WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Sept. 2, 2013) from the US Airways Center in Des Moines, Iowa, featuring the latest build to the upcoming Night of Champions pay-per-view (PPV) on Sept. 15 in Detroit, Michigan.
I wasn't around to watch the show live, so the reactions won't be hour-by-hour in real time like usual. Instead, we're going old school with it. As usual, you can click here to check out full results and the live blog.
- Big Show's iron clad contract isn't really iron clad because, well, there's no such thing. I feel like Stephanie McMahon revealing as much like she did was a big fuck you to everyone. Like hey, don't be dumb, marks, there's no such thing as an iron clad contract. But I liked JBL's explanation much more when he said it was written up by John Laurinaitis and of course that means it's not what it was supposed to be because Laurinaitis is a huge fuck up.
- As for the rest of what they did with Big Show last night, I hated how he was booked. Like legitimately hated it. On SmackDown last week, which was an A+ show, he was the big bear who was just waiting to be unleashed. Now he's been broken down into a broke, old, worthless, nearly dead wrestler who cries a lot and is a disappointment to those around him. That's literally how they booked this guy. I don't even want to see him give Triple H and Stephanie McMahon their comeuppance, really, I just feel bad for him. You know, since he squandered all his money by giving it away to friends, or whatever stupid explanation they had for him was.
- I liked the idea of forcing Show to have a match with Bryan, but they booked it to make it look like Bryan never had a chance of winning. Like he was always going to lose and Show was taking pity on him by not finishing him off. That's not a good look for your top babyface who will be challenging for the title at your next pay-per-view (PPV). Beyond that, it's just not a good look for a guy we all really want to get behind and stay behind. My top guy doesn't always have to be a straight up ass kicking machine, but this felt too much like Bryan just isn't good enough to beat Show and if that's the case, this entire house of cards comes crashing down.
- The Shield entering with Triple H to his music by bouncing around and looking menacing on their way to the ring through the sea of wrestlers on the ramp was a cool visual that I wouldn't mind seeing more of. They just work so well as the attack dogs of the corporate overlords. Case in point: Dean Ambrose laying out Dolph Ziggler earlier in the night before Ryback came in to finish the job.
- Speaking of Ziggler, he might be more of a sympathetic babyface now than he ever has before. This storyline has been good for getting multiple guys over, we can definitely say that much. The key is the sympathetic guys scoring a few victories at the right times. That could become an issue soon. Bryan is great and all, but you can't beat him down forever. Booking the heels strong is something WWE hasn't always done well, but they're getting it right here. Now let's see if they can strike the right tone with the babyfaces getting theirs when it comes that time.
- Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton put on one hell of a match. Rhodes is another guy who could find himself getting over thanks to this storyline. Despite a strong storyline with Damien Sandow, he just wasn't connecting with the audience before this. Now, there's good reason to get behind him. That promo he cut before walking out of the building was something special. Unleash this guy, he's about as ready as can be.
- "Kane made his bed and now he's burning in it", was actually a great line. Bray Wyatt promos are the best promos. His delivery is second to none. An interesting character simply by virtue of the fact that the man playing him is so dedicated to it.
- CM Punk's promo was good for what it was but it didn't feel particularly special to me. Might be the high bar he's set for himself, but this was just another one. Just another one.
- I really hope Los Matadores never debut. Just keep running vignettes for them and never have them show up on TV. Maybe even turn it into the Brodus Clay gag where they show up as totally different characters. I would die laughing if Primo and Epico just showed up for a Raw match and acted like nothing was out of the ordinary. It would be a good change of pace from all this serious Triple H wanting to be king shit stuff.
- So when do we start holding The Miz accountable for his botches like we do Jack Swagger? Remember when Triple H dressed him down in the locker room for not properly catching R-Truth on a dive to the outside a long while ago? Now he breaks Fandango's nose. And this after he was actually briefly entertaining last week. Should have known it wouldn't last, right?
This wasn't a terrible show, but the way Big Show was booked made it hard to enjoy seeing as he was so much of its focus. The Orton vs. Rhodes match was great, though.
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. What did you think?