ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 09/16/13

Daniel Bryan kicks off Raw with the WWE Title. Triple H interrupts him and calls out referee Scott Armstrong for his fast count when Dbry won the gold. Armstrong eventually “gives up Dbry” and admits to a collusion on helping Dbry win. Hunter strips Dbry of the gold and declares the title held up. Randy Orton comes out and is furious. Hunter takes the WWE Title from Dbry and Orton nails Dbry with an RKO to end the segment.

^Most people expected this. It’s a nice kickoff to keep Orton and Dbry’s feud going and keeps the fans pissed off with Triple H. It also helps with Dbry’s popularity as the crowd loves him more and more every time he gets “held back.”

Randy Orton confronts Hunter and Stephanie backstage. They tell Orton they want to see the Orton of old to prove that he’s worthy of being the face of WWE.

^Hunter and Stephanie reminded me a lot of Vince McMahon with how they acted in this segment. It was eerie.

Dolph Ziggler defeats Dean Ambrose with a zig zag to earn a shot at the US Title…again.

^Second best match of the night, and it came too soon. I’m not sure I like Ziggler being in the US Title picture, but at least he’s being booked in matches with someone of such a high caliber like Ambrose. I really believe it’s a tough call of who sells better better between Ziggler and Seth Rollins.

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon tells Big Show to stay in the office unless she needs him and reminds him of the fact that he’s broke.

^Hmmm, I wonder what Steph will have Show do tonight against his will? This is going to grow old if Show doesn’t retaliate soon.

Fandango defeats R-Truth with the top rope legdrop in a short match.

^Nothing special here when the rivalry only has had a dance contest to hype it, but Fandango still gets better and better in the ring in my eyes every time he competes. Truth and Fandango’s outrageous characters is similar to what we saw in the attitude era with various personalities.

Dusty Rhodes comes out for Stephanie McMahon’s business proposal. Stephanie gives Dusty the choice of giving Goldust or Cody their jobs back, but he can only choose one of them. Dusty refuses and they argue with heated words. Steph brings down the Shield from the crowd and then brings out Big Show. She gives Big Show the choice to knock Dusty out or have the Shield attack him with chairs. Show gets emotional and knocks Dusty out before helping him to the ground.

^I never particularly cared for Dusty Rhodes(yeah, I know he’s a legend, but I just never enjoyed much of his work), but even I feel bad when an old man gets bullied around and beat up. Very effective segment to keep the heel heat on Stephanie and her Shield henchmen.

Big Show leaves in an ambulance with Dusty Rhodes.

Brie Bella, Naomi and Cameron defeat Alicia, Layla, and Aksana.

^Typical women’s match here for WWE. Seems like they’re going out of their way to promote these women despite not giving us anything worth seeing most of the time. Thanks for nothing, WWE.

Rob Van Dam defeats Damien Sandow with a five star frogsplash in a short match. Sandow cuts a promo after the match and guarantees he will be the next World Champion.

^Sandow loses and then reminds us that he’s Mr. Money in the Bank. Works for me. I wish he was booked a little stronger in his performances, but his in ring work is solid and he’ll be believable as a World Champion in the future. I don’t believe Night of Champions was Del Rio’s last title shot and I fully expect him to challenge for the gold again at BattleGround.

Triple H fires Scott Armstrong backstage for the fast count and offers him a nice severance package while assuring him that he will be taken care of.

^And now we know Hunter set the whole thing up based on how this went down. Thanks for the obvious situation, WWE. It does make for some interesting television though. I’d half expect Road Dogg to get involved now that Trips took advantage of and fired his brother(keeping along with the family theme, that is).

Randy Orton and the Miz go one on one. The match gets thrown out because of the chaos and Orton beats down the Miz in front of his parents at ringside(Miz is from Cleveland). Orton puts Miz’s head in a chair and does a knee drop.

^Orton wasn’t very nice here, but he certainly got his point across. Looks like Miz has become the new Jim Ross when it comes to being embarrassed in his hometown. Very effective segment overall here, but not much for a wrestling match. That isn’t a bad thing, though. Now we know Orton will do what it takes to get Hunter and Steph’s vote of confidence.

Ryback, Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman come out. Heyman cuts a promo and so does Ryback. Ryback says Punk bullied Heyman and he can’t stand bullies. Ryback says Punk will never put his hands on Heyman as long as he’s around. Heyman kisses Ryback on the cheek after saying he owes him his life.

^So Ryback and Punk are going to reverse roles from a year ago and feud again? I can only hope that working with Punk will improve Ryback in the ring. We know it can’t hurt Ryback to work with Heyman and improve his mic skills even further. Good segment here, but Heyman was a bit over the top even for my liking.

Tensai and Brodus Clay vs. Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro vs. The Usos is next in an elimination match. Tons of Funk are eliminated first and the Usos gets the win when Jimmy pins Swagger after the big splash from the top rope. The Usos are now the number one contenders for the tag team titles.

^Glad to see the Usos earn their title shot. I’d expect them to finally have the gold before WrestleMania next year. Nice to see their hard work and talent acknowledged with this booking. Tensai and Brodus did nothing to impress me, but I see why WWE keeps them around for the kids. I’m a bit surprised that the Prime Time Players weren’t involved here, but I’m sure they’ll get the gold eventually as well.

It’s announced that the Miz has a broken thorax, but not a broken neck.

^Sounds painful. He’ll be back eventually. Perhaps he can challenge Orton for the WWE Title next spring.

Daniel Bryan defeats Roman Reigns by DQ when Randy Orton breaks up the yes lock. The Shield and Orton attempt to beat down Dbry but all the faces of the WWE locker room come down for the save and beat on the Shield as Orton runs off. The faces celebrate with Dbry as the show ends.

^This was the best wrestling match of the night even with that finish. Dbry and Reigns had a damn good wrestling match. I loved seeing the locker room come down and help Dbry out. You can only wonder what sort of punishment they’ll all face in the coming weeks for their actions. Great ending to the show with the fans behind Dbry!

The show was promo heavy with two matches worth checking out. Despite that, I still enjoyed it, so call it six out of ten without too many compliments. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – join us!