The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up #17

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The Stories

RAW
=John Cena coming down to the ring in his yellow T-shirt. Cena said he was disgusted with what happened at SummerSlam. He said that at SummerSlam, Daniel Bryan earned the WWE Championship, and thanked Bryan for bringing out the best in him and for reminding him that a WWE Superstar should be judged by their commitment to excellence in the ring. Cena then told everybody that he had a torn triceps. He said when he found out that Triple H basically gave the title to Randy Orton, he was disgusted, but he can’t put off his surgery any longer and could be gone for half a year. He then introduced a man he respects, a man who has earned the right to be called “champion”. He introduced Daniel Bryan, and left after shaking Bryan’s hand.
= When Daniel Bryan came to the ring, he was somewhat subdued. He simply took in the crowd’s cheers for a bit, but before he could say anything, Stephanie McMahon came out. She said that Daniel didn’t deserve to have his title snatched away, but Triple H was doing what is best for business. Daniel Bryan noted that the fans – and he – disagreed. Bryan said he expected that from Stephanie and Vince, but Triple H only changed because when you lie down with trash, sooner or later, you start to stink. Stephanie said she’d let it slide, but Bryan said he wasn’t scared of being fired, but he was going to really give Stephanie a reason for firing him. Stephanie said nobody wanted to fire him, because he clearly was an integral part of the WWE. She went on to say that while he might not be an “A”, he’s a solid “B-plus”. Bryan stated that she was being some sort of profanity that starts with a B. Bryan said that he knew why Stephanie was out there, but he did not have to calmly accept it. When Stephanie started to reply, he knocked the microphone out of her hands. That led to Stephanie having security escort him from the building, but Bryan got the last word by getting the crowd to do a “NO!” chant.
= To close out the show, The McMahons and Triple H came out to the ring, with the WWE roster on the ramp and The Shield as ringside enforcers. Vince McMahon told HHH that he was proud of Hunter for doing the right thing. Triple H said that he did what he did to ensure the future for the fans, the roster, and the past and future legacy of the WWE. He said that what he did was to allow the WWE to exist in the future. He then said that Daniel Bryan was plenty of good things, but he was not the man that should be WWE Champion or face of the WWE, because the fans deserve better. He said that choosing Daniel Bryan was settling, which is why he gave the fans what they deserved. He said that he hated throwing away Daniel Bryan’s fifteen years of work simply because Bryan over-achieved, especially because of the man whose career he helped. He went on to say that Bryan needed to check his ego at the door and do what is right for business. He brought out Randy Orton, who gave a speech about how everybody should have seen it coming, and how Triple H deserves everybody’s respect. That led to Triple H calling out Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan came out, but The Shield attacked him repeatedly. Triple H encouraged Bryan, but when Daniel finally got in the ring, it was only to eat an RKO. Orton, The McMahons, and Triple H stood tall over the fallen Bryan.
= Backstage, RAW General Manager Brad Maddox noted Dolph Ziggler’s reacton to Triple H’s attack on Daniel Bryan, quoting Ziggler as stating that he never trusted HHH. Maddox said that, since Ziggler likes to show off, he can get that opportunity in a three-on-one match against The Shield. Later, The Big Show gave an interview where he said that he and Mark Henry were going after the WWE Tag Team Championships, but Maddox interrupted him. Maddox said that Big Show had expressed himself negatively against Triple H. Maddox told him that he wanted Big Show to express himself differently – in a 3-on-1 tornado match against The Shield.
= Out in the ring, Paul HeymanCM Punk came to the ring, noting that he wasn’t sure what to say. He noted that Heyman pushed a lot of buttons. One of the fans started booing him, and he verbally tore him to shreds. After that digression, he said that what Paul Heyman offered was everything that Punk wanted, and if he could get that with an apology, then all Heyman needed to do was come to the ring. Heyman came out with Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel in tow. Punk said that he wasn’t fit to compete, but he was dressed to do so because that’s all he knows how to do. He then apologized that he let Heyman distract him from beating Brock Lesnar. He then elaborated, stating that he was sorry that what he did to Heyman at SummerSlam wasn’t enough, and would tear Heyman apart given half the chance. Heyman apologized for what was going to happen to Punk, told Axel to tape up for a fight, and said that he was Punk’s biggest nightmare. He said Axel would finish what Brock Lesnar started. Punk and Axel got in to a brawl, but CM Punk immediately took a chair to Axel, intensifying the brawl. Axel started to look strong, but Punk dumped Axel in to the time keeper’s area. He beat Axel down with various foreign objects, but Axel targeted Punk’s hurt leg. Punk barely avoided being Pillmanized, used the chair to regain the advantage, and gave Axel a Go To Sleep on the steps. Heyman went in to retreat.
= After his match, Alberto Del Rio got on the microphone. He declared that he proved at SummerSlam why he was the best World Heavyweight Champion ever. He stated that he was going to be a hero to the Latino community. That brought out Ricardo Rodriguez, who said Alberto wasn’t a hero to anybody, and said he represented somebody new. He said that this person would stand for people – Rob Van Dam. RVD came out to the ring, got the better of Del Rio in a brawl, and stood tall in the ring with Ricardo as Del Rio retreated to the back.
= We saw The Bellas and The Funkadactyls exchange a nothing conversation about Total Divas.
= As per usual, Zeb Colter sang the praises of Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger, then insulted people in California, as well as international tourists to DisneyLand. Strangely, the crowd actually said, “We the People!”
= We had Justin Gabriel and Zack Ryder backstage to promote Foot Locker, and then Fandango danced in to continue the promotion. He corrected the Foot Locker employee about the pronunciation of his name.
= Backstage, Ryback bullied some guys in the back that apparently were WWE trainees, repeatedly messing with some random guy in elbow pads and forcing him to turn the shower on his travel bag.
= There was a promotional video for a team called Los Matadores. Basically, it’s Primo and Epico in masks and shirtless matador gear.
Main Event
= Zeb Colter got on the microphone and insulted The Great Khali and every Indian. He asked Khali a simple question about the War of 1812. Khali asked like he was contemplating it, but then delivered an overhand chop to start the match.
= Fandango pulled an iCarly (yes, I know the reference is a little dated) by simply doing some random dancing, presumably to got under The Miz’s skin.
SmackDown
= The show opened with SmackDown GM Vickie Guerrero introducing Randy Orton. Orton said that he was going to be the champion and role model that the fans wanted and deserved. He said that he would tell the truth – he didn’t collude with Triple H to win the belt, or The Shield’s protection on Monday, although he did appreciate it. He said that he expected the fans’ support, since he was the WWE champion and the face of the WWE. Daniel Bryan came to the ring after that. Daniel Bryan said what he couldn’t get to say on Monday to John Cena – thank you. He then said that it was time for the face of the wWE to change. He said that he didn’t look like Randy Orton, and eventually called him a pretty boy, and said that it made him want to kick Orton in the face. He talked about his struggles, then said that he can wrestle, and can beat Orton for the belt. He said that he was asking for his rematch then and there. Orton told him to wait until Night of Champions, even calling Bryan “short stuff”. Bryan countered an RKO attempt with a boot to the face. That made Orton retreat.
= Later on, Wade Barrett offered to make sure that Daniel Bryan didn’t make it to Night of Champions. Vickie Guerrero made the match for that evening, adding in the caveat of a steel cage. Following the cage match, Randy Orton gave Bryan an RKO.
= After Curtis Axel’s victory, Paul Heyman got on the microphone and disparaged CM Punk. He then built up Curtis Axel, who eventually challenged Punk to a match on Raw, because he had a brighter future and Paul Heyman in his corner.
= Following his match, Alberto Del Rio got on the microphone and called the crowd peasants. He then said that he could change that if they followed him to greatness. Ricardo Rodriguez came out and said that Del Rio coud not lead them, because he didn’t care about them. He then brought out a man that did care – Rob Van Dam. with Del Rio distracted, Christian hit Alberto with a missile drop kick. van Dam followed up with Rolling Thunder, which forced Del Rio to retreat.
= When Mark Henry and The Big Show won, The Shield came on and berated the two men for wanting to take them down. Rollins eventually told the two men that they had to go, and Reigns finished with the group’s tag line.
= A production crew member asked Ryback for an autograph for his son, but had no clue who he is, and was just doing something nice for his son. Ryback took offense, ripped up the poster, and told the man to leave.

The Wrestling

RAW
Cody Rhodes def. Damien Sandow via pin fall with a sunset pin out of the corner
The Funkadactyls def. Layla & WWE Diva’s Champion AJ Lee via pin fall when Naomi gave Layla a school boy roll-up
3-on-1 Handicap Match: The Shield (WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose & WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) def. Dolph Ziggler via pin fall after a Spear from Reigns, and followed up with a Three-Man Powerbomb
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Sin Cara when the match was called off due to a Sin Cara injury
The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil) def. The Real Americans (Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro) via pin fall after a Gut Check from Darren Young on Cesaro
3-on-1 Tornado Handicap Match: The Shield def. The Big Show via pin fall after a three-man powerbomb
Bray Wyatt def. R-Truth via pin fall after the Kiss Good Night
The Usos def. 3MB (Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal) (w/ Drew McIntyre) via pin fall after a super kick/Superfly Splash combo on Jinder Mahal
The Miz def. Wade Barrett via disqualification after Fandango delivered a top rope leg drop on to Miz when Miz had Barrett in the Figure Four
Main Event
The Shield def. The Usos & Kofi Kingston via pin fall after Dean Ambrose hit Kofi Kingston with the inverted DDT STO
AJ Lee def. Naomi via submission with the Black Widow octopus hold
The Great Khali (w/ Natalya & Hornswoggle) def. Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter & Antonio Cesaro) via pin fall after a big chop
Bray Wyatt def. Justin Gabriel via pin fall after the Kiss Good Night
SmackDown
Curtis Axel def. Cody Rhodes via pin fall after the neck snap DDT
Dolph Ziggler def. Big E Langston via pin fall after a Zig Zag
Alberto Del Rio def. Christian via submission with the Cross Arm Breaker
Darren Young def. Antonio Cesaro via pin fall after a Gut Check
STEEL CAGE MATCH: Daniel Bryan def. Wade Barrett via pin fall after hitting the running high knee

What Worked

RAW
= You know what? I kinda’ tuned out during Triple H’s promo. Had to watch it twice because I couldn’t keep track of his nonsense. However, he played up being the bad guy perfectly, because he was totally hypocritical during it, so that’s something. I still don’t understand why The Shield agreed to be the McMahons’ muscle, since they just talked about overthrowing the old guard two weeks ago. The whole thing after Randy Orton came to the ring was just awkward. Orton’s speech was … uninspiring, to say the least. So why do I say that this is in the right? Because Daniel Bryan was the center of this entire story, regardless of anything else that was going on. Orton, as the WWE Champion, was actually a side note. This is about Daniel Bryan raging against the machine, and I love it.
= The entire part of the show that encompassed the Heyman/Punk rivalry was relatively entertaining. Sure, it displayed that the Intercontinental Champion lacks the chops to take on a former WWE Champion, but that’s hardly relevant when the point was that CM Punk would stop at nothing to truly get vengeance on Heyman. Moreover, Curtis Axel’s downfall was shown not to be a lack of skill, but that he let up on Punk instead of continually assaulting him. If this manages to somehow elevate Curtis Axel, I’d be pleasantly surprised.
= As out of the blue as it was, Rob Van Dam as Alberto Del Rio’s next challenger because of Ricardo Rodriguez actually worked here. Sure, that little note where Del Rio called everybody but him “peasants” was bit of a throwaway, but at least it made it clear that Del Rio’s “heroism” of the Latino community was insincere.
= The rematch between Sandow and Rhodes was actually better than their match at SummerSlam, mostly due to being allowed more time. The only issue with it that I have is the one I have with how many World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank holders, in that they constantly lose – right up until they win the belt. Still, they improved upon their SummerSlam match, so it goes in the plus column.
= I am completely fine with what they’re doing with Fandango. Clearly, it’s getting the fans interested in him again. It’s FAN-DAN-GO!
= While we don’t exactly have the strongest of villainous tag teams, the fact that the WWE is truly showcasing the tag team division really allows the show to be varied. I can’t help but enjoy that, especially with some focus being put upon an “incoming” tag team.
= The first triple threat match was fairly decent, mostly because it allowed Dolph Ziggler to look skilled in the ring without making The Shield appear to be ineffective as a unit. Similarly, The Big Show was able to look impressive against the three-man unit, pretty much dominating due to his size, but losing to the numbers game. It actually made me think of The Princess Bride and how Andre The Giant’s character noted that you use different techniques when you fight multiple opponents as opposed to a single opponent. Show’s loss due to changing from targeting all three men at once to going after a single target was clever booking.
Main Event
= I am never going to disparage a match that features such versatile workers as The Usos, Kofi Kingston, and The Shield. They put on a great contest, with Kofi and The Usos getting a chance to shine against the champions, even pulling off some three-man offense themselves. The crowd was relatively hot for it, too, which really added to the intrigue of the contest. We don’t usually get much about Main Event on the other two shows, but (as I say frequently), with this being the only show on open broadcast that WWE airs, this has more importance than some would believe.
= Letting AJ Lee get the win back on the one-hour show was a great call, especially since, similar to the three-man tag, the limited story development allowed them to work a longer match. Any time we get to see the Divas as more than vapid eye candy, I enjoy it.
= The Zeb Colter segment was at least entertaining, but it would have been more amusing for him to give the right answer (1812-1815).
SmackDown
= The opening segment was good, and started the build for the pay-per-view, and none too soon. Daniel Bryan is making me care about Orton, which I definitely did not expect.
= The steel cage match out of nowhere was a little too on the fly, but I don’t mind that Wade Barrett is the one that Bryan keeps taking on in between pay-per-views. The two always deliver together in the ring, and they did that here.
= I actually smiled a little bit when Lillian Garcia announced Alberto in Spanish. The attention to detail was a nice bit of continuity. The match itself wasn’t at the level of the SummerSlam match, of course, but I am totally fine with it.
= The group of 3MB is proof that anybody can look legitimate when you allow them to look legitimate. Sure, the three men haven’t had a win in … ever, come to that … but hey, they managed to make the match interesting enough that the crowd was engaged in the victory. Of course, the Shield immediately relegated it to a nothing win, but up until that point, it worked.

Needs Work

RAW
= When Stephanie McMahon said that not everybody could be WWE Champion, that was just a fact. But when she said that not everybody could be the face of the company, part of me wondered, “Why not?” WWE should be trying to make as many people on their roster stand out and be memorable, so that fans can think of anybody and everybody on the roster as somebody they absolutely have to see. It’s actually smarter for business because they would be able to send out literally anybody for media appearances. Seriously, they need somebody other than John Cena or The Miz.
= Man, that Bray Wyatt match was sloppy. He spun R-Truth around something like eight times before he actually hit the Kiss Good Night.
= As far as the Diva’s situation goes, they made it quite clear that the ladies on Total Divas are more important than the champion. If that’s they case, they should just have Natalya defeat AJ for the belt and get it finished. Plus, The Bellas were on the show.
= When I first saw Sin Cara on RAW, I was going to put this in what worked, since Del Rio and Cara both have worked a Lucha style. However, the fact that Sin Cara injured his wrist off of a suicide dive just makes him look sloppy.
= You know, at a certain point, Ryback being a bully to nobodies was going to get old. This episode of RAW was when it happened.
= That Foot Locker promo gave me flashbacks to 2002 and 2003, when WWE used their superstars in Stacker 2 commercials. Seriously, that was just cheesy, and not in an entertaining way.
Main Event
= Okay, so Fandango is going to keep antagonizing The Miz. Can we have more than just repeated interruptions?
= And another Bray Wyatt match that just looks sloppy. The man is an oversized spot monkey, in that he seems to do all of three spots.
SmackDown
= Paul Heyman was just retreading what he’s said in the past. The entire speech was a waste of time, even the Curtis Axel speech. I straight up did not care.
= And Dolph Ziggler once again defeats Big E Langston. Can we move on now?
= My opinion on Ryback stands.

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Nicholas Villarreal

Game Review/News Editor at iGame Responsibly
Nicholas Villarreal is a seasoned writer on the staff of iGame Responsibly, covering breaking news, as well as game reviews.

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