vise. This was like a five minute match that felt like a waste of time.
- As it turns out, it kind of was a waste of time because holy shit, the Wyatt Family is out with Punk still in the ring. They're just going after all the world tonight, aren't they? The devil made them do it, though, and that's the new Wyatt saying. My theory on what that means: "The Authority" is now ordering them around, perhaps because The Shield has fallen out of favor a bit after failing to stop the Rhodes family from both getting their jobs back and then winning the tag team titles.
- It's a bit odd to me that Goldust is constantly being referred to as one of the "architects" of the so-called Attitude Era. He was definitely one hell of a character who made a lot of people uncomfortable but that was damn near the norm during that time period. Shawn Michaels was putting bananas in his pants and having sex with Canadian flags in the center of the ring during that time. I'm not sure Goldust is an architect of an entire Era. Had he not existed then, I'm not sure much would have changed. I get it, though, you have to promote the guy and I don't mind it ultimately because it's awesome that he's back and doing such great work with Cody.
- That leapfrog double footstomp spot the Real Americans do is going to sprain the shit out of one of Antonio Cesaro's ankles one of these days.
- Loved Goldust working stiff on his punches with Jack Swagger in the corner to the point that when he got to punch five or so, Swagger started putting his arm up to block the blows. That's just good stuff because if there's anyone you work stiff with, it's Swagger.
- Holy hell, the Real Americans actually won what was a pretty good match overall. Goldust tapping to Swagger was the last thing I was expecting. It's not really a bad thing, either. Let's see what these two teams can do.
- Alberto Del Rio is pissed now, so let's see how well he does with this promo time he's getting. Not a great start, what with the Mexican flag he's bringing out. He's mad at Cena for stealing his title, he wants his rematch, and he's going to attack Cena's bum arm over and over until he breaks it. Standard fare.
- Summer Rae vs. Natalya and the ladies came out to the theme song of the respective males they are with? I can understand Summer because she doesn't have an official theme, or at least not one used on WWE programming just yet. But Natalya does and there was zero reason not to use it.
- Anyway, Summer's not the best wrestler but she's got plenty of room for improvement and is an outstanding character, especially in the role she's currently in. She should have been wrestling a lot sooner.
- I thought I saw Triple H give El Torito noogies on stage. I mean, all is forgiven after something like that, right? Anyway, The Shield is in the ring with The Authority, so maybe my earlier theory is off and Vince McMahon is the guy behind the Wyatt Family. We shall see. Wait a minute, the Wyatt Family is out on the stage for the Randy Orton championship celebration? What the hell? I don't know anything, I guess.
- Oh well would you look at this. Orton's championship celebration is interrupted not by Bryan but by Big Show! Yes, he is the focal point here, remember? Bryan was taken out by the Wyatt Family, who later just hung out on stage for Orton's celebration and Show running in. That's even when a brawl broke out.
- I will say this, the tease of Triple H and Big Show finally going at it worked really well with the Orlando crowd really hot for it after everything that's happened. I mean, that was a good moment that felt right. But it still sucks that we're once again looking at a Big Show run in the main event picture and it appears Bryan has been knocked back down the card to feud with the Wyatt Family.
- Wait and see, though, right? I waited and I saw Bryan being passed off as a dude who took a trip to the hospital while Big Show came in and wrecked shop in the main event. Great. Just fucking great.
The show was actually pretty good, save for that laggy part in the middle. Matches were good and there was promise in a few different spots but it certainly looks like Bryan is out of the title picture again and Big Show is taking that spot. That just feels awful. Let's hope it's not the case but everything that's happened has told us it is.
The only acceptable thing now is to bring Shawn Michaels back for a program with Bryan that includes a series of PPV matches. Even then, old HBK is, well, old.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show.