A Wyatt Family promo is shown for their debut tonight. So excited!
Vickie Guerrero opens Raw with Brad Maddox and a ladder in the ring. She climbs up the ladder and announces the booked matches for tonight after Jerry Lawler announces the WWE app vote for the WWE Universe’s opinion of Vickie’s job performance. Vickie announces Christian vs Kane, Randy Orton vs CM Punk and Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan. She also tells us that John Cena and Mark Henry will meet face to face tonight in the ring.
^I like the matches booked, but this opening segment was a gigantic waste of time. Anyone want to guess how the WWE app results with fair?
Daniel Bryan goes one on one with Sheamus. Bryan pins Sheamus clean with a messy small package roll up out of a cloverleaf. They shake hands after the match.
^Dbry and Sheamus have always good chemistry, and they showed it here. What a match! I’d give it three and three quarters stars out of five for quality. Dbry brings out the best in Sheamus, and Sheamus’ skills shine best when he’s in the ring with a great performer like Daniel Bryan.
A reporter is shown looking for the Wyatt Family compound. He’s pointed in a direction a “couple miles that way.” I love the creativity of this whole scenario. It’s simple, but interesting!
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler asks Big E. to let him talk to AJ alone. He’s upset with her for not being with her on Raw and Smackdown, but she calms him down and he tells her his only focus is to win the World Title.
^Reminds me of 2002 when Triple H demanded the divorce from Stephanie. You can feel the breakup coming!
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns take on Tons of Funk. Reigns spears Tensai for the win.
^This was somewhat sloppy thanks to Brodus, and you knew the Shield was going to come out on top. Interesting matchup to make the tag team division feel relevant, but I still wish Tons of Funk would just disappear.
The reporter is shown again having found the Wyatt compound. We see Erick Rowan in a mask working a fire in the yard, and Luke Harper comes up and says “follow me.” Creepy stuff. Reminds me of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
John Cena comes to the ring. Mark Henry comes out after a few words from Cena. They exchange words. Cena tells Henry he sees the face of a desperate man and he better walk out of MITB as WWE Champion or 17 years of respect from everyone will be gone. Henry says he doesn’t care what anyone will think of him. Things get heated and Cena takes off his shirt and says let’s go. Henry says Cena will get him on Sunday. Henry acts as though he’s changed his mind and taunts Cena. Henry plows Cena over but Cena goes for an AA and collapses. Henry yells at him and then delivers a world’s strongest slam.
^And now that Henry looked so strong here, we know he won’t win the WWE Title on Sunday. Cena will defeat the big bad monster in Henry and drop the title to the next major challenger instead. Cena’s promo wasn’t bad, but it was nothing special. I like Mark Henry on the mic, and in the ring with his somewhat limited ability, but I really didn’t picture(maybe a little bit, but not much) him winning the WWE Championship from John Cena.
Josh Mathews interviews Randy Orton. Orton says he doesn’t believe CM Punk is the best in the world, and he will cash in the MITB contract on John Cena this Sunday if he manages to retain the title.
^Good promo by Orton; I like his talk of cashing in on someone to make it seem like he’s a legitimate possibility to win the briefcase. We all know Orton isn’t going to be the winner.
Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman each cut a promo before Axel goes one on one with Chris Jericho. Miz is on commentary for the match. Axel bickers with the Miz on the outside and then jumps into the ring to a codebreaker. Jericho gets the three count.
^Another awesome match tonight! Axel and Jericho have worked some live events together, and their chemistry is good. Axel looks like as much of a ring vet as Jericho at times, and it really makes you wonder what took so long for WWE to realize this man’s talent and utilize it. Great match! I can’t wait to see Miz and Axel go one on one this Sunday.
All of the world title MITB participants gather backstage. Fandango goes to pronounce his name properly and Wade Barrett knocks him out before walking off.
^This was funny stuff. I’m more excited for this particular MITB ladder match than any other just because of the participants involved! I wouldn’t exclude any of them(besides Swagger) from having a chance of winning the match.
The reporter is shown again, this time following Luke Harper through the compound. The house is lit by what appear to be candles. We run into Bray Wyatt with a lantern, and he says to come on it; he’s been waiting for us. I can’t hide my excitement for this debut; I love cult gimmicks when they’re executed properly!
Sin Cara goes one on one with Alberto Del Rio. Dolph Ziggler’s music hits and he comes out talking on a mic to distract Del Rio during the match. Ziggler mocks introducing Del Rio the way Ricardo would. Del Rio gets tired of it and attacks Ziggler to end the match by DQ. Sin Cara flies to the outside onto Del Rio and Ziggler’s music hits.
^Good match, but more of a segment to hype the World Title match this Sunday, and that’s just fine. Ziggler looks like he could get his belt back on Sunday, but I still think the chase might run through Summerslam. Anyone else not care about Sin Cara anymore? It’s like he’s used to keep others looking good while putting on pretty solid(yes, he botches a lot less now with his safe in ring routine) performances.
Vickie Guerrero is in the ring with Brad Maddox for her public job evaluation. Bring on the McMahon family drama. Vince, Stephanie, and Triple H come to the ring together. Vince and Triple H end up bickering over whether or not Vickie is entertaining. Stephanie wants to see the WWE app vote. Seventy-five percent of the audience voted that Vickie Guerrero has failed as Managing Supervisor of Monday Night Raw. Vickie flips out and starts crying. Stephanie has two words for Vickie…you’re fired. Vickie throws a temper tantrum on the ring mat. Vickie gets on the table and screams at the McMahon family. Vince tells the audience they have no idea of what a good decision is and he declares Brad Maddox the new General Manager of Monday Night Raw. JBl says welcome to the Titanic. Cole reminds that he used to bag groceries, and JBL says he was qualified for that.
^I was bored through most of this. I don’t care about any of this storyline, but I’m hoping WWE will accommodate the change of Maddox and make the booking resemble the new leader’s “style.” If you aren’t consistent with your CURRENT story, it gets silly.
Brad Maddox thanks Vince backstage for the opportunity to be GM. Vince says he gave the fans what they deserve and Vickie flips out on Brad.
^I’m a little bit curious to see more of Brad Maddox’s character. We already know he’s limited and lame in the ring, so let’s hope he can entertain us with his personality instead!
Kane goes one on one with Christian. Kane wins the match with the chokeslam. The Wyatt Family video shows up on the tron. Bray Wyatt calls people sheep who need to be led. Bray says this is not the beginning; it’s the end. He says we’re here. The lights go out and Bray Wyatt comes out with Rowan and Harper and Bray has a lantern. Rowan and Harper attack Kane when the lights come on while Bray Wyatt watches from his rocking chair. They smash Kane’s head between the steel steps(fine coming for that?) on the outside.
^This was a good match, but the main story is the aftermath. I loved the hype for the Wyatt Family debut, and the actual appearance along with the attack definitely lived up to the hype! While I’m not sure what will come of the head shot to Kane with the steps, the effective of taking out the Big Red Monster helped to establish the Wyatt Family as an immediate threat to the entire locker room. I hope the great booking continues for this stable!
Vickie is shown leaving with a box in her hands when she walks into Ryback. He hugs her and tells her it’s going to be okay.
^If that’s the most we see of Ryback tonight, WWE needs to put their heads on straight and at least book him on Smackdown to hype his match with Jericho on Sunday. Maybe Vickie can manage Ryback now?
The Bellas twins are on commentary. AJ Lee and Alicia Fox take on Kaitlyn and Layla. Kaitlyn ends up spearing AJ on the outside and the match just sort of stops.
^Not sure what the official finish was for the match, but it was nice of WWE writers to give the divas three minutes of air time to put over the title match this Sunday. I don’t think Kaitlyn has a snowball’s prayer in hell of getting the title back this Sunday, but the match should still be good.
CM Punk is interviewed by Josh Mathews. Punk says Randy Orton isn’t entitled to facts. Punk says holding the WWE Title longer than anyone in the modern era and defeating Randy Orton tonight along with winning his third MITB briefcase makes him the best in the world.
^Punk’s flowing style is unmatched on the microphone, and we saw that again here. He just tells it so well and makes himself look so good.
Randy Orton goes one on one with CM Punk in the main event. Punk wins the match with the GTS. Daniel Bryan attacks Punk after the match and gets a ladder out. Dbry knocks Orton out with the ladder. Dbry climbs the ladder and holds the briefcase to end the show.
^What a way to end the night! How can you ask for more when multiple pay per view quality matches were just thrown at us? Punk and Orton have always had great dynamics in the ring together, and they showcased it well in what was a pay per view quality showdown. I don’t think either of these men will actually win the briefcase, but I suppose anything is possible with WWE booking. Dbry standing tall is what I expected as he is the most likely winner of the match on Sunday. Awesome ending!
What a show! How can anyone be displeased with the wrestling, entertainment value, and overall excitement of Raw? Granted, I’m not impressed by the McMahons at all, but the new GM in Brad Maddox makes things potentially interesting. The Wyatt debut was unprecedented and creepy, and nothing has matched it in terms of making a statement(maybe the NEXUS in 2010, but they had the numbers on their side in a ridiculous way) in Raw’s history. Can you say more dangerous brood without the silly blood baths? The wrestling quality was outstanding with the main event and the Dbry/Sheamus match leading the show. If I ranked shows on a 1-10 scale, I’d be giving this an 8-9 for the quality! Nights like this make me so happy to be a fan! Just awesome!
Our Money in the Bank Preview will be posted Friday evening. I’m sure you can tell based on my comments what some of my predictions are for the show, but I’ll be joined by Parker, Jee-S, and Mike Lightning with their thoughts as well. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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