WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Oct. 7, 2013) from the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, featuring the fallout show from the Battleground pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sun., Oct. 6 in Buffalo, New York.
I wasn't able to watch the show live, instead catching a replay later in the night. That means reactions are going old school style and not hour-by-hour in real time. Click here to check out full results and the live blog.
On to reactions:
- I'm a big Stephanie McMahon fan, and with as much as I hated the finish to Battleground on Sunday night, I quite liked watching her take Big Show out to the woodshed. And I know I'm not supposed to, because it was Stephanie being a bully and pushing her considerable weight around, but who didn't enjoy seeing her smack Show repeatedly while asking if he was going to start sobbing like a baby?
- She does need to work on her "YOU'RE FIRED" voice. Nowhere near her father, the greatest who ever did it.
- What are the chances Michael Cole brought up Billy Gunn last night when Dolph Ziggler beat Damien Sandow with the Fameasser because WWE is actually thinking of pulling the trigger and bringing Mr. Ass back so the two can feud over it? What else is Ziggler going to be doing? And have you seen Gunn lately? He looks exactly the same as he did 20 years ago.
- I like Ryback more when he's not loudly shouting spots to R-Truth to set up the hot tag in a tag match no one ever wanted to see. I suppose it was good for what it was, though Paul Heyman's "Guys" couldn't look any less worthy of that title at this point. That's not a bad thing, to be clear. Good for R-Truth to get the rub from working with CM Punk.
- Can we talk about how Punk's flying elbow, an homage to Macho Man Randy Savage, is about a million times worse than the elbow Macho used to drop on everyone?
- Any opportunity we can get to have Shawn Michaels come back on television, I'll take. That being said, he's just right for the role of special guest referee in a way no one else could ever be. He's best friends with Triple H and has been for as long as anyone can remember, and he gets credit for being Daniel Bryan's trainer while he was creeping on a come up in the wrestling industry. He's got an interest on both sides, therefore we can be reasonably sure he'll be impartial so as to maintain both relationships, or at least that's what we're supposed to believe. That works well enough for me. He's such a great performer, he'll enhance the match no matter what, no different than he did for Triple H vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania 28.
- Thank god the WWE Universe didn't vote in Bob Backlund, huh? That psycho would have just crossface chicken winged the shit out of everyone, including the audience. Love that crazy old bastard.
- I know he's Randy Orton and he's untouchable as a top star and all that good stuff, but Kofi Kingston almost died on that slam coming off the top rope in their match. Like, legitimately cringe worthy stuff. Let's just be thankful everything turned out fine.
- It gets incredibly old hearing the commentators mark out over the RKO when it comes from out of nowhere to end matches but let's go ahead and admit that it's much better when that happens.
- Really enjoyed the brief pull apart brawl between Orton and Bryan, if only because it conveyed the sense that Bryan is just straight up sick of all the bullshit and ready to just beat the hell out of this guy. We need more of Bryan being really angry about getting messed around so damn often. I don't mind that he's such a nice guy, I just love when he gets that fire.
- The decision to bring back John Cena after less than two months away isn't the least bit surprising, especially considering the fact that the ratings for last week's episode of Raw reached a 15 year low. No, this was a move most of us expected. What we didn't expect was that he would be thrust into the world heavyweight title picture. The possibilities are endless here, including the very real chance that this announcement was designed solely to boost ratings in the coming weeks before WWE pulls the rug out and doesn't actually deliver on the match at the PPV. That would be a terrible decision, especially after the awful booking of the last couple PPV shows, but it's at least possible. We also know Cena really is Superman and he's recovered from devastating injuries extremely fast before, so the idea could be to put the belt on him to have him help carry the struggling SmackDown brand. Even bigger than all that, some are already suggesting a title unification match at WrestleMania XXX. I doubt that's the plan, but it's hard to know exactly where this is all headed.
- Either way, I hope this means people will stop acting like television ratings don't matter in 2013. They absolutely do.
- After the response Antonio Cesaro's Giant Swing on Great Khali got after Battleground, WWE couldn't wait to put it on Raw. You'll get no complaints here. I can't wait until he tries that on Big Show.
- I'm a big supporter of Bray Wyatt and what he's doing. I just don't understand why he's doing anything he's doing. I get the larger message, that everything is a lie and he's bringing down the machine, but why does that equal going after guys like Kofi Kingston and The Miz? It feels a lot like the treading water The Shield was doing before the best for business storyline.
- We still haven't seen a bad six-man tag involving The Shield. We still haven't seen a mediocre six-man tag involving The Shield. They really seem to bring out the best in everyone they work with, something that hasn't received nearly enough attention.
- Big Show finally got his revenge. There are four main points to hit on the finish of last night's show: 1) This was WWE pulling some TNA shit and booking the terrible finish on the show you paid for then giving you the great finish on the show you get for free. 2) Everything about it was booked brilliantly, from Show re-emerging to a big pop after getting fired earlier in the night to Triple H cowering behind The Shield like he's been doing for weeks to only getting in Show's face when it seemed he had the upper hand before Show disposed of his attackers leaving Triple H face-to-face and on an island with the man he's been humiliating and trying to destroy for such a long time now. Then, of course, the punch. 3) Triple H, for all his faults, is an outstanding performer. He was brilliant here, playing the dastardly evil boss shouting at his cronies to "FINISH HIM" just before reacting with true fear when said cronies were taken out and he was left to answer for his crimes. He sold Show's punch like a god too. I'm not sure he could have done a better job here. 4) Did anyone else think Vince McMahon was behind Big Show coming back after getting fired? Like we'll get that big reveal next week, that it was Vince who rehired him as he was leaving the building and sent him out to knock out Triple H because Vince wants the company back from his daughter and son-in-law?
- Bryan standing over a knocked out Triple H and leading the crowd in the "YES" chant was everything we ever could have asked for. The only argument against this storyline has been the fact that the heels -- namely Triple H and Stephanie McMahon -- have never given any heat back to the babyfaces. They've always been booked to look strong while the babyfaces have come off weak and overmatched at every turn. Last night, the good guys got their heat back in a big way. Again, credit to Triple H for doing it the way he did. What a sell job.
This was a fine show. It was slow in spots, but was mostly fun throughout.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you dig it?