Monday Night Raw was upon us once more, as the action was taken place at The XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
Watching the show live, it was another good show booked by the WWE but the biggest criticism heading into the show was that the last few weeks have been booked quite similarly.
For example watching Alberto Del Rio take on Big E Langston for a fifth time, and watching Team Hell No and The SHIELD going at it again; it has been the same story for a long time but come Friday Night Smackdown the situation can, and should hopefully change whilst the feuds continue.
Stephanie and Vince McMahon don’t allow Triple H to compete
After watching video packages of John Cena’s Three Stages of Hell announcement and another focusing on Triple H, Stephanie McMahon makes an appearance on Raw as she comes down to the ring and reflects on the match her husband Triple H competed in against Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. She goes on to say that Triple H has been cleared to compete tonight after suffering from a concussion, she makes a decision not to allow him to compete for his own wellbeing; and as a wife and a mother she cannot allow him to let him compete and asks the fans not to be selfish.
Cue Vince McMahon, he tells us not to boo Stephanie but the crowd does so anyway, he says he and Stephanie care about Triple H more than us fans do and reiterates that Triple H will not compete tonight, mentioning that this is a family sport and not a blood sport before leaving the ring saying that Curtis Axel is beneath Triple H; and so are the fans. Harsh.
The SHIELD defeat Randy Orton and Team Hell No
This seems to be a very familiar site every week; The SHIELD and Team Hell No. This time it was Randy Orton who was paired up with the team as they took on Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, to no avail. Reigns blocked an RKO and shoved Randy into Daniel Bryan, resulting in Dean Ambrose hitting the Headlock Driver on Bryan for the win.
After the match we go backstage and see Team Hell No and Randy Orton arguing, Kane then tells Bryan to calm down before getting more aggressive and saying he will show he is not the weak link in another match on the same night. Triple H then arrives backstage and talks to Stephanie and Vince straight after the previous segment, Vince tries talking Triple H out of the match but Triple H isn’t having any of it, Vince then hands him a contract before walking out.
The Usos defeat The Prime Time Players
A very surprising appearance from The Usos and an equally surprising outcome, I was certain that The Prime Time Players would win, however The Usos took advantage of the chance as Darren Young fell victim to a big splash from the top rope and the lost the match for his team, good job by The Usos.
Alberto Del Rio defeats Big E Langston
For a fifth, yes fifth time we had to watch Big E Langston and Alberto Del Rio go at it after their series is tied at 2-2. Good back and forth action in the match, great to see that they are making Langston look dominant as he refused to tap out but Del Rio turned the arm-bar into a pin for the win, 3-2 to Del Rio.
Sheamus defeats Cody Rhodes
Sandow joined the commentary as his partner took on Sheamus, again great back and forth action from both men but we all knew how this was going to turn out, a Brogue Kick by Sheamus and it was all over. After the match Sheamus went to shake hands with Sandow, Sandow slapped it away and Sheamus decked him with a right hand.
We now see a couple of segments one after another, first Triple H is seen leaving the arena and tells Stephanie that he is leaving so their kids don’t have to see him whip their grandfather on TV, and that he will face Axel next week. After Kofi Kingston was manhandled by Ryback on Smackdown, highlights are shown and a quick update on Kofi that he has had successful surgery but will be out for a few months.
Daniel Bryan is angry backstage and Ryback appears and tells him to watch what he is doing, he verbally abuses Bryan for a short while before Ryback challenges Bryan to a match which he evidently accepts and some more abuse follows, the Daniel Bryan heel turn doesn’t look too far off the horizon. Vince McMahon then walks towards Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman and says that he won’t face Triple H tonight; instead he will face John Cena in a No Disqualification match tonight.
The Great Khali defeats Fandango
I think we all knew which way this was going, after both men came down to the ring, Khali mocked Fandango’s dancing; dropping Fandango with big chops every time before Fandango left and was counted out. The Miz stopped him from leaving but Wade Barrett appeared and hit the Bullhammer on The Miz to set up the next match.
The Miz defeats Wade Barrett
I still find it hard to understand why they continue to make the champion look weaker, after some quick back and forth action Fandango came out and distracted Barrett, causing The Miz to lock in the figure four leg lock to make the champion tap out.
Punk and Jericho contract signing
Jerry Lawler is in the ring to oversee the contract signing, Jericho comes out first before introducing Paul Heyman who is representing CM Punk in the contract signing. Heyman says they could have signed these in private before Jericho cuts him off and mocks CM Punk; saying he doesn’t care about what Punk has done, a great reaction for Jericho, Heyman then signs the contract for Punk and gives it to Jericho. Heyman asks if he is prepared to face the best in the world and talks about how the fans will be anti-Jericho in Punk’s hometown at Payback. Jericho offers to have the match at SummerSlam in LA, and then in Madison Square Garden. Both men continue to throw taunts at each other before Jericho has the last laugh, shoving the contract down Paul Heyman’s pants.
Kaitlyn and The Funkadactyls defeat The Bella Twins and AJ
Very short match, just like Divas matches usually are and all the women got their fair share of action. AJ refused to tag in one of The Bellas and this followed by a spear from Kaitlyn for the win.
Daniel Bryan defeats Ryback
After the commercial Ryback took control of the beginning and dominated Bryan for the duration of the match. Hitting elbows, spears, knees and stomps but Bryan still fought back a little. Hitting a diving head butt and his signature kicks, and also a No Lock then Bryan then had momentum on his side as he dived out of the ring but that momentum came crashing down when he hit the announcers table. Ryback then hit a power-bomb through the table and lost due to disqualification; a win for Bryan regardless. Ryback then attempted another Powerbomb but John Cena came out to a big pop to stop it, followed by Curtis Axel to set up the main event.
Curtis Axel defeats John Cena
Heyman trips Cena early on sending him to the floor; Curtis Axel takes advantage and keeps control of Cena for a while hitting a backbreaker and a couple of close pin falls. Cena blocks a chair shot from Axel and hits Axel with it and throws him over the announcers table. The end comes when Ryback arrived to put Cena through a table and John Cena cannot make it back into the ring in time, Curtis Axel wins via count out.
I wouldn’t say it was the best Raw considering we have seen some of the matches for the last couple of weeks, and I think in order to keep it fresh the writers need to book the likes of Ambrose against a completely different opponent rather than limiting him to one or two. I think Axel winning again was great, which continues his rise from a jobber under Paul Heyman and his new persona and I definitely think after tonight, Daniel Bryan is slowly turning heel very soon.
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