The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up #20

Twenty weeks of this. Can you believe that, come Thanksgiving, this column will have had half a year’s worth of articles already? Well, hope you’re ready for this week. We’ve got the WWE’s final week leading in to Night of Champions, TNA’s No Surrender Impact Wrestling special, and ROD TV from August 31 and September 7 on tap!

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As usual, the Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up only discusses what nationally broadcast companies in the United States choose to place on their TV programs. If the shows themselves note outside news, it may or may not be reported, depending upon the nature of the reports. Otherwise, information outside of the regular broadcasts will be treated as irrelevant.

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The Stories

RAW
= The show opens with Edge making a guest appearance, complete with his old pyrotechnics and the mention that he’s won the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships a combined 11 times. He welcomed the fans to the Cutting Edge, which Triple H requested him to do for the sake of business in order to reunite Rated RKO. He said that Orton had nothing to say that was interesting. He said that he had no problem with how Randy Orton won the belt, he had a problem with everything that followed. So instead, he brought out Daniel Bryan. The two let the crowd cheer for Bryan for a bit, and Edge thanked him for coming out, considering recent events. Bryan said that the fans’ cheers were helpful, and that in spite of how many times he’s been hurt, there is satisfaction in the struggle, since he will eventually beat Randy Orton. Edge said that he admired Bryan’s drive and dedication to the business, then asked Bryan a bunch of questions that Bryan answered, “Yes!” That brought out Randy Orton, who ran down Edge. Edge came back with series of verbal jabs. When he brought up Triple H, the man himself came out. Edge noted that Triple H said that a lot of big stars would never make it. HHH said that he was wrong about plenty of guys, but he was right about the fact that Edge was a failure. He said that what the others did was prove him wrong, and he was going to give Bryan a chance to prove himself – against Dean Ambrose, with The Big Show in his corner. Edge came back and said that he didn’t have to marry in to his success. Triple H said that even though he can’t hurt Edge, he can hurt the ones he loves. The Shield brought out a battered and beaten Christian and left him lying on the ramp. Edge was left calling for medical help. Immediately after the break, Edge stormed in to the executive office and threatened Triple H, but HHH just came back and said that Edge was to get out of the building. Edge left without a further word.
= Due to Curtis Axel being disqualified, Paul Heyman berated Axel for his poor judgment. That led directly led to Axel getting a Trouble in Paradise from Kofi Kingston. Later on, Heyman went to the medical room, acting like he slipped on water and hurt his knee. They came back out to the ring, and Heyman stated that he dislikes the Canadian medical system, so he brought his own doctor with him. He said that his doctor said that he was injured and could not compete on Sunday. Brad Maddox came out with a WWE physician to evaluate Heyman, because only WWE doctors could bar him from competititon. The docter then told everybody that he’s fine, and any issues are because the accident was so recent. That brought out CM Punk, who had a kendo stick in hand, sent Punk running, attacked Curtis Axel, threatened the fake doctor, acted like he was going to let him go, and then gave the fake doctor a beating.
= Backstage, Booker T came to talk to Big Show about his situation. He told Show that he would have done the exact same thing as he did last week. Booker brought up the fact that Show needed to put his pride aside to do the right thing. Stephanie McMahon told Show later on that even though he was in Daniel Bryan’s corner, he could in no way interact with The Shield. After the main event, Randy Orton and The Shield attacked Daniel Bryan. Orton gave Bryan an RKO in the middle of the ring. Triple H then instructed Big Show to pick up Bryan and give him the KO Punch. Show refused repeatedly until Daniel Bryan was able to blind side Randy Orton with a busaiku running knee. Bryan stood tall to close the show.
= Rob Van Dam had a pre-recorded speech about how he would take the World Heavyweight Championship. Before RVD’s match against Ryback, Alberto Del Rio came out and made a counter-statement.
= AJ Lee was on commentary for the Diva’s match.
= As a prelude to his match with Randy Orton, the WWE aired a bunch of videos about Goldust. Renee Young then gave him an interview. Goldust said that it is no secret that he is the screw-up. However, Cody did everything right, and his firing was ridiculous. Goldust was about to finish his catch phrase, but Triple H interrupted him and was the abhorrent individual that we’ve come to expect that he is. HHH then walked off, leaving Goldust completely speechless. Following the match, Randy Orton gloated with a small speech. Backstage, Stephanie McMahon hypocritically blamed Goldust for Cody not having a job, and told Goldust to join him in unemployment.
= Zeb Colter was on the microphone before the match between Antonio Cesaro and a returning Santino Marella. He ran down Canada, got out the catch phrase, and was completely flabbergasted when Santino Marella came out to a huge cheer.
= Damien Sandow gave a speech about being the uncrowned World Champion, but The Miz’s entrance cut his speech short.
Main Event
= Tensai & Brodus Clay were at the commentary desk for the tag team match between the Prime Time Players and 3MB (Jinder Mahal & Heath Slater).
SmackDown
= The Big Show came out to read a written apology, obviously forced. He basically was saying that he was wrong in not giving Daniel Bryan the KO Punch. That brought out Triple H, who thanked Show for the apology. He said that he just wanted Show to think like a businessman, and noted that refusing the COO’s orders had severe consequences. He suspended Big Show for the night without pay. The Shield came out, attacked him, and got a severe beating from Show before the fight went outside the ring. Eventually, the numbers game caught up to Show, with Roman Reigns delivering a huge beating with a chair. They gave him the three-man powerbomb as an exclamation point.
= There was a video package that had Triple H explaining his actions in the most hypocritical fashion possible. Video that showed his behavior since SummerSlam was interspersed between these small explanations.
= Edge came out to close the show with the Cutting Edge. He started off by verbally running down Triple H. He noted that he would not forget anything that happened on RAW. He told Christian to come back and tear the Shield apart. He then said that his real purpose was to cut through the crap. He called out WWE CHAMPION Randy Orton first, then brought out Daniel Bryan. For whatever reason, both men were technically dressed to compete. Edge asked Orton how it feels to be a sell out. Orton insulted Edge, but Edge came back and said that the show was about how Bryan was going to beat Orton at Night of Champions. Orton said he did not sell out – he took advantage of an opportunity. He took the chance to be the face of the company after ten years of John Cena. Orton then said that Bryan was good for business, but Orton was best for business. Edge aske Bryan if he asked what was best for business. Orton cut him off, saying that he would never be the face of the WWE. Bryan came back and said that the most important things in his life are not about what is best for business. He said that he wanted his dreams, and his dream was to be the WWE Champion, and he was going to achieve his dream at Night of Champions. Orton attacked Bryan, but Orton took out a bit of time to glare at Edge. That gave Bryan enough time to recover and put Orton in the Yes Lock. Officials came to the ring, pulled Bryan off, and let Orton leave in pain. Bryan was left standing tall as the show closed.
= Paul Heyman and INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION Curtis Axel gave an in-ring interview with Michal Cole as mediator. They had a replay of the major points of the rivalry. Cole noted all that CM Punk had to say, and asked what the plan was going in to Sunday. Axel got on the microphone, saying that the question was ridiculous, since the fact was that CM Punk could not beat Curtis Axel. Paul Heyman then said that he was tired of being persecuted. He said that he was calling for a boycott of Night of Champions. He said that there were plenty of other things on which to spend money than the pay-per-view. He said that no matter what, CM Punk would figure out a way to game the system so that he can get his hands on Paul Heyman. He said that CM Punk would probably guarantee that the pay-per-view was the last time we got to see Paul Heyman. He said that he will always love CM Punk, but he will never forgive the fans. The fans began to sing, “Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Good Bye”.
= Vickie Guerrero came out and announced a special event – Dancing With The WWE Superstars. R-Truth came out first. Then we got Fandango. The Miz came out in a huge afro wig, and declared he was the Mizco Inferno. Since it was apparently “invite yourself”, The Great Khali came out to dance as well. Truth and Fandango did their typical stuff, Miz twerked, and Khali also did his typical stuff. Miz won due to an overwhelming series of cheers. Fandango protested, calling them all a disgrace to the art of dance. That led to a three-man assault on Fandango. Miz and Truth then had a bit of fun with some hip-hop dancing.
= Ryback was backstage, sharing that he was multi-faceted. He was there to make an interview. RD Evans (introduced as Robert) was there with him. Ryback said that Evans had dreams of being the biggest WWE superstar ever. He noted that everybody has dreams, and Ryback’s dreams involve beating the holy hell out of people like Evans. He smacked the crap out of Evans, then kicked it back to the broadcast.
= Ricardo Rodriguez was in Vickie Guerrero’s office. She started off by telling him that, for the sake of business, he could not be in Rob Van Dam’s corner. The two argued in Spanish about how he had to be in RVD’s corner at Night of Champions. Vickie compromised, saying that if he insisted on being in RVD’s corner, RVD could be in his corner on SmackDown – against Alberto Del Rio. After the match, Del Rio gave Rodriguez a Cross Arm Breaker, but Rob Van Dam gave Del Rio a beating and hit Del Rio with a Five Star Frog Splash.
= After the match between Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose ended with a DQ, The Usos made the save to chase off Rollins and Reigns. That made Vicke Guerrero pull a Teddy Long and declare a tag team match.
= Damien Sandow gave a quick speech about how he was going to defeat Santino Marella, and free the entire Canadian audience from their ignorance and inadequacies.
= AJ Lee was once again on the commentary desk during a repeat of the six-diva match from RAW. She attacked Natalya during the match, and after the DQ, Naomi, Brie Bella, and Natalya attacked AJ Lee. Layla, Alicia Fox, and Aksana saved AJ from the Sharpshooter, and Lillian Garcia clarified that the match had ended in DQ.

The Wrestling

RAW
Kofi Kingston def. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION Curtis Axel via DQ after not breaking a five-count
Bray Wyatt def. Dolph Ziggler via pin fall with the Sister Abigail
Natalya, Naomi, & Brie Bella def. Aksana, Layla, & Alicia Fox via submission with the Sharpshooter
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION Alberto Del Rio def. R-Truth via submission with the Cross Arm Breaker
Santino Marella def. Antonio Cesaro via pin fall with a hip toss pin
MR. MONEY IN THE BANK Damien Sandow def. The Miz via roll-up after Fandango came out and distracted The Miz
WWE CHAMPION Randy Orton def. Goldust via pin fall after an RKO
Rob Van Dam def. Ryback via DQ after Ryback slammed RVD in to the ring post crotch-first
Daniel Byan def. UNITED STATES CHAMPION Dean Ambrose via pin fall with a roll-up
Main Event
Kofi Kingston def. Antonio Cesaro via pin fall with the Trouble in Paradise
The Prime Time Players (O’Neil & Young) def. 3MB (Mahal & Slater) via pin fall with an under-arm sit-out spine buster
Big E Langston def. R-Truth via pin fall with the big ending
SmackDown
Natalya, Naomi, & Brie Bella def. Layla, Aksana, & Alicia Fox via DQ when AJ Lee attacked Natalya
Santino Marella def. MR. MONEY IN THE BANK Damien Sandow via pin fall with the Cobra
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION Alberto Del Rio def. Ricardo Rodriguez via pin fall with a top rope Osaka Street Cutter
Title Shot Opportunity: Dolph Ziggler def. UNITED STATES CHAMPION Dean Ambrose via DQ after Rollins & Reigns attacked Ziggler
The Shield (UNITED STATES CHAMPION Dean Ambrose & TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) def. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) via pin fall with an inside cradle

What Worked

RAW
= I liked the way the show opened, because if there’s one thing that Edge can handle, it’s the microphone. Sure, his neck is more artificial than MSG, but he still can make a decent interviewer. Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and even Triple H added to this. As far as Triple H’s reaction to Edge’s words went, it was fitting for him. He said just a week prior that he was responsible for the health and well-being of every WWE superstar. He just never said that he planned to be a very good steward of that responsibility. Good opener.
= The build for the match between CM Punk and the team of Paul Heyman & Curtis Axel has been genius. Heyman’s attempt to get out of the match, only for Brad Maddox, in a moment of non-sycophantic behavior, to notify Heyman what, exactly, Heyman needs to be medically excluded from a match, was great. CM Punk coming out and taking out Heyman’s fake doctor, who looked a lot like a taller Damien Sandow, was a nice added caveat.
= The whole Goldust bit was very well executed. It recalled Goldust at both his best and at his strangest. I find it odd that they didn’t bother to include the time where Randy Orton tossed him in to an electrical board. Either way, right up until Goldust was leaving the building, I thought that they had made it all the way through without any bull. And then Stephanie McMahon showed up. I still say this works for everything that they did right, but Stephanie is just not working for me. I don’t love to detest her, because she is never going to get anything close to comeuppance, so I just want her to go away.
= It’s nice to see Daniel Bryan finally ending things standing tall. It kind of telegraphs that he’s losing at Night of Champions, but that is probably for the best. This is the kind of story that can go until WrestleMania XXX, and it needs to do so.
= Santino’s return. That is all that needs to be said.
Main Event
= The commentary, even the guest commentary, was great. Even Tensai and Clay added to the tag match. Miz may not be the best character in pro wrestling, but he’s good on the headset. Josh Matthews proves week in and week out why he should have been kept on SmackDown.
= The matches, as usual, were probably the best of the week. One of them even involved an actual story that’s going to happen on the pay-per-view.
SmackDown
= The entire Big Show bit was well-done, decently-timed, and had a fitting end. Show got to finally take it to The Shield, but because he stood his ground, the Hounds of Justice took him down. I think he may just have a part in the tag team match at Night of Champions.
= The SmackDown edition of The Cutting Edge was actually much better than the RAW version. No Triple H interference or BS, just a champion and a challenger going at one another from their points of view. I especially liked Bryan’s assertion that he didn’t care about being best for business, or the face of the company, he cared about being the champion. It really elevated the importance of the belt.
= Dolph Ziggler being the centerpiece for the third most important story of the show was a nice surprise. Sure, Dean Ambrose will probably own him like a five-dollar jacket, but the hope that Ziggler can actually go toe-to-toe with the champion is a good change in a positive direction.

Needs Work

RAW
= Bray Wyatt managed to make his finisher less awkward, but apparently at the expense of a crisp match starter. The production team even noticed that the match was beginning to suck, and cut to commercial, even though there wasn’t a break in the action. When you look like crap while Dolph Ziggler is selling for you, you make fans wonder why the company bothers to bring you out.
= Remember how I said that Ryback needs to wrestle more a while ago? I take it back.
= The Canadian crowd was indeed all kinds of bizarre with some of their cheers. Seriously, even the announcers acknowledged that their cheers were just bizarre.
= Strangely, the way that the Divas are now being treated is just as pointless as before AJ Lee’s speech about how all of the ladies on Total Divas are interchangeable. I feel like I’m watching a loop or something – “Most Boring Moments of the WWE Divas”.
Main Event
= The see-saw booking of R-Truth lately is getting a bit old. Heck, Miz and Matthews brought up how the guy headlined a Pay-Per-View with John Cena, The Rock, and The Miz. Sure, the match itself was an embarassing loss, but still, that’s quite a ways to fall.
SmackDown
= Santino squashing Sandow was a horrible decision. At least make Sandow credible in the losses, WWE. Otherwise, why did you bother to give him the briefcase?
= Vickie Guerrero makes a dance-off, and turns the final match in to a six-man tag match. Is it just me, or have they made her more and more generic by the week? Next thing you know, she’ll be wearing a bandana and saying “brother”. Yes, I went there.
= Know how I said that The Miz is decent on commentary? He should do that and only that, because if they’re going to use him for things like the Mizco Inferno, they should give that slot to somebody new. Josh Matthews seems happy with where he landed after Tough Enough, after all.
= The resurrection of the Divas division continues to be more “Bride of Frankenstein” than it is Lazarus. It’s lifeless, and methinks that AJ is going to use the massive hatred of her to her advantage. All of her opponents are focused solely on her – and that leaves a space where they have blinders to their other opponents. It means that AJ remains the star she already is, and every other Diva on the roster treads water.

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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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