WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Aug. 19, 2013) from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, featuring the fallout show from the SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) this past Sunday night in Los Angeles, California.
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.
- Of course we started with John Cena. Of course we did. As it turns out, though, we get him out here to continue putting Daniel Bryan over and reveal his elbow looks like a football because he has a torn tricep and it's a build up of fluid. This is his go away promo. Holy shit, he's out 4-to-6 months? That's rough. Cena and Sheamus both out for that time period during the winter months is going to be tough. Monday Night Football is going to destroy WWE this year.
- Anaheim just became my favorite crowd ever for cheering so loudly when Cena announced he would be leaving WWE tonight to go get surgery. Also, the pop Bryan got coming out was awesome.
- "When you lie down with trash, you start to stink." Oh god, yes. This is brilliant, though. Stephanie McMahon playing the skeezy heel role perfectly. She's outstanding in this role, doing her best to act righteous within her position of always trying to do what's "right for business," even if that's so clearly a complete line of bullshit. Calling Bryan a "B+" instead of an "A" was just the right pitch. And now we're back to Angry Daniel Bryan and Angry Daniel Bryan is the best Daniel Bryan.
- And now we're getting the "security takes Bryan away because he acted unprofessionally" towards those who acted the same way towards him in an abuse of their power. I fucking love storylines like this, but you have to have the right characters and the timing has to be right. The timing couldn't be any better for this. Stephanie is perfect, Bryan is perfect, and, really, so is Triple H, Randy Orton, and even Vince McMahon. God, this is good.
- Bryan now has command of crowds on par with Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock in their heydays. They're eating out of the palm of his hand, whenever he wants them to. I love it.
- WWE giving us the Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes rematch this fast and with this little hype says an awful lot about how everyone feels about the feud. Actually, neither of these two even got a television entrance, if you can believe that. Cody going over for a second time is somewhat confusing but remember, Money in the Bank briefcase holders can job for months without issue. I guess this feud is dying a quick death and we can move on now. That's fine by me.
- Great stories give everyone purpose and everything everyone does meaning, even if it's minor. Having Brad Madd-ox book Dolph Ziggler in a three-on-one handicap match against The Shield for his comments on not trusting Triple H to WWE.com last night accomplishes that and gives us a reason to care about both. It also brings up questions regarding The Shield doing work for the General Manager of Raw, and doing it with a smile. The possibilities in that are intriguing.
- Here's something no one really considered: With Brock Lesnar having defeated CM Punk, and seemingly being taken out of the picture until next year after having satisfied his required dates, what does that leave for Paul Heyman? Well, Punk told us he's not done with his old friend just yet and the story we seem to be getting is Heyman wanting back in his good graces now so they can go back to having a mutually beneficial relationship. Yeah, okay.
- I might be the only one, but I was entertained by Layla's ridiculuos overreaction acting to losing to Cameron and Naomi.
- Ziggler vs. the likes of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins is a dream come true. Even Roman Reigns creates intrigue, considering how well Dolph could sell his offense. I also quite like the idea of The Shield being mercenaries, I just wish WWE would take the time to explain that to us. They aren't really the "Hounds of Justice" anymore, no matter how cool that sounds in a promo. Anyway, the match wasn't as good as I hoped it would be, even if that Spear from Reigns is always awesome. Props to the booking team for not killing Ziggler while not making The Shield look incompetent.
- Please be okay, Seth Rollins.
- Sin Cara. And that's all I gotta say. That's the joke.
- Once again, Del Rio cut a great promo after a match that made it sound so very much like Rey Mysterio would be returning. Then, we get Ricardo Rodriguez cutting a promo of his own and saying he's proud to introduce a new "hero" he'll be working with moving forward. At this point, it's certain to be Mysterio, right? WRONG. They paired him with Rob Van Dam. Yes, that Rob Van Dam. What, were they eager to make Team Wellness Violation? Talk about a mismatched pair. Since when was RVD a hero to the Latino community?
- It's great that WWE didn't mention even once that Darren Young is gay, or even allude to his coming out last week. They did book the team as the babyfaces in their match against the Real Americans, and Young was set up as the guy to get the hot tag who came in like a house of fire before recording the pinfall. But none of this felt out of place, and didn't seem like any sort of special treatment. Just WWE capitalizing, even if it's in some small way, on some unexpected good publicity. This was done just right.
- Big Show getting booked for a three-on-one against The Shield because he made disparaging remarks about Triple H last night too? This is great. Did WWE convince its head writer to stick around even longer?
- I'm on board with any random nonsense backstage, the hokier the better. Fandango breaking out in dance during shill spots is awesome. It's not like he's got anything better to do. Speaking of which, I hope this Ryback bully gimmick ends well. It got a bit uncomfortable with that slap last night. You just know that was a real thing that occurred at one point in the WWE locker room, too, right? I can only imagine how much fun JBL was having watching it all go down.
- Well, I guess Rollins' knee is okay if he's out for the Big Show match. Not unlike the Ziggler match before it, this one wasn't all that special, and featured the dreaded NUMBERS GAME narrative that WWE just can't get away from with this crew. But, not unlike the Ziggler match, the finish looked good and The Shield went over again. I guess I can't say I've never seen an average to bad Shield match anymore, because now I've seen two really mediocre outings in one night. And, again, no backstory.
- Holy shit, CM Punk has gone insane. He's actively inviting people into the ring to fight him, asking if they have the balls -- bleeped out -- to come in and fight him so he can render them speechless. Did he tell that fan to "be a man or sit down and be a bitch and shut your mouth"? This was prompted by ONE fan booing. All the other fans cheered this, by the way. I don't know what the hell to think of it. I like the fire, I'll say that.
- Now we've got Paul Heyman referencing commercial breaks. Now it's really gone off the rails.
- Really proud of Heyman for completely leaving Curtis Axel out in the cold as he walked to the ring for the match with Punk. Enjoyed watching Axel try to take his belt off and hand it to Heyman and find nothing but air and cold hard rejection. I guess he thinks he's at the level to do that kind of thing, but he most definitely is not.
- You know what's great about the Bray Wyatt entrance? For starters, this is a heel group that is good enough that fans can't help but cheer them. That's not really what's so great about the cheers, though. It's when they happen. The lights go out and fans react by gasping. Then, he comes on the titantron, lights the lamp, and says "we're here" before blowing it out. That's when the Wyatt Family makes their way out. But the cheers dont' come until Bray announces "we're here." I love that.
- That crossbody Wyatt hit on R-Truth was amazing. I'm going to need a GIF of that ASAP, please. Thanks, Internet. Yes, Bray, you are the new "face of fear" and I will witness you. Just keep that violent streak, and don't sell so big for opponents, at least not yet.
- I love 3MB, but having them take on The Usos? Man, I can't wait to see how many viewers tuned out for this segment.
- A Wade Barrett vs. The Miz match? Oh dear god. Barrett has zero redeeming qualities. At least Miz can call himself a great ambassador for the company who can do PR work for them when it comes time for as much. But Barrett has nothing going for him. At all. Not one single thing. Quick: Name a great Wade Barrett match. You can't, because they don't happen. He's terrible, from the stupid way he bounces his body when he walks out for his entrance, to the silly "BOOOOOM" he shouts when he VIOLENTLY tosses his coat off his shoulders, to the cheesy way he shakes his arms out to try to look tough. This is a guy whose name is written on his trunks. I just can't even.
- The only good part of that match was the end when Fandango continued trolling Miz by hitting the top rope leg drop while Miz had Barrett in the Figure Four. That's just good stuff.
- What's this? The Shield is running security for the McMahon family and the Randy Orton coronation ceremony? So this confirms they're just hounds for hire, right?
- Triple H did it .. fo da Rock for Vince McMahon. You see, he's no different than Vince after all. He's got the same views as dear old dad, that WWE champions have to fit into a very particular box and Bryan simply doesn't measure up, literally and figuratively.
- You can see how top WWE execs view wrestlers when Triple H dropped in that little insult calling Bryan "a good little technician." What he's saying, really, is that Bryan is a good hand, but he's not championship material. He's the guy who gives great matches to the guys who hold the title. I'm sure, until probably just a couple months ago, that's exactly how the powers that be felt about him.
- Man, Triple H is still a hell of a promo when he wants to be. What a great angle he took, saying he likes little Daniel Bryan but he had to put aside his personal feelings in order to do what he thought was right for business. The Evolution reunion talk can end now too, as he buried that quick with simple continuity. These two hate each other and have for some time. Their feud over the years was bad enough that Orton once punted the entire family in the skull and Triple H broke into the dude's house to try to murder him with a sledgehammer. Thankfully, none of that was ignored. Remember, this is just the McMahon family doing what's right for business.
- Then again, Orton kind of went against that with his promo, kissing everyone's ass. I thought he was going to make out with Stephanie right there in the ring before he demanded we give Triple H his due respect. I suppose he would do that as the sellout who got in bed with the enemy for his own personal gain.
- Oh man, The Shield working for the man feels shitty now that they're destroying Bryan. Even if he was booked to be as strong against them as possible, that one hurts. It hurts so bad.
- Holy shit, Triple H taunting him after the beatdown makes him a bigger heel than anything else he's ever done. This is beautiful. Bryan fights with all he has to get in there, after a sustained beating from The Shield, and only gets an RKO once he's there. This is perfect. I'm pissed. I hate Orton, I hate Triple H, I hate Stephanie McMahon, and I hate Vince. Damn them all. Damn them all to hell.
There were a lot of slow spots during this show, and some really average wrestling, but the two big angles were good and the top stars mostly shined.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts on last night's show in the comments section below.