ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 09/23/13

Angelo Savoldi has passed away. He was ninety nine years old. I’ve honestly never heard of the guy, but good for him that he made it to 99.

We start Raw with a recap of the main event from Night of Champions and the opening from Raw last week along with the closing of the show with the locker room standing tall.

Triple H kicks off Raw with the ten faces standing at the top of the ramp. Triple H and Steph thank the ten wrestlers for stepping up to the plate and being men. RVD argues with Triple H and says they were fighting for Daniel Bryan because it was right. Stephanie says all of these guys should be fighting for the WWE Title and not for someone else. Is Hunter pronouncing frustration as fustration? Wow. Sad. Hunter gives all of the guys on the stage the opportunity to take out their “fustration” tonight in an elimination handicap match against the Shield with a partner, Daniel Bryan. Stephanie says the WWE universe will have the opportunity to choose who will face Randy Orton tonight. The choices are R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler, and Rob Van Dam. She plugs the WWE app.

^I liked the opening promo, as Steph and Triple H really laid it on thick with the love for the WWE universe. Fun stuff. Hunter not being able to say frustration properly had to be the highlight of the entire segment for me. This should be a great Raw!

Alberto Del Rio takes on Kofi Kingston. Del Rio wins a lengthy match with the cross armbreaker.

^Solid wrestling from these guys once again. I’ve never seen these two have a bad match, but the story here was one of the best they’ve ever told using such a simple formula. Good stuff and nice way to make the World Champ look strong with current run and still have Kofi look like a top notch performer as he rarely has a bad match.

Renee Young interviews the Miz about the attack by Randy Orton last week in his hometown of Cleveland. Trips interrupts the interview and says he can’t let the Miz anywhere near Randy Orton tonight because of his condition, but he wants Miz to host MizTV and interview the Big Show.

^Sounds like a potentially interesting scenario for the Miz to get knocked out later tonight.

Rowen and Harper of the Wyatt Family take on the Prime Time Players. Harper pins O’Neil after a discus clothesline. Bray laughs like a madman after the match and attacks Darren Young before delivering to him the sister Abigail.

^Nice and solid tag team match here, and interesting to see more members of the handicap match get taken down. I love the tag team wrestling that we’re being treated to at the moment, and I hope WWE continues to book the division this strong.

Miz hosts MizTV and tells Big Show that the bosses are trying to break him as an example to everyone else. Miz tells Show it’s time for him to step up like the rest of the locker room did. Stephanie interrupts, insults the Miz, and tells Show to knock the Miz out. Show does it and Miz is down.

^Seems like a common trend each week. Any takers on who goes down next week at the hands of Show? I think the Miz is highly underrated in terms of his promo ability, but I do understand why WWE utilizes him how they do with the MizTV segments and in social media. I just want to see the guy wrestle more as he has improved leaps and bounds in the ring.

Randy Orton takes on Rob Van Dam(he won the vote). The match ends in a double countout as Orton destroys RVD on the outside after punting him in the head to the floor. Orton continues the assault on Van Dam and lays him out in the ring using the DDT with his feet on the middle ropes.

^And another one bites the dust. I wonder how this night will end…Good overall match between Van Dam and Orton, but too short for these guys to give us anything memorable. I would’ve preferred to see Ziggler win the vote instead of RVD; Ziggler and Orton have ridiculous chemistry together. There’s a good reason why Randy Orton is a top star in the WWE and a lot of people seem to forget just how many good matches Orton has had with various opponents.

Randy Orton approaches the Bellas and they argue as Orton tells Brie what he did out there is only a fraction of what he’s going to do to Daniel Bryan. Orton offers up what a real man looks like and Brie rejects him.

^Nice and intense promo work from Orton, but I don’t like the inclusion of the Bellas here with the storyline of Dbry and Orton over the WWE Title.

Stephanie and AJ Lee bicker backstage. Stephanie puts AJ in her place.

^Good stuff here keeping the Divas relevant and have Stephanie throw her weight around. I like it!

Fandango w/Summer Rae takes on Santino Marella. Fandango wins the match with the rop rope legdrop.

^I’m slightly confused by this, but that’s the WWE booking for you. I know Santino was on a bit of a roll this past week, and now Fandango defeats him in a short match that had very little action? Questionable at best.

CM Punk comes out(Chicago crowd goes nuts) and cuts a promo about fighting anyone and he doesn’t care who. Paul Heyman interrupts him with lame singing. He reminds Punk that he beat him. Ryback and Axel jump Punk as soon as he goes after Heyman. Punk fights back but the two overpower him. Ryback gorilla presses Punk and slams him through a table. Ryback says this is what happens to bullies as the crowd chants Goldberg at him.

^So Punk continues to hunt Heyman, and we now have to endure Ryback booked in a strong role yet again. Hopefully working with Punk and Heyman makes him a better overall performer, and the same goes for Axel. I liked the overall segment as Punk was still able to say his piece and get the crowd fired up.

Cameron, Naomi, Natalya and The Bella Twins defeat AJ Lee, Layla, Alicia Fox, Aksana and Tamina Snuka. Brie pins AJ for the win.

^It’s the divas. Nothing new, but nice of WWE to try so hard to keep them relevant with the new tv show. I’d like to see Tamina and Natalya featured with AJ as the center of the division with all that god given wrestling talent.

Daniel Bryan comes out and cuts a promo on winning the WWE Title once again at Battleground. The main event starts. Goldust and Cody Rhodes attempt to jump the Shield before the match but they get taken out by security. RVD is eliminated first. Kofi is eliminated next followed by Titus O’Neil and Justin Gabriel. Then Zack Ryder is eliminated. One of the Usos pins Roman Reigns next and we go to commercial. Jerry Lawler continues suggesting that Triple H has more to this than meets the eye. Thanks for the heads up Jerry; it wasn’t obvious to anyone but you. Seth Rollins pins Darren Young next. Ziggler pins Ambrose after a Zig Zag and he’s eliminated! It’s all five remaining faces(Usos, Dbry, Truth and Zigs) against Rollins! Rollins eliminates R-Truth after the curb stomp. All four remaining men jump Rollins now and Ambrose tries to come back as does Reigns but they take him out too. Dbry pins Rollins after the flying knee for the win. Dbry celebrates and gets the crowd going with the yes chants to end the show.

^Now THAT was a main event worth seeing again! What a way to close out ANOTHER kickass edition of Raw! Dbry and the faces vs the Machine is just a constantly buzzing story that keeps us captivated every week especially when these guys are allowed to wrestle great matches like this with so much talent all facing the Shield. Nice to see Dbry getting another big win and looking so strong(despite 11 on 3 booking). I’m a little surprised we didn’t get to see Triple H pull something out of his hat to take out the faces. So much for King’s theory!

It was solid storytelling both in the ring and out tonight, and I loved almost every minute of it. Excellent show top to bottom! Call it 8 out 10 for me, if not eight and a half. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – join us!