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The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 09/02/13

by Amish Patel - September 03, 2013

Live from Des Moines, Iowa this is the Raw Deal for episode #1058. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

Triple H was in the ring to start Raw. No opening song to Raw. No pyro. No video package. It was the WWE COO Triple H in the ring with The Shield standing at ringside. Triple H introduced us to the face of the company – the WWE Champion Randy Orton.

The announce team consisted of Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler like usual.

Orton made his way down to the ring to say that if you disrespect him then you’re disrespecting the company. Crowd chanted “no” at him. When Orton mentioned Daniel Bryan they chanted “yes” right on cue. There was a video of the end of Smackdown when Orton wrote “no” in spray paint on Bryan’s chest. JBL said it was well deserved because Bryan defaced Orton’s car last week on Raw.

“Should Daniel Bryan face me at Night of Champions for the WWE Title?” Fans chanted yes. Orton said no. Orton asked if Bryan had a chance in hell of beating him at Night of Champions. Crowd said yes. “Will Daniel Bryan ever amount to anything in WWE or will he always be a B+ player?” He also asked if Bryan should give up the opportunity to face him for the WWE Title.

Triple H spoke up about how one of his responsibilities is to put out the best product out there. Hunter said Bryan’s ego gets him into situations like what happened at the end of Smackdown. Hunter complained about the fans chanting yes by imitating them. He said that is a problem. “Popularity has nothing to do with what is best for business,” said Hunter. He mentioned a WWE superstar named Doink the Clown that was popular and they showed my buddy Frank the Clown in the front row. Hunter was rambling on talking about how Bryan should have smaller goals and even mentioned the European Title.

Daniel Bryan’s music started up as he stood on the stage for a promo. Loud “Daniel Bryan” chants. He said he wasn’t sure there was a loud “Doink the Clown” chant in 1992 and the only clowns he sees are the two guys standing in the ring right now. Bryan called Triple H a corporate sellout after he cut his hair and put on the suit. Bryan spoke about Orton giving up being in the WWE Title picture until somebody handed it to him. To be fair, Orton did earn the Money in the Bank contract clean. Bryan said there was no way he’d give up his WWE Title shot. Orton told him there’s not a chance in hell that he can win the fight. Bryan said he’s been told the things he can’t do his whole career, but here he is right now. He loved scraping and crawling his way to get there. Bryan told Orton he would never understood it because Orton was handed everything. He knows he can win the WWE Championship. Bryan said Hunter knows Bryan is better, which is why he always sends three guys after him. Bryan said that Orton may have the genetics to be champion, but he doesn’t have the heart of a champion.

Triple H spoke about how Big Show stands by with a tear running down his cheek while Bryan gets beaten every week. He even mentioned Show’s iron clad contract. Hunter told Bryan he could take out his anger on Big Show because the main event is Bryan vs. Big Show. That was the end of the opening promo.

Analysis: It went nearly 20 minutes, which is fine as long as it’s not filler. This felt meaningful. I thought Bryan did an awesome job of telling his story about how he didn’t mind scratching and clawing his way to get there because it made him the guy that he is today. Orton did well to draw the ire of the crowd by doing the “yes/no” game early in his promo. Hunter didn’t ramble on like usual, so that’s fine.

Later in the show we’ll hear from CM Punk.

(Commercial)

Backstage, Triple H and Randy Orton were walking when Cody Rhodes showed up. Triple H shook his hand. Rhodes said tonight’s main event would be great as long as nobody got involved. Rhodes said with all due respect that Bryan vs. Orton is what’s best for business. Hunter didn’t appreciate Rhodes suggesting what is best for business. Hunter mentioned Rhodes’ upcoming wedding. Hunter and Randy both remarked that they weren’t invited to the wedding. Hunter gave Rhodes an early wedding gift because he has a match with Orton. Hunter told Rhodes that if he didn’t win then he could be out of a job.

Analysis: Apparently we don’t need a GM anymore if Hunter just books all the matches randomly as the show goes on. I know Brad Maddox is around and they will use him from time to time, but it’s not like he’s in a major role anymore. They set that up pretty randomly. Nothing wrong with it. It just came out of nowhere.

The Miz vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)

It’s 25 minutes into Raw as we get our first match. Summer tried to interfere, so Miz spun her around in a dance move. Miz controlled the first couple of minutes of the match as they went to break with Miz grabbing a headlock. No floor to commercial break. Odd!

(Commercial)

Fandango was in control of the action after a hard whip to the turnbuckle. Fandango took a hard kick to the nose that caused some blood, so the announcers told us that the WWE doctor stopped the bleeding for Fandango. Miz went crashing into the turnbuckle after a failed corner clothesline. Fandango hit a nice slingshot legdrop. Fandango grabbed his leg as if he hurt it, so Miz capitalized with the Figure Four Leg Lock. Fandango quickly tapped out. It went about 8 minutes.

Winner: The Miz

Analysis: *1/4 It’s weird to see a commercial break during a 8 minute match. That’s such a short match that they should have timed the break better. It was pretty average. Miz barely worked on the leg at all, but the story of the finish would be that the legs of Fandango are so important to him that he’d rather quit than endure pain. Plus, he walks out on matches all the time, so he doesn’t care about winning. If he doesn’t care about winning then why should we care about his matches? That’s a rhetorical question. You figure it out.

Recap of the Punk storyline up next.

(Commercial)

In the locker room, Booker T. approached Bryan. He told Bryan he should think about giving up that title match, so Bryan said “tell me you didn’t just say that.” Way to throw Booker’s line at him. Bryan said it’s not about money, it’s about his life. Booker said Bryan could get hurt. He said he was behind him, but warned him to tread lightly. At commentary, JBL said Booker made sense.

Analysis: What is Booker’s role in WWE on screen these days? No idea. He hasn’t been on that much since he was removed as Smackdown GM.

There was a video package for last week’s angle between CM Punk, Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman. As usual, awesome video package. The attack from last week led to the banner at the top of this column. I came up with the words and my buddy Steve Melo made the graphic as always.

Dolph Ziggler made his entrance for a match. They went to break there. I like breaks before a match rather than during a match.

(Commercial)

Ziggler had no idea who his opponent was. All of a sudden, US Champion Dean Ambrose attacked Ziggler from behind. The ref tried to pull Ambrose off. Ambrose threw Ziggler into the steel ring post. Ambrose spoke to Ziggler about respect. Ryback’s music started up. Apparently he’s the opponent of Ziggler. Ambrose left.

Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler told the ref to ring the bell. Ryback gave him a belly to belly suplex. Crowd was chanting “you can’t wrestle” as Ryback dominated the match. He threw Ziggler hard into the turnbuckle. Ryback wanted his big clothesline, but Ziggler countered with a dropkick. Ryback was able to stop Ziggler’s comeback by throwing him into the ropes and hitting the Meat Hook Clothesline. Ryback hit Shellshock to win after about four minutes.

Winner: Ryback

Analysis: 1/2* Ziggler wasn’t on offense very much because he was selling the attack from Ambrose earlier. The rumor is that Ambrose will defend the US Title against Ziggler at Night of Champions, so that’s likely where they are heading with this. Ryback looked good in hitting his signature spots. His first three minutes on offense were so boring that the crowd chanted “you can’t wrestle” at him.

Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were talking. Brad Maddox walked in to tell them that Big Show was refusing to wrestle Daniel Bryan. Stephanie said she would handle it and she was headed to the ring.

Video package for Los Matadores.

(Commercial)

Plug time: If you’re a NFL fan and want to take part in TJR’s annual Pick ‘Em games on ESPN here’s a Straight Up version and a Point Spread version. Even if you don’t join in time for Thursday’s game you can still get in before Sunday. I won the Straight Up version last year, so I’m looking forward to a repeat. There are no prizes. Just for fun and bragging rights. I also posted my NFL season preview column on TJRSports.com, so check that out too.

Stephanie “Pantsuit” McMahon entered the ring to deliver a promo. She introduced her friend, the World’s Largest Athlete the Big Show. The announcers mentioned that if he were to help his iron clad contract could be rescinded by Triple H.

Big Show entered to a nice ovation. Stephanie talked about how when Show looks at her he should think about her as a 12 year old friend. They are around the same age, so it’s not like he would have known her at that age. I get what she was going for in saying she was young when she knew him, but that was a bit weird. She spoke about how Big Show was flat out broke because his investments haven’t paid off. He didn’t seem happy that she was sharing this. If he doesn’t perform then his ironclad contract could be ripped apart. She mentioned he couldn’t be a Hollywood man or being the world’s largest gas attendant. Stephanie also mentioned that giants don’t live as long as normal people. Crowd booed that. She said it’s about his family and that’s why he will have that match. “The only person that’s hurting more than you right now is me.” She hugged him. Stephanie left. Show had a sad look on his face.

Analysis: Her condescending heel act is pretty good actually. The line about giants not living as long was just mean. She made it personal by bringing up his money woes. Maybe he can get JBL to pay him (remember that silly storyline with HBK?). Anyway, now that they mentioned that Big Show is broke it will give him some sympathy heat to go along with the story that Triple H is an asshole that is treating him unfairly. They also covered the story of the iron clad contract too, so I’m happy with that.

They went to break with Big Show making the “sad giant” face. It would have been nice if #sadBigShow was trending on Twitter.

(Commercial)

As they returned from break, there was a brief commercial that mentioned WWE Hall of Famer Edge would be on Raw next week for “one night only.” It’s in his hometown of Toronto, so that makes sense.

During the break, Big Show was destroying things. He went from sad to angry. Then the announcers plugged the WWE App.

Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil) vs. 3MB (Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal)

I think Drew McIntyre is the best member of his team, yet he barely gets to wrestle. O’Neil stomped on Slater in the corner while blowing on the whistle he brings to the ring. Young hit an atomic drop on Mahal. You don’t see too many atomic drops anymore. Mahal tripped up Young to get the advantage, so the heels isolated Young in their corner. Eventually Young got the hot tag to O’Neil. O’Neil hit a fallaway slam and big boot on Mahal for two. Young took out Slater, so Mahal knocked him out of the ring. O’Neil hit the Clash of the Titus (D-Lo Brown’s Sky High) for the win after about five minutes.

Winners: Prime Time Players

Analysis: *1/2 Basic tag match. It was nice to see O’Neil get the hot tag for the team because it has been Young most weeks. Young’s the smaller member of the team and better at selling, so it helped the match.

Rhodes versus Orton later. JBL mentioned it was days before Rhodes’ wedding.

(Commercial)

Backstage, GM Brad Maddox was on his phone when Paul Heyman showed up. Heyman was mad that Maddox allowed Punk to get his hands on him last week. Because of Maddox, Heyman and Axel are in a handicap match against Punk at Night of Champions. Heyman wondered if it was best for business. Triple H walked up to him. He told Maddox to leave. Triple H said he approved of the match at Night of Champions. Triple H said that Heyman can’t weasel his way out of the match at NOC. Triple H mentioned that if Heyman gets beat up by Punk then Triple H wins (because he doesn’t like him) and in the end that’s what is good for business.

Analysis: There’s been a lot of Triple H on this show huh? Quite a bit.

There was a Bray Wyatt promo as he mentioned Icarus and wondered where Kane was. He warned Kane that the fire that he thought was his beginning was ultimately his ending. “Oh where oh where has my monster gone, oh where oh where could he be.” He said that Kane made his bed and now he’s burning in it. He laughed.

Analysis: Fun promo from Wyatt like usual. As I’m sure you are aware, Kane is filming See No Evil 2 later in September so we likely won’t see him for a couple of months.

Cody Rhodes made his entrance. Cole re-iterated that he had to beat Orton or else he’s out of a job. They went to break there. We’re about halfway into Raw and there’s been about 17 minutes of in-ring time. I assume it will pick up in the second half of the show. I hope so.

(Commercial)

Rhodes looked worried in the ring as WWE Champion Randy Orton made his entrance for this non-title match. The announcers keep mentioning Rhodes getting married on the weekend as a way to make fans feel sorry for him.

Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

As mentioned, this is not for the WWE Title. Rhodes hit an early dropkick for a two count. Rhodes hit a clothesline and continued to be aggressive on offense. Orton poked Rhodes in the eye when the ref wasn’t looking. Orton hit his modified backbreaker on Rhodes while Rhodes was on the middle rope. Rhodes rolled out to the floor for the vintage floor to commercial break. You can’t fire a guy that goes to the magic place leading to a commercial!

(Commercial)

The announcers kept talking about Rhodes’ wedding as they came back from the break. I love how they never mentioned it, yet today they don’t shut up about it. They showed some superstars watching the match backstage. By superstars I mean RVD and then people who are barely on the show. Rhodes made a comeback with a missile dropkick for two. Rhodes connected with the Disaster Kick for two. Excellent nearfall there even though he rarely wins with that move. There’s a “Cody Rhodes” chant, which is pretty rare. He’s doing a great job. Rhodes went to the top for a moonsault, but Orton moved out of the way. Orton hit the DDT off the ropes. Most of the crowd was cheering as Orton set up for the RKO. Rhodes avoided it and hit the Cross Rhodes. Orton kicked out. That was a great kickout. Orton stunned Rhodes by pulling his neck on the top rope. Rhodes went for a Disaster Kick, but Orton moved. Rhodes grabbed his knee. Orton hit the RKO to win the match after 14 minutes.

Winner: Randy Orton

Analysis: ***1/2 That was an awesome match. Rhodes did a great job of getting the crowd to support him and they were chanting his name throughout much of it. They have great chemistry because they have feuded in the past in different roles. I think Orton might be the best opponent of Rhodes, really. I loved that kick out of the Cross Rhodes by Orton. That was the biggest moment of the match. Going into it I don’t think anybody really thought Rhodes was going to win, but the beauty of the match was that by the end people may have thought there’s a chance. Clearly that was the best match of the night so far.

Post match, Orton celebrated on the ramp. Triple H showed up with a microphone. He said “let’s hear it for Cody Rhodes.” He told Cody he fought with heart and he had no idea how much he respected him. Hunter said in this business he needs winners, so he has to do what’s right. “Cody, it’s with deep regret that I have to tell you you’re fired.” Hunter left. The crowd was chanting “thank you Cody” as he limped out of the ring alone.

Analysis: Enjoy the wedding and honeymoon, Cody. See you soon. As an angle it was well done. Hopefully there’s no injury that will keep him out and it’s just being done to give him a break to coincide with the wedding. His wedding is to a woman named Brandi Reed, by the way. She used to work for WWE.

(Commercial)

The announcers talked about the Rhodes firing. JBL said it was a business move, so he understood. He’s the heel announcer that defends Triple H in everything he does. That’s why it’s important to have a heel announcer.

CM Punk made his entrance at the top of hour three. He had a kendo stick in his hand. Punk promised no more empty threats. He said he had a hard time saying anything else. Everything he’s needed to say we’ve already heard. Punk didn’t want to wrestle or talk. “After what was done to me last week I want a fight.” He said “I want to fight Paul Heyman.” He said he had no problem fighting Axel to get to Heyman. In 13 days at Night of Champions he gets them both. He claimed that he was in a dark place and he wouldn’t even want to fight himself right now. He spoke about the “biblical ass kicking at Night of Champions.”

Punk said he had a message for everybody live in the building in Des Moines, Iowa (cheap pop). Loud “CM Punk” chant. He guarantees that he’s going to get past Curtis Axel and he guarantees that he’ll get his hands on Paul Heyman. At NOC we’ll see a side of Punk that we haven’t seen before. Last week Heyman said he broke Punk’s heart, so at Night of Champions he’s going to break Heyman’s face. “I promise.”

Analysis: He started the promo mentioning a promise, so that was a nice way to end it. Punk spoke for about five minutes. He had a determined look on his face. He spoke with a lot of passion. That’s why people like Punk so much. We believe in everything that he says. When he says he’s going to break Heyman’s face at Night of Champions I believe it because it’s about time he got full revenge on Heyman. I’ll be at Night of Champions in Detroit and I can guarantee that place will explode when Punk finally hits Heyman with a GTS. It will be a big deal.

There was another replay of last week when Punk got his hands on Heyman, but Axel ended up saving Heyman leading to the kendo stick attack by Heyman. “You broke my heart! I loved you.”

After the video, Punk was still in the ring with the kendo stick.

Later on Raw it’s Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show.

(Commercial)

In the locker room, Big Show walked up to Daniel Bryan. Show said he didn’t want the match, but he had to do it. Show told him he was in a no-win situation. Bryan said he was in a no-win situation because Bryan was going to beat him just like he did for his first World Title.

Analysis: Way to rub it in at the end of the promo, Bryan.

Divas were in the ring and outside the ring too. None of them got a televised entrance.

Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Brie Bella

The winner of this match gets a title shot at AJ Lee’s Divas Championship at Night of Champions. AJ Lee joined the commentary team. Brie hit a running knee on Natalya. Naomi went for a sunset flip pin on Brie, but then Natalya threw Brie outside the ring. There was a spot where Natalya had Brie in her arms and Naomi did the “Rear View” butt splash to knock them down. She covered Natalya, which led to AJ Lee attacking Naomi to break up the pin. That led to the bell being rung. It went about two minutes.

Match Result: No Contest

After the match, Natalya worked with Naomi & Brie to take down AJ Lee. The three of them triple teamed her. The story was that all of them didn’t like AJ, so they worked together to take her down when they had a shot. AJ sold it like it was a major beating.

Analysis: Based on that finish I think they’re going with a four way match for the Divas Title with AJ defending against Natalya, Naomi and Brie. I thought it was a good idea to have the three women work together to go after AJ because all of them should be mad about the hurtful comments AJ made last week. Solid storyline progression.

(Commercial)

There was another video package for Los Matadores.

Damien Sandow vs. Rob Van Dam (w/Ricardo Rodriguez)

RVD went for some fast paced offense early on, but Sandow countered with a powerbomb variation to break free. Loud “RVD” chant as Sandow hit a boot to the face. RVD came back with a jumping side kick off the middle rope. Alberto Del Rio’s music hit to distract RVD, so Sandhow hit him in the back to send him to the floor. Vintage floor to commercial break three minutes in.

Analysis: Why must they have the music play when somebody comes out to stand on the ramp. The camera will focus on them. We will notice them. No music during a match, please.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Sandow got a nearfall for two. Elbow of Disdain for Sandow got another two count. Sandow hit a running splash to RVD’s back while RVD’s neck was across the middle rope.  RVD came back with Rolling Thunder. Sandow got a roll up for two. RVD took down Sandow by draping his neck across the top and then he hit the Five Star Frog Splash to win the match after 10 minutes. Del Rio looked on angrily from the stage.

Winner: Rob Van Dam

Analysis: *1/2 Their chemistry wasn’t great, but it was fine for the time given. RVD was on the defensive for about 80% of the match. Sandow’s offense is a bit boring. That’s also part of his gimmick, I guess. Sandow has lost so many matches since winning the Money in the Bank briefcase. Obviously if he wins the World Title due to the briefcase he won’t look like a loser, but the problem is he loses so much now that he’s a loser before becoming World Champion. It’s not a good way to build somebody up.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show coming up.

(Commercial)

It’s TJR Radio this Wednesday at 10pmET/9pmCT. Details on how to listen live are right here. We’ll be talking about WWE related things for the first 45 minutes and then we will preview the NFL season for about 45 minutes as well. If you miss it live that same link also works. You can get it on iTunes on Thursday morning too. Looking forward to it.

There was a WWE App segment during the break with Stephanie McMahon setting up the Fatal Fourway match for the Divas Title. That means it’s AJ Lee vs. Naomi vs. Brie Bella vs. Natalya for the Divas Title at Night of Champion.

Analysis: That makes sense. There could be a title change with Natalya winning because they’re likely filming it for Total Divas that will air later in the year.

There was a recap of Cody Rhodes being fired. Josh Mathews walked up to Rhodes backstage. Rhodes said that Orton beat him fair and square, but the McMahons have always hated the Rhodes family. He spoke about how his dad dominated Florida and they put him in polka dots and made him dance. He mentioned how his brother Dustin was the natural, yet they put gold face-paint on him. Mathews asked if Rhodes had anything to say to his fiancée. Cody said nothing. He just left.

Analysis: Great job by Rhodes. He spoke with passion. I’m interested to see how he will be brought back because obviously he’s not really fired. This angle will make him a bigger star in the long run, so as long as fans are patient with it I have a feeling it will pay off.

Members of the WWE roster were forced to stand on the stage to watch the main event of Raw just like last week.

(Commercial)

There was another video about Edge being on Raw next week in Toronto for one night only.

They showed the superstars on the stage for the main event. “They’re in the main event of Raw – they should be happy” – JBL. Good point!

Daniel Bryan made his entrance to a big ovation. Big Show entered the ring for the main event as well. They replayed the end of Smackdown when Show was unable to help Bryan.

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show

Show told Bryan he didn’t want to do this. Bryan didn’t care, so he took the fight to show with a series of kicks. He hit two dropkicks in the corner. When he went for a third dropkick, Show dropped him with a side kick. Show slammed him down. Then Show said he didn’t want to hurt Bryan. He used power moves to get the advantage. Bryan came back with a series of kicks followed by a DDT while Show was on his knees. Bryan went to the top for an attack, so Show destroyed him with a shoulder to the ribs that was like a Spear. Show stood over Bryan ready for the KO Punch. Show walked out of the ring. As he did that, Triple H’s music started up and Hunter walked down to the ring with The Shield. Hunter told Show to finish it. Show told him no. He walked up the ramp. The Shield went into the ring to attack Bryan. The bell rang to end the match that went about five minutes.

Match Result: No Contest

As The Shield attacked Bryan, Show went into the ring. Hunter got in front of him. He even called him “Paul” as he told him he doesn’t want to do this. Show’s real name is Paul Wight. The Shield gave Bryan the Three Man Powerbomb as Show looked on like a helpless sad giant that was in tears. Hunter told Big Show to ball up his fist and knock Bryan out. The crowd was chanting “no” as Show was conflicted about it. Show said “no” as he left the ring.

Stephanie McMahon walked down the ramp. She didn’t have a microphone, but the camera was on her as she told Show that he had to think about his family that was relying on him.

Big Show went back into the ring as Reigns held up Bryan. Triple H told Show to knock out Bryan. Show went to punch Triple H, but Stephanie stood in front of her husband. She wears the pants in that family. Obviously. Show ended up hitting Bryan with the KO Punch. After it was over, Show collapsed against the ropes. Show left the ring with Triple H and Stephanie.

The music of the WWE Champion Randy Orton started up as he walked by Show on his way to the ring. There was a replay of Big Show’s punch on Bryan. The announcers didn’t say anything. They let the pictures tell the story, which is a nice touch. Orton went into the ring, turned Bryan onto his back, realized he was knocked out and then he put his foot on Bryan’s chest. He held up the WWE Title to end the show. It was the third week of Raw in a row where Bryan was destroyed in the main event.

Analysis: No point in rating the match that really didn’t last that long or go that far. It wasn’t about a match. It was about the angle.

I thought Big Show was awesome in displaying his emotions. He told Bryan he didn’t want to fight, but he did it because he had to save his job. I think “sad face Big Show” is almost comical, though. Here’s this guy that’s over 400 pounds looking like a sad 10 year old kid that had his favorite video game taken away. It just looks silly. I wonder what little kids think when they see the biggest guy being bullied by the rich husband and wife combo. Be a star! I know it’s just part of the story, but it almost makes Show too much of a loser and makes me wonder why we want to cheer a guy like him.

As for the end of the show, it’s the same ending we have seen for the past three weeks. I’ve had some people tweeting me about how it’s boring to see the same thing three times in a row. I don’t blame anybody for thinking that. It’s getting a bit tiresome. I’m not sure what they can do in order to change it, though. This is the story they have to tell for the big payoff of Bryan getting his revenge whether it’s in the near future or whether we have to wait until WrestleMania 30. What they’re doing is making him a sympathetic figure. He’s already over huge. Now they are in the process of making him a bigger deal. Hopefully it works.

You know what would have been cool at the end there? If Cody Rhodes ran in through the crowd to try to get at Triple H. The crowd would have LOVED that. If he’s already fired then he has nothing left to lose, right? It makes sense from that perspective. He could take a beating from The Shield and get laid out in the ring, but at least he tried to fight against the evildoers. I’m optimistic that the future is bright for Cody, though.

For anybody frustrated with super couple Triple H and Stephanie, best thing I can tell you is be patient. Build up the heat. The babyfaces will put out the fire, so to speak. It will take time. No rush. Why am I optimistic? Because the last three months of WWE programming has been pretty great and I believe they’ve turned a corner in terms of producing an entertaining TV show week after week. It’s certainly better than having guest hosts or listening to Cole read messages from the Anonymous GM. Be positive. It will work out for the best.

—-

Three Stars of the Show

1. Cody Rhodes

2. Randy Orton

3. Big Show

 

The Scoreboard

5.5 out of 10

Last week: 8.5

2013 Average: 5.81

2013 High: 8.5 (August 27)

2013 Low: 3.5 (January 28)

Last 5 Weeks: 8.5, 6, 7, 6, 5

 

Final Thoughts

It was an average show heavy on promos. The first half of it was pretty bad for the most part, but things picked up in the second half.

The star of the night was Cody Rhodes. He did an outstanding job. The match was awesome, the fired up promo backstage and he’s a bigger star for it. Not sure how he will be brought back, but tonight’s edition of Raw helped his career big time. Love it.

I understand why Triple H was all over the show and it’s not like somebody is going to tell him to be out there less, but I think the show is about him too much. Obviously there’s going to be a point in the story where he gets his ass kicked by guys like Big Show and Daniel Bryan. At this point, though, I think there’s too much of Triple H. I’m not a hater of his. It’s just my opinion on how many times he is appearing on the show.

What I am glad about is they covered the storyline reason for Big Show not helping Bryan because of his “iron clad” contract. Show being broke is a bit of a silly angle, but it’s good enough for me. After all, wrestlers have been known to go broke before.

This was the last Raw that won’t have competition from Monday Night Football (NFL) on ESPN for the rest of the year. It was an average show. Last week’s show was great. I was hoping for another great one. Also MNF being back means I watch that live every Monday and this Raw Deal column will be written Tuesday mornings most likely. Sometimes it will be posted on Tuesday afternoon although I will try to get it posted as soon as I can on Tuesdays.

———

I have a big annual column that should be ready for Wednesday. If not Wednesday then Thursday for sure. I can’t put it off any longer. I’m not saying what one it is, but it’s my fourth year in a row doing it.

If you’re a NFL fan and want to take part in TJR’s annual Pick ‘Em games on ESPN here’s a Straight Up version and a Point Spread version. Even if you don’t join in time for Thursday’s game you can still get in before Sunday. I won the Straight Up version last year, so I’m looking forward to a repeat. There are no prizes. Just for fun and bragging rights. I also posted my NFL season preview column on TJRSports.com, so check that out too.

It’s TJR Radio this Wednesday at 10pmET/9pmCT. Details on how to listen live are right here. We’ll be talking about WWE related things for the first 45 minutes and then we will preview the NFL season for about 45 minutes as well. If you miss it live that same link also works. You can get it on iTunes on Thursday morning too. Looking forward to it.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling.com on Facebook

TJRWrestling.com and TJRSports.com

 

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